|Jorge Molin's cover|
David Lopez’s art for this series has been consistently high quality, and he doesn’t let up here. Colossus might be the bruiser on the team, but Storm’s icy expressions make her far more intimidating than a muscular metal man could ever be. Lopez ramps up the visual intensity right in step with Wood’s increasingly dire plot, making for one of the best X-Men stories on the shelf.
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David Lopez and Alvaro Lopez almost always turn out good art, and this issue is no exception. They've got a tight control over the viewpoint of the reader when Colossus and Storm have their confrontation -- forever zooming in closer on each character as the discussion gets more tense -- and it creates an extra level of drama to the scene. While there's not much "action" in the issue (aside from Psylocke's opening pages as she vaults through the woods), the images pulled out of the genetic memories are off-kilter and creepy, helping to sell that moment as feeling dangerous and gripping the same way others might use a fight scene. They're a good choice for this story and I'd like to see Wood and the Alvarezes collaborate more down the line.
David Lopez, who joined the book with Wood, is a talented artist who works well with the mutant franchise. Despite that, though, his art works better in a somewhat lighter toned book like “New Mutants” where his knack for combining dynamic action and hilarious moments can work the best they possibly can. However, while it is your humble reviewer’s opinion that he works better in some comedic fashion, he knows how to play up the drama quite well through creative use of shading and excellent facial expressions. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Ororo Munroe as frightening as I’ve seen her here.
The art by David Lopez with Rachelle Rosenberg is once again fantastic and goes with the story perfectly. One part that really sticks out is the way Pixie is drawn; she is a little more cartoony than the others, mostly her face and it has a slightly more manga-y style than the others and it helps her stand out and it is neat really works, most of it comes from her all black eyes.
David Lopez opens big with the aforementioned splash page. The team dives out of their jet and freefall into a stellar action scene. Lopez has an excellent sense of gravity and movement, which he shows off with Domino skidding down a roof and landing with her guns out. So cool. His best work comes during Colossus’s confrontation with the villain and the haunting imagery that persists long after the page has been turned. Wood and Lopez have exceeded all expectations with their incredibly well-rounded cast of characters, a divisive conflict, and art that fits the tone of the book like a glove.
Wood's characterisation continues to excel despite this somewhat anti-climactic ending to the first act of his arc. There were some truly great moments here as an atmosphere of dark tension loomed throughout. The minimalist opening was especially excellent, with Lopez's consistently incredible art underscoring the strength of this fantastic run. Without a doubt, one of the better runs in recent history.
Some spoilers here…
Wood's artistic collaborators, David and Alvaro Lopez, continue to bring Wood's intelligent character driven work to life by employing some fantastic facial and body language to X-Men's cast of characters. Their landscapes and images, like the one of Psylocke standing on the beach, half submerged in the ocean, at sundown are also quite beautiful and telling.