Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nation X - Initial Impressions

I've rejoined the X-Men band wagon, even though I've been skeptical of Matt Fraction's work on the title. It's a fresh new introduction to the X-Men, now in a new and unique position of running their own independent island/state. Besides Genosha, which took a different and darker turn, Matt Fraction has said this is fresh territory. And he's right -- the X-Men are doing something more than just get a new home base, but are on the verge of making their own nation. Not a big nation, mind you. Remember, there are only suppose to be 199 mutants left on Earth, and half of them aren't living there or are dead. So it's more like a glorified hotel at this point.

I think Fraction is talking through Scott a lot - as Fraction has said that he doesn't know where this is exactly going to go. He can't go look for guidance in Essential X-Men TPBs. So when Scott says he's making this up as he goes - I think that's a perfect example of where this book is, floating mid-sea, without a concrete destination. That definitely will change, of course. Monthly comics force events to happen - and already I'm seeing some good possibilities. I like the idea of Danger being a Warden for the X-Men imprisoned enemies. And the upcoming Necrosia event looks good, and Magneto returning, which is good. In fact, Magneto returning seems long overdue. There have been a lot of time where Magnus has been rushed out to be the big epic-of-the-year too quickly and too soon, giving way to Magnetic-Fatigue. That's not happening here, as Magneto has been slowly built back up ever since loosing his powers, and his return is finally completing that journey.

Oh - one more thing. I read the semi-sequel to the Dark Avengers/X-Men crossover - Dark Reign: The List. Alan Davis does a great job on art. His characters are bright and crisp, which I always enjoy seeing. The story, sadly, was more about Namor than the X-Men. Norman Osborn, hurt by Namor and Emma's recent betrayal, released a sea monster to kill Namor's people. Turns out this monster is actually Namor's mutated X-Wife - which sort of came out of nowhere, but you find yourself shrugging and going along with it. Namor killed the monster and then gave this warning to Osborn "If I was willing to do this to her.. just imagine what I'm going to do to you." Osborn was grinning happily having prevoked this kind of response.

Anyway, a good one-shot story - though it had little to actually do with the X-Men.

So, I'll be sticking around to see what happens. Nation X has a lot of potential - but could also easily become a quagmire for writers and readers.

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