X-Men #2 last month was a pleasant surprise for everything that second chapter turned into. It was good to know that by the end of that issue that this creative team wasn’t going to go with straightforward heroics with this title. It was crazy that in that second chapter we would dive into Krakoa’s other half, or even Apocalypse’s connection to it. I was definitely prepared for what would come next with this new development, which was why it threw me for a loop to see that in X-Men #2 we would be jumping into the Savage Lands so soon after.
Without a doubt I was taken back this time around, because I was unprepared for what this chapter would offer us. The first one served as a transition from the events of House of X/Powers of X, the second took us through the slowly unfolding origins of Krakoa, and then here we are with issue #3 jumping into something else entirely different. I mean we know that there is a certain connection between the mutants and the Savage Lands, and we know it only makes sense that Cyclops of all mutants would tackle a situation in that area. Though that still didn’t help you to understand why our attention would shift to a place like this instead. It took some time to find clarity, but it was worth it to see that the end goal was to further create this understanding that having access to these resources comes at a price.
I mean, it was bold as hell that this new enemy would take the form of a group of old ladies. You brace yourself for a lot of things, a lot of old faces that we have seen in the past, but the last thing that you expect is a group of old ladies who force you from appearances alone to take them lightly. Upon introductions, I’ll admit that I was not feeling this at first. It was just a bunch of old ladies yelling at each other, going back and forth from coherent to incoherent in their ramblings among each other. I struggled not to feel as though Hickman was trolling us. Fortunately, all it took was some patience to see what he was trying to accomplish through their introductions into the mutant world. They represent the idea that dangers can take all sorts of shapes and forms. They serve as a reminder that all eyes are on Krakoa. Not to mention they add to the reality that not every eventuality was taken into consideration about the security of the island.
Credit where it is due, I was not expecting to be humored by this new enemy either. It wasn’t really their ramblings which amuse you as much as the kind of danger they posed to Cyclops, Emma, and their surprising third member of their team. As I said above, it was easy to look at their age, the way they carried on, and think that there was nothing wrong with taking them lightly.
Having said that, this brings me to the strongest concern that I haven’t quite gotten into yet about this book. Up to this point I have given recognition to this art team’s brilliant ability to breathe life into the “world” of the mutants on Krakoa. However, this does not say too much about the life that we need to see from the characters themselves. That is where this book is lacking. Right now I have to agree with some other X-fans out there who hold the opinion that there is not enough engagement from Leinil’s pencils. I mean, the colors from Gho and Beredo are perfect, but that’s not enough to make up for the lack of expression or emotion that we aren’t seeing from these characters. For an issue like this, there should have been more humor experienced from these older ladies who were clearly in their element as they walked through these mutants who should have been able to take any one of them with ease. We should have also experienced a stronger sense of humor from even the three who interacted with them and found that they were outwitted. You don’t fall victim to what they did and not really have that failure written on your face.
Overall, the idea was great for what unfolded in X-Men #3. Where they missed the mark was the impact that we should have gotten from this visually. Something is going to have to change moving forward considering that this is the core X-Men title for Dawn of X. Though if we are looking at this for what it is? There was still some entertainment to take from getting an example of the kind of danger that can hit these from left field. They clearly have not prepared for everything.