X-Men #1


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X-Men #1


  • Words: Victor Gischler
  • Art: Paco Medina
  • Inks: Juan Vlasco
  • Colors: Marte Gracia
  • Story Title: Curse of the Mutants: Part One
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Jul 8, 2010

X-Men #1 has been advertised as the first X-Men #1 in over 20 years.  With Second Coming coming to a close, readers might assume that the launch of a new core title would feature a fresh and defining new start for the X-Men.  In a sense, that’s true: the storyline featured in this first issue is definitely something new and different, but it feels more like the start of a mini-series than the start of a new ongoing.  Perhaps it’s because this story, called Curse of the Mutants, is such a departure from the regular X-stories.  While the story itself is entertaining and well worth the read, it is a bit hard to take it seriously.

Victor Gischler’s writing captures the excitement and danger of the first (and best) Blade movie.  The vampires in this title, unlike the vampires that have become popularized in the post-Twilight world, have a real edge to them.  They seem to be unconcerned with love triangles and romance, which is a plus.  The first vampire we see in this book is a suicide bomber, who blows himself up in San Francisco in the middle of the day, showering everyone in blood.  This happens on the fourth page.  A few pages later, we find out that the vampire bomber actually unleashed a plague on the people in the immediate vicinity, and that his primary target is most likely former X-Man, Jubilee.  This brings together so many great story elements:  the involvement of a well-known and beloved character from the past, an early and exciting hook, a dangerous and mysterious enemy, and a pressing problem that steadily advances with time. 

I love Paco Medina’s art.  I have since I first picked up his New X-Men: Childhood’s End trade paperback.  His art has never failed to jump out at you from the page and drag you back into the story with it.  He is a fantastic storyteller, and he shows off these skills in this book.  While other artists with a less cartoony style may have been better suited to tackle a gore and vampire-heavy book, this book is about the X-Men, and Medina keeps the reader’s focus on that.  Still, there’s plenty of gore and vampire action.  As I mentioned earlier, there was an exploding vampire on the fourth page, and a little further in, Wolverine decapitates a vampire on-page.  The mix of cartoon style and serious content makes the read very exciting and entertaining, as each aspect takes away from the shortcomings of the other.

The worst thing about this story is the plan for its continuation.  After reading the last page, readers are sure to be thoroughly satisfied with the issue. But, after turning to the next page, we find out that there are four new titles being launched in conjunction with this X-Men #1, which takes away from its appeal.  Blade’s inclusion in the new X-Men team was a risky choice already, but to give him his own title before he even appears in the storyline makes this whole arc seem less about the story than it is about the marketing.   Also, Storm & Gambit #1 and X-Men vs. Vampires #1 don’t look like they can sustain themselves beyond this arc.  Having to buy these short series for the sake of this story arc makes the prospect of just waiting for the trade seem much more appealing.  

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