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Dark X-Men: The Beginning #3: Review

Aug 2009
?, ?

Story Name:

(multiple stories)

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Dark X-Men: The Beginning #3 Review by (October 17, 2017)
Again I remind you that the stories in this series occur in the 'wrong' order. The main sequence is Norman Osborn's recruiting drive before the Utopia crossover:-
#1/2 Mimic
#1/3 Dark Beast
#2/2 Weapon Omega
#3/2 Mystique
#3/3 Aurora
#2/3 Daken
#2/1 Cloak & Dagger
The Sub-Mariner tale here in #3/1 follows his story in #1/1, and they fit later within Utopia between Uncanny XM #514 and Dark Avengers #8.

The Emma/Namor story dances round the fact that they were lovers long ago (as revealed in UXM Annual 2009), and that they agreed in that issue to be allies within the Cabal.

The job Osborn has in mind for Mystique is impersonating Prof X.

Aurora last had a cameo in UXM#508, and before that she did some heroing with the X-Men in Secret Invasion: XM#2. Before that was her last major storyline where she and brother Northstar were taken over by the Children of the Vault and forced to attack the X-Men in XM#189-190. They were cured in the 2007 XM Annual.

In her previous apps Aurora has varied between being a stable personality and having #1 and #2 fighting for control. #2 says here that she has often created  extra personalities before. It isn't clear whether this explains why she is able to easily create new ones here, or if they are ones she already had stockpiled. #7 claims to be lucky, and possibly her luck here manifests in picking the right personality traits for #8. Whatever, she seems back to normal in her next apps.

Unlike the other chars in this series Aurora won't be seen in the Utopia crossover. She'll next have a small part in Nation X #2/3 after Utopia, and then be reunited with Alpha Flight when they return from the dead during Chaos War after the end of Dark Reign.





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Dark X-Men: The Beginning #3 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue contains 3 stories.

Story 1:- Hidden depths

Script: Paul Cornell, Pencils & Inks Leonard Kirk, Colours Brian Reber

Emma Frost, dressed in black as the Black Queen, has been invited into Namor the Sub-Mariner's mind to see why he agreed to her request to join her Dark X-Men (in Uncanny X-Men #513). But he's not happy that she starts snooping around everywhere.

She finds 2 doors marked 'attack' and 'negotiate' and reckons these are his strategies for dealing with the human race (or probably with anything). She (pretends to) think the 3rd door 'sue' refers to a legal option but interesting sounds from behind it suggest that it refers to his preferred way of dealing with Susan Richards. Namor diverts her from a a 4th door bearing the legend 'Namora' ...

... by asking why *she* wanted him on her team. Emma answers that she wanted a friend she could trust. Subby retorts that he doesn't think much of *her* friends - the mutants who seem to like fighting each other. Frost tracks down the area of his mind related to mutants and finds images of savagery. She is angry that he feels that way but knows he can't control his subconscious.

She tells him that she's doing what she's doing for the good of mutantkind, even though it meant betraying the trust of her lover (Cyclops/Scott Summers), and joining a group she loathes (Dark X-Men or Norman Osborn's Cabal or both). But now she knows Namor had no such altruistic motive when he joined her. It can only just have been because he *desires* her.

In response the sea-prince takes the telepath deep into his mind to confront his many-faceted self-image, encompassing the myriad of roles he's played in his long life. And a new facet is emerging showing him with the DXM. Emma now claims that the darkness he associates with the word 'mutant' reflects his difficulty coming to terms that he *is* 1. And as she suspected all along he joined her team to learn more about his 'kind'.

The pair share a moment, then depart his mind to get on with the ugly business of reality.


Story 2:- Get Mystique (slight return)

Script: Jason Aaron, Pencils & Inks Mark Simpson, Colours Dave Stewart

In the 'Get Mystique' arc in Wolverine (2003) #62-65 Logan left her to die in the Iraqi desert. This is a sort-of sequel to that but Raven Darkholme specifically doesn't say how she survived that. Instead we find her in a biker bar in the desert in the USA pretending to *be* Wolverine, surrounded by H.A.M.M.E.R. troops and holding the bikers hostage.

