X-Men: Curse of the Mutants – Storm and Gambit #1

YAY! Tie-ins!X-Men: Curse of the Mutants – Storm and Gambit #1

Written by Chuck Kim
Illustrated by Chris Bachalo

Cover by Mico Suayan

Three Dracula War tie-ins dropped this week. I know that’s not what it’s called, but let’s be honest, Dracula War both sounds cooler and more in keeping with Marvel’s naming convention (Infinity War, Armor Wars, Secret Wars, Civil War, Chaos War) than “Curse of the Mutants,” which sounds both redundant and pathetically emo. As I was saying… the other two tie-ins focused on Blade and Namor and were named accordingly. They were passable, if nothing stellar or apparently necessary. This issue, however, was absolute trash and this Chuck Kim character ought to work on his balance, because I suspect he’ll be waiting tables again, soon.

  • In Second Coming, a futuristic force field was a fairly reasonable plot device to keep non-X-Men characters out of a fray they weren’t meant to be a part of. Here, a mystical force field is a crutch for a writer who can’t figure out how to keep the majority of the X-Men at bay until he needs them in the last few pages of plot.
  • Did someone say crutches? Storm also can’t use her powers, because Vampire Island was created using magic, and it disrupts her control of the weather. Yes, Kim even goes so far as to say that the air on the island was created using magic. If you created an island out of nothing in the middle of the ocean, would you need to create air for it?
  • Storm’s claustrophobia is written away with a single line of dialog, removing an important character trait and long standing plot device. Moreover, it’s explained away in a fashion that makes one wonder why it would have been a problem for her for so long.
  • Gambit never once steals anything, charges anything with kinetic energy, or turns into the avatar of Death, raising the question of why he was here at all. Oh, that’s right. When Storm asks Janus, the son of Dracula, how he knows who she is, someone had to be there to point out that she’s kind of famous, considering she’s the Queen of Wakanda – never mind the fact that she’s been an international superhero/terrorist (all depending on who you ask) for her entire adult life.
  • Dazzler is rendered “useless” because she can’t use ultraviolet light as a weapon against the invading vampires. I’m pretty sure Dazzler could come up with other applications for her light generating abilities that wouldn’t have left her a pathetic damsel in distress. This, however, was clearly just set up so that later in the issue, Northstar could de-pendant the vamps and let Allison shine.
  • Janus disappears completely at issue’s end, because clearly he needs to be used somewhere else in this story and couldn’t ally himself with the X-Men just yet. Was he even supposed to be in this issue? If feels as though Kim was trying to sow some sort of intrigue at the possibility of Dracula being back, only to reveal that it was Janus helping Storm, not his father. How excited could anyone possibly get at the hint that Dracula might be back? He’s barely a presence in the MU to begin with, he only died a couple of months ago, and his return is being touted for next month anyhow! Either way, the deus ex machina of Janus’s arrival and disappearance leaves a bitter taste in the mouth…
  • What. A. Bitch.ALMOST as bad as the rest of the last page, where Gambit and Storm discuss the repercussions of her having to take an innocent life in order to save the day. She just disowned Wolverine for killing villains who deserved to die, but here she essentially tells Gambit “I’ve made my peace with having to kill people when the need arises; just not innocents.” It makes me wish for a panel of Wolverine overhearing her, leaning into frame, and saying “Then get off my fucking back, Queenie!”

Seriously, it’s bad. And that’s just the writing. Chris Bachalo is a fairly well-known, big name artist. His interiors here are pretty solid, if you like his work, especially the page where Storm denounces her claustrophobia. Why bury his art under a cover by someone so inferior? Is it harsh to call this artist inferior? Even if you LOVE the style and line work, take a moment to consider the composition. Why are the vampires in the foreground turned to face the reader? Were they reacting to an imminent threat, this cover might actually be quite impressive. Instead, they’re simply drawn that way to show them off, thereby severely hampering the cover’s artistic merit. It would be as if everyone at the Last Supper were saying “cheese.”

1 out of 5 sharp blows to the head I’ll be hoping erase my memory of having read this issue.

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Jason Kerouac is a co-founder of Panelsonpages.com. He spends roughly half of his waking life in servitude to the Giraffe. Raised in a town in New Hampshire you've never heard of, he now lives in Indianapolis, IN and is pretty sure that's a step in the right direction.

Comments (4)

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  1. Spider_Fan14 says:

    Vampire Island? Howd the characters get there in the first place?

  2. Dave says:

    Best recent issue of X-Men I have had the pleasure of reading. Great characters, amazing work by an artist who seems to be plagued by six too many inkers, and a good romp with a haunting moral that doesn’t seem as hypocritical when you haven’t read the X-Force stuff.

    • Jason Kerouac says:

      I guess that’s understandable. But, while I understand that not everyone reads all of the books, they ARE a family of books. There are many people who DO read all of them, and because of the interconnectivity, this sort of thing should be avoided, with one writer stepping on another’s plot point.

      If Bucky died in Captain America and they never addressed it in Avengers, it wouldn’t make sense. I know this isn’t quite that major, but… it shouldn’t have been overlooked.

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