I remember talking to a friend who was a bit thrown for a loop when it came to the story which unfolded within the pages of Powers of X. He told me that some things definitely went over his head about this book. I replied that this is just the kind of ambition that Hickman takes on when he tackles remolding a franchise. Surely enough he will lose you here and there, but his aim will always be the same. In the case of this book, that just so happens to be telling the story of the X-Men’s rise, their fall, and everything inbetween throughout the many years to come.
The great thing about issues of this one in particular releasing side by side is that you have little room to forget anything that happened in the issue before. For a book like Powers of X, it is important that the risk is low for feeling like you have to read something again to remember where the story is at.
Off the bat I did like that they started this issue off with a different time period. This time around it was X2, where the past two issues normally started us from the zero year and worked our way up. There was no arguments from me because things were getting good in X2. After what happened in the previous issue when it was decided that the X-Men would make their big move to finally retrieve that data, it only made sense that this issue would place a stronger focus on what happens in the moments to follow. For all we knew, this was where everything went wrong for them. It was as they said, practically a suicide mission. As the mission unfolded, I did know which hit me more between the feeling of suspense and the thrill of the action itself. When we came to understand the kind of force they were facing to complete this objective, it was just one hit after the next that we endured in a story where it does not seem like the ending could be happy.
What also stood out to me was seeing the state of humanity. It was quite fitting to see what humanity turned into when they put so much effort into the perfect machine, only for the machine to see them as inferior in return. Funny how you knock yourself down the totem pole in the process of trying to eliminate another group of people?
Something which continued to entertain me was the personality that had been given to Nimrod. Of all the enemies that the X-Men have faced who are machine, this one has had the strongest sense of sentience. It made a big difference seeing it inconsistently battling with being serious and trying to amuse itself. Having another to work off of helped as well since it seemed like only one of them was genuinely interested in what was going on in the world around them.
Marvelous work from the art team once again. Of all the future points in time, I loved that we got an entire issue to enjoy the interior work for X2. Something I never got into before was the visual beauty that came with ever scene involving Nimrod. It was one thing to simply admire the way that he is drawn and brought to life, but it was another thing to also take notice of the level of detail that went into surrounding Nimrod and his subordinate with intricate designs in data circulating around them. Even if you didn’t know what half of those symbols were, there was so much going on and yet all of it thrown out there with quality and precision. Not to mention a sharp attention to the colors which make every symbol distinguishing. The colors overall for this issue I would say were bold and explosive. The right combination for such a climatic battle which unfolded within these pages.
At the end of the day we were simply awaiting for when things would go south, but it was only in defeat that we could see that there was much more to this than what we were seeing on the surface. Even if at times you didn’t get what was going on in the previous issues, Powers of X #3 proved to us that everything should be taken at face value when the X-Men really did come too far for this to be their only end.