X-Men #174

Title: Election Day
Published by: Marvel Comics

Writer: Peter Milligan
Penciler: Salvador Larroca
Inker: Danny Miki w/ Allen Martinez
Colorist: Avalon’s Matt Milla
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Assistant Editor: Sean Ryan
Editor: Mike Marts
Publisher: Dan Buckley

There is a catch-all in X-Men lore that many writers fall into. Historically, the X-Men have eventually accepted every villain they have ever fought as a member of their team. This goes all the way from someone like Banshee to the big biggida bad Magneto. It is just the nature of the beast that characters fighting for equality may see themselves on the same side as those they normally fight against.

Milligan found his – and it’s Mystique.

With last issue, Milligan did his best to address Mystique as maybe not a truly sympathetic figure, but as one which we might accept on our X-Team. This issue he tries to solidify that by showing the vote as to whether Raven Darkholm, the blood mother of Nightcrawler, and the foster-like mother of Rogue, is worth joining the X-Men. (Note: The factual error in this paragraph has been fixed, thank you to the readers who pointed it out.)

(Even though she’s worked WITH the X-Men quite a bit in the past, but shhhh…)

STORY!

The big teaser at the end of the last book was Rogue asking Mystique point blank if she had slept with Gambit. You see, Mystique changes shape, so first she tried seducing Remy as a new sexed-up mutant, and when that didn’t work… she tried as Mystique. When THAT didn’t work, she tried as Rogue.

For the record, I would have slept with her, but only if she would turn into Estelle Getty.

Anyway, out of sheer frustration, Rogue finally grabs Mystique for the ‘soul sucking brain drain’ that Rogue does and finds out squat. She then storms through Gambit’s place and tries to find out. Gambit denies it, but wouldn’t you? So the rest of the issue is the build-up to the vote of whether Mystique stays or goes.

The ending involves an interesting point about Raven’s other child, and a mysterious man by the name of Augustus. Does she stay, does she go? BUY THE DAMN ISSUE, CHEAPSKATE!

I will be honest, this is by far the best issue of Milligan’s run. Maybe it is because it involves characters I care about. Possibly because it is a single point driven story, with a bit of fluffy filler in the middle. I don’t know, but it is in fact the best thing he’s given us for the children of the atom. But he still can’t write Iceman without making him sound like a whiny bitch.

Art!

The art improved this issue somehow. The last few issues had me a bit bored, as each of the characters looked stiff, and even the fight sequences seemed to be called-in. This issue seemed to flesh out all of those things though. Go them! I like to see things improve.

I will even go so far as to say that this book had great art. Since the story primarily dealt with a very stationary topic (voting isn’t all that exciting), I had no problem believing that these characters were animated.

Overall!

Remember I said that this was the best Milligan has given us so far? Yeah, I meant it. The problem is, it’s still kind of average. It developed some character relationships, but at the end Mystique comments that she has left a wound in Gambit and Rogue’s relationship that will fester… err… you mean the same two characters that have been on permanent ‘dating stasis’ since Magneto’s name was Joseph? SLOPPY!

Either way, it’s an average book, with some examples of above average art. It’s still more enjoyable than Austen.

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