Friday, July 19, 2024

Knights of X #3 Review: Saturnyne Is A Questionable Babysitter

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It’s time for another review of Knights of X from Tini Howard and Bob Quinn! If you need a refresher on what’s been happening, check out our past reviews starting here.

We jump right into the action as Knights of X opens with Roma and Saturnyne telling the Shogo and the reader that someone is going to die in this issue. We then dive into the scrying pool to catch up with the crew at the Crooked Market, where they have barely maintained the upper hand over Merlyn’s furies. They are granted a moment of reprieve to learn that Jim Jaspers is about to be publicly executed, and then more furies are upon them.

Reaction art from Knights of X #3

Meanwhile, back in Sevalith, Betsy and her crew have snuck into where Death (the original horseman) is being held prisoner after his defeat in X of Swords. Death refuses the request to join their party, but reads from the Grimoire of Apocalypse(his father) that Rictor had not been able to decipher. Through a flashback we see that during the dawn of Krakoa, Apocalypse had placed Absalon Mercator in Otherworld and to access his realm there would be a sacrifice necessary. 

The whole team reunites back at the Crooked Market and brawl against Merlyn’s troops to try and free Jim. Just as they are about to succeed, Merlyn himself appears and Gambit attempts to take him down with the tarot card of Death; but this backfires as Merlyn turns Gambit’s power against him and kills him. We are taken out of the scene through the scrying pool where Roma and Saturnyne are telling Shogo that sacrifice must hurt or else it is not truly a sacrifice. The issue ends with a page from Apocalypse’s grimoire regarding the Horseman of Death: a role that Gambit himself once played.

Knights of X action page
We love a proper team

This title continues to be fast paced and densely packed, even overfilled at times. There may be breaks in the action but the reader can never take a break from absorbing every word. This is the first time that this has truly felt like a team book rather than a book about Betsy Braddock with some set dressing. There were some great action moments from Meggan and obviously from Gambit in this issue; as well as a quiet sweet moment between Rictor and Shatterstar. The retroactive characterization of Apocalypse through his relationship with his son and with Rictor makes it more intriguing to unravel the mystery of his grimoire and Mercator. 

Rachel and Betsy in Knights of X

Not so much even a complaint, but my slight gripe with this issue was the way Rachel was characterized. I know we’re all aboard the ship of Retsy and I’ve begrudgingly accepted that it’s more or less canon (despite being more of a Rachel/Kate fan). I’m never going to object to explicitly queer couples. However, I just felt as though Rachel was a bit of an airhead this issue; only thinking about Betsy instead of looking at what her team needed from her. I get that the worry and stress about someone’s partner is going to take priority over others but it felt as though every other word bubble from Rachel was about Betsy. It may seem like a small thing but it really did annoy me by the end of the issue. Rachel and Betsy are both capable warriors and powerful psychics, so having either one of them wringing their hands over the other feels very out of character.

Askani in Knights of X #3
They do seem to be leaning into the Askani name for Rachel, which is ABSOLUTELY the way to go.

I get that the whole point of Roma and Saturnyne showing the gruesome scene to Shogo via the scrying pool was to metaphorically sacrifice his innocence and to hold the reader’s hand through the first major character death in a while. However; it wasn’t quite sold well enough and came off just a bit cruel in regards to Shogo. I’m guessing that having him in Otherworld right now is to age him up for plot purposes but as he currently exists, he is a toddler. I can’t help feeling pain for Jubilee who has no clue what is happening to her son.

Gambit means business in Knights of X #3

Will Gambit be back by next month? We’ve seen his incredible Hellfire Gala outfit by Russell Dauterman; but he seemed pretty dead and the knights don’t seem to be in any hurry to get out of Otherworld. The lore keeps deepening and expanding and we just have to hope that all these plot threads come and weave together in the end.

Images via Marvel Comics

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