Dark X-Men: Shades of Grey

Writer Paul Cornell discusses the face-off between Nate Grey and Norman Osborn’s handpicked team of mutants

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Nate Grey
By Tim Stevens

Following a setback, it sometime helps to return to fundamentals and reestablish your confidence. For Norman Osborn, that means concentrating on defrauding the nation with teams of villains, lunatics, and misled naves whitewashed to appear as wholesome and heroic. On November 11, writer Paul Cornell and artist Leonard Kirk help guide Osborn back to those basics in DARK X-MEN #1.

Of course, that does not mean that Osborn still does not have his eyes on other goals.

"[Norman's] main aim is to keep that impression [of heroism] in place while using [the Dark X-Men] to stomp on mutant threats," Cornell acknowledges. "So we see them on a public mission, initially, being an acceptable, friendly, shiny mutant super hero team that rights wrongs and saves people."

Despite the defeat dealt to him in DARK AVENGERS/UNCANNY X-MEN: UTOPIA, Osborn remains as assured as ever with this approach. As the writer points out, that certainty may prove a danger to the director of H.A.M.M.E.R.

"Osborn has a vast, tyrannical confidence in the remaining members of his team, and feels the can deal with anything," Cornell comments. "That could be misplaced, considering his team are a manic power-holic, a depressive, a serial killer scientist and Mystique.

"There's a vast, tottering pile of counter agenda that will not stand. All those reasons that Osborn put in place in the [DARK X-MEN: THE BEGINNING] anthology as to why these guys are staying put: here's where

DARK X-MEN #1 cover by Simone Bianchi
those get put under huge pressure. Only Omega really sees Osborn in a neutral light, and he doesn't think clearly most of the time. Beast doesn't care who he's working for, as long as it's interesting. The other two are more complicated."

Looking to hasten the team's implosion under all that pressure will be the long-absent Nate Grey, aka X-Man.

"He's been trying to get back, all this time, from being lost in the collective unconscious of the human race," the writer reveals of Nate's fate since his disappearance years ago. "He's got his act together and is on his way home."

The home he returns to, however, seems very amiss compared to the one he left. The Dark X-Men come as particularly insulting to him. For Cornell, establishing Grey as a resistor to this new world order just made sense.

"I like his relative innocence and enthusiasm," he explains.  "I'm not saying he's at all naive, just that he very much believes in the hero ethic, and putting that up against the cynicism of Osborn and his cronies is very interesting. Nate's also got the sheer power to back up his beliefs."

Readers should be aware that this X-Man has evolved a bit since he last appeared which makes him an even larger threat to Osborn and the Dark X-Men.

DARK X-MEN #2 cover by Simone Bianchi
"We're adjusting him a little to give substance to that 'mutant shaman' thing of his, by using his powers in a slightly different way," Cornell teases. "He's a swashbuckling shaman!"

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      Comments

      5 comments
      mimic616
      mimic616

      [quote@xxemolouiexx Could you please pause this super fast forwarded movie?!When did Angel,Quicksilver,Beast,and Mystique become a team?Why have they teamed up?What happened to the other X-Men and Brotherhood members?Is this just a comic,or will it be on dvd,tape,movie,show,cartoon,or wat???!!! :x-men:[/quote] That's the Mimic and not Angel.check out Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men Utopia saga.

      xxemolouiexx
      xxemolouiexx

      Could you please pause this super fast forwarded movie?!When did Angel,Quicksilver,Beast,and Mystique become a team?Why have they teamed up?What happened to the other X-Men and Brotherhood members?Is this just a comic,or will it be on dvd,tape,movie,show,cartoon,or wat???!!! :x-men:

      mimic616
      mimic616

      More Mimic and art by Leonard Kirk.Win = Win!

      diamondtelepath
      diamondtelepath

      r they really planning on killing off cable?? goodness... i wonder wut thats gonna mean for Hope.i share the excitement in seeing x-man return to comics. since i started reading in 2004ish, he was just a character i knew of from alt timelines n what-not. now i get to actually see him get written, so thats gonna b really cool!we need some kind of GREY influence on the x-teams! i dont even kno wuts up with rachel, but being in shi'ar space (or wherever after WOK) doesn't count! =P

      michaeltill
      michaeltill

      I'm excited to see what happens here. I'm a fan of Bianchi, but I guess I'm not really getting what's supposed to happen here. I don't see the need for a Dark X-Men team with everything else that's going on. Didn't they just get their butts handed to them 2 months ago?I guess the only reason I'm seeing for this mini is to bring back X-Man after Marvel kills off Cable (again!). Did we ever figure out how he magically came back after Gambit blew him up on Providence? Boo... While I'm excited about seeing X-Man again, the lack of Cable will be disturbing.So what happens when Nate and Dark Beast see each other again? Just like old times in the good 'ol AoA? Seems like (Ms.) Sinister would be a good addition to this team if it was an on-going monthly.