More details emerge from the Dawn of X line of comics every week. Case in point, which you can see in the Marauders #3 preview, the black, red, and white “kingdoms” each have their place on Krakoa. While the first two issues of this series had a pirate angle, it’s becoming clear there’s a fantasy bent to it too. These are kingdoms after all, and with them comes their own private soldiers and political angles. This week’s issue gives us much more clarity on Sebastian Shaw and his work to gain an edge against Kate Pryde and Emma Frost.
This does well to capture the complicated relationship between Sebastian and his son Shinobi Shaw. In a surprising turn, we get to see the two meet again in a flashback* after Xavier brought his son back. Writer Gerry Duggan uses this moment to reveal why Sebastian would agree to join the Krakoan people. These two hate each other and still do to some extent in this issue, but it’s interesting to see how the Krakoa rebirth changes them ever so slightly. Much of the narrative focuses on Sebastian trying to convince his son to join him while Shinobi’s side plays begin to reveal themselves. Like with any good fantasy, it’s clear nothing is simple and everyone is playing with the hands they’re dealt. There’s a layer at work here that’s interesting and draws you in as you try to understand what everyone is setting out to gain.
*It’s worth noting all those covers in the solicitations showing Xavier are likely flashbacks. He’s very dead, folks!
This book still has a nice comedic angle thanks to Pyro. I’ll say no more there, but this is the second issue in a row where he’ll bring a smile to your face. The cliffhanger is also quite intriguing. It not only confirms something that was technically up in the air, but it also shows a great lie to further probe.
The art by Michele Bandini is quite good and even stronger than the last issue. Backed by Bandini’s own inks along with Elisabetta D’Amico and colors by Federico Blee, there’s a great use of perspective in this issue. The use of background and foreground when Shinobi bursts from his pod, a closeup of a skull intermixed with panels of characters reacting, and an upwards looking angle sweeping across Shaw and his war map and his son looking on are all examples of great storytelling. There’s a dynamic sense of purpose to the perspective that draws your eye and adds weight to the characters’ stories. There are also pleasing wide panels running a bit thinner than usual to draw your eye downward. There’s a cinematic feel that widens the scope of an issue that may be light on action but certainly is as captivating as any other book.
This is possibly one of the most absorbing issues of the series so far. A greater sense of Shaw as a power player and the kingdoms of red, white and black are becoming more clear.
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