Published on December 5th, 2012 | by Joe Glass0
All New X-Men #3: A Review
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Colours: Marte Gracia
This really is the book that should have started this series.
The slightly disappointing, yet intriguing, actual first issue had had almost half of it spoiled by over-zealous Marvel previews, and furthermore the premise itself acted as a spoiler for the last scene, where one would traditionally expect to find a twist. This led to it reading as a slow and predictable affair, albeit a well written and beautiful looking one.
The second issue was much better, setting up lots of interesting twists and turns and making the premise, the original five X-Men catapulted into a present that is strange and frightening to them, really exciting.
But this issue: this issue is where the action really starts.
It’s full of fast paced, exciting action; intriguing twists that follow on from this past year’s massive event, AvX; and the showdown we have all been waiting for has started.
As ever, the art is absolutely gorgeous. One can never doubt Immonen, and it’s stunning, especially the opening action sequence starring a somewhat bewildered Cyclops and Magneto. In fact, Immonen’s take on Cyclops’ powers make them more interesting than they have seen in a long, long time. The colours by Marte Gracia are a fantastic accompaniment to the brilliant stylistic art.
If there is one problem I have with this issue, and it’s a fairly huge and noticeable one, it’s Emma Frost.
It’s not that I don’t like the character; quite the contrary, Emma is one of my favourite characters in comics. Rather, it’s that Bendis simply doesn’t seem to write Emma as, well, Emma. It’s bizarre. There is none of the faux-British, aristocratic, cold yet refined bitchiness…instead we have crass, common and, well, ordinary. It completely took me out of the story.
Which is odd for a number of reasons:
- Bendis has written Emma before, and done so pretty damn well, in New Avengers and elsewhere.
- Bendis nails everyone else’s voice perfectly, leading to wonderful dynamics and characterisation. Just not Emma.
One might say it’s a small flaw, and in a way it is. The issue is still massively enjoyable and a great read. But it’s so glaringly obvious that it’s just outright strange and jarring.
I do have a possible theory: maybe it’s not Emma. Mystique is apparently a big part of this series, and we haven’t seen her yet…or have we?
What I will say, despite a slow start and some occasional hiccups, this is a series to have in your pull list. It looks stunning, it’s witty and fun, and it’s definitely intriguing. So to any X-fan, it’s a must.
My only other lingering concern: please say Bendis isn’t gonna revert Beast to ape-like…I hate that look!