After three short weeks, The War of the Realms has effectively taken over most of the major properties at Marvel, including X-Men. Considering this truly is a war for Earth itself, writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Pere Perez take us on an adventure of strategic fighting, Frost Giant killing, and all-out action.
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
We already know Rosenberg has an excellent handle on these characters so it’s fun to see him thrust them into a very different kind of battle. They’re fighting for all humans and doing so without any reinforcements. Can Cyclops keep this team together?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This is a well plotted and paced comic, never letting up on the action at hand and keeping the inter-team dynamics in play at nearly every moment. Cyclops is attempting to be a sound leader, but how can he be when he has teammates running off? The issue opens with Cyclops directing the X-Men in a fight against a giant egg man and a dude in purple. They’re ridiculous and Cyclops even calls that out in some fun dialogue by saying, “Remember, nobody builds a statue of you if you get killed by villains this stupid-looking.” Ouch. This leads to some rather difficult villain wrangling, and a plot twist involving Magik and the characters fighting for Midgard in New York City.
Havok ends up being the heavy on this team with Wolfsbane and Multiple Man carrying their own too. It’s an interesting setup for the tie-in three-parter since Cyclops is wounded and can’t actually let loose. Hope is also integrated well and it’s fun to see her rubbing Scott the wrong way. The team as a whole is fighting with little to no information and outmatched which puts on a mission similar to other characters in their tie-in series.
The art by Perez, colors by Rachelle Rosenberg and letters by Travis Lanham are good and keep up with the nearly nonstop action. Fights are easy to follow which is tricky with so many characters involved. There’s some intense gore that works well too, which is a nice reminder these characters are at war and fighting for their lives. Little details, like Havok blasting over the heads of Multiple Man dupes, and seeing a few get caught in the blast, is pretty damn gnarly.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
I’m not quite all in with the B-plot involving Hope, Chamber, Wolfsbane, and Multiple Man. There’s a cliffhanger with them involving a mysterious figure that certainly makes you interested, but none of these characters have a stake in the fight outside of the obvious. They’re essentially caught in a war and doing their best, but there’s no personal skin in the game yet.
Is it good?
I had fun with this tie-in that focuses mainly on the teamwork and fighting ability of the X-Men. Cyclops doesn’t quite have a maestro’s leash on his team, but considering the lack of planning it’s entertaining to see how they keep their heads above water.