X-Men #1 Review
By: Rob Neil Gruszecki
A meteor rockets towards the earth as the story of a twin separated from it’s counterpart is told in prose that warrants solemnity and the attention of a dire warning. Racing down a highway, a man stares forward toward an explosion completely enveloping an entire town and all the life teeming within it. A look of hopelessness as his eyes meet the destruction before him.
The mutant orphan Jubilation Lee walks quickly through an airport, sensing someones eyes all over her and the infant she carries in her arms. Her only wish, to deliver this child from the nightmare life of discrimination, fear, loathing and the immediate judgement passed on any with the mutant gene. She travels to her home in an attempt to provide the child with the same opportunity the X-Men gave her when she was rescued at a young age. What unfolds will be an explosive and curious event in a group of mutants’ lives as they intercept Jubilee’s predator and unravel the mystery of this gifted child brought to them in such a tumultuous circumstance.
In this new volume of X-Men from the Marvel Now imprint, Brian Wood, the mind behind DMZ, Northlanders, Local, and currently The Massive, Conan and Star Wars comics, delivers a fast paced, dense, character driven tale of the mutants of Xavier as they attempt to rescue the life of an orphaned child and interrogate a previous enemy of the X-Men who claims his twin has returned and poses an even graver threat to the world than he ever did. Wood’s ability as a storyteller gets better as his career expands to more titles and recently he has been responsible for some of the best monthly comics on the shelves. Wood’s ability to capture the voices of his characters and make each one immediately empathetic and interesting is a skill he has honed to perfection. His star cast consists of Rogue, Storm, Kitty Pride (my personal favorite mutant next to Beast), Psylocke, Rachel Grey and Jubilee and each character gets their time in the spotlight, displaying their best qualities making for even potentially lame characters (*cough Jubilee *cough) to become instantly invigorating.
Brian Wood’s script for this initial three part arc is an excellent gateway into the Marvel realm of X-Men titles amongst Bendis’ current reign over the line as it is a fresh voice containing a great lineup of characters that delivers action, thick plot and intense adventure.
Working interiors on the book is one of Marvel’s most talented and beloved artists, Oliver Coipel (House of M, Avengers Vs X-Men, Mighty Thor), who’s presence on the book only makes the already tight script even more smooth. Coipel is a master storyteller and his incredible page design and layout sense consistently is some of the best in the superhero genre. Rapid transitions from the Xavier school to the rescue of Jubilee and her kid to the chaos that ensues with the introduction of Arkea Prime towards the end are all conveyed expertly and keep the pacing of the issue lightning swift and cinematically fluid.
X-Men number one was an absolute blast to read with it’s grand prose and desperate race against time adventure brought to you by two of the best names in comics these days and several of the best characters in the 616.
It’s always great to read a team book where everyone kicks enormous amounts of ass.
Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician, podcaster and Wednesday Warrior
Dear Ghost Factory. What Should I Read? Comic Reviews & Weekly Comics Round-Up Podcast at www.Geekstampede.com