I covered the character of Bailey Hoskins as a Misplaced Hero a while back, and if you want the entire story for this mini-series including the ending, click that hyperlink and read the older post. This is a review of the actual material, so no spoilers in this post.
Yes, I finally read X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever.
Bailey Hoskins is a very average teenager with nothing going for him. He starts the story talking up which girls in his class might go out with him, but the friend he’s talking to keeps pointing out these girls are all “out of his league” The one girl the friend thinks Bailey can have a relationship with is, in Bailey’s view, rather average. And Bailey, he doesn’t want to be average in any way. He wants to be special.
Then he learns his parents are mutants and he might be too. A trip to the X-Mansion confirms it, but there’s a downside: Bailey’s mutant power to explode will kill him the first time he uses it. And when his parents die in a freak Sentinel attack, Bailey moves into the X-Mansion and finds out what it’s like basically being a normal person in a house full of mutants.
What follows from writer Max Bemis is a rather meta tale all told. Bailey is living the dream of joining the X-Men, but he can’t really do anything. He was normal and average and forgettable before he learned he was a mutant and he was just as much average and forgettable after he learned he was a mutant, the last thing he wanted.
But much of this is to say that even a mutant like Bailey has a story to tell, and this out-of-continuity story (by design!) let’s us see what life might be like for a normal person surrounded by superhumans. And, well, it kinda sucks. Nothing Bailey seems to do makes his life any easier or better, and even when he is maybe being chosen for something more, he’s wrong. He’s still basically a decent kid, but if you have a mutant power you can’t use, what can you do for the X-Men?
The story itself is fine, a bit short, but in many ways it is exactly as long as it needs to be. I liked this well enough, but I didn’t love it. It’s just a fun, if somewhat slight, meta-commentary on life with the X-Men.
8.5 out of 10 all-powerful mutants who take a liking to the Worst X-Man Ever.