‘Dark Reign: The List – X-Men’ Review: Something Fishy…

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… Starting to wind up the reviews for the week. Next we have the X-Men issue of the ‘The List’.  Hope you enjoy it.

Dark Reign: The List - X-Men cover Dark Reign: The List – X-Men
(preview | thread)
Writer: Matt Fraction
Penciler: Alan Davis
Inker: Mark Farmer

SPOILERS BELOW…

RECAP: The issue opens with Norman Osborn revealing his secret weapon against the Atlanteans to his assistant Victoria. He has genetically changed Namor’s ex-wife and former member of Alpha Flight member Marrina into a monster that will kill and eat any Atlantean it can find. He releases the creature as revenge for Namor’s betrayal in joining the X-Men.

Marrina does her job well hunting down and killing the peaceful underwater people in great numbers. Namor discovers this and brings one of his dead people to the new mutant island nation. Namor does not want the X-Men’s help in this but he is not given a choice in the matter by Emma.

Pixie and Illyana teleport all of Namor’s people in the Pacific to a safe area in the Norwegian sea, leaving Namor to be the bait for his ex to attack. The creature comes to the island and the Cuckoos confirm that there is nothing left in her head but hate.

Bobby and Betsy take the first attack with Psylocke increasing Iceman’s powers to try and freeze Marrina in place. It works for a moment but he can not hold her. Wolverine then attacks to get her attention while Surge gets on her back and electrocutes the monster. Immediately after Nightcrawler teleports her to safety leaving a bomb in his wake.

The combination attacks draw her to the land where Namor is waiting. He survives her first attack and is able to lift her up into the air. He then takes Marrina down deep into Mariana trench where the pressure destroys her.

Namor then flies her body to New York and smashes it into Avengers tower where he serves warning to Osborn. At the end we see all the Atlanteans come back through the portals to presumably settle near Utopia.

MY TAKE: This was a decent one-off story with some actual consequences and impact and even some character development. All of this is rare in a one shot and I believe this one was helped by the fact that Fraction wrote it as a tie in directly to ‘Uncanny X-Men’. I am interested to see if the Atlanteans are going to be remaining around Utopia and if so where that will lead.

It was nice to see  Osborn hatch a plan that is both practical and ruthless. He is attacking Namor both through his people and through his heart and that can be a nasty combination. I am sorry to see Marrina used this way but I can understand the reasoning for it and she did make a powerful villain. It led to Namor showing his feelings a bit which is good development for the character based on his recent appearances.

The team work and timing the X-Men showed while fighting Marrina was impressive and I am glad that they are still being shown as a well-trained unit. They had multiple levels and waves of attack and executed them perfectly. The effect was kind of spoiled by Namor more or less defeating the monster single handedly however.

I am still on the fence about Namor being on the team and this does not help. In a group with so many members I would much rather see the spotlight fall on some of  lesser-used and not have a well-known character from other titles being the focus. In truth I am not sure that this belongs as an X-title. This was Namor and Atlantis’ story and the X-Men were really just a back drop for it. I would have preferred that the story focus more on the mutants and less on the undersea kingdom.

Not much else really happened in the issue. The plot was a simplistic and straightforward revenge tale. If it does lead to a treaty or alliance between the mutants and the Atlanteans that will be a major development for the whole Marvel Universe. It would be very unusual to have that happen from a one shot but otherwise I do not see the point of the ending. I supposed only time will tell.

In the end this was a good story that had some important  moments and strong action and it tied in very well with the main titles. I just would have liked it better if this story had focused on more background characters that do not get much attention in the ongoing series. It seems like a missed opportunity for a tie-in comic to focus on an already well-exposed character.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.

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  1. Glad i ran across this blog.Added “‘Dark Reign: The List – X-Men’ Review: Something Fishy… | Wolverine Files” to my bookmark!

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