Now, we must learn the secrets behind the X-Men’s history that will lead them into the future. Your Major Spoilers review of House Of X #3 awaits!
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Pepe Larraz
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Editor: Jordan D. White
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: August 28, 2019
Previously in House of X: Learn the truth about one of the X-Men’s closest allies… and then begin the fight for the future of mutantkind!
ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH
Once again , this issue opens in Professor X’s strange Krakoa garden, where he is delivering orders to Cyclops, who seems… a bit stiff, even for Cyclops. He worries for a moment that the team he is assembling will be casualties, but the Professor and Magneto reassure him that “the righteous can never truly die.” It’s incredibly disturbing, made even more so by the fact that the two men speaking in harmony have spent much of the past 50 years trying to kill one another. While Cyclops and his team (Wolverine, Archangel, Monet, Mystique, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler and someone I believe is Magik?) set out for the orbiting space station created by the secret organization called Orchis, Sabretooth (who was taken into custody by the Fantastic Four in issue #1) is on trial at Project Achilles, a new superhuman maximum security prison. The thing is, he doesn’t seem worried at all about his predicament, openly taunting the judge and attorneys that he’s very happy to kill and will walk out and kill again. Creed’s words are proven true when The White Queen saunters in, explains that she’s taking Sabretooth, and that anyone who has an issue should take it up with the State Department, as all mutants now have diplomatic immunity in the United States. That’s terrifying enough, but when the X-Men arrive at The Orchis Forge, they take the assembled scientists and soldiers by surprise, leading to panic, a dramatic entrance and a rather impressive explosion.
AN ORBITING SENTINEL FACTORY
On the one hand, this issue gives us a little more time with the X-Men as characters, with Cyclops and Nightcrawler getting to show their personalities a little bit, which helps to offset the remote, almost clinical nature of the story so far. On the other hand, we still have Professor X, White Queen and Magneto acting very much like villains, or at least people who consider themselves above the law. It’s a fascinating premise (and one that reminds us that modern takes on the X-Men don’t consider them to be traditional superheroes) and it makes for a great read, but one that makes me as a reader fear the mutants as much as any Marvel U man-on-the-street. Pepe Larraz absolutely knocks this issue’s art out of the proverbial park on every page, with special kudos due to the shot of The Mother Mold head against the backdrop of the Sun. Larraz has a real knack for his character “acting”, especially as the Orchis personnel realize they’re about to be boarded, and Sabretooth hasn’t looked this intimidating since John Byrne. I’m still a little bit in the weeds about what is really going on (especially as regards the revelations that Moira MacTaggart is an Omega-level mutant, but I’m keenly interested in finding out what it all means
BOTTOM LINE: A LITTLE DISJOINTED, A LOT EXCITING
This issue also includes the Krakoan language legend, for those interested in finding out what all the strange sigils are really saying, which I think is going to make a lot of cryptography types very happy. For me, though, the real success of House of X #3 is in the slow personalizing of what has been a very unemotional, almost sterile first two issues, with phenomenal art making each panel a treat, leaving the book with a very impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. I’m starting to piece together bits and pieces of the new X-Men status quo, and I haven’t been this excited for an X-book since the original run of X-Statix nearly 20 years ago.
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This book is an unfolding puzzle box where each new wrinkle makes things more complicated, but always in a good way. The art is incredible, too.
What's not to like?