X-Men: Messiah Complex One Shot


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X-Men: Messiah Complex One Shot


  • Words: Ed Brubaker
  • Art: Marc Silvestri w/ Sheldon Mitchell
  • Inks: Joe Weems w/ Marco Galli
  • Colors: Frank D'Armata
  • Story Title: Messiah Complex, Chapter One
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Oct 31, 2007

So this is it, huh?  The big payoff from the utterly ridiculous, glorified What If…? that was House and the intriguing but exponentially melodramatic Species.  Yikes.  Well, I suppose it always takes a crossover to remind us why crossovers suck.

To be honest, I was aching for an X-event.  I missed those cheesy weekly serializations of yesteryear a la X-ecutioner’s Song and X-tinction Event, and lo, here it be again, nothing but X-books, one per week, for three months, the only real change being that the forced “X” in the storyline’s title came at the end rather than the front (Messiah Comple-X, which isn’t forced, but just forced into being focused upon, so that it can qualify as an X-crossover title).  So I was ready for this, especially as it was being orchestrated by writers Brubaker, Carey, David, Kyle, and Yost, especially especially as all the X-books seemed to be building up into something extraordinary, the \\\\\\"\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\"storylines of each title too random and odd on \\\\\\'\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\' their own.  Surely all the meandering meant something.  Surely it was all meticulously planned.

Unfortunately, that just didn’t prove to be the case.  Not only are all the previous X-stories of the past year not terribly relevant to Messiah Complex, but they tend not to fit with its basic premise in the least.  To wit: a baby has been born, a mutant baby whose powers are so potent, that its birth alone nearly overloads Cerebra and brings the X-Men, the Marauders, and the Purifiers all running to claim the infant first.  So a prized item with multiple parties fighting over it.  Tale as old as time.  That’s the big “event.”  Yawn.

Not only does it not make sense that a baby would be born with its mutant powers all aglow, right from the offset, but it makes even less sense that not one single character in the comic questions this.  Sure, a rare mutant offspring has developed their powers early on before (Cable as a tot, Franklin Richards), but it’s entirely unclear as to why this particular child’s birth has any meaning, or why it isn't considered an incredibly odd circumstance.  The entire issue is obsessed with proclaiming that the child is, indeed, super-duper important, but as none of the characters announcing this have any idea who or what the child is, it’s difficult to follow the logic behind it.  The bad guys may have reasons to know this, but why the X-Men and Professor X are chomping at the bit is a complete head-scratcher.  A new mutant birth is cause for celebration, but only because it means there’ll likely be more, not because this single child should hold any necessary import.

The execution of the story is then textbook old-school crap crossover banter with big shocking event that just happens to occur right when it needs to for heroes to notice it, a lot of posturing, of lot of proclaiming that this story is H-U-G-E, a lot of melodrama when confronted with a tragedy that utterly pales in comparison to the tragedies witnessed throughout just the last two years of X-Men stories by Brubaker and Carey, and then that’s \\\\\\"\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\" about it.

Superstar Marc Silvestri turns in a highly disappointing package as well.  His style is simply too stiff, too overwrought; it belongs to a different era.  Even with Sheldon Mitchell on “Background Assists,” the final product looks like a low-budget indie with big-budget, flat-\\\\\\'\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\' as-hell but -- hey, look, shiny! -- colors.

All in all a very disappointing start to this next big thing of X-dom.  There’s a lot more to come, and plenty of time for the story to make sense of itself, but the nuisance of this opening one shot is that writer Brubaker doesn’t treat the story as though it’s going to utilize its length to establish its intentions.  Instead, like a weird hybrid of infomercial and entertainment, the book waxes instructive on the reasons why it’s so awesome, so dramatic, so important, so necessary for you, yes, YOU to own and read this comic and follow the story into next week NOW.  Do not hesitate, because this incredible offer ends in only thirteen weeks, and just look at what you’d be missing!

Twenty-two pages later, and I was honestly not giving a good god &$^#.

And don’t get me started on why, yet again, following in the footsteps of One More Day, Marvel has published a regular-sized story that costs readers a whole buck extra to purchase.  Which is a rip-off, especially given that the book’s contents are far poorer than any other $2.99 mag out this week.

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