SeventhSoldier Presents: The ‘Real’ Dark Reign

Marvel: Noir is where it’s at. No doubt about it. While the rest of Marvel is trudging through yet another massive event or four, there’s a nice little set of minis off to the side, set in funland, with, well, not new toys, because that’d be scary, but at least new takes on old toys.  So, here we go, diving into the blackest abyss of Marvel morality since the last book Marvel published!

X-Men Noir #2

xmen

I was a little leery about the announcement that writer Fred Van Lente would be in charge of this title, and David Hine in charge of Spider-Man Noir, but after each produced a solid opening offering, I was relieved.  X-Men Noir #2 hit the streets this week, and it continued to be of extremely high quality, though artist Dennis Calero, in his attempts to keep things dark-but-realistic slips up more than once throughout the issue.

Packed with so many references to X-Men continuity it should be exploding in my very hands, the book nonetheless gracefully handles almost all of them, creating analogue after analogue and making them work FOR the story!  As baffling as that may sound, it works, from the pulp back-ups of Bolivar Trask’s old-school sci-fi hero Nimrod on through the ‘mutation’ that made the X-Men famous being emotional rather than physical, each analogue, each reference, each new revelation works within the story.  

Easily accessible for both non-X-fans and the most hardcore fans around, X-Men Noir #2 slips up very rarely.  Calero’s art is iffy at best, and the fundamental ‘good guy’ nature of the X-Men was a disappointing reveal, but it was nonetheless an extremely solid issue of comics, far better than most in-continuity stories you’ll be able to find about today.

Grade: B

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3 thoughts on “SeventhSoldier Presents: The ‘Real’ Dark Reign

  1. Unless perhaps its Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, I do my best to not purchase 3.99 32 page mini’s. I’ve heard mixed reviews on X-Men Noir, but I’m glad you enjoy it. What I’m mostly commenting about is your last statement about in-continuity books.

    I’m currently producing a top ten list for 2008. Hopefully I can complete it before the Oscars. Anyway, even though I do have a few Marvel and DC books on the list, I found that maybe one or two are in-continuity. Continuity really does detract quality doesn’t it?

  2. I don’t think continuity detracts quality, but I think that the best series’ are almost always the ones that take some risks, and in-continuity books almost desperately shy away from risks.

  3. But wouldn’t that then detract quality? For example, I quit reading Marvel Zombies when MZ3 came out. A main reason was because we were in the regular Marvel U. Part of the fun of Marvel Zombies was the fact that Spider-Man could get disemboweled. But in 616, we got to see Z-List heroes bite the dust. Who cares, right? Doesn’t that detract quality?

    That’s just an example. But I mean, you know Spider-Man won’t die. You know Wolverine won’t die. So that’s why we get Black Goliath as the big death. Another danger (I don’t know why I feel like going off on this) is the fact that you’ll get fans bitching about “he can’t kill him” and “blank can’t beat blank”. If it’s your own characters, the sky is the limit. Think about the “best” (Again, sorry about the rant) stories in comics. What are the big three? Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen, and Kingdom Come. Ok, I must stop now.

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