Artist: Olivier Coipel
In the short time this series has been out it has done nothing but amaze me, as although I thought it'd be good, it's been outstanding. It is also becoming one of my favourite series, and although I wasn't planing on getting it after Battle of the Atom if it stays this way I'll definitely be keeping it.
As Storm, Rachel Grey, Psylocke, Sublime, Jubilee, and Shogo head for Budapest in search for Arkea, Kitty Pryde, and the students of the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning have their own problems.
This was a great issue, but at the same time it was a a slightly disappointing way to end the first story arc, and although I wanted to love it, I could only manage to like it a lot. Brian Wood did however do a good job with this issue, as it had action, and mystery, but at the same time it was a little rushed, with too much happening in the one issue, and this story should have been at least one issue longer. I also felt that Wood's didn't need the team to realise that they're a new team, as it would have felt more natural if they were an all girl team by just coincidence. Wood's did however also hint that this story may continue by leaving unanswered questions, and I hope they're continued on at a later date.
Olivier Coipel once again produced outstanding art, and it's a shame he couldn't stay on this series any longer than three issues. One of the best things about Coipel's artwork is how he draws people, and more so their expressions, as he adds so much depth to characters, with it being so easy to notice what their feeling, and he showed this perfectly on baby Shogo, as it's not always easy to show what a baby is feeling without having them crying, or laughing. Coipel did however also do a good job of both the action, and layouts, as both were very dynamic, and suspenseful, whilst also adding depth, and tone to the issue, with the action also adding excitement.
This issue would see the new all female X-Men team (and Sublime) split into two groups, with Storm, Rachel, Psylocke,Sublime, Jubilee, and baby Shogo heading to Budapest, where they believe Arkera is. This part of the story was a bit slow at times, but when it livened up it did so in a big way, becoming very exciting, and dramatic. There were however also some very interesting conversations during this part of the story, and I keep becoming even more interested in Shogo with each issue, even though he doesn't do anything. There was also some decent action during this part of the issue, and although it wasn't too special, it was very exciting, and Coipel made it look as phenomenal as possible.
Whilst most of this new team went to Budapest, Kitty stayed at the school to look after the students, making sure that Arkera wasn't still around. It would however appear that she was still there, as at one point they were ambushed by a bunch off Arkera's. Besides this we also got to see the students stand out a bit, with Bling! getting put into the spotlight, resulting in some fun dialogue. I also loved how there was plenty of suspense, as and excitement at the same time, which made this my favourite part of this issue, feeling very fun, and unique.
The end of this story would also leave a lot of questions, keeping the mysteriousness nature of this story alive. The most mysterious part of this issue however was once again Arkera, as although we saw a lot of her during this issue, most of it was very questionable. The main question I had was if she was still at the school, Budapest, or both? I ask this as she appeared to be everywhere, and although she could easily have been, it was questionable whether she was. This however isn't a bad thing, as it gives more depth to the story, also adding to the excitement, and suspense, and the only real thing I wish could have been changed about this story would be to give it an extra issue.
This was a great issue, and although so far it's technically the worst in the series, that just shows how good the series has been. It had some interesting, and exciting sequences, as well as some amazing dialogue, all of which gave tons of drama to the issue. It also had plenty of mystery, and suspense, as well as fun, and overall there wasn't a great deal wrong with this issue. The only real problem was that it was a bit rushed, as the story should really have had at least one more issue. Besides all this I'd easily recommend this issue, and the previous two, as the series has been truly amazing.