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Hey, It’s Another X-Men Theme Post!

Only two comics in this one, though. One is an all ages title, the other is Blackest Night: X-Men, more or less, so at least it will be X-Clectic. (How was that not the title of a comic during the X-Men glut?).

Necrosha-X One Shot- Why did I pay money for this, you ask, despite my noted disdain for DC’s similar crossover event? I didn’t! A friend purchased it for me at the LCS’s Halloween Party, because he wanted someone to talk about it with, and I have never passed up a free comic before. Of course, I had to agree to read some of the story that spun out of it too. I figured if worse came to worse, I’d just give him his $4.

Well, it didn’t quite necessitate a refund, but only because I really liked the New Mutants portion of things, with the idea that Doug Ramsey living up to his full potential is the most dangerous mutant ever. Been wanting to see that for a while, and if nothing else, hopefully Zeb Wells gets to keep him for his cast when this thing’s over.

The rest was pretty okay. I mean, I’m just committing to following New Mutants as part of my little bargain, but I don’t hate where this is going. Like a lot of recent X-stuff, it seems like it could be a solid trade eventually, if nothing else. X-Force seems like the comic where the action will take place, and it seems okay on that level so far (if nothing else, the X-Force portion had more Dr. Nemesis; I’ll always mark for that. X-Men: Legacy appears to be focusing on Destiny and her plot device precognition, which involves mentoring one of the New New Mutants I’ve never heard of. So, if I skip one part, that’s the one, right there.

Caveat time; I’ve wanted an excuse to read New Mutants for a while, and I’m such a huge lapsed X-Men fan (and am totally indifferent to Blackest Night and its principle characters, from Hal and Barry to most of the zombie JLA), so keep those biases in mind. I wouldn’t rush out and buy this issue, but if you can get a dude to buy it for you, its not bad!

Uncanny X-Men: First Class #4- After last month’s incomprehensible Banshee thing, things return to form with a Storm spotlight issue, guest starring two of my new favorite characters, the Daughters of the Dragon and Power Man and Iron Fist’s best villain, Deadly Nightshade, a female blacksploitation mad scientists who wears hot pants. So, it’s pretty great.

This is a fun done in one story that really gets why Storm’s can be a cool character while still throwing in a cliffhanger that gives you a reason to come back next issue. It also continues Scott Gray’s pretty bad ass characterization of Jean Grey. Sure, she’s out of character, but in character Jean is so lame she can only get attention by dying. I find the one that rolls her eyes at Cyclops and learns kung fu a marked improvement. If nothing else, the cat fight between this Jean and Emma Frost would be epic.

As long as Banshee is kept to a minimum, I’d love to see this become an ongoing, but it seems like the X-Franchise is so played out that that’s unlikely, especially when they could just do a Wolverine and the X-Men tie-in comic instead if they really wanted an all ages X-book.


X Necrosha was so underwhelming to me, not only because of the close thematic ties to Blackest Night, but also due to the fact that the storyline reeks of “and nothing will ever be the same again!!!” nonsense that seemingly has rested over the X-family of books like a cloud for the past couple years. In three months, all those undead mutants will be dead again, and the heroes will continue on without the emotional baggage of having to fight (or kill) their old colleagues because they’re constantly bombarded with emotional baggage anyway.

Also, the lack of editorial control in the X-books continues to bother me greatly. The whole Utopia/Dark X-Men thing moved the mutants to Magneto’s old asteroid, now an island in the Pacific. The first thing at least four writers did as a result was write a story about someone invading the island (Magneto in Uncanny X-Men, Emplate in X-Men Legacy, Namor’s sea-serpent ex-wife in Dark Reign The List, and now Selene’s undead army in X Necrosha). Furthermore, the twist in Warren Ellis’ most recent issue in Astonishing X-Men was that someone is raising dead mutants in Genosha as weapons against living mutants… but that book’s not even part of the Necrosha storyline.

Letting your stable of writers each tell the same story with absolutely no ramifications is sloppy and distracting. I don’t know how anyone can follow more than one title from this line under these conditions.

“This is a fun done in one story that really gets why Storm’s can be a cool character ”

And why is that? I still don’t get the affection for the character.


I also read Necrosha and Astonishing separately, and I wondered briefly why Ellis was participating in crossover, since he’s pretty much stated that that’s not how his book will operate.

So basically, I’m agreed that somebody should have noticed that two books in the same family were independently using the same plot device. Even money at least one mutant gets undeadified twice in the same month.

I’ve only been reading Uncanny and New Mutants, and I haven’t got the newest issues yet, so I have no idea what this Necrosha thing is. But Craig is right about the lack of editorial control. I did buy the first Ellis issue of Astonishing, and I’ve flipped through other issues at the store, as well as some of the other mutant books, and none of them seem to fit together all that well. That’s just incompetent editing. And the longer-term plans seem to be floundering somewhat, too. Why did they move to this new island when they still weren’t completely settled in San Francisco yet? And how many X-Men are there? One recent issue I read mentions two-hundred-thirty-some mutants living on the island. I thought there were only supposed to be 198 total. Did they scrap that idea? And I know there are still several mutants not on the island.
I wish they would just sit all the writers down and work out a plan and stick to it. And wait at least two and a half years between major upheavals in the status quo.

I haven’t read an X-book since around the time Psychlocke turned Japanese, so I’m confused. Isn’t Doug Ramsey that guy who could translate stuff? How does that make him the most dangerous mutant ever?

Or was he Cannonball? Same question.

Yeah, I could wiki it, but it’s more fun when you guys set me straight.


November 9, 2009 at 5:39 pm

Cypher’s powers were finally utilized in a way to make him useful in combat. He uses his power to understand language in order to read “body language”, thus predicting and countering an opponent’s moves. However, Batgirl used the idea earlier and the New Mutants fan-fic “Kid Dynamo” came up with the idea first (1996, IIRC). If Louise Simonson had thought of using his powers that way, she probably wouldn’t have killed him off in the first place!

FofF: Claremont hinted at Cypher’s powers heading that way in his final NM storyline (Doug’s playing poker at the Hellfire Club and uses his powers to read the body language of his opponents)

I agree Cypher has always had untapped potential, but isn’t this new power the same one Taskmaster has had all along, albeit with a different rationale?

@Mike Blake: Taskmaster had “eidetic memory”‘ ( aka photographic reflexes). He can’t read body language, but can copy moves after seeing them once. They are limits, however. Taskmaster can copy Batroc’s leaping abilities (because they are within normal human limits), but not Toad'(since they require superhuman leg muscles).

Cypher’s powers involve a psionic field that allows him to understand languages, written, spoken or otherwise. Much like Forge’s power, Doug just intuitively ‘knows’ how to read/speak the language he is attempting to decipher, without truly understanding the ‘nuances’ of the language.

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