Review by: Walt Kneeland (firstname.lastname@example.org )
Quick Rating: Good
Story Title: Round 3
Despite tipping the Avengers off to the X-Men's ruse and seeing said ruse revealed, Wolverine is not trusted by Cap, which leads to a brutal fight between the two teammates.
Story: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, Jonathan Hickman
Script: Ed Brubaker
Pencils: John Romita Jr.
Inks: Scott Hanna
Colors: Laura Martin
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover: Jim Cheung, Laura Martin
Assistant Editor: John Denning
Associate Editor: Lauren Sankovitch
Consulting Editor: Nick Lowe
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Published by: Marvel Comics
In broad strokes, this is a fairly simple issue. Wolverine wakes up from being crisped by a Phoenix-powered Hope. As he gets his bearings, he learns that the X-Men have surrendered to the Avengers...which he immediately realizes can NOT go well. The X-Men's plan is quickly unveiled, and they make their escape. Following this, Steve Rogers shares his lack of trust now in Wolverine, leading to quite the fight between the two old soldiers.
I'm not 100% satisfied with the art in this issue. Having seen other art on these characters the last several weeks in the various tie-ins, I know there's art out there I dislike, and this falls somewhere in the middle-ground: I don't dislike it, but it wouldn't be my first choice. That said, the art works well for the story, something I particularly noted in the Cap/Wolverine battle. Often I find that lengthy fight scenes are hard to follow, but Romita Jr. keeps the visuals clean, so even without captions/dialogue, even I was able to "follow" the action.
Story-wise, nothing spectacular here as a singular issue. This is the third of 12, so with this issue the core series is at its one-quarter mark. While there's not a lot of development, the story as a whole IS pushed forward: Hope is no longer on Utopia, which leaves both teams to search for her. We see the impact of Wolverine being caught in the middle--he's a mutant, an X-Man, and has dealt with the Phoenix before, but has thus far sided with the Avengers, fearing the cosmic entity's impact on Earth if it's allowed to return.
This is still early enough in the series that especially for this core title, it shouldn't be hard to catch up. As usual, there's plenty more if one follows the tie-ins, but those have been largely just expanding on the core events, even duplicating some scenes or showing them from a different angle or abridged. At its heart, if you want only the main story, I think this is still worthwhile to get, and one can go from there as to anything additional.
A solid issue, worthwhile if you're following the event, with an emphasis on Wolverine and Captain America throughout.