Powers of X #3... Comic's fine, I guess, in that I didn't hate it or anything. But how is it that you're doing all of this and I don't feel anything or even really give a single solitary fukk for any of your characters? There's far too much Hickman telling me things that are going to happen or telling me how the characters either through his data pages or through his dialogue (which, save for possibly one scene, is perfunctory at best) and not enough actually making me care about and invest in what I'm seeing from panel to panel. All notes, no music to be cliche about it. A well-crafted empty house devoid of soul or lived-in quality. Spoiler Nice to know a good portion of us were right about this being life 9 (obvious, but absolutely nothing wrong with obvious) and, to give credit where credit is due, Hickman's just about opened the door to the possibility of Moira actually having a real plan with all of this (not that it would make HoX #2 any less damaging of stupid...it would in fact raise even more questions), but at least the guy is thinking. But even here there are serious issues of communication and connection with the story. Moira still has no real character as opposed to functioning as Hickman's massive plot device, in that he's never given me a single reason to truly give a shyt for why she does what she does (oh, he tells us from time to time. But he doesn't do the work, of let his artists do the work, to make us care). Cardinal discusses his pacifism in every appearance he makes, but we never get to truly see him both make a hard decision involving it or see how it affects him, thus the act of him throwing his life and literal structuring ideology away has no impact (sure, we see him not join in Rasputin's attack in PoX #1, but the focus is on her and, because it's the first time we see him, it also has no real impact. We never see him live with his pacifism in any real, sustained way). Xorn's death has no impact (boy, I'm not hot on him keeping that idiotic Magneto/Xorn retcon around, but whatever...). Moira's death has no impact. And so on. Credit to Hickman, he writes something approaching a real character moment that illustrates something beyond the machinations of his plot with Nimrod and Omega, but it's undermined by his inability to give his characters real, distinct, and interesting voices, even on the basic archetypal level. So then end result is a comic I don't hate, that has a couple of interesting turns to it, but is again so interested in getting the writer's plots and ideas over that I can't actually engage with it. Truly a waste of R.B. Silva, who's an excellent artist who draws very expressive figures and moments, but has no outlet for his talent. Like, I just re-read Phonogram a few days ago, and Kieron Gillen packs more emotion, texture, feeling, and general life into that comic in roughly any three pages of its first two mini-series than Hickman has in any of his comics put together (Immaterial Girl is another matter, despite its importance to Phonogram conceptually, but I'll save that for another post due to how relevant it is for a discussion of my issues with...well, modern superhero comics in general). Just enough to keep me interested in where it goes, but also just enough to like about it to be disappointed with the rest of the comic's qualities. So it goes.