District X 2: Underground

district x volume 2 underground cover trade paperback steve mcniven
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 7/10

Still like the concept

Poor execution, sloppy collection

Comic Info

Comic Name:   District X/X-Men Unlimited (Volume 2)

Publisher:   Marvel Comics

Writer:   David Hine

Artist:   Lan Medina/Adi Granov

# of Issues:   9

Release Date:   2005

district x #9 cover worm tom raney art

District X #9

Reprints District X #7-14 and X-Men Unlimited (2) #2 (June 2004-August 2005). District X has a new killer who only strikes at the dark of night and seems to have his own agenda. As Bishop and Ismael struggle to connect as partners with Ismael’s life falling apart, a group of mutants living underground also pose a threat to the entire area…and could mean women and children may be in the target of agents who try to stop it. Plus, a new mutant discovering his powers learns that growing up a mutant might be harder than he ever imagined.

Written by David Hine, District X Volume 2: Underground fell under Marvel’s Marvel Knight imprint. Following District X Volume 1: Mr. M, the series featured art by Lan Medina. It also collected X-Men Unlimited (2) #2 (June 2004) as a back-up story (with art by Adi Granov).

District X was a fun “police” comic. The series seemed to borrow ideas from Alan Moore’s Top Ten and placed it in the X-Men universe. The comic felt like it had a long run potential, but District X Volume 2 feels sloppier than the first volume.

The prime draw of District X is the cases. In “Underground”, you have a murderous worm creature rising out of the sewers and a potential terrorist threat. I like that they try to balance and intertwine multiple stories, but it feels like a lot of this should have been spread out more including the assassination attempt on Mr. M (which feels completely disregarded). The worm creature and the underground mutants do come together for the end, but it feels like it needed more issues and the writing needed to be tighter.

The secondary aspect of the series is the lives of Bishop and Ismael. Bishop is largely ignored in “Underground” to focus on Ismael’s addiction to drugs, the break-up of his marriage, his distrust of Bishop, and ultimately making him seem like a rather unlikable character. It is a contrast to the first volume which paints him complex and troubled, but he is more likable.

district x #10 cover tom raney art bishop

District X #10

The secondary story “One of Us” feels like a really limp ending to a series that was enjoyable. The story of a new mutant accidentally taking his powers too far is interesting, but it doesn’t develop Ismael or Bishop (or the problems they are having). I can recall when the series was on the stands that I wasn’t even sure if the series was over or what was going on with it (House of M struck leaving the series in limbo for a few months).

A second (and minor) problem with the collection itself is the X-Men Unlimited #2 story. It references events referred to in “Underground” and was published almost a year before “Underground”. The story however is shoved in the back of the book and has you questioning aspects of his relationship with Dzemal during “Underground” which could have easily been solved by putting this comic at the front of the collection. It is just poor packaging.

District X really fizzled. The writing and the story just weren’t up to par with the first volume which seemed like a good launch to the new series. House of M occurred and the X-Men “Big Event” series resulted in District X being renamed Mutopia X (Collected as House of M: Mutopia X). With House of M wiping out most of the mutants, District X became pointless and the series was cancelled…a sad ending to a promising start.

Related Links:

District X 1:  Mr. M

House of M

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.

Leave A Response