Marvel published three X-books last week: Fallen Angels #3, X-Force #3, and New Mutants #3. Below, I recap them and tell you what I thought about them. One book is selected for the prestigious Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Week award. Enjoy.
Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities, but thanks to a corporate merger and a line-wide relaunch, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics.
What happened in Fallen Angels #3?
FALLEN ANGELS #3 DX
(W) Bryan Edward Hill (A) Szymon Kudranski (CA) Ashley Witter
APOTH APPROACHES! PSYLOCKE'S PAST THREATENS HER NEW TEAM!
Psylocke's past continues to haunt her as she molds her companions into a fighting force… But can they take on the children of Apoth?
In Shops: Dec 11, 2019
The issue opens with a monologue from Apoth about the nature of life and death and how Psylocke created Apoth, which will soon be revealed (and it has to be, since this series is basically over soon). But first, we check in on Psylocke, X-23, and Cable mid-battle with Apoth's forces in Brazil. Cable gets his ass kicked, smacked off into the jungle. X-23 isn't paying attention to the fight and nearly gets hit as well, but Psylocke saves her and then lectures her on how to fight, because it's not like X-23 has a lifetime of experience in that or anything. After they beat a War of the Worlds robot thing, they find a young kid who is afraid they'll kill him. X-23 calms him down and Psylocke reads his mind. While this is happening, Cable is captured by Apoth.
After two pages of prose that I just skipped over, Psylocke learns that Apoth has taken more children from the village. Laura wants to find and rescue Cable, but Psylocke tells her they need to save the children first, because it's not like X-23 would know anything about responsibility from her years of experience superheroing or anything. Psylocke has an emptiness inside her that can only be filled by war, and so they head off to wage war on Apoth. The final scene shows what I assume to be Apoth, a kind of man/machine monster, making some modifications to Cable.
Was it any good?
This hasn't changed since the first issue, but I continue to take issue with the character regression for X-23 here. In her time in All-New Wolverine, Laura grew into a competent hero, and her entire character arc for over a decade has been about learning to control her inner rage and coming to grips with her upbringing. But all of that is gone here so that Psylocke can teach her everything. I'm just not a fan of that.
In addition, the issue feels rushed, perhaps due to the fact that Marvel is really trying to pump out the X-Books for December (the next issue of Fallen Angels is in stores this week). The art mostly consists of characters floating around on vaguely non-descript backgrounds and looks like someone applied the "plastic wrap" filter in photoshop over top of it. Overall, it's just kind of disappointing because the characters and creative team have potential that isn't being lived up to in this series thus far.
What happened in X-Force #3
X-FORCE #3 DX
(W) Ben Percy (A) Joshua Cassara (CA) Dustin Weaver
THE BEST DEFENSE…
TARGET: ALL ENEMIES OF MUTANTKIND!
First, the new team strikes back against the humans who took one of their own. Then, with its orders established, the new X-Force hits the ground running, taking on deadly threats targeting mutantkind's rightful place in the world…
In Shops: Dec 11, 2019
The comic opens with a flashback to the mysterious group behind the assassins that killed Professor X slicing off Domino's skin and grafting it to the assassins. Then we check back in with our pair of dicks, Wolverine and Kid Omega, as they rescue the half-skinless Domino from a medical tank in a warehouse and make their escape, battling cyborgs as they go. Back on Krakoa, Jean Grey uses Cerebro to resurrect Professor X. Back at the warehouse, Wolverine cuts off Domino's power inhibitor collar, allowing her luck powers to help them escape. In the healing rooms in Krakoa, Sage asks the Morlock Healer to try to keep the one remaining assassin alive so they can learn all they need from him. But after she leaves the room, an unseen figure suffocates the survivor. A prose page tells us that the assassin's corpse later exploded, preventing an autopsy.
In New York, Magneto and Black Tom Cassidy debate how to deal with reporters who want to know whether it's true that Professor X is dead. Xavier steps through the portal himself and dodges questions, keeping his death a secret. Meanwhile, Kid Omega provides Domino with telekinetic prosthetics and telepathic pain relievers, but before they can go back in the warehouse to investigate further, it explodes. Later on Krakoa, Xavier holds a secret meeting with Domino, Kid Omega, Wolverine, Beast, Jean Grey, Sage, and Magneto about forming a new X-Force to do Krakoa's dirty work. The issue ends with the leader of the myserious evil group giving a monologue about resisting mutants, dropping clues about a Weapon X connection, and then giving the group a name: Xeno. Isn't that one of the games from The Price is Right?
Was it any good?
Things are starting to come together for this book. The first three issues, and the whole Xavier death fake-out, basically served to establish the premise of the book as described by the writer before it launched. One could argue that we didn't need to spend the first three issues just to establish that, but that's comics these days, what are you gonna do? It's good to see that we can now move forward though, and X-Force has established both its mission statement and a new threat toward mutant kind and Krakoa, and offers promise for future issues. Plus, the cast is pretty neat. I also do appreciate that this book does have a well-defined purpose, which is in contrast to Fallen Angels, a book that's similar in its grimdark tone but feels a bit directionless.
What happened in New Mutants #3?
NEW MUTANTS #3 DX
(W) Ed Brisson (A) Flaviano (CA) Rod Reis
THE FUTURE COMES KNOCKING!
While the original New Mutants are off in space, the rest of the youth of Krakoa begin to make the future they want to live in. First up – Armor's outreach party, seeking young mutants who have chosen not to come to Krakoa.
In Shops: Dec 11, 2019
Armor is hanging out with Glob Herman on Krakoa. They both really love being there, but Armor is preoccupied with their friends that haven't joined them on Krakoa yet. She goes to see Sage to get some info on missing mutants, and she settles on visiting Beak and Angel Salvadore on their farm in Nebraska. But she needs something, because it turns out the reason Beak and Angel haven't come to Krakoa is they're taking care of Beak's sick dad, who has a rare disease called Munus Motricium Dementia. Thankfully, mutants have cures for diseases now, so Armor goes to get one from Sunspot, but he's off-world right now. Luckily, she finds Boom-Boom snooping around his room, feeling a bit insulted at being left behind while the New Mutants went to space. Boom-Boom agrees to get the medicine for Armor.
Armor gathers Glob and also Manon and Maxime want to come with them. They go to Nebraska, say hello to Beak and Angel and their kids, and deliver the medicine, which heals Beak's dad. As they discuss coming to Krakoa after Beak's dad has fully recovered, a human militia arrives and holds the kids at gunpoint, demanding mutant medicine for themselves. Armor armors up, but the leader shoots her with a power dampening rocket launcher. The issue ends with things looking pretty dire for the mutants.
Was it any good?
It's always good to see what the X-kids are getting up to (well, kids being a relative term here). I like that all of the X-books have been introducing new villains (which is needed since most of the existing villains have joined Krakoa).
Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Week
New Mutants #3 takes the Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Week award this week. I'm just a sucker for characters like Beak and Armor and Glob. Congratulations to the creative team.
- 10/16/2019: X-Men #1
- 10/23/2019: Marauders #1
- 10/30/2019: Excalibur #1
- 11/6/2019: New Mutants #1
- 11/13/2019: X-Men #2
- 11/20/2019: Marauders #2
- 11/27/2019: X-Force #2
- 12/04/2019: Excalibur #3
- 12/11/2019: New Mutants #3
There are five X-books in stores next week as Marvel tries to pack in the sales before the holidays. See you next week to recap them all. Post your thoughts on last week's X-books down in the comments.
Read more X-ual Healing here: