Comics Anonymous


The penultimate issue of Kieron Gillen’s title sees the AvsX fallout edge closer to its conclusion and the many plot threads are starting to blur together.

While we’ve switched back and forth from focusing on just Cyclops to the other characters involved we’re getting to see just how connected these all are in this fourth issue.  We still get a lot of time in the jail cells which I’m still happy for given the closing of issue #3 and the mysterious messages in the salt.  We open with a Tony Stark trying to convince Cyclops to measure any residual readings from the Phoenix Force, an idea he initially fobs off but comes round to in the end…..I’m sure there’s ulterior motives to that.

We then weave our way in and out of the goings-on between Hope and Sub-Mariner, Magneto and Storm as she watches over Colossus before coming back full circle to the jail……and Cyclops mutant cell-mate is on the receiving end of a revenge attack.  He doesn’t survive the attack and this seems to be the trigger for the long play to start.  A visit from Logan picks up Cyclops outlook and we have another salt message on the go…..all leading us to Magneto and his few allies.

There’s ALOT of plot threads being brought together here and it’s only now that I realize the importance of those outside the prison walls…..and while I’ve enjoyed Cyclops story the most I find myself going back to those previous issues to see anything that I may have missed in the detail.  The thing is, Gillen has managed to keep those pretty well hidden up until this fourth issue and I can only imagine that the last issue will be the big reveal and tying the loose ends together.  My only concern for that is that with so much build-up…..can the story be closed out in a satisfactory way in one issue……..we’ll see how this week’s issue plays out.

While the writing has stayed consistent from Gillen – it’s the artwork that’s been really hit and miss for me…..that’s at least until this issue.  There’s a fairly obvious step-up in its quality and given the switch between plotlines that are being tied together there’s a significantly improved approach to the characters.  Better work on the costumed heroes, a higher level of detail in general and a better all around feel as it matches the writing much more tightly than it has before.  Mark Brooks on pencils, Andrew Hennessy on colours with Brooks and Jim Charalampidis on colours have helped raise the game on the visuals.

With one-issue to go on this fallout series, it’s the weekly release schedule for this that has helped it’s progress and popularity for me….not something that could be maintained long-term but for certain mini-series it can be a smart move.  Improved art and consistent writing with a number of “WTF?” moments to keep us intrigued.



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