District X Vol. 1: Mr. M collects the first six issues of the short lived District X series, originally published some time in 2004. District X is a region within New York, populated largely by mutants. These aren't the 'cool' type of mutants though. No one pops claws or teleports. These are the kind of mutants that smell bad when stressed. The main premise behind the District X series seems to be that even though the District may be 'different', its population is still bound by the law.
Enter the X-Man Bishop. In the ye olde days Bishop was just a gun totting mutant soldier from the future. In District X he's much more the mutant detective. It gives his character a lot more depth, and it has to be said, purpose. In District X, Bishop is partnered with NYPD patrolman Ismael Ortega, to assist in managing the increased crime rate in District X, also known as Mutant Town.
Bishop and Ortega begin investigating a series of crimes that finds them smack bang in the middle of a gang war between two rival mutant crime lords, fighting for control of Mutant Town as well as sale of "Toad Juice" a drug synthesised from the bodily excretion of a mutant boy, known as Toad Boy.
Violence erupts between rival crime lords “Shaky” Kaufman and “Filthy Frankie” Zapruder over a mutant, Toad Boy, and the addictive narcotic he produces (known as “Toad Juice”). When Kaufman learns of the lucrative sales of “Toad Juice” in District X, he raids Zapruder’s facilities and kidnaps the Toad Boy for himself. However, it is unknown that Toad Juice can be fatal to normal humans.
The first six issues also cover the emergence of the mysterious "Mr M", Absolom Zebardyn Mercator, who later pops up to play a pivotal role in the House of M followup, X-Men: The 198. With Mr M becoming increasingly detached from society, he decides that the only way to help District X is by destroying it. Bishop and Ortega are then in a race to not only quell the gang violence, but to stop the destruction of the community they have sworn to protect.
District X Vol. 1: Mr. M is a little like an X-Men version of CSI or Law and Order. To be fair, I don't know whether District X is that good, or whether my whole rating system has been thrown out by Chuck Austen's run on Uncanny X-Men that I'm still labouring through.
While not exactly revolutionary, District X Vol. 1: Mr. M was an enjoyable read, and did enough to make me want to track down Volume 2. Overall I'd give it 6.5 out of 10