X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever #3 Writer: Max Bemis Pencils: Michael Walsh Colors: Ruth Redmond Letters: Clayton Cowles Publisher: Marvel
Note: This issue was first released digitally on January 20th, 2016 and has just been released in physical print.
Bailey Hoskins wanted nothing more in life to be something other than his ordinary normal self. He wanted to be special and stand out amongst the crowd. Then one day his parents revealed to him that they themselves are mutants and more importantly, he may be a mutant as well. Ecstatic with the possibility of possessing the potential to be a superhero, Bailey and his parents went to the Xavier Institute to find out whether or not he as well was a carrier of the X-Gene. To Bailey’s pleasure, they discovered that he, like his parents, is a mutant. However his power to explode, permanently, indeed made him so useless that the title of Worst X-Man Ever is ever so appropriate.
Issue 3 follows with the conflicting dilemma in Bailey’s head. After being offered to join the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants by Mystique, being blackmailed, and a misleading cover, Bailey asks some not so well received questions to class instructor Wolverine.
Then, during a mutant youth outreach seminar, Bailey meets a girl named Miranda. The addition of this character is brilliant, I won’t spoil it but lets just say her abilities grants her the potential to be not just the most powerful mutant but the most powerful being in the Marvel Universe. There are some nice bonding scenes between the two and it’s clear why they would both sympathize with one another. During a training sequence, both of them are told to stand aside and let the others do the work. It’s for opposite reasons of course, Bailey being too useless and Miranda being too useful. However the fact that they’re both neglected in training is a strong driving force to create a friendship.
The closing pages is what readers were probably expecting going into this issue considering the events of the previous one. We see some new players brought in and it increases the character investment in Bailey and wanting to se him turn out ok.
While there are plenty of strong moments in this issue, it still suffers from the same weakness from the last. I was hoping to get a least one page of Bailey dealing with the death of his parents. True, there are multiple moving parts in this 5 issue mini-series but to just simply ignore the death of a teenage characters parents and not address it is rather jarring and off.
Comic book artwork is a tricky topic. There are an abundance of talented artist but all with various strengths and styles. A series needs the right artist to capture the tone and feel of the book and X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever is a great example of when that’s done right. Michael Walsh’s pencils have a nostalgic, lighthearted vibe to them and is able to capture the innocent appeal of Bailey. It’s detailed, subtle, and over the top in all the right places. Ruth Redmond’s colors are a fantastic complement making Bailey look all the more wide eyed and curious.
There are some comics that hit all the right buttons. X-Men: Worst X-Men Ever #3 comes close to that with it’s memorable characters, enjoyable interactions, and surprisingly complex themes. There is the problem of neglecting the death of some substantial characters but the ever so perfect artwork more then makes up for the negatives, marking this comic high on the recommendation scale.
Score: 4.5 out of 5
Review by Eric Bradach