X-Men: Unforgiven #1
MUTANTS…OR MONSTERS? Beaten, broken and bruised after the destruction of SPIDER-MAN: UNFORGIVEN, the FORGIVEN desperately need a break…but, of course, there ain’t no rest for the wicked. Body parts have mysteriously started washing up on the coast of Maine…and these extraneous organs call for help from the extraordinary X-MEN! But with former bloodsucker JUBILEE in tow, the team is risking more than they know…
Some of the most fun and well-loved horror fiction hasn’t been the slow burns, the pretentious haunts, or the machinations of a deranged metaphor. The schlock filled and purely entertaining bits of horror’s many dark corners have been the front runners in the genre’s wider effect on culture. From re-defining how to narratives with socially charged themes to tempting censors everywhere, it’s no surprise X-MEN: UNFORGIVEN #1 takes the path it does as an action/horror story focusing on two groups of people with the potential for both social commentary and bloody violence.
We open the X-Men, who are hard set on discovering why a crate Krakoan body parts had surfaced on the coast of Maine. As expected, they cross paths with the Unforgiven. After playing the blame game and almost coming to blows (as most Marvel Team-Ups often do), they join forces and set out to track down the mysterious Curator, a being who covers up any traces of a vampire victim’s death.
Tim Seeley really commits to the narrative for this issue, reveling in both its horrific goodness as well as its accessibility. This book, titled as a standalone issue, is really the second chapter in an on-going story line that began with the book Spider-Man: The Unforgiven #1. The plot reads excellently as a standalone read, as well as one woven between two other issues. It also holds very little back in the gore department, but never gets excessive enough to break one’s suspension of disbelief. Kotian’s pencils are rough yet disturbing when needed, really bringing out the raw shock of seeing something tastefully horrific occur.
The team also does a fantastic job playing with both the X-Men’s past and present. Jubilee’s stint as a vampire, as well as our villain are both used to bolster the fun of this issue, while the X-Men’s current status plays into the plot’s setup as well as helping to dress up the issue’s main themes about power, and at what line does it make you a monster. This is included here in the most overt way possible, but it adds to the book’s schlocky charm. It promises a fun mystery with an even greater reveal that I won’t spoil here, but works really well as a grand callback to the days of old. However, in Marvel’s own crowded line of mutants and monsters, this book isn’t doing much to stand out or present a level of artistry that would ensure it as an immediate recommend, which most definitely falls into line with it’s trashy action/horror design.
Overall, this issue is just a plain ol' action-horror romp that plays well with Marvel history and genre tropes to craft a fine, inoffensive story sure to tickle the fancy of genre fans. The team has a strong understanding as to how a story like this needs to be devised, keeping the narrative fixed, tight, and true to the voices of every character.
X-Men: Unforgiven #1:Cure for Pain
- Writing - 7.5/107.5/10
- Storyline - 7.5/107.5/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10