X-Men Noir: Mark of Cain

x-men noir mark of cain cover trade paperback tpb
3.5 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Art: 4/10

Slightly better than X-Men Noir

Still confusing and not worth checking out

Comic Info

Comic Name: X-Men Noir:  Mark of Cain

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Fred Van Lente

Artist: Dennis Calero

# of Issues: 4

Release Date: 2010

x-men noir mark of cain #2 cover emma frost

X-Men Noir: Mark of Cain #2

Reprints X-Men Noir:  Mark of Cain #1-4 (February 2010-May 2010).  From the Madripoor jungles, the legend of the Gem of Cyttorak and its protector the Juggernaut have sent the X Men on a quest to locate the precious gem.  When the gem is stolen, Professor Xavier and his team of new X Men are hunting down Cyclops, Logan, and the Angel to claim the gem for themselves, but a jail for sociopaths on Genosha Bay could lead the X Men to discover the secret of Xavier’s plans.

Written by Fred Van Lente, X-Men Noir:  Mark of Cain is a Marvel Comics limited series under their Noir imprint.  A sequel to X-Men Noir, the collection features the art of Dennis Calero and was also collected in Marvel Noir:  Wolverine & The X Men.

X-Men Noir was a complete mess.  The story was difficult to read and the art made it even harder since most of the characters looked the same in the dark style.  X-Men Noir:  Mark of Cain is slightly easier to read, but unless you understand the happenings of X-Men Noir, the book also is a mess.

The story is essentially the Noir telling of the Juggernaut.  Like the decision to make the X Men trained sociopaths, the Juggernaut’s existence is in question in the story.  The death of Cain Marko (who is the Juggernaut on Earth-616) indicates that a Juggernaut exists and much of the story involves the X Men and the Angel hunting down the gem and the truth.

x-men noir mark of cain #2 review

X-Men Noir: Mark of Cain #3

What I like slightly better about this collection is the return of Xavier as a major player in the story.  The first X-Men Noir collection has Xavier imprisoned and very little hands on action from him.  This doesn’t help a story which features characters allegedly trained by Xavier to use their sociopathic tendencies for an advantage.  Here, Xavier is free and has built a new team (like the Giant-Size X-Men idea), to take on his old X Men.

The inclusion of the Angel still just doesn’t add up for the story.  The Angel isn’t Angel (aka Warren Worthington III who was already dead in the first collection), but he is the 1940s Angel that fought in World War II in Marvel Comics.  I realize that the Noir theme is to place the stories in the 1930s/1940s, but I would have preferred them use modern characters instead of mixing vintage comic characters with the modern in this case.  It also doesn’t help that the Angel is given one of the most confusing backstories and his costume doesn’t fit the themes of the Noir comics.

X-Men Noir:  Mark of Cain is slightly better than X-Men Noir, but it is still a big miss.  The idea of a pulp heroes version of the Marvel Universe has appeal but it feels really misguided here.  Fred Van Lente has written better stories and Dennis Calero feels like a victim of the type of story in his art.  Just skip this title and the other X-Men Noir…they aren’t worth it.

Related Links:

Daredevil Noir

Iron Man Noir

Luke Cage Noir

Wolverine Noir

X-Men Noir

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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