Graphic Novel Review: Marvel Knights: X-Men – Haunted

11:18 19 June 2014

Marvel Knights X-Men: Haunted

Marvel Knights X-Men: Haunted

Archant

Indie creator offers a nostalgic take on the X-Men

(Panini Books)

The premise of the MK imprint appears to be to offer independent creators the chance to play in the Marvel sandbox with few concerns about existing continuity, although it might be argued that it’s actually a format devised to provide this opportunity, rather than exploit it.

Whereas the recent Marvel Knights Spider-Man book was an exercise in psychotropic surrealism (reviewed here), the X-Men’s contribution is actually something of a nostalgia trip back to the golden days of the Chris Claremont era, despite references to recent developments in mutant continuity.

Written and illustrated by Brahm Revel, creator of Guerrillas, an unusual book about specially-trained chimpanzee soldiers, it’s a much more straight-forward story than its staple-mate, and is stronger as a result.

On the hunt for two new mutants detected in a backwoods town in Western Virginia, Wolverine, Kitty Pryde and Rogue encounter bigotry, exploitation and a weird mutant-worshipping cult, and that’s only scratching the surface.

One of their mutant targets can bring people’s memories to life, which is controllable when she’s in the vicinity of a bunch of hicks, but much harder when she has the recollections of the X-Men to keep in check.

Cue cameo appearances from a wealth of guest stars, including the likes of Sabretooth, Juggernaut and Nightcrawler, plucked out of the mutants’ memories and given life of their own. And because Revel is celebrating a particular point in the characters’ history, the costumes and personalities of these characters seem to be plucked from the 1980s and 1990s, which works to differentiate them from their real-life contemporary counterparts.

Throw in a corrupt sheriff, a sect of mutant-obsessed survivalists, and personal problems within the ranks of the X-Men themselves, and as the chaos starts to build it’s not a question of if this powder-keg will explode, just a matter of when.

The sketchy, thick black lines of the artwork give the story a frantic and claustrophobic feel, and the focus remains strongly on Revel’s narrative rather than becoming a visual who’s who of mutant characters.

Usually these sort of series are little more than a throwaway exercise in bleeding more money out of a successful franchise, but MK: X-Men is just the opposite, instead telling an engrossing and character-rich X-Men story which should have had a place in the main title, rather than hidden away in the fringes. Revel’s grasp on the team is first-rate, and certainly stronger than current writer Brian Michael Bendis, so the sooner he is given a permanent X-book of his own the better.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hunts Post visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hunts Post staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hunts Post account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

Cheetahs at Hamerton Zoo Park

Hamerton Zoo Park has issued a warning to visitors, after a member of the public climbed a barrier to get closer to the cheetah enclosure.

10:30
Medway Centre, in Huntingdon.

After years of negotiations, Huntingdon Town Council has voted to agree a deal between the authority and Huntingdonshire District Council for the exchange of buildings that will allow for redevelopment of key sites.

Dr Nik Johnson has announced he will stand for the role of mayor of the devolved authority for Cambridgeshire.

A doctor from Hinchingbrooke Hospital has announced his candidacy for the newly created position of mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Firefighters rescued a dog that was stuck in a rabbit warren in St Neots

Reports of people calling the emergency services to help animals are increasing, according to figures from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Get your skates on this winter and enjoy one of the UK's most stylish open-air ice rinks nestled amongst the trees in Parkers Piece Park in the heart of Cambridge

Set in the heart of vibrant Cambridge, The North Pole Cambridge Ice Rink is back throughout the festive season; come and join us as we open from the 18th November through to 4th January.

Read more

Most read stories

Local business directory

Cambridgeshire's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hunts Post e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up