NYX: No Way Home #1
By Zak Edwards
August 7, 2008 - 20:08
Publisher(s): Marvel Comics
Writer(s): Marjorie Liu
Penciller(s): Kalman Andrasofsky
Colourist(s): John Rauch
Letterer(s): Joe Carmagna
Cover Artist(s): Alina Urusov, Variant by Jo Chen
$2.99 US, $3.05 Canada
Every once in a while, I’ve discovered, Marvel Comics likes to show it still has a pair. The company gets out of its own way and tells a good story dealing with much more than simply heroes punching their way through problems. It’s refreshing when they do this, I guess Criminal would be the latest incarnation of this display of guts, and Alias by Brian Michael Bendis was another. That was what attracted me to the original run of NYX. It had balls, a story about teenage mutants who weren’t heroes or even struggling for the greater good. The story was filled with drugs, violence, prostitution, and enough &%$# to make any censor sit up and notice. Of course, the &%$# replaced the actual words in an ironic way, but the series did have guts to tell a story of those falling through the cracks. Where Runaways was about this in a way as well, NYX took a different tone, oh, and the art was simply gorgeous.
So, after three years, Marvel has decided to make a sequel to that series in the form of NYX: No Way Home. The title reflecting a major theme of the last series, but this feels different. Maybe its because the kids cleaned up last series, but the new NYX feels a little castrated, a little stereotypical. The issue is an introduction into where Kidon Nixon, the protagonist, and her posse are following the conclusion of the last series. Basically, she is living with her friend/mutant shapeshifter Tatiana, former mob man Bobby, and his little brother who is only referred to as “Lil’ Bro,” whose mental disability seems to be evolving into a mutant ability. It will be interesting to see how write Marjorie Liu develops this character. Liu is doing something wonderful, something series seem to do too little of sometimes, actually carrying on the story. There is no jarring change in the storyline or drastic incident to help take the story where the author wants it to be. This issue could very well simply be called NYX #8. It’s a new story but the old one is recognized in its completeness. The story also still maintains many elements of the first. There’s dumpster diving and depictions of people down on their luck. A man is passed out drunk in their apartment building while another begs for change outside. The underbelly of society is still there, but instead of being a part from it all, these things happen around the characters, separate from their lives. Perhaps this will shift and the first panel depicts these characters getting into some serious trouble. But right now they are doing too well, it seems, and Kidon is simply too pleasant. I remember her being less than a wonderful person, not a hero or even really a positive thinker. She’ happy and that’s strange. Also, the problems they face are so trivial compared to last time; maintaining a job, the threat of being sent back to school, rent money. But overall, the first issue renews my interest in these characters and made me reread the original NYX and remember Marvel does have stones.
Artist Kalman Andrasofsky reminds me at times very deliberately of NYX’s Robert Teranshi but also brings an original take as well. The panels bounce between the two different styles more than I would like. Sometimes the characters, Kidon in particular, jump between a throwback to the original artwork to a new art style. I like both, but not together. Hopefully Andrsofsky will bring more of personal style next time to create a more unique experience which will be his own work rather than an emulation of a prior work. But his work is very good, the characters are very expressive while attention to background details never become ignored. In a series where the city was a very important character, it is nice to see it is not being overlooked.
7/10 I have a feeling this series will take off, but perhaps next issue.
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