This week, Zombie Watch returns, with a whole new dimension!
When I first read of the X-Necrosha crossover in the solicitations three months ago, I was unimpressed. Now you know I love a good zombie as much as the next man, but I saw this X-crossover as simply a competitor to the Blackest Night, little more than a cheap marketing ploy. As if Marvel Zombies was enough. And let’s not get started about the eventually arriving Marvel Zombie Apes, or is that Marvel Ape-Zombies?
I could not of been more wrong. Forgetting that X-Necrosha was in my pile, I read New Mutants #6 first, as next to the Titans, the New Mutants have been my longstanding favourite team. I was also pumped to see the return of Doug Ramsey (Cypher), a character whose return has been dangled in front of us for years, such as the creation of Douglock, who it transpired was Warlock himself, but initially only having access to Doug’s memories.
I was not disappointed at all. Although Doug did cave in the skull of fellow New Mutant Magma on the direction of Selene, what really shone was the use of Cyphers gift of translation. Beneath every speech bubble that Cypher heard was his own interpretation of what was being said, which makes this issue an excellent jumping on point for new readers. The politics between the members is illustrated nicely, and there were a few points that really made me laugh. Take this interpretation of one of Dani Moonstars statements: “It is important that you see me speak for our team. I need you to know I still matter.” Beautiful! With just a few narration boxes, we can see how much some of the Mutants have changed, and how some still cling to their teenage insecurities.
So, I went back and read X-Necrosha #1, and I loved it. These are not your average zombies, but the bodies of many of the mutants dearly departed, reanimated by the technovirus. The original personalities and memories remain intact, but I doubt the question of their souls will even be raised. As I understand it, these are new beings, simply with the memories of the originals, which if they survive this storyline should lead to yet more heart-wrenching drama. In the meantime, they are under Selene’s domination, but carrying their own personalities, many are champing at the bit.
For the first time to my knowledge, the origin and nature of the Black Queen Selene is explored with some detail, and I believe it is worth the wait. I have never really taken her seriously in the past, even her exploits in Nova Roma (Magma’s hometown) never made her appear to be more than a throwaway villain. The long forgotten classification of External (immortal mutants), of which Selene is the sole known survivor is not even touched upon, but is implicit throughout the story.
Another return I fondly welcomed was that of the original Hellions, Emma Frost’s students from the now destroyed Massachusetts Academy. As these students come face to face with Emma, the horror aspect of this is revealed, although I am grateful to say it is not overplayed. These beings make the Black Ring Bearers seem quite two-dimensional in comparison.
Oh, and Destiny is back. You can’t miss this.