Today I’m taking a look at part 3 of 4 in the Magneto: Not a Hero miniseries, part of the X-Men’s Regenesis storyline. I’ve enjoyed the series so far, and gave good marks to both Issue #1 and Issue #2. Given that Magneto is one of my favorite Marvel characters, I’d been eagerly awaitng this title’s release. With the series reaching its conclusion and this issue promising a stellar climax I expected to be surprised and entertained: did my prophecy come true?
Not a Hero #3 starts with Magneto in the midst of combat with his clone Joseph’s lackeys, a group of clones of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants including Blob, Quicksliver, Scarlet Witch, Toad, and Mastermind. Magneto struggles to fend them off as Joseph continues to try and return his progenitor to his anti-human cause. With skill and cunning, however, Magneto escapes the battle and returns to Utopia, the base of Cyclops’s X-Men. Simultaneously, a sinister plot is brewing among the anti-mutant group Humans Now and it seems Magneto will have to pay for damages wrought by Joseph and his followers. As always, there is far more to these events than meets the eye, leading us to a startling conclusion that makes way for the final curtain.
Skottie Young continues his tale with devotion and gusto, but ultimately falls short. This issue, which should be the climax, feels confused and gimmicky. The reveal at the end is exciting, but still feels somewhat predictable. There is also a scene which, to me, makes little sense: Magneto stabs Astra, his former lover and Joseph’s confidant, just as Joseph is throwing a mass of metal at them; Astra responds by teleporting both herself and Magneto away from the danger…to Magneto’s home base of operations! While I can understand why she may have saved him (she may still hold feelings for him, they are in physical contact, etc.) it seems illogical that she would take him to the one place where he would be the safest, especially since she is on board with Joseph’s plan. Perhaps the final issue will rectify this confusion, but it still felt strange to me. Even though the plot itself was a bit bland and confusing, the dialogue remained engaging. A few clever lines and creative set-ups helped the story progress, albeit perhaps in a clunkier way than necessary. Given the first two issues’ good writing, the writing here definitely let me down, but I have faith Young can save things in the last chapter released next month.
Like much of the rest of the series, Not a Hero #3‘s art is variable. The opening fight scenes look amazing, especially the splash page with the reveal of Joseph’s entire team. As the comic progresses, however, the art tends to degrade slightly, though picks up towards the end. Throughout, however, I felt the characters’ faces were rather plain, lacking the necessary emotion and differentiation found in most modern comics. Additionally, I found the fight scenes confusing given their composition; while this may be more realistic, it made the scenes less enjoyable as it took longer to discern what exactly is going on. I still feel Clay Mann did a good job bringing these difficult to compose characters to life, helped greatly by David Curiel’s exceptional coloring job. Curiel’s use of contrast draws the eye in ways that give the action scenes a special rhythm. I have to say that, overall, the art is fairly good.
Magneto: Not a Hero #3 is definitely the least powerful issue of the series so far despite containing the most action. The writing is somewhat dull, predictable, and downright strange at times, while the art is decent overall with a mix of exceptional and lower quality scenes. I have to say this issue is marginal in my opinion, but is still worth reading. I’m looking forward to the conclusion and have high hopes that the series will end on a strong note.
Brett Simon is a twenty-two year old comic enthusiast. Oddly enough, this issue was sold out at two different shops he visited.
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