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New X-Men #29

Posted: Monday, August 14, 2006
By: Geoff Collins



"Nimrod" (Part 2 of 4)

Writers: Craig Kyle, Chris Yost
Artists: Duncan Rouleau, Brian Reber (colors)

Publisher: Marvel Comics


Since M-Day, the X-titles have been bringing back the theme of alienation and prejudice. New X-Men has been doing a better job of it then the other titles lately, having just finished a story line where Rev. Stryker goes on a crusade to kill mutants. That is why I find it ironic that the only two team members who are minorities were the only two left off the cover. Granted, there is a liquid/metal girl and a guy with rock skin, but the black kid and devout Islamic woman were not present (fanboy’s note: Nezhno, a team regular from Africa, leaves for Storm’s wedding so is not really part of the team for the time being). Though David is not a powered mutant so may not be considered a part of the team, he still plays a bigger role in this issue than the powered mutants and has taken lead of them. Sooraya, veiled from top to bottom and praying, “Allah forgive me…Wash away the blood on my hands,” at one point in this issue, still has her powers and goes with the team throughout the issue; therefore, there is no excuse for her not being with the rest of the team on the cover other than that her robe is not as sexy as X-23’s (I refuse to call her Talon) sports bra or Noriko’s tube top. So Marvel is apparently in the closet with their anti-racism. You have to open them up a little to find out about it. You can’t tell by just looking.

Cover aside, I like New X-Men's focus of themes lately, this issue being an exemplary example. Since a lot of teenage mutants from the institute were killed, the series has been pushing the theme of death harder than comic books commonly do. Most of the characters killed were basically cannon fodder, most notably Jay Guthrie. It has been my general opinion that when creators kill characters like that, they are mostly just "cleaning house." But Guthrie has been made into a martyr in the same way Blue Beetle had been for Infinite Crisis.

Despite the heavy theme of death in this issue, it was a lot of fun to read. As the title suggests, the story is centered around a Nimrod Sentinel, whose origins are revealed (it came from an alternate timeline). Previously, the Nimrod killed a whole mess of kids, and now it is forcing Forge to make repairs to it. Cyclops doesn’t believe that there is a Nimrod loose; he just thinks Stryker was solely responsible for the kids being killed, so he feels fine with leaving all the kids alone at the institute under O*N*E’s protection. Forge sends an S.O.S. to the institute similar to the one Princess Layla sent to Obi Wan Kenobi, which is only heard by the kids. And hilarity ensues.

Duncan Rouleau’s art is what makes a lot of it fun. It is very cartoonish, but the characters still show real emotion. The most cartoonish scene was when the other X-Men were loading onto a jet to leave. This scene includes Wolverine, who is very round and bubbly, like a balloon. I wondered if he were tethered to a bunch of men who maneuvered him around the streets with other cartoon characters. Then I ate some turkey and fell asleep watching football. Another point that the art made things more light-hearted was when the X-Kids received the S.O.S., and called an emergency meeting. What made it fun was that the only two girls shown below the waist in the scene were wearing thong underwear. Granted, it didn’t show them from behind, so maybe they weren’t thongs, but neither of them stopped to think to put on pants or shorts. I have a sister, and she and her friends happily talk about their underwear with me (in a non-sexual way) so I know that more often than not, especially when going to sleep alone, teenage girls do not wear that kinda stuff to bed. All that could have made this scene better would be to show Sooraya in a thong.

The part that the writing gets fun is when the group escapes from the mansion. They point out what a joke the Sentinels have become, and the scene ends with Santo saying, “We totally escaped. Those Sentinel pilots are so fired. I mean seriously, they suck on a weekly basis.”

What I would like to see more of is X-23 being socially awkward. She is a killing machine, who only recently started speaking to others; why not make her a bit weird? When they get in the X-Jet, she sits down and says, “I brought guns,” which I took as her trying to make small talk, not so much wanting to let the others know. I appreciate how the ensuing dialogue contrasts the maturity level between her and the others with her.

This really was one of the more fun reads I have had lately. I like what the creators are doing, but was peeved by little things which is why they finally the issue only earned from me .



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