Thursday, May 30, 2013

X-Men #1

I have to ask: do we really need another X-Men comic?

The rundown in the ad at the back of the issue indicates there are no less than 14 X-related comics being published by Marvel. Even to the biggest fan, that has to seem like a bit much.

However, each issue should stand and fall on its own merit - and by that standard, this is shaping up to be a very good series.

I'm still not sure why it's called X-Men, since it focuses entirely on the women who are part of the team - most notably Storm, Rogue, Kitty Pryde and Jubilee. Shouldn't it be "X-Women?" (I'm not sure if I'm being chauvinistic or if the editors are.)

Of course, the reason it works is simple: the issue features an outstanding creative team. Writer Brian Wood gets things off to a shocking start as we find Jubilee on her way back to the Jean Grey School (apparently she's not a vampire anymore? Who knew?), and she's bringing a shocking surprise with her.

That leads to an action sequence aboard a train and a confrontation with more than one old foe.

The art is by Olivier Coipel with inks by Mark Morales and Coipel, and it's very good. He has a great sense of design and does excellent character work, making them all distinct, expressive and animated.

My only gripe is that the comic assumes I know a lot of things that I don't - for example, what are Rogue's powers now? Did she lose her Ms. Marvel-based powers? Is that Psylocke on the last page?

But those are minor quibbles - this really feels like a classic X-Men comic, with the focus on story and action, rather than losing the reader in a sea of characters.

More like this, please.

Grade: A-


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