The first thing that I had to get over, before I even started reading this comic, was this one chick's costume. Can you tell which one? It's the one on the bottom left of the cover. What the hell is that on her? Is that a giant pastie? It would have to be, otherwise how would it stay on? What the hell is the point of that? Why wear a shirt at all? Why go to that kind of trouble to get dressed?
Thankfully, one of this issue's characters speaks for me within the story, and I felt much better. It turns out that she, this Shi-ar Warrior Woman, is kinda hilarious within the story. She's sort of like a robot of force--she has no feeling, empathy, or ability to think things through beyone maiming and killing. So she seems to be messing things up for our other heroes, repeatedly, and yet she finds them to be tiresome and whiny. It's kind of a funny conflict. Not enought to make a story out of, but a solid subplot, an entertaining piece of texture.
So let me get to that story. What IS this story about, this story that has this funny piece of texture?
I don't know.
The X-Men figure something out. And they go to fight the evil of this thing they have figured out. But when they get there, their minds are taken over by weird purple electricity. Which is sort of the cliff hanger...
The bigger issue in this issue is the man love. I mean, not to me. To me it's not really "an issue". But I'm guessing it is the first time in a super hero comic book that we have an openly gay super hero in love with another man and proposing to him.
As an aside, I must let you know that growing up in the culture of dance and musical theatre, I was around gay men (and perhaps women) a lot. Many who were some of my greatest teachers, who helped me move along my path and were full of encouragement. I have never, ever, ever, ever had a problem with men loving other men or being sexual with them. It didn't occur to me. But I know, as a country, we've had a big problem with accepting homosexuality and that we are at a critical and wondeful new place - especially with the President of the United States embracing gay marriage. So, yes. I see the significance of this story line.
I actually found it a drag. Seriously, I mean, at some point in our lives we've all had one of those kind of "fights" with someone we love. And in this case it's this highly emotional, personal fight between two people, loving each other, and yet not seeing each other, and then disapproving of each other. Yuck yuck yuck. I don't like relationship drama in real life, and when it's the kind that's not really forwarding the plot (like a bad song in a bad musical), I don't wanna read about it.
Yes, their relationship plays into the story because, Northstar is completely preoccupied with his relationship drama, and this makes him late to the big event that the X-men are dealing with. By being late, two things happen - one, he sees that they've been, um, possessed or whatever. And two, his boyfriend, Kyle, is kidnapped by the bad guys and used as bait to capture Northstar.
But see, you still didn't have to write THAT fight to have us understand that they love each other and want to be together. I don't have any better ideas, honestly. I just got really UNINTERESTED by the subject matter of their fight. I can understand that the people behind this comic want it to be a big deal, and I guess it is, in a Guinness Book of Records sort of way, but I can't really imagine anyone remembering it very fondly--it isn't very Notebook-y, if that means anything to you.
Other than that, though, I did find myself immediately drawn into reading this comic, and I read it cover to cover very quickly. The art is kinda weird. The Kyle and Northstar parts seem like they were drawn by one person, and the rest of the comic was drawn by another. Is that just me, or does it seem like that to other people, too? Other than that, the art seemed to generally tell the story well, except....what's with the purple electricity? Is it related to the big Blob-Skreeeeee-thing from BPRD? Seriously. Don't do this to me again.
-Nina Stone, 2012