This is the third installment for the Forging the Sword arc of Excalibur III series and it's an issue that provides us some exposition concerning the general atmosphere of Genosha, as well as a few key plot points that will hopefully get developed by the next ones after this. On that note, nothing truly remarkable happens here especially since it majorly concerned supporting characters such as Wicked and Freakshow and these three new mutants named Hub, Hack and Purge. I believe they're going to play bigger roles later on and this is just Claremont giving us a taste of things to come for the series.
Meanwhile, the Cherik (and Callisto) part of the story is only a minor focus here though it's just as important as the rest of the parts. The issue opens with Professor X and Magneto, now just Charles and Erik still about to settle down in their new home and live together, finishing up their meal. After Charles compliments Erik's culinary skills, he suddenly gets a vision of a vicious attack by an Omega Sentinel that felt so real he thought he was truly experiencing it. Thanks to his default Moira-setting, the hallucination of said ex-fiancée was able to bring him back to reality. He later relates the experience to Erik and Callisto that very night, explaining that the vision may come from another telepath which he unfortunately happened to pick up on. Callisto expresses concern over the immediacy of the threat and that they must prepare for it already. Magneto agrees.
Interestingly enough, I think I should also point out that the narrative flow for this issue seems to occur with a backwards timeline, starting first with the last event to happen (Charles receiving that telepathic vision) while the earlier encounters concerning Hub, Hack and Purge; teenagers with complementary mutations, happened midway. I don't understand the function and extent of these kids' powers as for the moment but I am definitely intrigued about their possible long-term contributions to the story. The important plot point that occurs with the teens is when they managed to secretly board a ship run by Magistrates (the assholes who used to oppress mutants by turning them into their slaves. This was back when Genosha was yet to be given to Magneto by the United Nations). Hub, Hack and Purge managed to get a good look at some of the cargo they ship was carrying and the most noteworthy of which are two large coffins where bodies of a certain mutant warrior and an Omega Sentinel from the Indian Police lay in repose. The teens decided to grab both of the coffins even though Purge and Hub insisted that they should just leave the one with the Sentinel alone. So far, I think Hub is the one who is leading this mission since the two boys listen to her instructions and follow her unquestioningly. I wonder about their backstories at this point. They seem to be too young to be revolutionists but then again, this is Genosha.
Wicked and Freakshow were just innocent bystanders who happened to be on ground when the Magistrates' air ship crashes. They had no choice but to fight back especially when they seem to genuinely want to help any fellow mutant who is in trouble. This is when Callisto, Charles and Erik decide to join in the fiasco but not without some necessary precautions. The plan is for Callisto to aid the young mutants with the fight against the Magistrates whilst Charles and Erik will inspect the coffins now submerged underwater where they were accidentally dislodged during the commotion on air earlier. Charles also confirms that the female one is very much alive since he can sense her thoughts. Putting on some equipment, he jumped into the water and proceeded to swim towards the locations of the coffins. Callisto and Erik have some brief exchange where she still thinks he's full of shit and that she'll only work with him because of Charles' insistence that Erik can be relied on.
Translation: "I may have been an extremist, an uncompromising pro-mutant and human-hater for so many years. I may have attacked and killed humankind in the name of my ideologies and goals for mutant liberation, and fought against the X-Men where I would have to hurt and injure them every now and then so they don't get in my way. But if there is one person who can make me bend and submit my will; whose opinion, trust and friendship I am willing to do anything for--it's Charles Xavier. In spite of what I have done, he has forgiven me. And even when he stood against me for years, we both know I that I will be there at a moment's call when he needs me. That's why I'm here now. You don't have to trust me. But trust in my love for Charles Xavier. It's the constant thing that never fails."
THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HE MEANS BY THAT SINGLE PHRASE. IT MEANS A THOUSAND SENTIMENTS!!
*deep sighs of longing and unmitigated sadness*
Anyway, let's end this review with something less cheesy. Here is that panel I mentioned earlier of Charles complimenting Erik with the food he had just prepared for them in issue #2. Also, is calling him "Mags" really a thing now in comics? I thought that was just a cutesy name that the fanbase gave him. But, apparently, even Callisto can use it now.