X-Men: Curse of the Mutants-Storm & Gambit #1: Writer: Chuck Kim. Pencils: Chris Bachalo.
We get things started with a flashback(note the black and white coloring!)where Storm and Gambit are told to retrieve the headless body of Dracula in order to return the dethroned King of the Vampires to life. Why only Storm and Gambit? The Vampire base is surrounded by a magical field preventing the X-Men from teleporting a large force in, so with Storm and Gambit both being accomplished thieves, they get the call.
Storm and Gambit manage to sneak onto Creepy Vampire Island and gain entrance to the vampire base via a cave.
Unfortunately, the two are discovered by a roving band of vampire guardians and attacked.
Luckily for Gambit and Storm, Dracula's first born son, Janus, joins the fray and assists the two X-Men. Janus also wants his father brought back to life and his treacherous brother Xarus defeated.
So Storm goes off to discover the means in which the vampires were keeping teleporters off of their island, and Gambit and Janus head off to find Dracula's decapitated body. Unfortunately, the vampires were expecting Gambit and Janus...
Gambit and Janus wind up fighting a losing battle against the vampire horde, while Storm discovers that the vampires were using innocent civilians as part of a black magic ritual to prevent intruders from accessing their island home. Faced with the prospect of failing her mission and costing Gambit and Janus their lives, or killing the innocents to break the spell, Storm decides to kill the captives to break the vampire spell, thus allowing the X-Men to teleport a team to the island.
With that, the X-Men arrive, beat up the vampires and collect Dracula's body. So although Storm's mission was a success, she can't help but feel terribly guilty for killing the innocent victims of the vampire's spell.
What I Thought: I actually really enjoyed this comic. To be honest, I've really enjoyed this whole, “Vampires vs Mutants” thing WAAAY more then I thought I would. I'd all but given up hope on the X-books, but so far the vampire storyline has been the best thing to come out of the X-books in 5/6 years(although that's not really saying much). It was nice to see Storm return to the type of character she was back in the 90's, before her ridiculous and wholly unneeded marriage to Black Panther. Storm belongs with the X-Men, and she should be in a leadership type of role(better her then that damned Emma Frost!). Gambit also fit into this issue well. Granted he was more or less the damsel in distress, but he served his purpose and didn't really annoy me much. All in all, good work here. This storyline is slowly giving me some hope that the dark days of the X-books(thanks to writers like Chris Yost and Mike Carey)are finally coming to an end.
Score: 8 out of 10.