I’ll admit that my interest in this one-shot issue was piqued by the fact that it was co-written by AEW wrestler Nyla Rose, but I’m glad it was.

Focusing on the first ever X-Man to die in action, this story sees Native American hero Thunderbird – aka John Proudstar – resurrected and looking to reconnect with someone from his past on an Apache reservation. Yet he stumbles upon a horrific threat that endangers the entire Native American mutant community – and is spurred into action to protect his people.

The script – by Rose, a Native American herself, and Steve Orlando – is packed full of powerful social and political commentary. Though X-Men comics have always proven fertile ground to explore the poor treatment of minorities and general prejudice and bigotry, it’s powerfully handled here. Rose – who is transgender – is almost certainly no stranger to bigotry, unfortunately, which is likely one reason why the material here feels so well handled.

It’s excellent stuff and even if you aren’t familiar with the main character and his history, it provides enough background – and even a neat flashback that’s rendered in an old school visual style, contrasting with the more modern illustration of the rest of the story – that you won’t feel lost.

It sucks that the first Native American character in the X-Men was killed off so early, but this goes to great lengths to give Thunderbird a return to action that he deserves.

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