Some Thoughts Before The Review: I picked up the first Dark X-Men: The Beginning book because I liked the characters that were featured. Time to find out if The Beginning can hold out without the likes of Namor, Dark Beast, or Mimic…

“The Last Temptation of Cloak and Dagger”

By Paul Cornell (Writer), Leonard Kirk (Pencils), and Brian Reber (Colors)

What’s Good and What’s Not So Good: Paul Cornell’s story about Cloak and Dagger is about as basic an “offer” story as you can get. Norman Osborn approaches Cloak and Dagger about joining the Dark X-Men and as expected, Cloak and Dagger really don’t have much of a choice in the matter. Cornell’s dialogue is pretty strong (he writes a great Osborn) and Leonard Kirk’s art certainly gets the job done, but that’s really all there is to say about “The Last Temptation of Cloak and Dagger.”

“Weapon Omega”

By Marc Bernardin & Adam Freeman (Writers), Michael Lacombe (Art), and John Rauch (Colors)

What’s Good and What’s Not So Good: The story about Norman Osborn’s plan to get Weapon Omega on board with the Dark X-Men is rather clever, visually solid, and well-written. Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman do a nice job of explaining what Michael Pointer’s deal is and why he is the type of person he is today. In addition, Bernardin and Freeman manage to add an extra layer of slime of Osborn’s character. That’s no easy task with all the Osborn over-exposure going on.

“I Am Daken”

By Rob Willaims (Writer), Paco Diaz (Pencils), Guillermo Ortega (Inks), and Edgar Delgado (Colors)

What’s Good and What’s Not So Good: Before I say anything about “I Am Daken,” I have to ask: Is there anyone who truly likes Daken or thinks he’s a good idea for a character? Isn’t one Wolverine (that appears in at least one book almost every week) enough? Ok, with that out of the way, time for me to say a few things about Daken’s story.

Surprisingly, “I Am Daken” is the best of the three stories featured in Dark X-Men: The Beginning #2. That’s really not saying a whole lot, but there’s no denying that Daken’s conversation with Norman Osborn is sharply written and that the artwork by Paco Diaz is pretty slick (though I’m not sure I like how Osborn looks). If I have any complaint, it’s that the brief action scene comes across as a bit disjointed and somewhat unnecessary.

Conclusion: I enjoyed the first Dark X-Men: The Beginning book quite a bit more than the second. That said, the second is worth checking out if you’re a fan of the characters. If you aren’t a fan, then by all means skip Dark X-Men: The Beginning #2, since there’s nothing in the book that absolutely must be read in order to get more out of the Utopia storyline.

Grade: C

-Kyle Posluszny