Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review # 74: "Necrosha"

"Necrosha" is an underrated story that is a victim of bad timing. Resurrected by former Hellfire Club Black Queen Selene using a corrupting techno-organing virus, friend and foe alike are brought back from beyond the grave to attack the X-Men on Utopia. Selene, meanwhile, readies to feed on the souls of millions of dead mutants massacred on the island nation of Genosha years prior, which would transform her into a God. It's a violent, vile, gripping tale with two very well done parallel stories and a complex backdrop that touches on decades worth of material.

Too bad it was beaten to the shelf by DC's "Blackest Night" by four months.

You have to feel for Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost. They had been building this story in the pages of New X-Men AND X-Force for years, and the final product just got its ass kicked when it came to notoriety. While "Blackest Night" has its critics (many rightfully point out its similarity to the "Sinestro Corps War" which had just happened,) "Necrosha" didn't have a hope in hell of matching up on the newsstands. DC's heroes were fighting zombified versions of Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Hawkman and Hawkgirl (and eventually even bigger names than those.) Because so many characters just don't stay dead in Marvel, the best Kyle and Yost could muster that are remotely recognizable to most people were Banshee and Pyro. That's it.

But if you're into the history of the X-Men and are familiar with the likes of Risque, Shinobi Shaw, Harry Leland or the Hellions, "Necrosha" is an excellent read. It touches on a lot of past work, bringing back characters long missing (and still living) in brilliant fashion. The backstories detailing Selene's recruitment process are included, and man are they good. The additions of Dazzler's sister Mortis and former New X-Man Wither in particular.

Selene's quest is mainly contained to the pages of X-Force, however the two included sidestories are definitely worth your time. Adding to the "The Gang's All Here" *cough*exceptWolfsbane*cough* mentality of the "New Mutants" relaunch, Cypher is brought back from the dead. His attack on Magma is vicious, though the highlight is the reworking of his abilities to now read everything as language. There's a great scene near the top where he sees his former teammates meeting with Charles Xavier. Their words do not mesh with their meaning, which Cypher points out person-by-person. Doug Ramsey has never been this cool, and it makes his return surprisingly welcome.

(Though the fact that he appears to have aged along with his teammates despite the fact he's been dead for years is kind of weird.)

The other sidestory follows Rogue in "X-Men Legacy" as Blindfold unwittingly leads a team into a trap on Muir Island laid unintentionally by the resurrected Destiny who brought back someone else with her. We are talking the major return of a one-hit wonder. Mike Carey is able to take full advantage of what the X-franchise had to work with by putting together an incredible mishmash mutant team. You have Nightcrawler leading a squad of Colossus, Psylocke, Blindfold, Trance, Husk, Rogue and..... Magneto because SEXUAL TENSION. Erik - who had been a wee bit understated in other series as he tried to earn Cyclops' trust - is pure badass here. He has a great scene in an included epilogue that follows Rogue around Utopia. Gambit is in that one too because SEXUAL TENSION.

In all, this is a great set. It's three really good stories for the price of.... well, two. It's not that cheap. You can buy the X-Force and New Mutants segments on their own, but I highly recommend getting the whole shebang. It's worth it.

Rating: 8.5/10

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