Another solid if unspectacular issue of X-Men from Brian Wood, as Lady Deathstrike continues to build her Sisterhood. I do like that Arkea is still playing a major part in this book, my complaints about how the initial story ended way too quickly get stupider and stupider by the day. It just goes to show that in a serialised medium, you probably shouldn’t rush to snap judgements. But then I do that every week, d’oh!
The issue begins with Storm and Psylocke meeting with Israel’s only superhero Sabra and some dude called Gabriel to get their help in stopping Arkea. I’m guessing this is because Areka is in the middle east, and they need help from Israel, or something like that. Back at the X-Mansion, the rest of the X-Ladies are trying to find out where the Sisterhood is, by interrogating Sublime and by tracking Lady Deathstrike’s credit-card use. They find out she’s in Dubai, and M flies off to take them out.
Wood then flashes back 30 minutes to show what Deathstrike et al have been doing. They take Arkea out of her packaging, and she takes over Deathstrike’s friend Reiko, and does what was promised last time, boost the powers of Deathstrike, Typhoid Mary and Enchantress. The fact that Arkea is powerful enough to reverse Norse Magic is pretty worrying indeed, and Wood makes sure to point that out in the story, this is some serious shit the X-Men are dealing with.
M crashes into the building, and starts to topple it, but she is intercepted by Enchantress who takes her out. Sublime reveals to Rachel Grey that Arkea’s primary objective now seems to have changed, she no longer wants to kill him, she wants to kill the X-Men. This begins with something bad happening to Karima, and the issue ends with a bunch of Sentinels rising from the sea under Arkea’s control, which is bad news.
I am enjoying the totally fucked-up situation the heroes are in here, but I do think that, in this issue and the last, Wood has focused a bit too much on the villains of the story, and the actual X-Men themselves have felt a bit underdeveloped. The likes of Storm and Psylocke are established enough to withstand this, but other characters aren’t.
The Dodsons’ art was great once again, they just draw women really well, and it’s not as cheese-cakey as people expect.