'Counter-X': a counterpart no longer
Warren Ellis & Steven Grant
Colorist: Christie Scheele
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Ongoing Series (four-issue arc, 'No Direction Home', #'s 63 through 66)
Published by Marvel Comics 2000
Reviewed by Brent A. Keane
got more power, more knowledge and more attitude than should be
allowed. You're the so-called "mutant shaman of the 21st Century".
You are Nathan Grey, the X-Man. What do you do next?
travel several realities downspiral in order to learn how a creature
from a broken universe has crossed the gap between dimensions, and
for what purpose.
retooled version of X-MAN is a decent example of why I continue
to read comics; big ideas, moody and evocative art, wicked dialogue.
This was the book I was looking forward to most when the 'Counter-X'
revamp was announced, and it met my expectations effortlessly.
had long been thought of as the red-headed bastard child of the
omnipresent X-Men line of books. It was a spin-off from the highly
successful 'Age of Apocalypse' arc that dominated the sales charts
some five years ago. Five years of mutant angst, pointless crossovers,
and generally substandard work. Opportunities missed, potential
waiting to be mined. Thank goodness that someone at Marvel decided
to give the book an overhaul.
Grey – somehow, referring to him as 'Nate' seems grotesquely cloying
– is now a man with a mission: to watch over his 'tribe', the mutant
race. We do not know why he has come to this calling, all we know
is that it is his job, and his alone. He is no longer the simpering,
whiny adolescent that we knew and despised – Nathan Grey has come
into his own.
the name Warren Ellis alone would be cause enough to pick up a book;
the fact that Steven Grant co-wrote and scripted these issues only
increases the enjoyment level, with his atypical and cynical approach
Olivetti, not unlike his titlke character, has matured considerably;
while his linework still tends to border on sketchy at times, when
compared to some of his earlier work (i.e. JLA: PARADISE LOST
), there appears to be a mastery of composition, as well a greater
sense of polish. The sombre, muted palette utilzed by Scheele is
X-MAN is a book worth taking notice of. It has gone from
being an unnecessary addition to a line of books already overburdened
by redundant series, to a entity wholly complete unto itself. No
footnotes or gatefolds full of minutae; just a high-concept sci-fi
story, straightforwardly told, that leaves you wanting more. Why
can't more comics be like this?
This is Brent A. Keane's first review for Popimage. Be gentle.
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