- Paperback: 136 pages
- Publisher: Marvel (20 December 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0785120254
- ISBN-13: 978-0785120254
- Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
New X-Men Childhood's End was one of the new series to spin from House of M along with Ms. Marvel and Wolverine Origins, and by this point it was no doubt the best title, which was kind of a surprise if you expected the same mediocrity you got from its predecessor X-Men Academy. Christopher Yost follows up the second volume really well with some cool action and more character development. In comparison with the second volume, it's difficult to say which is actually better because they're very good in their own ways. Volume 2 did a great job with its suspense, surprises, and action. This volume works well with its drama, with the action taking a slight backseat until around the closing issues. So I guess it comes down to whatever you're looking for, but I will say that the encounter with Nimrod is worth the trip although it could have been much better. This TPB contains New X-Men issues 28 - 32.
In regards to the Marvel timeline, this story takes place after Civil War, but at some point before Ms. Marvel and Iron Man form The Mighty Avengers. It's worth mentioning since they do guest star in this volume. In any case, the book begins with Ms. Marvel whom has been close to the X-Men for years returning to the mansion with the bad news that another of their students has been found dead. This begins a very heated discussion between Emma Frost and Ms. Marvel that further develops their characters. Readers will learn how much the survival of the mutant race means to Frost, plus how narrow-minded Ms. Marvel had been in regards to enforcing the Superhero Registration Act. I commend Yost for keeping Marvel's character consistent, because in her own book she made it clear there's a difference between friendship and duty. Although it isn't noted here or anywhere else, the discussion with Frost may have been what opened her eyes on how selfish she may have been, which lead to her feelings of guilt which took place in Ms. Marvel Vol. 3, in which she attempts to help and reconcile her broken friendship with Arachne.
Admittedly the book does spin its wheels on occasion, and it's because Yost is attempting to make this book a decent jumping on point by still developing the characters in small ways. Most people will come away understanding something about the characters, especially X-23 whose powers can seem to be a mystery if you're unfamiliar with her, but small details help to clear up which popular character influenced her. The highlight is definitely the build up and confrontation with Nimrod; there's this one eerie passage where Nimrod is foreshadowing each of the New X-Men's deaths down to the exact time he knows he's killing them in battle. When you take a look at the death toll which is at 47 by this time, you can't but help believe some of them aren't making it. This is also taking under consideration how deadly Nimrod is, and the battle doesn't disappoint at all especially if you're a newbie.
Long time comic readers like myself will probably feel a little sour here, and it's only due to Iron Man drawing a vague comparison between Nimrod and Ultron's power, in which he never met the former. It was a disappointment for me that he didn't actually battle against Nimrod; I remember when I first read this, the fan in me was dying to know how these two stacked up against each other since they're probably the two most powerful robots. The confrontation really could have been more. The only reason I bring this to light is because I'm sure hardcore fans are going to see Nimrod and Iron Man on the cover art, and more than likely they will be expecting the two to get it on, in which it doesn't happen.
Paco Medina and Mike Norton deliver a slightly above average pencil job. The last several issues taking place with the Nimrod encounter looks the best for sure, with plenty of light flashing colors and backgrounds; there are plenty of energy power displays, and even a slashing moment from X-23 to Nimrod. There's also another moment with Dust attempting to engulf Nimrod with her sand-transformed body. I enjoyed the character designs also, I always thought Nimrod looked silly as a pink robot, but he looks damn cool here. Plus the Black Queen aka Selene returns looking trashy as ever.
Although I find this volume to be very pretty solid, it would have been much better adding Iron Man and Ms. Marvel into that Nimrod battle. It definitely had potential to be epic. In any case though, this is still a good read and one can start right here, but I highly suggest against that and start from the beginning with Childhood's End Vol. 1. At the very least pick up the second volume. The conflict with Nimrod and the Purifiers is indeed worth the time.
Pros:Follows up the first two volumes well
Cons:Final battle could have been much, much better