Writer: Jeff Lemire & Charles Soule
Pencils: Aaron Kuder & Javier Garron
Inkers: Jay Leisten & Javier Garron
Colorist: Morry Hollowell, Jason Keith, Wil Quintana, Matt Milla, and Andrew Crossley
Letters: VC’s Joe Sabino
Death of X #3 is a bit of let down after the first two issues. I’m not sure if the writers are dragging this book out on purpose to be four issues or if they feel they are ratcheting up the tension but either way this issue felt like a waste of time. This disappoints me as I have been enjoying this mini-series. The purpose of Death of X is intended to fill in the gap of what happened to ‘old’ Cyclops and how the upcoming war between the X-Men and the Inhumans came to be. I enjoyed the first issue and the second as it was a solid introduction and then a place setting issue but this issue did not move the story forward and had a contrived conflict to try and boost the tension.
Death of X #3 picks up where our last issue ended. Storm and her team of Mutants who were working with Crystal and her Inhuman relief/response team to save Madrid from falling into chaos have been accidentally knocked unconscious. The newest Inhuman, Downer, has the ability to put anyone and everyone to sleep as he chooses. He used this power on the crowds who were becoming dangerous as they tried to flee the Terrigen Cloud unleashed at the end of Infinity and has been revealed to be a death sentence to anyone carrying the X-Gen. Of course it was an accident that the X-Men were affected by Downer’s powers but this is a comic and accidents or misunderstanding almost always lead to conflict. Storm’s team is quick to confront Crystal and her Inhumans without waiting for an explanation.
This issue also deals with the machinations of Cyclops and Emma Frost as they prepare their forces for battle with the Inhumans. Emma is rallying supporters, which includes Magneto and a long forgotten mutant named Alchemy, to aid in their final stand. Alchemy was introduced in X-Factor volume 1 #41. Marvel ran a contest for readers to create their own mutant who would then appear in the title and Alchemy was the winner. He appeared for two issues then disappeared until now. It is not clear why Alchemy is needed as Emma and Scott are still very cryptic about their plan but as history already tells us, it is not going to end well.
By the end of the issue all of our plot threads are coming to a head for what will no doubt be a very action packed final issue. We will learn what Cyclops master plan was and why he is no longer with us. I wish we had gotten there sooner. This four-issue mini-series may have been better served as an extra sized special issue or a zero issue as it is dragging at this point. There has been little progression over the last two issues as both have been place setting for the grand finale.
Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule are both solid writers but they seem to be dragging their feet with this issue. I don’t know if it was an editorial mandate that this mini-series runs 4 issues but it has been to slow of a burn to get to the climactic end. I was bored with this issue. Also the art seemed to suffer. Javier Garron joins Aaron Kuder and there are pages that look like they were done under a quick deadline. It also doesn’t help that five different colorists worked on the issue. The book looks hurried toward the end and I hope that the final issue doesn’t follow suit. As much as I enjoy a good event I am growing tired of Marvel not planning an adequate amount of time for the artists and either delaying or cramming in guests artists to crank out pages.
Verdict: Pass if you can handle not finishing the story. If you’re like me and need to finish it out hopefully the final issue is a return to the quality of the first issue and not a continuation of this mediocrity. With this creative team this book should be stellar but this issue was not.