Well, I have to say, this issue was a significant improvement in both the story and the artwork, although the end result probably wasn’t necessarily a GOOD comic book, it at least closely approximated one – it was a decent comic book.
First off, either Juan Santacruz was rushing his ass off for the previous two issues, or the multiple inkers in this issue did something to his work, because either way, his art was greatly improved over the first two issues. THIS is the Santacruz that I remembered from the Marvel Adventures, a Alan Davis-esque style that worked very nicely for this book.
In any event, the book spends almost the entire issue on fighting, which is something that, once he gets down to it, Claremont is still quite adept at writing. The battle of the Captain Britain Corps versus James Jaspers and his Furies was handled well, with all the requisite drama one would hope to see.
When the Exiles show up later to help stem the tide, it also worked well, because, as I just said in the last paragraph, Claremont is quite good with fight scenes. In fact, when the Exiles show up, Claremont uses his trademark long caption boxes – but here, mixed in with Santacruz’ effective action drawings, each panel actually WORKS – the long caption explaining each Exiles’ background compliments the silent action scene that the caption goes along with – it is trademark Claremont work, but it is still effective today.
Where the story goes off the rails a BIT is with the character interaction – namely a bit where Psylocke, Sage and Wisdom discuss their next plan, and it seems like they’re all talking like Hamlet – lots of phrases that I GUESS could approximate a conversation, but really, done together, it is like reading three monologues who all just happen to be next to each other. And I like the whole, “No, not Albion!” when this is the first mention we’ve had that he is involved. I think it would have been more effective to end last issue with a “We must break out Albion!” “GASP!” That sort of thing.
Claremont’s Pryde worked well, and I liked the Roma/Saturnyne interaction, although Saturnyne’s intro into the fray was more than a bit stilted.
Still, for the most part, this was an effective issue that spent almost all of it on the fight scenes, which was to be commended, because when it went away from them, it was none too pleasant.
Oh, but it is was quite silly how Longshot is not even IN the issue, and Dazzler doesn’t show up until the cliffhanger.
All in all, I would not recommend it, but it is not a BAD comic book, either.
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