But Norman Osborn enters the bar and calls her on her disguise. So she switches to Spider-Man to annoy him. Then she assumes her basic form and they start to 'chat'. Norman asks how she got into *this* situation, and Raven says she was bored. We see her memory of shooting off guns in town to attract the attention of the cops, shooting the cops and riding off on a motorcycle pursued by more cops.

The bikers have just worked out that she isn't really Wolvie so they don't have to be hostages anymore. They attack but she ruthlessly deals with them. Then she grabs a shotgun and prepares to go out and take on the HAMMER guys.

But Osborn asks her to join his X-Men. He offers to give her Wolverine. And then tells her about Logan's son Daken. This makes her agree to take the job, but she adds that she *won't* sleep with him. She also asks what her role will be, and Norman promises to tell her in his car.

They both exit to a massive army of troopers, helicopters and tanks. Mystique says he would have needed more men to kill her.


Story 3:- The one who got away


Script: Simon Spurrier, Pencils & Inks Paul Davidson, Colours Rainier Beredo

Jeanne-Marie Beaubier is having a psychotherapy session. She insists that she's now living a normal suburban life. She's put Aurora and her superpowers behind her, and she doesn't have schizophrenic episodes anymore. But she agrees to try a new EEG cap to check her neural activity.

As the cap takes effect the doctor hands over to Norman Osborn, taking his payoff as he leaves. Osborn explains that the cap is really a thalamizer, which with most people it would render them incapable of controlling their body. But he correctly guesses that after a few seconds it will activate Beaubier's 2nd extrovert personality.

He has brought her Aurora costume, and she strips and changes into it in front of him. Then uses her superspeed to go outside. Norman follows and is about to offer her a job with his X-Men when she swiftly raids his briefcase and speedreads the relevant documents which give her the lowdown. She's also stolen his gun, caught the doctor and killed him. Now she wants to know why she should want to work for him.

Osborn takes her to a HAMMER helicarrier to discuss it. But Jeanne-Marie 2 is too busy complaining about JM1 and her glory-hogging brother Northstar to let Norman get a word in. Until he tells her that the thalamizer will make sure that JM1 never returns, and *his* X-Men will soon be outdoing her brother's mob. But she responds, as 1 crazy to another, that she prefers to just take the thalamizer and go on her way.

Norman was prepared for this. At the touch of a button he unleashes the 2nd effect of the device. It locates the part of her brain this 2nd personality uses to register pain and activates it - strongly. And if she tries to take it off the pain will get worse. As Aurora convulses in agony HAMMER troops come to take her away to join the Dark X-Men. Osborn promises to switch the pain off in a couple of minutes when she's learned her lesson.

But Aurora is up and fighting. She explains that she's switched to a 3rd personality (*we*'ve never seen more than the 1st 2 before) who wades through the men and punches Norman in the face. But he knows that the thalamizer will soon adjust to the new personality's pain centre. And it does and he tells the troops to kill her.

But before they can she's on personality #4. As she fights the men and the gizmo keeps zapping her she reaches #7 (announcing all their identifying traits along the way) before she has all the troops defeated. But then Osborn puts a gun to her head as #8 surfaces. However she knocks the gun aside (which then goes off) saying that this personality is reckless. And she takes the device off her head, ignoring the increased pain because this 1 is also a masochist.

She then sticks the thalamizer on Osborn's head unleashing his Green Goblin personality. And then presses the button which turns on the pain. As Norman manages to get the device off she leaves him. (Somehow she's got her street clothes back on.)



?
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Jae Lee (Cover Penciler)
Jae Lee (Cover Inker)
June Chung (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Rob Steen.
Editor: Nick Lowe.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Patriot
Iron Patriot

(Norman Osborn)

Plus: Aurora, H.A.M.M.E.R., Mystique.

> Dark X-Men: The Beginning: Book info and issue index

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