The femme fatale division of the X-Men is hot and taking care of business as writer Brian Wood brings his first arc in the relaunched book to a close. And a strong one it has been. There are still questions in the air, as with any good X-book, but there is also a sense of "team" even as de facto leader Storm says just the opposite.
Every moment of X-Men #3 is as rife with thrills and suspense as a good spy novel, most parts moving with breakneck speed and tension for both the mutants and the reader. There is not a lot of overt action here, but just as the two teams -- Storm and her Away Team and Kitty Pride and the students back at the school -- journey from clue to clue, from room to room, it would seem you can hear the proverbial pin drop.
Yet despite this pace, Wood never loses sight of who these ladies are and, aided by the great facial expressions of artist Olivier Coipel, he achieves some wonderful character moments without a single word. The relationship between Jubilee and her baby is understood immediately and some undercurrent between Rachel and Storm and Rogue never finds its way into exposition but is powerfully felt nonetheless.
Speaking of Coipel, he is doing some of his best work ever in X-Men. His facial expressions, his smooth transition from panel to panel, the tense and protective relationship between the students and Kitty Pride are at once memorable and help move the story forward.
With all the fallout from AvX , Wood and Coipel's fem-centric X-Men has certainly been one of the bright spots of Marvel NOW.