Writer: Paul Cornell. Pencils: Leonard Kirk.
What Happened: Picking up from last issue, X-Man(Nate Grey)manages to pull himself together long enough to realize he's standing in a room with his arch-foe, Dark Beast, and Mystique, who has taken the form of his mother, Jean Grey. Nate immediately attacks Dark Beast, and Mystique(as Jean)tries to reason with Nate. While Mystique is talking with Nate, he ends up dissipating into energy again and disappearing. Dark Beast and Mystique collect the other members of the team and report back to their leader, Norman "Marvel" Osborn. Osborn decides that if left free Nate is too great a threat to his plans, so he decides to send the Dark X-Men to capture Nate. Once captured, Osborn can then place Nate inside the Omega Machine, where he will permanently power Omega. Upon leaving the meeting with Osborn, Mystique tries to convince first Omega, and then Mimic that they should help Nate as opposed to capturing him. Mystique figures Nate would be able to remove the implant Osborn had placed in her head in order to keep her under his thumb. However, neither man is receptive to Mystique's plan. Osborn gathers a whole slew of non-mutant humans with psionic abilities and tells the Dark X-Men to use them to discover where Nate will next strike, so they can lay a trap. The leader of the psionics reaches onto the astral plane in an attempt to locate Nate's consciousness, but winds up getting himself and all of his followers drained of their mental abilities. This issue ends with Dark Beast using the brain of one of the psionics to get a glimpse of Nate. The Dark X-Men discover, much to their chagrin, that Nate is now fully aware of what happened in the Marvel Universe during his absence, and he is none to happy about it!
What I Thought: First off, before I go any further, I have to laugh, because Nate's reaction to the current direction the Marvel Universe has taken mirrors my own feelings! See, there IS a reason I selected X-Man75 as my blogging name! Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this issue, as I'm sure most people who know me knew I would. Nate was his regular impulsive, anger prone self, and Paul mentioned that Nate's powers rivaled that of the Sentry, which definitely put a huge smile on my face. I'm glad Paul did his homework on Nate before deciding to bring him back. Although many Marvel fans probably don't realize it, Nate is one of the most powerful beings in all of the Marvel Universe. Fanboy gushing aside, this was a very well done comic book, with a few different storylines now getting underway. Will the Dark X-Men manage to capture Nate? Will Mystique betray the team and join up with Nate? What part(if any)will the X-Men play in this mini-series? Considering this is only the second part of this mini, I'm VERY happy with the way things have gone thus far. Thank you Paul, keep up the good work!
Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.Hey, most of the time I scream the exact same thing after reading a Marvel comic book!