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Dark X-Men: The Beginning #1: Review

Jul 2009
?, ?

Story Name:

(multiple stories)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Dark X-Men: The Beginning #1 Review by (October 17, 2017)
According to the Marvel Chronology Project the contents of this 3-issue miniseries don't happen in the order presented. Norman Osborn does do his recruiting in a block between X-Men Legacy #225 where he abducts Prof X and the start of the Utopia crossover:-
#1/2 Mimic
#1/3 Dark Beast
#2/2 Weapon Omega
#3/2 Mystique
#3/3 Aurora
#2/3 Daken
#2/1 Cloak & Dagger
The Sub-Mariner stuff in #1/1 and #3/1 occurs later within Utopia between Uncanny XM #514 and Dark Avengers #8.

Osborn doesn't know that Namor and Emma Frost used to be lovers (as revealed in UXM Annual (2009)), nor that they've been conspiring since that issue against the Cabal. They'll emerge into open revolt during the Utopia story arc.

Magneto and Prof X both thought Sub-Mariner was a mutant in X-Men #6. Early issues of the 1990 Namor the Sub-Mariner series cover-bannered him as a mutant. The Skrulls detected it in Illuminati #1. But as far as I know the Utopia crossover is the 1st time Namor has acknowledged it.

Mimic's apps have been fairly sparse. After his time with Excalibur he joined 1 of the versions of the Brotherhood of Mutants fighting for mutant rights, which ended in UXM#379 where the team lost their powers (temporarily) to the High Evolutionary. Then his last app was Thunderbolts #103 as part of the army Zemo was building during Civil War.

Dark Beast worked for Apocalypse in the alternate timeline where Apocalypse ruled America. He escaped the end of that universe by travelling back in time to before it diverged from the main Marvel timeline (Earth 616), where he's been retconned as behind some earlier events such as the Mutant Massacre. Later he impersonated our Beast, and later still played major roles in stuff like the Onslaught saga. But now Osborn has caught him at a low point.

He was last seen in several of the Endangered Species backup tales in lots of the X-titles describing the good Beast's search for a cure for No More Mutants problem.

Michael Pointer will be covered next issue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Dark X-Men: The Beginning #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue contains 3 stories.

Story 1:- Namor/Norman

Script: Paul Cornell, Pencils Leonard Kirk, Inks Jay Leisten, Colours Brian Reber

Norman Osborn and Victoria Hand discuss Sub-Mariner who has just (Dark Avengers #7) head-butted Sunspot during a fight between X-Men and Dark X-Men. Norman is more worried whether Namor is planning any retaliation over Sentry killing Atlantean terrorists (DAv#6), but Hand says the bugs they've planted indicate he's ignoring it. (The successful anti-terrorist operation in DAv#6 persuaded the President to let NO go ahead with his solution to the "mutant situation", ie the Dark X-Men he's recruiting in this series.)

Osborn decides to venture into the lion's den/shower (possibly more for Subby to renew his contact with water than to get clean). He reminds Namor (and us) that he virtually supported the terrorists in DAv#6 and effectively quit Osborn's Cabal. But now he's let Emma Frost recruit him for the Dark X-Men (Uncanny XM #513). And apparently Sub-Mariner is a mutant.

Norman wonders what's going on in Namor's head. He empathises because they've both evolved from villain (Green Goblin in NO's case) to hero (he claims). And now on top of dealing with that duality Subby has to choose between Atlantean and mutant. He believes that Namor has chosen to defend mutants as a member of Osborn's X-Men, and that he is now willing to follow Norman's orders. Namor doesn't exactly deny it.

We see an image of the Dark X-Men. As well as Subby and Emma Frost (symbolically in black rather than her usual white, and in the Dark X-Men she's called the Black Queen instead of the White) there's Wolverine's son Daken, Cloak & Dagger, Prof X (not really), Mimic and Weapon Omega.

Story 2:- Mimic

Script: James Asmus, Pencils Jesse Delperdang, Inks Andy Lanning & Jesse Delperdang, Colours Rain Beredo

Mimic (Calvin Rankin) provides a voiceover for most of this tale. He claims to have been dead and buried but recovered several times. (But I only remember 1 instance where he was 'killed' in Hulk #161 and revived by Wolverine in Marvel Comics Presents  #56-60.) He also recalls having his memories erased by Prof X (after his 1st appearance in XM#19). It reveals here that while he was with Excalibur (#122-125) Dr Moira MacTaggert diagnosed him as bipolar for which he now takes meds.

We are reminded of his power to mimic the superpowers of people near him (but long exposure means he now permanently has the powers of the 5 original X-Men). Gaining a power that he doesn't know how to control has sometimes led to him injuring people, so he tries to lead a solitary life.

It turns out he's been speaking to Osborn who says he's perfect for his new team.

Story 3:- Dark Beast

Script: Shane McCarthy, Pencils & inks Ibraim Roberson, Colours Matt Milla

Iron Patriot (Norman Osborn) has located Dark Beast using a run-down shack as his laboratory, experimenting on a young girl whose rich uncle traded her for a cure for his terminal illness. Beast had tried to induce a mutation in her but she died.

Osborn wants DB to help him control the mutant population. As a refugee from an alternate timeline (Age of Apocalypse) *this* Hank McCoy isn't concerned about the mutant threat to the USA, and anyway *he*'s a mutant. But the amoral scientist perks up when Norman asks him to experiment on a mutant, Michael Pointer, whose superpower Norman needs to be modified.

McCoy is ready to agree but he can't resist 1st needling Osborn about how he turned himself into the superhuman Green Goblin. And how he's now suppressing that side of himself. But Norman counters that Beast indulging his own dark side has only led to this decrepit lab, whilst *he* is in a position of power and authority ... 1 where he can offer Beast the best of facilities.

McCoy will also be allowed to pursue his own experiments as long as he's discreet. (The same deal Osborn gave to all the villains who now work for him pretending to be heroes in the Initiative.) Dark Beast accepts.

Jae Lee (Cover Penciler)
Jae Lee (Cover Inker)
June Chung (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Rob Steen.
Editor: Nick Lowe.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Patriot
Iron Patriot

(Norman Osborn)

Plus: Dark Beast, Victoria Hand.

> Dark X-Men: The Beginning: Book info and issue index

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