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X-Man: The Man Who Fell to Earth (X-Men) Paperback – July 4, 2012
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This story is the story of Nate Grey, a refugee from the Age of Apocalypse saga over in the X Men books in 1995 who has to come to terms with the fact that he is not in his own dimension anymore. An alternate universe clone of Cable, he has run ins with the X Men, their British associates Excalibur, Selene and Professor Xavier himself as he tries to make a life for himself in a world that fears and hates him.
It was nice reading these stories again being that I never took the time to collect them individually back in the day. I only had hopes the coloring would be up to date and that's why I gave it three stars
The stories contained here are very much of the mid-90s. Nate Grey is a teenage mutant with lots of power and an attitude to match, although somehow the writers are still able to make the character basically likable. Cable, every comics reader's favorite symbol of the 90s, features prominently in these stories, since he and Nate Grey are alternate versions of each other. The stories themselves are indicative of a new title struggling to find its feet creatively. The title character spends each issue running around the world, pursued by X-men characters both good and bad, never staying in one setting for long, and never developing a meaningful relationship for more than an issue or two. In the early issues, there's a semi-romantic subplot between the title character and Madelyne Pryor, which is extremely creepy, since she's a clone of the woman who is his mother in an alternate reality and. . .Suffice to say, it's somewhat unsettling to read. The first few issues are written by Jeph Loeb (who's not one of my favorite writers), but is eventually replaced by John Ostrander (who's done some excellent work over the years.) Most of the art is handled by Steve Skroce, but there are several issues done by co-artists, giving the book a schizophrenic look. In fact, one issue is co-drawn by Skroce and Scott McDaniel (whose work I'm not a fan of); their styles are so inconsistent with one another that reading that issue feels like two reading two entirely different comics. Also, being that X-Man is a creation of the 90s, the stories rely entirely too much on double-splash pages filled with intrusive narration boxes and thought balloons.
Nate Grey was something new to the world of the X-Men in Marvel Comics. These stories veer closer to the "mutation = adolesence" metaphor of early X-Men rather than "mutant = oppressed minorities" of the later stories. There is only one instance of the title character encountering discrimination because he is a mutant, and it comes off as forced, since by this time, time travel, clones, alternate realities, cyborgs, etc. had become the status quo of X-Men comics. All in all, however, X-Man: The Man Who Fell to Earth is an intruging start with plenty of potential.