By Matt Fraction (Writer), Alan Davis (Pencils), Mark Farmer (Inks), and Nathan Fairbairn (Colors)
Some Thoughts Before The Review: I actually like the concept of The List series quite a bit. It works as a new reader grab and as a compliment to current ongoings. The Daredevil one-shot actually made me interested in following the ongoing series. As for the New Avengers book, it served as a nice compliment to one of the major threads of the series.
The Story: Norman Osborn’s got a secret weapon that he plans to use against Namor and the rest of the Atlantean race.
What’s Good And What’s Not So Good: Thanks to Alan Davis’ solid, kinetic artwork and Matt Fraction’s entertaining, surprisingly funny dialogue (“Ex-wives. What can you do?”), Dark Reign: The List – Namor,..er…X-Men is one of the most fun “X” books I’ve picked up in quite some time. And really, isn’t that what it’s all about sometimes?! The answer to that question is “Yes…yes it is.”
In all honesty, there isn’t really a whole lot to the latest addition to The List one-shot series. Norman Osborn sets loose a raging sea creature that can only sense and feed off Atlanteans. Some of Namor’s people die and, naturally, Namor needs to take action. The X-Men get involved and the creature is dealt with. It’s simple storytelling, but it’s also effective and lends itself well to a one and done comic.
The biggest negative about the latest The List one-shot, outside of the fact that Namor’s signature saying gets interrupted, is that it really isn’t much of a Dark Reign book. In fact, it’s not really much of an X-Men book either. Sure, the X-Men are in it and the creative team makes great use of the characters during the lengthy, well executed action scene (Fastball Special anyone!?), but as a whole it feels as though the team is in the book only because they happen to be associated with Namor, Osborn’s true target. Neither issue is a major flaw as far as the quality of the book is concerned, but readers should be aware of what they are actually buying.
Conclusion: While the latest List one-shot doesn’t really do a whole lot with the concept of the Dark Reign series, it excels as a one and done “X” comic. So, in short, it’s easy to recommend to X-Men/Namor fans, but not so easy to recommend if you’re just looking for something with strong Dark Reign ties.