Tuesday, September 20, 2011

X-MEN: LIBERATORS#3 - January 1999

A Game of Hide and Seek!

Credits: Joseph Harris (writer), Phil Jimenez (breakdowns), Keith Aiken & John Stokes (finishes), Shannon Blanchard (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters)

Summary: Colossus discovers that his former neighbor, Ariana, hates him because he grew up in peace with his mutant siblings, while her son Nikolas was taken away as an infant. They’re soon confronted by Omega Red, who’s hunting Ariana’s son, the missing mutant from Province 13. When Nikolas appears, Omega Red throws him and Colossus down a mountain. Meanwhile, Wolverine slowly recovers from Nokolas’ death-touch. Nightcrawler follows him to Province 13, and encounters some of the children living there. When Sergei receives word that Province 13 is closing down, he orders Wolverine buried in the woods.

Review: Some of the threads are coming together (although I’d still like to know why Omega Red was in the Savage Land), and it seems as if this mini is shaping up fairly well. Ariana had a memorable debut last issue, and while it’s predictable that she would be revealed as the missing mutant’s mother, Harris handles the flashbacks to Nikolas’ birth well, and makes her resentment of the Rasputins feel real. From a continuity purist’s point of view, it is a little unusual that three mutants would be born to the same mother, so the revelation that nuclear testing caused many of the kids in Colossus’ collective to be born mutants makes sense.

Three issues in to the mini, I’m still not sure what purpose the blonde girl with telepathic powers is meant to serve, but for some reason Harris feels the need to establish that she’s likely the only mutant still living at Province 13. (Apparently, the government just takes kids indiscriminately from this area, although I’m still not sure why the Rasputins were allowed to grow up at home.) Eh, maybe he’s going somewhere with this.

Nightcrawler’s scenes this issue emphasize the parallels between Xavier’s school and Province 13, stressing how lucky Nightcrawler was to be trained by a benevolent teacher, as opposed to a cold-hearted government agency. Of course, he only thought Xavier was a nice guy at this point. He didn’t know about the mental manipulation, enslaved alien entities, and secret dead X-Men from the past. Because, you know, those stories that played on old continuity just made perfect sense, as opposed to this ‘90s silliness.

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