Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Paul Cornell writes a great Nate Grey: Dark X-Men

Dark X-Men TPB
Some time ago there was a crossover between the x-men comics and Dark Avengers. There was something about a riot in San Francisco and Norman Osborn (then head of a big government agency) putting together a big team of his own "x-men" to make the regular x-men look bad. Well, a bunch of the members were a fake-out, the event ended, and there were just a couple of mutants left on the team. This was during the cash-grab time of "Dark Reign" however so they made a Dark X-Men comic. The thing is, they got excellent writer Paul Cornell, and he turned this into something to behold...

God, I miss Paul Cornell as a writer for Marvel Comics. He went DC exclusive ending all hope of more Captain Britain and MI-13 written by him. That series picked up where his equally great "Wisdom" mini-series left off, and boy was it great. Cornell also, however, was given the task of writing an X-men comic featuring what was left over of Osborn's mutant team. Namely, Mystique, Dark Beast, Omega, and Mimic. This comic could have been terrible, but under Cornell's pen it was hilarious, thoughtful, and clever. Not to mention it brought back a character who had sorta-kinda died a decade ago whom I have a soft-spot for, Nate Grey.

Nate Grey was one of the most powerful mutants around; he was from another reality and was one of the various Cable clones out there. He was interesting though, and Warren Ellis did a great job writing him a bit before his series ended with Grey evaporating into the atmosphere to stop aliens from feeding on humans or something--it was a weird way for him to end. Cornell brought him back, however, and boy was it fun watching Grey match wits with Osborn and his team. Lenard Kirk also provided some snazzy art that made the comic look equally great during action scenes or quiet moments.

As Osborn couldn't be brought down in a ancillary mini-series the comic ended on kind of an odd downer, with us not quite knowing what Nate Grey was going to be facing. My assumption is with the end of Dark Reign we will see him joining the X-Men or some such thing, as a promo for the X-men comic indicated:
Ignore the vampire-Jubilee, it was a stupid story attribute from X-Men.
This little mini-series was a great diamond in the rough--with the rough being all the lame "Dark Reign" tie-in comics. I'd really recommend checking it out and enjoying yourself. You might just need to check on the internet about the whole series of events that led up to the Dark X-Men, but other than that you don't need to know much continuity to enjoy this comic despite its tie-in status.
4.5 out of 5 stars.
Dark X-Men should you listen to my opinion and get this book. You know you should.
[New update since this review about Nate Grey is here.]

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