When you think about X-Men characters full of depth, Freddy Dukes is not the first character to come to mind. In fact, the Blob probably wouldn’t be in the top twenty or even fifty. However, X-Tremists #3 might finally change that.
Leah Williams, Georges Jeanty, Roberto Poggi, Jim Charalampidis, and Clayton Cowles do a deep dive into a fan-favorite new ship as well as humanizing one of the oldest X-Men characters for perhaps the first time.
Freddy and Betsy continue to develop their relationship, unknown to their teammates and coworkers. However, Moneta’s cruel streak continues to worsen, and it becomes directed at Betsy. Can the Blob stop it, before it endangers the entire team?
Williams has proven over and over again in her recent work that she’s one of the best writers in comics when it comes to writing characters as human and fallible. I genuinely cannot think of an issue before this one that’s done that with the Blob, but after this I hope that this version of Freddy Dukes doesn’t go away. Beyond that, she adds a great layer to Betsy Braddock as well, addressing body image issues that very few superheroines ever mention, much less address. It’s intelligent, emotional, and absolutely engrossing.
Jeanty and Poggi have a tough job, taking Williams’ talky and emotional script and putting it on the page. However, they are totally up to the challenge, focusing on the character in close up, and interestingly drawing in their surroundings as essential to the story. Charalampidis uses the lighting to help set that mood as well, casting the colors in soft light and deep shadows, both in the intimate scenes between Freddy and Betsy, and in the issue ending confrontation with Moneta.
This series continues to be the best part of Age of X-Man and I hope to see a big portion of it continue after the event ends!
X-Tremists #3 is available now from Marvel Comics.