“Mr. M, Part 6 of 6”
Writer: David Hine
Artist: Lan Medina
Publisher: Marvel Comics
As a devastating mutant gang war continues to consume District X, NYPD Officer Ismael Ortega and former X-man turned Federal Agent, Lucas Bishop, must find a way to stop the bloodshed and unravel the mystery behind the enigmatic Mr. M. But Ortega’s problems have only just begun when his young daughter is accidentally shot and Mr. M may be his only chance for salvation.
It is a rare comic book that is able to breathe new life into a stale genre, and yet that is precisely what District X has managed to do. In a mere six issues the series has taken the all too familiar theme of the mutant outcast and dropped it squarely in the midst of the urban slums of Manhattan. The result is a world where spandex clad mutant superheroes have been replaced by drug dealers, prostitutes and the social dregs of society. In this sense, District X is more than just a traditional superhero comic, establishing itself as an entertaining blend of action, crime noir and social commentary.
Issue #6 concludes the initial “Mr. M” story arc, and while the issue feels slightly anticlimactic and rushed at times, it is still an entertaining and impressive read and remains heads and tails above the majority of Marvel’s monthly offerings. The issue begins with Ortega rushing home after his daughter is accidentally shot, only to discover that the mysterious Mr. M has already arrived on the scene. Using his God-like mutant abilities of molecular manipulation, Mr. M is of course able to heal Ortega’s wounded daughter, but flees the scene when he is confronted.
Meanwhile the gang war between mutant crime lords “Filthy” Franky Zapruder, and Daniel “Shaky” Kaufman has finally spun out of control after the destruction of one of Kaufman’s night clubs at the hands of Zapruder’s goons. As both sides shoot it out in the streets of District X, Bishop and an NYPD S.W.A.T unit manage to contain the situation before the violence spreads any further resulting in the apprehension of both Zapruder and Kaufman.
The situation with Mr. M also reaches a conclusion, after Ortega manages to track Mr. M down to a run down apartment. Still shocked by the series of events that have resulted due to his meddling, Mr. M has a kind of nervous breakdown. Despite beginning with the noblest of intentions, Mr. M suddenly believes that he is in fact a destroyer rather than a healer and creator, and now in the grips of a mental breakdown believes that he has been chosen to “purify” District X by wiping it from the Earth. Fortunately, Ortega and Bishop arrive at the last moment and with the help of a mutant illusionist and Bishops powers of energy absorption, are able to stop Mr. M and take the shaken mutant into custody.
As the first story arc of District X concludes it is apparent that writer David Hine is clearly in his element. Once again Hine does a brilliant job of balancing Ortega’s home life with the explosive events that have consumed District X, all while tying up the loose ends in relation to Mr. M. The final installment of the story-arc does however feel somewhat rushed (the series would likely have been bettered served as an eight parter) but it is still a very entertaining and satisfying read. It is clear that Hine has a vision in mind for District X and there are still plenty of unanswered questions and themes left to explore. Hine’s work is also once again complemented by the impressive artwork of Lan Medina whose sense of subtlety and attention to detail only enhances the already strong script work.
Ultimately, District X #6 is a satisfying end to the first story arc of a promising new series, proving once again that when it comes to tales of mutants and mayhem, there’s no place better than District X.
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