By Marc Guggenheim, Carmine Di Giandomenico and Nolan Woodard
The X-Men have an excellent gallery of villains that torment them on a regular basis. Cameron Hodge was a former friend that turned into a deadly foe. Where he falls on the list of the X-Men’s greatest villains list could be a topic for debate. He’s nowhere near Magneto or Mr. Sinister territory, but he could possibly be near the Shadow King. In Secret Wars’ X-Tinction Agenda he’s finally back. This can surely only mean trouble for our band of merry mutants.
Marc Guggenheim has been doing a pretty good job of capturing a lot of the elements of the original crossover, while adding in some differences. This is our third issue and we’re only now seeing Cameron Hodge become the villain. One of the things Guggenheim does well this issue is that he allows many of the characters to have a moment. It’s cool to see Longshot and Ink take out opposing characters; they never get much spotlight, but Guggenheim does them justice. Guggenheim does anyone who hasn’t read the original material a solid too, by giving a small flashback of how Cameron Hodge was killed in the first place: an old-fashioned Summer’s beat down. Marc has written a fine issue here and it’s really starting to pick up as we get some twists and turns.
The pencils this issue are handled by Carmine Di Giandomenico with colors by Nolan Woodard. The art is decent, but there are a few problems that hinder it. In many panels some of the characters look ridiculously thin, especially in their faces. Some panels also lack details for certain characters, which won’t ruin the issue for you, but it is noticeable. Carmine does have some cool panels though, like Longshot attacking Rictor. Di Giandomenico’s art is most effective when it’s not overwhelmed with tons of characters in a single panel. If he is able to focus on a few characters at a time, he usually produces a good panel. The colors by Nolan Woodard are well done and complement the art. He uses a lot of lighter colors for this issue, which gives it a fun feel. As a whole, the art isn’t bad, but it could be a little better.
X-Tinction Agenda has been getting better with each passing issue. Marc Guggenheim has been writing good material and making little used characters cool. The art department had a decent showing, but there is definitely some room for improvement. As we wind down on this series, fans of the original and people who haven’t read it, should be able to enjoy what Guggenheim and company have accomplished.