Decimation: X-Men - Son of M by David Hine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Post-House of M Pietro is depowered, living in a hellhole, thinking about how life used to be for him. His powers defined him in a major way. Pietro powers have always allowed him to be cocky, to be better than the humans he sees as inferior. Now, without his powers, he feels less than inferior—even to humans. He doesn’t understand normalcy. He doesn’t understand why anyone would want to be just human.
Life doesn’t seem much worth living to him, and he spends much of his time staggering about in his old costume living out his former life in his head and feeling guilty for being part of something that left so many mutants powerless. During an encounter with Spider-Man, Pietro tries to end his own life. He critically injures himself during his quest, but his estranged wife, Crystal, takes him to Attilan where he’s healed.
In desperation, Pietro appeals to Black Bolt to allow him to use the Terrigen Mists to restore his powers. Black Bolt refuses and with understandable reasons that he tries to explain to Pietro (through Medusa). Pietro uses it anyway, but his powers return in an abnormal way. Despite this, Pietro decides to return to earth with the Terrigen crystals and uses them to restore the powers of other depowered mutants. Do I even need to tell you how badly this goes?
Pietro, Pietro, Pietro. I’m a huge fan of Quicksilver. Say what you will about him, but I love him. He has a myriad of baggage that he’s toting around. He has all these personal issues, many stemming from the need to impress a father who hates him. He can’t do much right even in the best of intentions. Part of the problem seems to be that he just can’t shake hubris even when he’s not in the best of shape, and another part of the problem seems to also come from some need to prove himself due to Magneto’s repeated rejections. (And there’s also this fact that he’s more like Magneto than either man is willing to admit.)
Pietro finds himself in a place where he feels he has nothing left to lose—especially if it means getting his powers back. Damn those who stand in his way. The only person who can really seem to touch his heart is his daughter, Luna, who he hasn’t seen in quite some time, but she brings out a softness in him. You can also see traces of love there for Crystal still, and she’s obviously still holding love for him. But she doesn’t understand his human emotions such as jealousy. And he harbors some resentment against her.
I pitied Pietro because this made him seem like one of those people who can’t cope with a situation and find some peace with it. Instead of seeking to improve his situation, he seeks to regain his “former glory.” Since he can’t find his sister, he’s mostly resigned to think that those glory days will never come back without her... until he reaches Attilan. I shook my head at MANY of Pietro’s actions during and after Attilan because there was just so much obvious room for error there. And the inhumans are so particular about humans and not in a good way, but not a damn was given.
And then, Pietro also angered me. One thing that just really bothered me? Repeatedly exposing Luna to the Terrigen crystals to the point that seemed like a drug addict. Just heartbreaking. He finally realizes his actions are harmful to her and tries to do the right thing by sending her back to her mother, but in this, I realize that he’s continuing the odd family dynamics that his family faces. Aside from being the World’s GREATEST Dad (sarcasm), these are the reasons that I like the Pietro and his family. They’re just so damn complicated.
Things I didn’t like? Spider-Man. I think there were better ways to cause Pietro to take that jump rather than having Spider-Man all tangled up in the scene. It just seemed like a waste of panels for a story that could’ve used more panels to tell Pietro’s story. I also didn’t like how restricted this story felt. It was a good story, but it wasn’t a story that could be held by such small constraints. Towards the ends, things started feeling a little rushed like they suddenly realized, “Oh, hell, guys... we’re running out of space!” They lost a little focus and steam, in my opinion. Everything started happening too fast.
I still think that X-Factor probably does his character the most justice, but I did like how this seemed to really try to show Pietro at his worse, that it tried to show readers what desperate men when do when they feel backed into a corner.
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