Typhoid Fever X-Men #1
Written by Clay McLeod Chapman; Art by Will Robson
Cover by R. B. Silva
All The World’s A Stage
In the first issue of The Typhoid Fever crossover (See Typhoid Fever Spider-Man #1), we see Mary escape the institution where she was confined with the use of a fellow mutant named Zachary (formerly known as Amp). Using Zachary’s power, she’s taken over the minds of everyone from Hell’s Kitchen to Central Park including Spider-Man. The X-Men become aware that someone is using Zachary and head out to find him.
Part two of the Typhoid Fever crossover draws the X-Men into the battle that Spider-Man lost. Typhoid Fever X-Men #1 digs in to Mary’s past right from the start beginning with a close-up view of her as a child. This can be a tad confusing if you’ve missed the first issue until the flash back come full circle to the reality that Mary is painting with her powers. Bishop, Iceman, Jean Grey, Night Crawler, and Storm have tracked down Zachary, only to find that Mary has him enslaved and is using him to broadcast her personal daytime drama on all within range. Needless to say they are less than happy.
The ever-impulsive Iceman, Bobby, runs right in without assessing the situation. It’s really in character for him but I suspect this may also have something to do with his past relationship to Amp back in Iceman Vol 3 (2017). There’s no doubt that Bobby’s made more than his fair share of rash decisions and suffer the consequences but this time it’s just painful to watch. Mary toys with his powers warping and deforming him.
As the fight ramps up, the X-Men discover that your friendly neighborhood web-head is currently under the influence… of a raging schizophrenic. To make things worst, her other personalities are currently locked in cages. That might not be so bad but Typhoid is the personality on the loose and now the other personalities seem unable to interfere.
Remember what that well-meaning but now deceased Dr. Charles from part one? Yeah, it looks like he might have succeeded in doing something. I’m guessing he mistakenly left Typhoid’s personality free rather than Mary’s. Oops. I wonder if his malpractice insurance will cover that.
With Amp as her battery, Typhoid’s got all the juice she needs to drop our X-Men into her own warped re-write of a terrible Love & Strangers episode. Typhoid Fever X-Men #1 reminds me why I don’t do daytime TV. The drama is excruciating and poor Storm is Heartbroken. It’s clear that Mary’s goal is to divide and conquer and I’d say it’s working.
Keep in mind that Typhoid Fever X-Men #1 is only part two of this crossover, which means that it is going to get worse for our heroes before it gets better. Also let’s face it, there aren’t many (if any) mutants that have grown up without secrets, memories, and past traumas. Those things inform who they are and how they deal with each other. Mary capitalizes on that in a terrible but brilliant way. Manipulating our heroes into a Battle Royale on the order of Fortnite.
In Typhoid Fever X-Men #1, Chapman’s writing remains solid and, in fact, feels more cohesive in this issue. This is probably because Mary’s no longer swapping personalities like a teen flipping TV channels. He’s drawn in a total of six superheroes and Mary’s still standing tall. I’m excited to see what else he is cooking up.
I think what I like best so far about this crossover is that we are getting a chance to examine the deep trauma and back story of a character that I always found rather intriguing. Typhoid Fever X-Men #1 in particular gives us a close look at Mary’s history through her own eyes. Now the question is… how much of it is real?
“It felt like we were on an episode of Love & Strangers. Not that I ever watched that show or anything…”
Typhoid Fever: Iron Fist (2018) #1 isn’t due out until December 12, 2018. This issue left me feeling the way that I felt as a kid walking out of The Empire Strikes Back. I’m clinging to the hope that Chapman’s got a pay as stellar as Return of the Jedi or I’m going to need a bucket of Ben & Jerry’s to soothe my nerd rage. That December issue feels so far away right now.