February 29, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Comic Review: X-Men Volume 1

Now that the mutants have their own nation, they need to establish how things are going to be. Not everyone will be happy to let them be.

Well, this is the last week of 2021, and I have one final week of comic trade reviews for it.

Up first, the first trade in the X-Men series that spun out of Jonathan Hickman’s House of X story that reset the mutant status quo in the biggest manner since the “All New” era.  If every mutant is a citizen of Krakoa, that could mean every mutant can be an X-Man.  So, what exactly does that mean?

Arguably, that’s the question this trade may seek to answer.  Normally, for any trade, I would expect the six issues to tell some kind of story.  Sure, it may end with a cliffhanger of some kind, but there’d still be some kind of storyarc on display.  That’s not the case here.  Each of the six issues here seems less interested in telling one long story as it is setting up something for down the road.  Each issue is more or less self-contained, so any hopes that, say, what Synch, Darwin, and the former X-23 are going to do inside the Master Mold will have to wait for later as there is no continuation of that story when the next issue starts.

And that is more or less fine.  If anything, this trade is showing what sort of challenges a new mutant nation would have.  Is it weird to see Xavier, Magneto, and Apocalypse all show up at an economic conference together?  Well, it is weird that Apocalypse even participates in negotiations, but he’s being set up as a major figure in this new status quo, one of the key leaders on Krakoa, so why not?  The purpose for now is setting up Krakoa’s foes, foreign and domestic, the various issues mostly focusing on Cyclops if anyone.  Sure, the biggest superhero fight seems to be between Cyclops, Emma Frost, and Sebastian Shaw and a quartet of old ladies who harvest special skills from flowers, but there’s something being built here.

Is it being built to something I am going to like?  I don’t know.  There are too many X-titles, and this trade seems to be referencing other series that, well, aren’t in the book.  I would prefer to get an idea of what this particular series is up to, and I didn’t dislike what I saw, but what I saw was a bit unfocused overall.

Plus, as much as I like Hickman’s writing in general, I am not much of a fan of Leinil Francis Yu’s artwork.

So, where is this going?  I don’t know.  I’d prefer a better idea of that, but then again, this storyline may be going for something truly epic, so that may take a bit of time to set up.  I’ll get some more in the future, but I don’t know when though the idea that the mutants are now engaging in geopolitical stuff by itself is innately fascinating.

8.5 out of 10 carnivorous tentacles.