Art by: Tom Raney and Andrew Pepoy
Let me start this review by saying a few things about my comic book buying habits. Here are some things I look for in a title from either Marvel or DC:
1) Does the title have a beginning, middle, and ending?
2)Did one person write from issue one to the final issue?
3) Do I need to read any other series to understand what is going on in this title?
4) Is the title set in a alternate reality (non Earth 1 or Earth 616, depending)?
5) Can I make a check list?
So according to this set of rigorous tests Mutant X is a perfect title for me to collect. It's set in an alternate reality - if fact it is the only title to take place in this alternate reality. It consists of 32 issues and 3 annuals, all written by Howard Mackie. When I was collecting this series, I had a checklist (I like checklist more than any sane person should - I keep a spreadsheet of my comics with a pie graph showing publisher distribution). It has a beginning, middle and end. One thing to note about possible flaws in the test - there is no gauge for quality, either in art or story.
So, on to Mutant X #1. It opes with Havok (Alex Summers) falling through a starry background, talking about remembering dying. We then cut to a fight scene between a group called the Six (consisting of Havok, Madelyn Pryor, the Brute, Iceman, the Fallen, and Bloodstorm) and some Sentinels. They fight, the Six gets the upper hand, and one of the Sentinels tries to blow away Madelyn; Havok jumps in the way and takes the blast - this sends him into a river where the two Havoks merge.
Havok awakes, see these twisted versions of his friends and freaks out. The Fallen clock him and we cut to the Six's hideout. A long, drawn out section takes place explaining all the characters. Havok and Madelyn are married and have a son, Scotty. The Brute is Hank McCoy - but a dull witted, reptilian version, as his experiments took another direction on this world. The Fallen is Warren Worthington III, but instead of metal wings, his are now bat-like and he breaths fire. Iceman can't turn off his ice. Bloodstorm is Ororo Munroe who never got over Dracula's bite. Long story short, Havok decides to run with this to see who is behind the tinkering of reality.
We learn that in this world the Six are heroes and mutants and humans live in peace. Nick Fury and SHEILD are fighters for humanity - and have taken Havok and Madelyn's kid hostage at the Statue of Liberty. The team takes off and fight Fury and friends. Madelyn mentions the Goblin Queen (SPOILER) and the team is able to save Scotty. The book ends with Scotty confronting Havok - saying "You're not my real father."
Wow. What an issue; packed with information and very little plot, which is a bit generic, but the characters are the real focal point. Like a fun house mirror. The art is standard fare for marvel in the late 90's - nothing ground breaking, lots of odd poses.
The whole reason I picked up this series is Havok. I hate Cyclops with a passion and a solo book about his underachieving brother is perfect for me. And Scott Summer is dead in this reality. Awesome.
This is a book that appeals to my sweet tooth and I am kind o ashamed to say I love this title. More reviews to come. Until tomorrow - happy reading.