• Baraka

House of X #3 Review Previously on X-Men

Jonathan Hickman (Author) • Pepe Larraz (Pencils)

Marte Gracia (Colorist) • Pepe Larraz & Marte Gracia (Cover Artists)

Marvel Comics (Publisher) • Recommend (Yes)

I'm currently in the midst of a love-hate/relationship with this series. House/Powers of X is easily the best X-story that I've read since the Joss Whedon run of the early 2000s.

The writing is great. The art is God - Tier. I just don't think we're getting enough content in each issue. The text pages fill in the lore of the setting and are greatly appreciated. It's also a cool design choice because it stops the reader from finishing the book in 5 minutes. The downside is that without the lore segments you'd finish the book in 5 minutes.

Whenever something cool happens the scene is broken up with lore. It was cool the first few times it happens but now it's starting to feel like padding. What we're left with is about 6-10 pages of comic, 5-6 pages of lore and the rest is ad space.

It's not infuriating because the writing is so strong, but I feel that Marvel could have given us the same series without bumping up the cover price. "Excellence" from Image comics does the same thing but isn't charging an additional dollar per issue.

I know to some it seems nitpicky but it really bothers me.

The issue picks up from Powers of X# 2 with Cyclops assembling his team to take down a Mother Mold. A giant sentinel that produces Master Molds. What I appreciate about these segments is that it firmly establishes Cyclops as the capable leader we know him to be. The scenes also set up the stakes and ruthlessness of the opposing forces.

Running parallel to the main plot is the situation with Sabretooth. In House of X #1, Sabretooth was captured by the Fantastic Four and released to the proper authorities. In this issue, Sabretooth is freed after intervention from Emma Frost and the Stepford Cuckoos.

This entire segment raises red flags for me. Creed is an obvious monster. The setting is different from the timeline we know but the impression I've gotten from earlier scenes is that the X-Men are still heroes in this world. Why are they pushing so hard to keep Creed out of prison for his crimes?

I'm sure the answers are forthcoming but the X-Men seem off. The situation with Sabretooth is just another hint that something is very wrong here.

The story is intriguing and although the cover price situation is nagging me the mini-series are still entertaining. House of X #3 has a great cliffhanger and it would be really hard to put down this issue and not be interested in what happens next.

Rating B

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