Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Mystique, Volume 1: Dead Drop Gorgeous Review (Brian K. Vaughan, Jorge Lucas)

Kid mutants are being harmed in Cuba and rumours of Fidel acquiring Soviet Sentinels abound but the US Government has banned Xavier and his X-Men from going over there. Enter Mystique, a deadly shape-shifting black ops agent with no qualms about borders or doing what she needs to do to accomplish the mission!

On the face of it, this is a damn-near flawless book. The James Bond approach to Mystique was very clever and fit her like a glove: Xavier is M, Forge is Q, and Mystique is Bond. She makes for an excellent secret agent with her shape-shifting powers and combat skills, and I like that she’s an anti-hero with shades of grey to her character. 

The story is nicely plotted, clear, and well-written with Brian K Vaughan coming up with inspired set-pieces showcasing some really imaginative uses for Mystique’s powers. The Xavier/Forge scenes were slow but otherwise I can’t fault the writing. And while I wouldn’t say Jorge Lucas’ art is very distinctive, it’s certainly very skilful without any real problems. 

So why the mediocre rating? As shallow as it sounds, I just wasn’t that taken with the book. I think that reviews should be a reflection of the reviewer’s reading experience as much as a close to objective look at the good and bad parts of a book and I’ve gotta be honest: it never clicked for me and at best I was half-interested reading it. Maybe it was a little too neatly put-together as to feel contrived? 

Anyhoo, Mystique Volume 1: Dead Drop Gorgeous isn’t a bad read and fans of the character, as well as fans of secret agent stories, will probably enjoy it well enough but it’s not the most enthralling book.

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