Thursday, May 30, 2013

X-Men #1: It's a milestone, but it's much more than that

If you're at all plugged into the comic book world - and likely even if you're not - you've seen the news that X-Men #1, released yesterday, has an all-female team.  When I was out picking up my comics yesterday, I also grabbed a copy of X-Men #1 because I'm a historian and it's historically significant.  But what I discovered when I sat down to read it last night is that - in addition to being historically significant - it's also a cracking good story.  This is exceedingly important because while the "all-female team" aspect might provide a bump in first issue sales, it's not going to sustain the title over the long term, and even more so because if the series fails, there will be people who say it failed not because of shortcomings in art or story, or because it just didn't "click" with readers, or because the market is saturated with X-men titles, but because it had an all-female team.  Like it or not, X-Men is standing for women in comics everywhere.

But if #1 is any indication, I don't think X-Men is likely to fail.  The art was quite good - outstanding in places - and the story managed to hit all the right notes without making any of the common issue 1 blunders.  The origin of the threat is set up efficiently, in only 2 pages.  The characters are introduced as they need to be, in the amount of detail they need to be.  The story starts out in media res rather than getting bogged down by telling the origin of each character, and bits of the history and surrounding world - including other characters - are mentioned without feeling the need to explain everything.  I can't be 100% certain, but I'm pretty confident that someone with no exposure to the X-Men - or whose exposure  comes only from the movies - could pick this up as their entry point to the X-Men comics and, even though they wouldn't understand everything, wouldn't be so bewildered as to stop them from coming back for issue #2.

So if you don't have it already, head out to your local comics shop (you do have a local comics shop, don't you?) and pick up X-Men #1.  You'll be glad you did.

No comments:

Post a Comment