Dark X-Men: The Beginning #1 by Paul Cornell (Cloak and Dagger), Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman (Weapon Omega), and Rob Williams (Daken) and Dark X-Men: The Beginning #3 by Paul Cornell (Emma and Namor), Jason Aaron (Mystique), and Simon Spurrier (Aurora)
I’m having a little bit of a hard time being sold on a book with Norman Osborn traveling around and manipulating people to join his X-Men. It just doesn’t make a very interesting book in the hands of these writers.
In the Cloak and Dagger story, penciler Leonard Kirk seems to be referencing Karl Rove with George W. Bush’s ears for Osborn. I get he’s evil, but really. Also I don’t know what it says if Obama is hanging with Spider-Man and then making deals with Osborn about the War on Drugs. While a good tie-in to a story about Cloak and Dagger, not really believable with how morally black and white the Marvel universe can be.
The Weapon Omega story was really a cheap con played on Micheal. I mean, who didn’t think that Osborn’s people didn’t release those chemicals?
And Daken’s narrative was really odd. I haven’t read the Dark Wolverine title so I know little about the character, beyond being Wolverine’s son and having similiar mutant powers to him. Plus, Daken’s daddy issues, which seem to be the center of every comic about him. While I appreciated the story’s point about the civilized, I don’t think the execution went very well.
This is probably the strongest of this series. I like the idea of Emma testing Namor’s loyalty, Mystique beating a bunch of troops and bikers back, and Osborn’s failed attempts at recruitment.
I love Namor’s three doors about dealing with humanity as Attack, Negotiate, and Sue. As in, of course, his beloved Sue Storm. And it’s great to see Emma give him crap about her. That and I appreciate the continuity of Namora from Agents of Atlas, aka the raddest comic around.
But if Namor is going to play the black knight to Emma’s black queen, she does have to trust him beyond their little pact around Shaw’s head. That and Namor, as always, is only really showing Emma exactly what he wants her to see. I imagine that give Scott Summers 50 years, and he might be able to do the same with the same sort of arrogance. Because as much as I like Emma and Scott together, he doesn’t have the regal and arrogance downpat like Namor.
For the Mystique story, I was most impressed by the art with pencils by Jock and colors by David Stewart. I think they really compliment each other in Jock’s smudgy lines and Stewart’s watercolors. Mystique herself is most impressive. They really got her down pat and standing out amongst the other characters.
Also, good writing call to have Mystique playing the role of Professor X on her own free will. (I was worried this would turn into another forced microchip story like her solo title a few years back.)
The last story with Aurora is a nice tie-up for ending to this mini-series. Nice to see that Osborn can’t control every psychopath he runs across and wants to recruit for his team. I’m sure this will play nicely into a plot line with Northstar since now Aurora’s personalities are free to wreck havoc.