Review: Curse of the Mutants: Storm & Gambit #1

Published on August 29th, 2010

If you’ve been keeping up with Victor Gischler’s new X-Men series (‘Curse of the Mutants’) then you’ll know that there are a couple of one shot tie-ins which you can pick up at your own leasure, if you so please, to accompany the main story. My attention was grabbed by this interesting one shot, ‘Storm & Gambit #1. I thought to myself, ‘what an odd pairing for a one shot’, so seen as though I had been hooked from the title alone, and that I quite like Gambit and Chris Bachalo’s artwork, I decided give it a read. It’s written by a writer who I’ve never heard of before called Chuck Kim, and is drawn as I mentioned by Chris Bachalo.

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I’ll say straight off that it was enjoyable. But a complete non-essential. Unless you have a spare $4 or you are a completist collector of either Storm or Gambit appearances, then you don’t really have to get this.

Storywise it plain and simply deals with Storm and Gambit going to the main vampire stronghold on an island somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea, to retrieve Dracula’s body in order to raise Dracula from the dead to defeat the vampires which are planning to strike on Utopia. A bit of hefty whack, but I’m sure you can keep up. Storm and Gambit run into a bit of trouble on the island, but with the aid of Dracula’s eldest son Janus (who is a good guy) they manage to get the job done. Janus vanishes as soon as the body is safe and is not heard from again. Typical vampire! So it’s a successful mission in the end. I really like seeing Gambit drawn by Bachalo, it takes me back to the first ever variant cover I got for X-Men #200 a few years back. Gambit has always seemed one of the coolest X-Men to me and I enjoyed his appearance in this one shot.

Chuck Kim did a decent enough job writing this. It was definitely made more enjoyable by the artwork even though this was not the best stuff I’ve seen Bachalo draw. All the characters were handled at a level which can only be described as ‘OK’. I really cannot say anything more than that. There were no obvious downfalls, just as there were no obvious excellences. There was one funny moment after some vampires destory the X-Plane that Storm and Gambit were using to get to this island, and Storm carries Gambit by his feet above the ocean to save him from the crash, but as Gambit can’t fly, he keeps telling her that he wants her to put him down. Bachalo’s facial expressions for Gambit made this moment more entertaining!

The colours were great, even if Bachalo’s art was a tiny bit below his usual standard. They gave the vampire’s underground habitat and architecture a gothic tone, which made a good impression on me. It was a violent and pretty action packed comic, and we all know that Bachalo does some awesome fight scenes, and his attention to detail remains on top form when the fists start flying! Seeing Gambit whack people with his stick is quite awesome to see when drawn well. So to clarify and not to seem contradictory, I’ll say that for the most part Bachalo’s art seemed a little bit rushed, aside from when he’s drawing fight scenes!

At the end of the day, you wouldn’t be wasting your money on this if you got it for a good reason. I got it because I like Gambit and Bachalo’s art, so speaking for myself I can’t complain. If you feel like giving it a go, then by all means do. It wasn’t terrible.

Rob Andrews
Rob@ComicImpact.com