Dark X-Men #3
HOSTILE TAKEOVER! The fiend taunting the Dark X-Men from afar leaves a trail of bodies in her wake as terror falls over the Limbo Embassy. Will CHASM join the fight against Orchis…or become Madelyne Pryor’s ultimate downfall? And can the Devil ever truly be trusted?
It isn’t that a comic comes out that just nails everything its supposed to be whilst simultanouesly being filled with surprise. Dark X-Men #4 is that kind of comic, where it’s narrative and visual atmosphere swirl together to create a reading experience that’s gripping for how well it contiues to move the story forward without being completely predictable. With a continued emphasis on realistic and grounded character writing, and just enough given to each character to elevate the overall title, this book might just be the Fall of X‘s sleeper masterpiece.
This issue see’s the full assualt on Limbo’s New York embassy commence, a brutal and haunting event that doesn’t pull back from the burtality of Orchis and their demonic alllies. While that part of the book is beyond excellent, and gives some smaller character like Chasm and Azael room to showcase the many dimensions to their characters, it’s only as succesful as it is due to the book’s slower, Gambit focused start. It offers something that I feel Fall of X has been particularly weak on, and that’s personal stakes.
Everything in this title has been personal and character driven, Foxe’s incredible writing talent pouring out through how he paces and slices in any kind of character building dialogue he can, backed by art from Scharf that fills the book with a sense of gritty atmosphere. The Limbo Embassay is a more believable part of New York than ever thanks to this team tying personal and emotional stakes to the place and its role in this event. In this issue especially you can see how character like Gambit are struggling with their role in not just a world that rejects him, but in a team full of rejects that are black sheeps even amongst other mutants.
It adds to the sacrifice to see these characters who don’t have the best pasts laying their lives down in the muck and on the frontlines as their genuine humanity shines brighter then anyone elses. Gambit at one point compares Maddie to Proffesor X in here role in mentoring some of the younger mutants in a way that clearly paints the aforementioned pciture then my words could. These aren’t the heroes the world deserves right now, but while the X-Men remain underground and the rest of Marvel’s universe seems to be ignoring a genocide happening in their own backyard, this team remains locked in formation and ready to fight.
While I normally wouldn’t spoil a cameo like this, the cover already does, and the best example of Foxe understanding these characters so well is in how he pens Chasm, a.k.a Ben Reily. Whether or not you agree on the characters heel turn, the worst part of has been the lack of depth given to been post Beyond, especially in Dark Web where he was erduced to mustache twirling villian, but here Foxe layers his dialogue with enough broken emotion that it feels like the first true instance of the character being truly interesting. There’s a potency here that I’d love to see explored further.
Dark X-Men #4 is filled with tension, atmosphere, and delicate character writing that brings a sharp edge to the themes and story of this series without bloating out its very limited page count with filler. Foxe and Scharf deserve to see this team grow beyond just a mini-series within the Fall of X.
Dark X-Men #4: Dark Reflections
- Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
- Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
- Art - 8.5/108.5/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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