Review: AMAZING X-MEN #3

AMAZING X-MEN #3
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Ed McGuinness
Release date January 15, 2013

AMX2013003_DC11_LRAn afterlife of a pirate continues for the X-Men in this adventure filled series. Trapped in a dimension where Nightcrawler and the man who claims to be his father, Azazel, are battling for the souls that inhabit this realm of heaven and hell the X-Men are just looking for a way free and to get home.

Being the third issue, there is still a lot of groundwork being laid. Nightcrawler is being reunited with past friends, and love, while more X-Men are *BAMFing* their way into the dimension. The key that has not been fully explained are how the little Bamfs caused the X-Men to fall into this place and fight alongside Nightcrawler, most likely a mystery still to be revealed.

What is explained well is a sudden romance between Nightcrawler and one of the X-Men. Aaron does a terrific job of giving us a touching moment to explain such a passionate reunion with Kurt. There is also tons of action with little downtime, despite plenty of exposition. This balance makes this book perfect for someone who is new to the Marvel universe or the X-Men books. Another character that shines in this book is Beast. Finally out of the lab, Beast’s abilities as a warrior, when he has to be, shines in this issue. Between Aaron’s exposition and the summary of prior issues on the opening page, it’s easy to go ahead and jump on board (although I highly recommend going ahead and reading the previous two issues for the massive doses of humor and fighting.)

McGuinness breathes plenty of beautiful and emotional life into these characters. They’re each given unique and expressive faces, feeling fluid. As with any Nightcrawler heavy book, there is a lot of dark shading involved, however Marte Gracia’s bright and vivid color choices help to balance this out. The colors feel like they glow on the glossy pages. There are also key frames where traditional backgrounds are replaced by gradient color shades into white. This keeps the pages from feeling overworked and make McGuinness’ detailed characters fun to admire. The only thing that has bothers me as a female reader is once again Ororo Munroe’s stick-thin frame that feels like her spine might break. However, McGuinness is known for this cartoon style and Ororo’s expressions and rocking mohawk are irreplaceable and wonderful to explore.

The Verdict: 9.5/10

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