Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews

New X-Men #44
Marvel Comics
Kyle, Yost & Ramos

Part Four of the Messiah Complex gives the kids of the X-Men universe the forefront. They are last generation of mutants, if you will. I was curious about this title from the beginning because I had been following New X-Men prior to Messiah Complex and I wanted to see if the title would remain true to its roots now that it is involved in a major crossover. While, I can’t say I liked this issue the best among the Messiah Complex so far, I’d say it was still a major hit with me.

We start off the issue with my favorite segment: Predator X. He finds a mutant in the forest starting a campfire with his fire breath and eats him like a lion lapping up the mess that had been an antelope prancing in the plains of the Serengeti. It was pretty cool.

From there, we focus on the New X-Men. They are still bitter about Cyclops keeping them on the sidelines. Nori, stays in her leadership role and tries to convince the others to enter the action with or without Cyclops blessing. Xavier enters and offers some advice. Nori makes a case for her involvement by screaming like a child. It’s a nice mix of leadership and child-like temper tantrums.

X-Factor left us with Madrox in a coma at Forge’s pad. Forge and Cyclops discuss their options. This is key because this is really the only page that Cyclops appears on, and yet, he is mentioned throughout the book. His presence is felt all over the place and it’s a heavy, looming feeling. It happens to be one of the best elements of this book in my opinion.

Nori, at the mansion, takes a roll call of who wants to invade the Purifiers and kill as many as possible in hopes of rescuing the baby. Getting some revenge in the process too, of course. Some are in, some are out – all choices mapped to the characters as you might expect if you are familiar with some of the characters already.

Team Logan heads towards Antarctica. Their goal is to bust in on the Marauders. While, Rictor, incognito, is finding out just how powerful the Purifiers are he discovers they don’t have the missing infant.

In the future, the dupe of Madrox and Layla figure out in their timeline that mutants are living in concentration camps.

Everything comes to a head as the New X-Men invade the Purifiers, run into Rictor and a whole lot of trouble. All this, while Logan and company barge in on the Sinister and the Marauders.

I get the sense the X-Men are about to get crushed in this round on all fronts. Did I mention it appears Hellion is dead as well?

I really enjoyed this issue. I was glad to see invasions, but there wasn’t a ton of action, which was a minor disappointment. While there was only mild character developments, but I did enjoy Cyclops’s shadow throughout the issue. I was also pleased to see an issue with all the major groups to some extent.

The art, while not a style I usually warm up to, blends nicely with the New X-Men kids. The few battles we do see are a visual treat. A lot of action is packed onto the pages, filling them up nicely.

This story has tons of potential directions and we haven’t even really touched the story about the infant. I know this story promises to re-shape the X-Universe, but I am not expecting character after character to die, so even though Hellion appears to be dead, I would be surprised if the is in fact dead.

Based on the solicitations and the cover for the next installment in the Messiah Complex I would suspect Nightcrawler is in for some trouble. Given a choice, I would rather Hellion be dead than Nightcrawler get off-ed in the next issue.

Anyway, I felt this issue moved everything along at a great pace. We have four parts of the thirteen behind us so far and I feel the story is further along than I’d expected. All that and I still think someone who has not followed this story at all can pick up this copy and follow along nicely.

A great issue, but still some room for improvement in the action and character development departments.

4 out of 5 geek goggles.