Review: X-Men #3 Makes Horticulture Scary BY Hickman And Yu

by Tony Thornley

One of the X-Men architect’s Jonathan Hickman’s favorite concepts is evil scientists, and it’s even more fun when it’s a different sort of evil scientist than we’ve seen before. Who would have thought botanists could be scary before X-Men #3?

Jonathan Hickman, Leinil Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, Sunny Gho, Rain Beredo, Clayton Cowles, and Tom Muller introduce readers to Hordeculture.

When a quartet of invaders attack the Krakoan flower farm in the Savage Land, forcing them to lose contact with the island, the X-Men investigate. What Cyclops and Emma Frost discover is Hordeculture, a group of fascist botanists who desire to restore Earth to a virginal state. Will they be able to stop them or do these elderly women have the upper hand?

This issue is a real mixed bag. I really loved the concepts presented here. Biohacking Krakoa was bound to happen eventually, and it’s presented here as truly traumatic to the island and its inhabitants (especially the psychics like Jean Grey and Emma Frost). Hordeculture is mostly very scary, and the general concept behind them is great.

However, a lot of the specifics don’t work. The humor doesn’t land in many places, especially when they turn their attention on Emma Frost, with jokes that range from slut shaming to some complete nonsense. We’re also introduced to more and more concepts, while all of the concepts we’ve been introduced to are still sitting waiting to be used.

Yu and Alanguilan’s line art continues to be very solid. For the quieter scenes and the action, they do a great job, showing the psychics’ discomfort early in the issue, and the fight between the X-Men and Hordeculture is fantastic. However, for such a humor oriented issue, the jokes don’t land visually very well at all.

Overall, I really enjoyed this issue, but it was also deeply flawed. Considering the strength of the other stories so far, I’m sure this issue is just a hiccup. I’m excited to see what’s next.

X-Men #3 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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