NYX #1-7 (2003-2004): 1st X-23

NYX was, as you might guess, a series about X-teens living in New York City. It starts by introducing the main character, Kiden Nixon. She’s four years old and sees her father get shot to death. Flash foward to her teen years and she’s a traumatized druggie with a single mom trying to raise four kids.

So basically the stage is: Life in NYC is gritty.

She is attacked by some bullies when her power manfiests: She can freeze everyone in place. While frozen, she touches one of the bullies and breaks his arm.

Time re-starts, the bully renews his attacks and actually shoots a teacher. Things are getting too complicated so Kiden runs away from home. At a seedy motel she meets a teen prostitute who is known for scratching her clients…

Yeah, it’s X-23. Kiden meets her after she kills a client who got way too fresh.

They team up to fight X-23’s mean pimp who is named Zebra Daddy(!), who also ends up being the guy who killed Kiden’s father so many years ago. Kiden starts getting visions of her dad, which talk to her. At first I thought it was a ghost, but it appears to be another mutant power–manifesting the dead. Or maybe not. Unsure.

Issue #5 introduces Tatiana Caban, who is basically a werecat-type mutant.

The first African American member of the cast arrives towards the end. It’s also the only male member of the NYX cast. A black male. Guess what his code name is?

Felon. Sigh. He has some kind of astral powers. He’s got a little brother who is called “Lil’ Bro.” The kid seems catatonic but also can manifest Nixon’s dead daddy.

There’s a big fight and a resolution, of sorts, at the end. NYX gets a second series in 2008, which will have the same tag as this one.

I’d been led to believe this was an awful series, and it’s not. But it’s not great, either. The dialogue is stilted, the story beats are predictable…It’s saved pretty much by the appearances of Laura Kinney and a few sequences with Kiden. Still, I applaud Marvel for launching a female-centric series with no tie-ins to the main X-universe.

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