There is no getting around it; after the good work that the sophomore issue of Children’s Crusade wrought in the last issue, this third instalment of Titan’s Deus Ex Universe tie-in disappoints quite thoroughly indeed, in the process sapping the positive momentum that the series had generated going forward.
The biggest problem is that plot just doesn’t move forward in any meaningful way until the final few, action-exclusive frames. Starting with the immediately hanging thread at the end of the previous issue that came in the form of Jensen‘s somewhat mysterious associate Alex Vega, you’re no better clued in as to her motives or those of The Juggernaut Collective than you were previously.
It’s not just the Alex Vega situation either. Until the very end of this month’s issue just about everything else in the narrative feels like it’s in some sort of holding pattern. We get the same paranoia from the other members of Task Force 29 in regards to Jensen and we also get the same political jockeying that we saw before (albeit without the presence of Lieutenant Fallada who was introduced in the last issue). The problem is though, we’ve seen all this before and none of it leads anywhere; instead, it just feels like Jensen and company are going through the motions rather than pushing the plot forward in any sort of significant capacity.
Elsewhere this issue actually manages to undo some of the good work seen previously too. The sweeping art of the second issue is all but gone, with the lower quality character work (something that artist John Agg demonstrably had problems with in the first issue), returning here and manifesting itself in a myriad of disproportioned and generally unattractive character work.
So too have the action scenes taken a jump into the abyss; the goodwill generated by the relatively bombastic action in the first two issues inspired by the Human Revolution game completely evaporates here on account of their almost complete absence.
Somehow managing to lose the positive momentum established in the previous issue while failing to either address the reveal at the close of that issue or push the plot forward in any sort of way, Deus Ex Universe: Children’s Crusade sadly finds itself in a slump with its third issue that hopefully the fourth offering can properly address.
A disappointing instalment where very little of note actually happens until the final few frames, Deus Ex Universe: Children’s Crusade takes an unfortunate dive in its third issue. Here’s hoping that things pick up next time.