“Try Something New.” That challenge is the whole reason for this feature’s existence. Month in and month out we buy the comics we know and love, the ones we look forward to every time but there are countless series that travel under our radar, ones that we just don’t give a chance and get passed by. That’s why I made a vow: every week I’d pick up an issue for a series that wasn’t on my pull-list in the hopes of finding a hidden gem. Welcome to Off The Shelf where we’ll discover if my leap of faith paid dividends this week. Also, I should mention that there be SPOILERS in this review. You are warned!
Marvel Knights: X-Men #1Publisher
Prior Experience With Title
I have read a whole lot of X-Men books over the years and am pretty familiar with the main cast of characters utilized here: Wolverine, Rogue, and Kitty Pryde. The creator on the other hand is a relative unknown to me so I don’t know what to expect.
Why Did I Give It A Shot?
I enjoyed the Marvel Knights: Spider-Man series and am expecting more of the same outside-the-box storytelling with this one.
The issue opens with a mutant being hunted down in the woods, pleading for his life at an unseen antagonist. He doesn’t want to happen to him what happened to “the others” but alas all his pleading falls on death ears. His blood chilling scream psychically echoes in the head of Rachel Summers and wakes her up immediately from her deep sleep. With Beast’s aide, the X-Men are able to track down the source of the mental projection to a small town in West Virginia, a small town that strangely has two more mutants in it. The team finds it weird that such a small town would have so many mutants and subsequently uncover various articles detailing that an inordinate amount of kids are going missing…kids that were possibly mutants as well. Wolverine leads the charge to investigate and is accompanied by Kitty Pryde and Rogue. They arrive at a local hangout/party where the first mutant signature is located at. We meet said mutant, a girl named Krystal who has just stolen a bag of unidentifiable pills from the owner’s bedroom. She gets caught but uses her powers to convince him that she was never there to begin with before being seen by Kitty. Krystal makes a run for it and eludes Kitty and then frees herself from Rogue’s grasp by using her powers once again. Finally by herself, Krystal makes a call to a man named Jasper and informs him of these mutants that are after her. He tells her she is going to have to deal with them and she can’t come home until she does before we get the reveal that Jasper is not any ordinary man but the town’s Sheriff. After the call she is freaking out and takes one of the pills which have very trippy results before Wolverine and company find her. They proceed to inform Krystal that mutants are being murdered and offer her protection until the murderer can be stopped. She agrees to go with them and they journey to the second mutant’s coordinates, coordinates that lead them to the woods. As Jasper watches from the woods, the issue ends with Wolverine entering a cabin only to be met by his arch-nemesis Sabretooth.
Kitty Pryde: Wait, I know what you’re thinking, Wolverine…but we can’t jump to conclusions–
Wolverine: The hell we can’t! Someone’s hunting mutants, Kitty…innocent children! Stay here if you need more evidence, but I got all the proof I need. ‘Cuz time’s a-wasting, and if we ain’t there to protect the next kid…no one else will be.
Wolverine: Seclusion doesn’t tend to breed tolerance…
Rogue: All I’m sayin’ is they ain’t gonna want to talk to us. I can tell you that much right now.
Wolverine: That’s alright, I got ways of making people talk…
Krystal: Whatever’s been killing people…you’re going to find it out here!
Final Verdict: The art was fantastic, the story not so much. It certainly did not live up to the awesomeness that was Marvel Knights: Spider-Man and it wasn’t anything special either, certainly not worth the $3.99 price tag. That this generic series is going to last five issues totally astounds me and with that said, I’m going to have to Pass On This Series Going Forward. I look forward to future artistic projects from Brahm Revel though as I have to admit he did impress me in that regards.