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|
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|
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