writer: Rick Remender / artist: Leinil Francis Yu

So, Marvel’s latest big event got off to a sort of rocky start that hasn’t exactly atoned for the crimes of its predecessor, Original Sin. The pacing and dialogue seemed to be a bit too on the nose and Andy Kubert’s art was decent, but there were too many inconsistencies to ignore. Now, as we move into Book One’s (Fuck’s sake, how many installments are there going to be…?) finale, Rick Remender, now partnered with Leinil Francis Yu, cleans up a few messes while introducing a some all new ones (or old ones, depending on how you look at it.

Issue #3 sees the bulk of the Avengers and X-Men defeated, facing certain destruction at the hands of the Red Onslaught and his Stark-made Sentinels (So we’re really not going to talk about Tony Stark has invented 60 percent of the horrible shit that happens to the Marvel Universe? Really? Nobody?). With the good guys on the ropes, Magneto fled the scene to outsource help from unconventional places. And by “unconventional,” what I mean is he recruited a team of just about the most treacherous, murderous, backstabbing villains he could possibly put together on such short notice. There’s a LOT of exposition in the first half of the book from Deadpool, of all people, because…well, because Deadpool’s in the book. The villains joining the fray seemed to be some of what this story needed because three issues of the same fight with the same villain stood a very real chance of getting redundant as all hell. Most of the interactions between Doom and the rest of the cast was easily the most enjoyable to read. It’s always a fun read to see Doom condescending to everyone around him, basically being the Kanye West of any given team-up.

Meanwhile, as the conflict concludes, the resolution between the two seems to be retreading more of the same ideological ground we’ve covered in Uncanny Avengers and Avengers Vs. X-Men before that. For all the inter-agency cooperation that happens in these books, it seems weird that these communities are STILL trying to get along. Meanwhile, Leinil Yu’s artwork is definitely a step up in consistency from Kubert’s halfhearted effort from the last issue. Granted, he’s not the best in the facial expression department and a couple of the flying poses for different characters look a little too identical, but the man can draw action beats like nobody’s business.

Bottom Line: A decently written, better looking finish to the first phase of Marvel’s latest event. Now, if only we could get past the Avengers vs. X-Men stuff. 7.5 out of 10

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