With the 2011 Curse of the Mutants storyline, our beloved X-Men franchise veered dangerously close to the Twilight zone–and I don’t mean the greatest sci-fi show ever, but the lame, self-absorbed supernatural romance series by Stephanie Meyer. Curse of the Mutants starts with the team’s most teen-angsty character, Jubilee, being turned into a vampire. With that, I had to shudder and think “Please don’t make her fall in love with an anemic, asexual vampire or a shirtless, dim-witted werewolf…” Thankfully, the event played out without a single unrequited love affair.
Curse of the Mutants was yet another story showcasing Cyclops’ ability to lead, and more importantly, his proclivity to make bizarre choices to win the battle. After Xarus, a vampire, and his other undead cronies decide to wage war on the mutant community in order to claim San Francisco for their own, Cyclops concocts a weird way to end the war. As if this were a playground tiff that got out of hand, Cyclops decides to call in Xarus’ dad. There’s two problems: Xarus’ dad is A) Dracula and B) dead.
Dracula it turns out was beheaded, and to revive him would require the simple act of reattaching his head, something Cyclops promptly does despite the protests of his vampire-phobic friends.
It’s the same old story: there was a snake problem in Hawaii, and so to curb the serpent population, the mongoose was introduced, thus leaving the islanders with a mongoose problem afterwards. With Curse of the Mutants, Cyclops manages to sidestep their whole Xarus problem but leaves them with a Dracula problem.
In the end, what made little sense for Cyclops made perfect sense for Marvel. Dracula is a much cooler villain than Xarus, so why not re-introduce him through a big crossover event?
Overall, Curse of the Mutants stands out as one of the better examples of superheroes going supernatural. Marvel could have bled the story for all its worth and had Jubilee go into a long, tortured, emo affair, but the writers thankfully realized that idea has been sucked dry.
If you enjoyed Curse of the Mutants, you might also like Marvel Zombies.