I review X-Men #3, by Brian Wood and Oliver Coipel, published by Marvel Comics.
Writer: Brian Wood | Pencils: Oliver Coipel | Inks: Mark Morales & Oliver Coipel | Colours: Laura Martin | Cover: Oliver Coipel & Laura Martin | Publisher: Marvel Comics | Price: $3.99
The X-Men find out what Arkea is capable of, and the phrase “rampaging horde” comes to mind.Can Arkea be defeated? Can the X-Men take down one of their own, if that’s what it takes? Meanwhile, what’s up with Sublime and Rachel? What’s up with Bling and Cipher? What’s up with Jubilee and Bling?
I mentioned in my review of Daredevil #29 my Top 5 favourite Marvel Comics, and whilst X-Men by Brian Wood is superb, with #3 another spectacular issue (although I still have some problems with it), I still think that it’s a little early to add this to that list yet – mainly because I don’t quite know which title to take out, as I hold All New X-Men, Young Avengers, Hawkeye, Thor: God of Thunder and the aforementioned Daredevil in incredibly high regard. However X-Men #3 will make that selection an incredibly hard job – as Wood not only handles effectively Storm, Rogue, Psylocke, Kitty Pryde, Rachel Grey and Jubilee in an stellar manner – as well as telling an interesting storyline.
I wasn’t a big fan of the cover of X-Men #3, however – for one, It doesn’t have the awesomeness factor of seeing all those characters on one page that came with X-Men #1 and it isn’t as good as X-Men #2. Hopefully, the covers will start to increase in quality after this – as the interior artwork is pretty spectacular and mostly eye catching. On the other hand, what I also found interesting about X-Men #3 is that it is the conclusion to an arc that only lasted three issues – meaning that it’s a welcome break from the epic-length arcs that we’ve seen in from the likes of Thor: God of Thunder and Captain America, both of which are very solid titles at the moment. The shortened arc format is interesting, however – one might argue that it wraps up a bit too soon.
The pacing in question feels like it’s a bit all over the place, with some fast paced elements coinciding with some that move much slower – rather than offering a balanced, streamlined pace like the last three issues have been. However, that doesn’t stop this issue from being a lot of fun, wrapping up the Primer arc in an almost-satisfying conclusion (although it can feel somewhat rushed) with some very awesome sequences. The interior artwork is stunning, and Oliver Coipel’s pencils make Brian Wood’s superb script really come to life. X-Men is really making it a hard decision to pick between my favourite X-Book at the moment, be it this or All New X-Men which are my two personal standouts. Wood and Coipel are a great team, and having just learnt that this is Coipel’s last issue as artist on X-Men, I’m really disappointed – I’d have loved to see both of these two stick around for longer, as his art brings a great cinematic feel to the book – I’ll be certainly interested to see what he’s working on next and as to who his replacement is going to be, however.
If you’re not following this title already, then I can offer another recommendation, even though #3 may not quite have reached the high standard set by #1 & #2. It still easily manages to be among the best of the Marvel Now! comics currently hitting shelves, and is well worth your time.