Wait, that’s it? That’s how Arkea is defeated? And it was that quick and easy? I’m actually kind of annoyed, Wood could have kept this plotline going a lot longer and it would have been a lot better. But I suppose it’s best to wait and see. I had initially thought that Arkea was dead and gone after #3, but she was back, I wouldn’t be surprised if she does so again.
Once again, this issue is split into 2 stories, the first sees the X-Men take down Arkea and her Sisterhood, the second is the X-students fighting a load of Sentinels. In the first story, we finally get to see Madelyn Pryor back to life, and looking good, and we also see that Lady Deathstrike’s mind is now in Reiko’s body along with Arkea. Up above, the X-Men drop in, and the fight is on. Monet (has she dropped the ‘M’ codename?) goes straight for Enchantress, looking for revenge after she was ‘killed’ by her a few issues ago. Psylocke goes for Typhoid Mary, but her motive is less serious, she’s annoyed that Mary made her run around in her underwear.
This is all too easy for the X-Men really, especially when Storm basically allows Madelyne and Selene to go free and leave Arkea. They do, and after that, Monet stops Arkea in her tracks, allowing Karima to shoot her with some kind of magic bullet that will kill the Arkea consciousness but hopefully not harm the human Reiko. As I said, it’s all too quick for me, that such a powerful threat like Arkea was beaten that easily. There are plenty of loose ends though, as I’m sure letting Maddie and Selene go free will come back to bite everyone on the ass, Maddie even says she’ll form her own Sisterhood. Yeah, that was kind of stupid from Storm. After this, Karima reveals that she’s leaving the X-Men to go work with Sabra and that Gabriel bloke, which… it’s hard to really care about. The best thing about this story was once again Kris Anka’s artwork, I just love his style, he’s perfect for a title with all women, and in this issue, he got to some truly excellent action scenes.
The second story also wraps up with more ease than I expected. Jubilee isn’t trapped in mist form for very long, she distracts one Sentinel, and Quentin Quire is able to control one of them long enough to make it destroy the others and then itself. We get a nice bit between Bling and Mercury and their budding romance, and everyone makes fun of Hellion’s speedos. That’s it really. Clay Mann’s art was great, but splitting the storylines like this still doesn’t make much sense.
After a promising first few issues, this title is losing it’s way a little bit I feel, and seems to be coasting along on goodwill for it’s all-female cast. Brian Wood is normally a much better writer than this, he needs to sort it out, bring some of his Vertigo side to things, because at the moment, this is the most generic X-book of them all, when it has the potential to be the most exciting and different.