Writers Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule, along with artists Aaron Kuder and Javier Garron, move the final chess pieces into place as we near the long-awaited conclusion of Death of X. That’s right, Cyclops isn’t dead yet – so then, just what is the penultimate issue of this mini-series all about?
Death of X #3 (Marvel Comics)
It’s about young Inhumans making a mess of my favorite comic book franchise! No, I kid. We rejoin Crystal’s group of Inhumans in Madrid, where new recruit Daisuke has put Storm’s squad of X-Men to sleep, avoiding the need for conflict. Because nothing sidesteps confrontation like knocking out multiple super-powered mutants against their will.
As you’d probably assume, Daisuke’s actions aren’t viewed as friendly on the part of Storm and her colleagues and the creative team continues to plant the seeds of the hostility between the two races that will bleed into December’s Inhumans Vs. X-Men.
Lemire and Soule do a nice job of giving us the Inhumans’ point of view. Most of Crystal’s team is young and, as a result, quite naive. If you’re firmly in the X-Men camp, be ready to grit your teeth while watching the Inhumans pat themselves on the back as your favorite mutants lay unconscious on the streets of Madrid.
For a series designed to tell us how Cyclops met his maker, this issue is surprisingly light on Slim Summers. But his master plan continues to unfold – and it includes an obscure mutant from the back issue bin. Hope everybody remembers every mutant they met in Marvel’s original X-Factor run – Cyclops sure hasn’t.
While I’ve loved this mini-series, issue #3 is the weakest of the bunch, in my opinion. Hopefully, the writers are setting things up so we can read a truly stellar end to Cyclops’ career that we deserve. Overall, I’m mostly surprised at how intimate this story has been. I assume they’re saving the real fireworks for IVX.
On the art front, I’m disappointed to see Kuder isn’t the only penciler working on this issue. It’s always upsetting to see a fill-in artist appear in a series with so few issues (although I’m not sure I’d want to sit through another Secret Wars-sized wait between installments). No disrespect to Garron, of course, who does a fine job – I just prefer a more seamless reading experience. But, that’s comics, with their deadlines and release schedules and all that.
Let’s hope Death of X #4 makes up for these minor missteps and doesn’t meet the same fate as Cyclops (who I predict doesn’t die and is instead captured by the Inhumans so he can return in time for Marvel’s “Ressurxion” relaunch – not spoilers, just my theory (you read it here first!)).