Strangely enough, this was the most interesting issue of The Black Vortex and it didn't have the Black Vortex in it. A part of that just has to come from the art side of things, but setting that aside completely, this issue is quite a bit of set-up that ultimately delivers some pretty interesting stuff.
One particular scene that stands out is the conversation between Cyclops and Jean Grey. Older readers will really love this as it touches on the blossoming love between the two characters. We also get a little bit about how Jean operates with her powers, which can be tough to control when people are thinking about you, apparently.
The issue does take the time to look at the relationships between characters while this issue feels almost like it's waiting for other things to happen. Regardless, it is nice to see characters not feel like pawns in a larger event, which has truly been the case the past year or so in almost every event tie-in.
Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo are the best things to happen to this series. Seriously. This artistic team elevates any book they work on the levels of pure epicness. Aside from the art itself, Sorrentino's page layouts are gorgeous and unique on every page.That opening page is downright amazing in composition and panel layout and sets the tone for the entire book.
As always, Maiolo's colors are what people should also be paying attention to. There really is this beautiful way he shades his books. In addition, we get to see Maiolo's trademark which is when he does a panel in flat colors to highlight the action. It's surprisingly only used on one page in this issue, but it looks amazing.
While it is interesting and looks gorgeous, it's a good book but not great. After finishing the issue, it leaves the reader wanting more because something feels missing. The issue, as a whole is just the catalyst to spread everyone out again, after bringing them together.
Easily, this was one of the more interesting issues within the Black Vortex event, even with the X-Men being more on-lookers than actually right in the heat of battle. The art and colors are the real shining star of this issue and it's worth the price of admission alone. All-in-all, it feels like Black Vortex is doing something a little different here, compared to the standard cross-over format and that's the compelling thing about this issue. Black Vortex continues to be pretty good and I'd say check this issue out for sure if you've been enjoying it.