Why are kids turning up missing in New York? Why were the X-Men attacked by humanoid lizards in the sewers? And what does Spidey have to do with all of it? Though I’m sure you’ve put it all together by now, you can get the whole reason after the jump. . .
Writer: Victor Gischler
Artist: Chris Bachalo
Inker: Tim Townsend, Wayne Faucher, Jaime Mendoza, and Al Vey
Colorist: Chris Bachalo
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson
Editor: Nick Lowe
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Previously in X-Men: Having won the day against the Vampires and shown the world again that they are heroes the X-men have started taking the fight back into the world. After a rash of unusual disappearances in New York City, Storm gathers the team of Wolverine, Emma Frost, and Gambit to investigate. Tracing the victims into the sewers they are first met and fight with a group of humanoid lizards, then the one and only Spider-Man.
LIZARDS AND GEEKS
After Spidey explains what may be going on, The Lizard is now apparently turning others into something akin to himself, they decide to get out of the sewer and find out who is being targeted instead. Storm has each member of the team, now including Spidey, track down info about the four missing victims. As each member comes back with info we find out that the kids were all kind of losers and geeks, the kids at the bottom rung of the social ladder. Using this info Storm has Cypher track down some info. Meanwhile we follow another kid, presumably the next victim, as he suffers through his day, first being attacked by his friends in the MMO he’s playing then being attacked by some generic thugs on the way to school.
Once the info is gathered Cypher hooks into a website they’ve all gone to, everythingsux.com, where they all complained to the same fake profile DB001. Conveniently, our next victim is online talking to him right now and being told how to get to the “clubhouse”. Wolverine is already fairly close and sent to track them down but is ambushed by dozens more of the lizard-people. Cut to the kids trying to escape and a reveal that the original Lizard is trussed up in some machine with the mysterious villain tapping away at a computer trying to “continue Dr. Conners’ intriguing research.”
GRIM AND GRITTY CAN STILL WORK
The art style is rough and gritty with a lot of colorful characters on very dark, sometimes colorless, backgrounds. For the most part I like it. It brings the most important parts to the foreground, the heroes, and pushes everything else back. However, there are a few points where some of the characters just look off, such as the first page where Logan’s head may as well be a square, and while Remy explains the story he found he gets a blank, thousand-yard stare. So, while definitely not my favorite style, it works for the story being told.
BOTTOM LINE: SURE
So, here comes a bit of a gripe fest for me. I am getting tired of writers completely misrepresenting online games. When we first meet the next victim his online friends are kicking him out of the party, by killing off his character. There is no MMO that will let you do this. Part of how MMO’s work is that there is no permanent character death, the party trying to kill his character will result in just irking the kid off, maybe. Perhaps the writers should do a bit more research on this sort of thing. The other grip I have is the fact that Emma spends half of her lines attacking the kids being kidnapped, practically mocking them for being geeks and nerds. She specifically calls the people being persecuted for being different; you know the core concept behind X-Men, weak. The worst part happens when Peter agrees with her, saying “You’re right, Miss Frost, they’re weak and we’re strong” and points out that he used to be that way. It feels like an attack straight at the reader. Still, both of these are more me being personally offended than actually detracting from the story itself and the book still earns a respectable 3 out of 5 stars.