By Cullen Bunn, Andrea Broccardo and Jesus Aburtov
We all know the drill: a huge event series happens for Marvel or DC and suddenly all the most popular books on the shelf are tie-ins to this event. Whether you like the event or not, your favorite books have to deal with what is going on in it. Civil War II is currently the event taking place and Civil War II X-Men is the tie-in series. Storm and Magento’s teams battle it out while there are little bits of Inhumans sprinkled in. If you wondered why Uncanny X-Men and Extraordinary X-Men never seem to cross over, this series should give you a little bit of insight too.
Cullen Bunn has been pretty consistent with his run on Uncanny X-Men, and Civil War II: X-Men is a chance for fans to see him play around with some characters not in his book. Nightcrawler and Storm come off strong here as we get a glimpse of what could be if Storm were actually a strong leader. She has a brief tiff with Medusa in this issue before cooler heads prevailed, but it seems like Bunn is at least planting a small seed for the upcoming war between the two species. Another good thing that Bunn does is he shows that Magneto is a tactical character. Sometimes this gets lost in current stories, but his attempt to rescue Fantomex was well thought out. There is a return of a mutant that hasn’t been seen since Secret Wars ended this issue. Bunn doesn’t give us much of an explanation, just a quick little word bubble; it’s not much, but it is effective enough. The writing this issue was very good and made it one of the more enjoyable issues of the tie-in series.
The pencils this issue are handled by Andrea Broccardo with colors by Jesus Aburtov. The art section is where things get a little dicey. Broccardo isn’t a bad artist by any means, but there are a few things in the issue that raise concern. Magneto looks like he’s around 30 years-old in this book. I know he never truly looks like an old man, but he looks incredibly young here. It doesn’t end with Magneto though, in one panel Gambit gives Storm a kiss on the cheek and it looks almost like a scene from Uncanny X-Men #266, where Storm is a small child. It could be a lack of facial definition that makes everyone seem extremely young, but it is distracting in a few panels. The colors by Jesus Aburtov are fine, much of the issue is dark, which fits the tone of the series. There is some room for improvement in the art department, but it shouldn’t ruin the issue for anyone.
Civil War II X-Men #3 is a decent issue. It’s nothing ground breaking or anything we haven’t really seen already, but it’s a decent enough issue. Cullen Bunn’s characterization of nearly everyone in the book is a testament to his wonderful writing style. There doesn’t seem to be anyone he can’t get a grasp on. The art probably won’t wow you, but it is sufficient and won’t take you out of the series.