NYX #3 Review

Reviewer: Chris Delloiacono
Story Title: Wannabe: Part 3

Written by: Joe Quesada
Art by: Joshua Middleton
Colored by: Beaulieu and Joshua Middleton
Lettered by: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: C.B.Cebulski
Publisher: Marvel Comics

“Could this new face be related to a certain member of Marvel’s merriest band of mutants?”

— Marvel’s Solicitation copy for NYX #3

Who is X-23?

The first thing I noticed when I opened NYX #3, was the very mysterious line, “X-23 Created by Craig Kyle.” Who the hell is X-23; and why haven’t I heard of Craig Kyle? By doing some research, I quickly found that Mr. Kyle was a writer for the animated series X-Men: Evolution. Simple enough. In X-Men: Evolution, X-23 is a clone of Wolverine, and the most recent Weapon X. X-23 has only appeared in the cartoon, that is until NYX #3.

Art imitating art…

I made a similar point in my review of Spectacular Spider-Man this week. In that book Doctor Octopus seems to have stepped from the Ultimate Universe, or more so the Marvel film scene, to attack everyone’s favorite wall-crawler. NYX, so far, has maintained its distance from the Marvel Universe. Especially considering it deals with mutants, and doesn’t involve a certain bald professor, and his school. Now it seems this potentially interesting concept from X-Men: Evolution could make NYX a very important part of the Marvel Universe.

Thus far, NYX has surprised me. I wasn’t planning on reading this book, but my girlfriend picked up the first two issues, so I felt compelled to read free comics—nothing better in the world than free comics, or free food. I found the artwork by Joshua Middleton nothing short of amazing. The story, while a bit plodding, is a far cry from the majority of Marvel’s mutant related books, which is a very good thing in my estimation.

This is one screwed up kid…

Time jumps have been a big part of the narrative thus far. Kiden Nixon saw her daddy, a NYC Police Officer, gunned down as a child. Her mom took care of her, but wasn’t exactly a sitcom-mom. Kiden has her problems in school, and while dealing with a bully, some interesting mutant powers manifest from the dormant stage. It seems she can stop time, and she does so quite well. During the process of one of her “stops,” a teacher that has done right for her, is shot and nearly dies. Six months later, Kiden has been living on the streets, and she finally shows up at her former teacher’s (Cameron Palmer) apartment to find her near death, with sliced wrists.

That leads us to this month’s issue, which is the dual story of Kiden, and the new character X-23, who is never mentioned by name within the actual story. Cameron survived is out of the hospital, and Kiden is living with her. Kiden refuses to go home to her mother, and conflict is forming between the two females. While this is going on, we see the story of X-23’s career of prostitution unfolding, included some nifty blade work on her johns.

Quesada builds one of the more disturbing scenes I’ve seen depicted in a comic in some time, as Kiden is drawn to the scene of a crime that occurs with X-23 and a john. How she’s drawn in you’ll have to see for yourself, but it’s the deeply disturbing portion. What Kiden finds when she gets to the hotel room is perfect last-page shocker, and should lead to an interesting story next month.

Where do we go from here?

To be honest, at this point, I really don’t have a handle on what Joe Quesada is doing with NYX. He’s telling a haunting tale of what can happen to youth in a big city. Quesada’s story shows flashes of brilliance, but the artwork by Joshua Middleton is, at least thus, stealing the show. This title could be a must read, or bottom-of-the-bird-cage material. It won’t really be obvious for a few more months.