Simon Spurrier (Writer), Paul Davidson (Artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (Colorist)

The Story: David tries to take down Cyclops team as he has a very important message to bring to the man who killed his father.

The Review
: Super hero comics are about action. It’s a very general way to see things and one that lack a bit of depths, yet it is also very true. Why create characters that can lift mountains and punch giants if we don’t see them actually use their powers once in a while? The stories, characters, themes and the direction are important, yet sometimes the readers do like to see what the protagonists are able to do with their powers and abilities when it comes to cape comics.

Simon Spurrier understand this very well, as he gives the readers a very action-heavy issue without having the obvious problems associated with such issues. Even though the issue deals with David showing off the fact that he can beat pretty much anyone, the issue never let go of some of the key themes that makes this series good to begin with.

The first thing he does is actually play on the growing subplot that David is getting a better handle on his numerous powers, which is shown throughout him beating down on many of the characters found in Bendis Uncanny X-Men run. Using the various personalities in his mind, Spurrier shows a David that is in control, which also reflects on the way he talks to those he is beating down. This is a man that knows he’s immensely powerful and it is displayed in his mannerism, speech and his use of powers splendidly.

There is also a pretty good handle on the team he is fighting against, as their personalities and their powers are also aptly put on the page. Magik’s reliance on dirty tricks, Emma Frost and her rather arrogant dialogue, Magneto and his showboating are all on display here, as Spurrier does know a bit how they are supposed to be written. They might not be written with the most depth, but they’re given at least enough respect considering characterization and dialogue usually suffer a bit when an issue focus on the action so much.

What Simon Spurrier is unable to dodge in terms of problem considering action-heavy issues is the lack of plot progression, as the writer gets his message across, yet everything is a build-up to the main event featuring David and Cyclops. It is entertaining, to be sure, yet the issue can be summed up in a sentence: ”David beats the tar out of Cyclops X-Men team”. It’s quite a stretch from the usual issues in this series that featured big and weird concepts while giving the reader another angle on how mutants and the X-Men are perceived by the general public. It does follow the progression that had been set in the previous issue that David has some unchecked anger that he needs to work through, yet there’s close to no reference to the events of the brilliant last issue that set up this confrontation to begin with. It’s fun, but some of the potential is a bit wasted as a result.

Paul Davidson is the artist here, acting this time in the rotation on this title he has with Tan Eng Huat. In a mostly ironic kind of way, Davidson could be summed up as being the antithesis of Huat, as he is very good with human faces, poses, motion and emotions, yet never seem to let himself go as an artist when it comes to the weirder and grander concepts. The way David seems confident and even a bit joyful at his dominance of the situation is very well done, as are the reactions of the other characters to his actions, yet the overflow of powers and the switch between them comes as rather simplistic. Big glowing energy with some Kirby crackles in them are nice, but a constant display of them for every powers comes off as rather unimaginative. Still, the flow is nice enough that the action still catches the reader’s attention.

What also catch the reader’s attention is Rachelle Rosenberg and her explosive and utterly bright colors as she bring the action to life as well. Considering the flashy and grand powers brought on the page, the colorization follows suit as the thunder and high energy is brought with high contrast between the background and several of the elements in the background. It is a display of extremes that works well with the action and with Davidson’s art.

The Conclusion: Spurrier gives the readers a healthy dose of great action, good characterization, yet does not deliver much progression as Davidson’s and Rosenberg give some quality artwork. A good issue, but not a great one.

Grade: B

Hugo Robberts Larivière