x35's New X-Men #149 - Phoenix in Darkness review

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  • x35 has written a total of 163 reviews. The last one was for TPB

I am your inner star, Erik.

AF Reviews: X-Men

Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutants falls apart and an unusual team of X-Men emerge ready to fight him at any cost. But Magneto's abuse of drugs to enhance his powers is taking it's toil and he's slipping, becoming wreckless and hearing voices.

This one is a story about Beak. Beak is a character Grant Morrison created at the start of his run and for some reason a lot of people hate, despite the fact he's probably one of the most valid X-Men characters of the last decade or so. Beak, a member of Magneto's Brotherhood, revolts and refuses to obey Magneto comparing him to Hitler and stuff of that ilk. Magneto gets angry and Beak's defiance and beats him, much to the distress of Angel. Growing tired of his Brotherhood's attitude, he decides to have Beak killed alongside the rest of human population of New York. After Beak is beaten and taken away, which leads Angel and their kids to run from Magneto's side, Basilisk makes a bad joke and Magneto responds by using his powers to shut him up and accidentally kills him.

Beak lies in an alleyway somewhere, beaten badly, and cries for help. A woman approaches him and is about to offer a hand when Beak exclaims "Xavier school..." to which the stranger spits on him and proclaims "Magneto rules". Beak's luck changes when he is found by the Three-in-One who bring him to a safehouse where he meets a small team of surviving X-Men (Cyclops, Dust, Fantomex and the Three-in-One) and shares what he knows about Magneto and his plans. Cyclops takes the lead and the team of undertrained and unequipped X-Men band together to go and stop Magneto, no matter what it takes.

Magneto on the other hand, continues to regularly abuse Kick, and when Esme tells him to lay off it for a bit, Magneto lashes out and belittles her. Esme realizes that Magneto cares not for her in anyway and was just using her as a means to an end and abandons him. With Esme gone, Magneto is along and begins to hear voices in his head - the apparent voice of Xorn - which is trying to convince him what he's doing is wrong. As Magneto checks in on Xavier to make sure it's not his doing, he is confronted by Ernst who proclaims "Nobody likes you. You're boring and old-fashioned". As this is going on Xavier awakens, contacted by Jean.

Magneto hits Beak

This is another great issue, this time focusing on Beak. Throughout Beak is just portrayed as someone completely worthy of an X-Men jacket. Beak is metaphorically and literally beaten down to almost nothing, lying in a gutter and spat on by passers-by, but he doesn't waver in his belief that Magneto is wrong and Xavier is right. This of course pays off when the X-Men find him and Beak, in many ways, becomes the heart and soul of the loose-knit group. As a character, it really feels satisfying to see Beak stand up to Magneto and so adamantly go against the grain even though he knows he isn't in anyway capable of defending himself. Beak is just a great character for this, he's not the cool X-Men member nor is he a powerful X-Men member, he's just a normal guy with an unfortunate mutation. You don't need to be Storm or Wolverine to be an X-Man, and Grant Morrison got that as he displayed here perfectly with Beak.

Magneto's tremendous characterisation continues with him as much as losing all his Brotherhood here because, as I said in the last review, as much as Magneto wants to think of himself as the savior of his race and all that stuff, he is not a nice person. Which is only magnified (hey hey an almost pun) by the drugs he's taking. Basically every line Magneto has in this issue is perfect and his flippant attitude and lack of care for the death of Basilisk again just solidifies the fact, despite his claims, Magneto believes himself superior to not just humanity, but mutants too.

Fantastic issue with some great build-up to the final part of the story and some awesome Beak moments and, I haven't mentioned already, some cool Cyclops taking charge moments. As with most of Planet X, a lot of great stuff going on in this issue and it's just such a stellar display of story-telling mixing brilliant characterisation with exciting tension and some really perfect X-Men moments.


Other reviews for New X-Men #149 - Phoenix in Darkness

    Magneto--- VERY cold hearted! 0

    Okay this is when New X-men gets way toooooooo emotional for me! Okay Xorn is REALLY Magneto and he along with other former new x-men members on his team are ready to battle the x-men..... yeah right! HE wants to work alone, leading him to kill Basilisk (poor kid) and soon ambitious Esme who wanted to work with him (MAN that pisses me off she was like on his side!)anyways the issue is just full of deaths and just Magneto going WAY too low! Well the X-men soon come to battle.......This issue was ...

    1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

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