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Mystique #22

Posted: Friday, December 31, 2004
By: Shawn Hill



“Quiet part three of five”

Writer: Sean McKeever
Artists: Manuel Garcia (p); Raul Fernandez (i)

Publisher: Marvel

Plot: I feel I may be losing track of it, after last issue’s off-handed (if devious) murder of Fantomex and E.V.A., but let’s see …

What’s confusing: The Quiet Man and Shepard (who now looks more like a seedy Jason Priestly than Brad Pitt) have captured Shortpack, and are threatening his life to get Mystique to kill Prof. X. Forge is out of the picture, and Prudence (Charlie’s last covert operative) may or may not be alive and may have switched sides.

Confused yet? You won’t be, if you take note that McKeever, since taking over the title, has subtly switched our allegiances. Mystique, by committing acts of violence certainly not out of her purview but intolerable for Shortpack, has gone from being a beleaguered (if unforgiven and resourceful) pawn back to a more typical role as antagonist and rogue, while Shortpack serves as a combined hero and damsel-in-distress for this arc.

It’s not anything I can outright object to, as the ride is still mostly fun and the activities of the players are certainly within character parameters. McKeever even shows a strong attention to Vaughan’s setups, tying this final plot into the series premise with admirable consistency.

Less interesting: Still, losing sympathy for Mystique seeps away focus on the title character, and the wrap-up is dovetailing so neatly surely it’s almost predictable. Shepard’s “beloved” is clearly Prudence, having taken over her would-be-assassin somehow, and this hybrid being is a rather too-typical raging madman after all.

Still interesting: This book is on its way out, and McKeever, even with his changes in focus, has preserved the appeal of the title as an energetic spy yarn featuring a memorably inventive anti-hero. This week’s battle sequence, Mystique v. military helicopters, is brilliant mutant vs. ammo action. McKeever has understood her powers from the start (if not always her personality), and this book will be missed.



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