X-MEN NOIR #2 (OF 4)

Review by: coltrane68

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Avg Rating: 3.3
 
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Size: pages
Price: 3.99

I should be a sucker for this book. I love film noir, and I love the X-Men. Yet when I read issue #1 of this series, I was underwhelmed. The dialogue seemed flat, and the exposition was lousy (and the idea of Quicksilver the college boy having a hard time following his rougher father’s footsteps was stolen completely from James Ellroy).

Imagine my surprise to find issue #2 so enjoyable. I almost dropped this book, but I felt the need to give the series just one more chance. Here the stories of the characters – the core X-Men trio of Cyclops, Beast, and Bobby (call me Iceman), Quicksilver, Wanda, Sebastian Shaw, Magnus, and others – really came to light. The banter was much more witty, and the plot moved forward in an interesting way. Interestingly, the two main plots – the death of Jean Grey from the first issue and a conflict with a competing gangster introduced in this issue – are almost a side issue to the character studies. This is common in noir storytelling – who even cares about the Maltese Falcon statue itself?

The art was wholly appropriate to the story. If I have one criticism, it is that Dennis Calero’s faces all seem to be similar. I like the simple lines, but I occasionally have a hard time distinguishing one character (i.e., one generic white male) from another.

Still, this is a major step forward. I wonder if this book isn’t being – pardon the hackneyed phrase – written for the trade, given the great difference in style from the first to the second issue.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 4 - Very Good

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