Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, Sunny Gho, VC’s Clayton Cowles, and Tom Muller
Release Date: December 4th, 2019
The Savage Land is somehow under attack in this week’s all-new X-MEN #3 by Jonathan Hickman. How do humans continue to infiltrate mutant territory? And, who is this new foe that’s appeared to have “grown” right under their feet? Let’s dive into this week’s installment and find out the answers to these questions and so much more, including Emma’s shoe size and whether Scott still has what it takes to handle this love triangle!
Well, readers, this issue wasn’t what this reviewer expected. When the preview addresses the Savage Land as well as a new foe, this X-fan was expecting more Savage Land and at least a noticeable villain. However, readers will get none of the above. That said, Jonathan Hickman still creates an entertainingly odd issue that surprisingly kept this critic interested immediately from Jump Street.
Now, even though the new villains seem to not fit the normal “bad guy” motive, there means behind infiltration makes a ton of sense within the confines of the overall plot. With Krakoa being such a vital plot thread to the Dawn of X, one could deduce this antagonistic thread as a possibly realistic angle for humanity. That said, the execution and the characters involved in the infiltration came off as silly and more of a joke than Hickman may have expected. At times, this reader felt the new villains were hard to take seriously. This critic didn’t know if Hickman intended the issue to be more humorous or more realistic. Sure, stories can have two tones however it’s extremely difficult to weave comedic tones into something meant to be heavier in nature and still take it seriously. This book isn’t a romantic comedy or even a satire. This X-fan feels Hickman’s overall intent is for his X-books to be taken sincerely and earnestly. My point is; the vibe of the antagonists were a bit too over the top and comical for my taste.
Even though the villainous vibe didn’t sit too well with this fan, there were many attributes of the issue to praise Hickman for. One of the many was Hickman’s commitment to his story and the overall narrative. He remembers what he created, the rules formulated, and the minor minutia to his tale down to the smallest detail. With Cypher still gone, Krakoan communication is still down and referenced. With Magik also off-world, a new teleporter is needed to help get Cyclops and his crew to the Savage Land. My point is; Hickman is consistent and dedicated to his story. This seems obvious that every writer “would” be this way. However, it pains this reviewer to say that that is not always the case and many writers get swayed by popular opinion and ultimately forget the point of their narrative as well as their own rules to their own stories (cough… Tom King).
Not only is Hickman’s storytelling applaudable, but Leinil Francis Yu illustrations, as well as Gerry Alanguilan inks, should also be lauded for their disgustingly thorough portrayal of the elderly (I know… weird flex but ok). The wrinkly details exposed the age of the antagonists immediately while the intricate line work by Yu persists to facilitate an exceptionally thoroughly style that continues to pull this reader deeper into the story. Moreover, Sunny Gho and Rain Beredo’s colors help make the story leap off the page in a way that intensifies the narrative and guides this reader from page to page with ease. This art team continues to provide readers with some of the most vividly exquisite art in comics today.
Elements of this week’s installment simply didn’t sit well with this reader, such as many of the comedic elements sprinkled throughout the story. That said, Hickman sticks to his story, follows his own rules well, and continues with thorough details that reward dedicated readers of all the X-titles. As much as the overall tone of this issue may not have been to my liking, this reviewer couldn’t help but wonder (especially after last issues literal “island sex scandal”) if this is the direction and style Hickman is searching for. He’s never been overly comedic in the past. However, this could be his intent, which is hard to believe after HOXPOX. If that’s the case, this critic may have to attack each issue from a different vantage point from here on out. Ultimately, the series is still worth the read and all X-fans should be following this series. Pick this one up if you wish to stay up to date on all things X-Men.