Age of Apocalypse #3 Review

Reviewer: James Hatton
Story Title: Chapter 3 – Comebacks

Written by: Akira Yoshida
Penicled by: Chris Bachalo
Inked by: Irwiwn, Leisten, Mendoza, Olazaba, Sowd & Vey (As in.. OY vey..)
Colored by: Studio F
Lettered by: Chris Eliopolous
Editor: Mike Marts
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Things are getting weird. Two weeks now I’ve been reviewing the AOA… why? Because I’m just that damn addicted to the world and the Bachalo. Things are changing for me about the series. I’ll explain as we go on.

Is it obsession?

Is it the fact that everyone in my life is now starting to look like thick blocky black line characters?

Is it that I have no true intro to give you?

It could be all of these things and more… I warn you, I spoil the hell out of this issue. It’s just easier to talk about it with revealing it all. So I’m sorry. I try not to do big spoilers, but sometimes it’s necessary. Once I realized that the story kinda hinged on one factor… eh, well… you understand.

STORY!

First off, why the Silver Samarai? I thought he was a throw in for one bit or another, but he seems to be a mainstay on the team. Aw hell, whatever. I’m just not a huge fan of the character. Never really have been. Give me Sunfire anyday. He isn’t the main importance of this issue though.

Do you know who is? The Gutheries. That’s righty, the backwater version of the Summers clan descends upon the AOA like a bat outta hell. They’re all here too. Cannonball. Angel. Some chick that grows really big. (If we’ve met this sister, I don’t remember. Then again, I’ve pointedly done my best to not remember much of Austen’s run.)
Oh and there is one more…

wait for it…

PAIGE!

Now if you don’t remember, and really, who does besides me – Paige was last seen left for dead while saving her Generation Next brethren in some prison center of Apocalypse’s. Yes well the big reveal is that SHE is Xorn. I actually dug that bit quite a lot. Xorn, symbolically in other timelines will always be representative of a traitor in the midsts. Neat bit.

So it seems next issue is going to tackle a huge battle with the Gutheries, or at least some kind of hostage situation.

Here is my problem – where are they going? I assumed issue one was the big set-up giving us all of our players. Issue two was laying the foundations for the bigger story, and I was expecting the meat and bone of the story in this issue. I didn’t get it. I got a fight with some more X-folk that haven’t had their AOA treatment. No leading statements about what Magneto & Sinister know about the destruction of their timeline. No reference to the mutant hysteria that is sweeping the world. In what is the easiest to access issue of this book, you would hope there would have been some further plot development.

Nope. A good book, but with only one (possibly two) issues left on the horizon, I have no true understanding of what is going to be the penultimate ending moment. The only way I could be happy with this is if it gets turned into a monthly. Why not? They’ve laid out enough sub-story lines for there to be a good year of storytelling at least. Not to mention there is going to be no way to clear it all up by next issue.

ART!

When I first saw the cover of this issue, I did a prissy little girl dance because I thought we were going to see AOA Emma Frost. Then I realized that it was AOA Dazzler and I felt less of a man. She is a cutie though. Anyway, this issue again has some of the highest points so far as well as the lowest. Bachalo’s Wolverine is so confusing to me. He always looks amused.

You are the world’s most trained killing machine with a beastial rage and healing factor and snikity claws and .. and… WHY ARE YOU BEMUSED?!?!? He always seems to be in a state of chuckling, and that is bothersome. Otherwise, some of the character layouts were very nice. The coloring work is easily the best of the story.

Inking.. eh.. if you look at the credits – it’s inked by 9,000 people – and it shows. It just seems perfect on some shots, and then exceptionally spotty at others.

Overall!

I have a hard time rating this issue. It gives you some of the better interaction in the AOA, but it does nothing to establish itself as AOA. Ya dig? This could be any random timeline. I think maybe after analyzing and over analyzing this small arc for the last couple weeks, it’s starting to get to me. I’m starting to see through the shiny veneer of what I wanted it to be.

At least I still have the Bachalo artwork – I really miss him on a mainline title. I know that Ben Morse (of former Nexus fame) has blasted me for it… but I defy him. I like Bachalo.

So we’re going to go for a midline kind of number, because as an issue, this is a shining example of what a monthly AOA could be like. As a portion of a whole (being the miniseries), this issue confuses the bajeezus out of me.

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