Review: ‘X-Men’ #3 Stacks Up Some Big Dominos

by Tony Thornley

So far, the relaunched X-Men has been populated by big, fun action stories; each only filling an issue. But with the latest issue, it’s clear there’s more going on than we might have realized.

This issue has two major plots. The first seemed to advance the title as a fun bit of superhero adventure to compliment the line’s larger plots, but the second makes things much more interesting. It comes from our regular creative team of Gerry Duggan, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, and Clayton Cowles.

The High Evolutionary has returned to Earth and the X-Men are the only thing standing in his way. Their battle will decide the fate of humanity, with Arakko next. Meanwhile, Orchis begins making moves that will affect not just the X-Men, but the entire nation of Krakoa.

On the surface, this looks like just a simple superhero story. And it’s got a lot of those elements: banter, a huge brawl, some very cool and visually engaging antagonists. The issue is worth the cover price alone for Larraz and Gracia’s fantastic creature designs and fight choreography. There are big and exciting fights which are just a blast to look at.

Duggan is starting to add more and more depth by the issue, however. It’s clear that the High Evolutionary plot isn’t over from how this ends, and that plot ties directly into how Synch is starting to get more depth, and the budding relationship between Laura and Everett. The Cordyceps Jones plot continues, but the High Evolutionary doesn’t just make the X-Men aware of it; he also gives them some interesting new tidbits that we didn’t even know as readers quite yet.

And then there’s Orchis.

To call Orchis a long simmering plot would be an understatement. They’ve been involved in the new X-Line since day one, yet they haven’t really done much in HOXPOX besides be threatening. In this issue, they start making some significant moves. Are the two plotlines both largely set-up here? Yes, definitely, but they’re set-up for some huge revelations and plotlines for the entire line.

I really dig how this series is progressing. Sure, so far it’s the superhero fights title. But if it continues to grow like it has so far, we could be looking at a title as rich as the best stories the X-line has offered in the Krakoan era. That’s an exciting prospect.

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


This series continues to visually be one of the absolute best comics on the stands. Now the writing is catching up and creating a tangled web for our heroes.

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