Overview

X-Men: Endangered Species #1

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X-Men: Endangered Species #1

Credits

  • Words: Mike Carey
  • Art: Scot Eaton
  • Inks: John Dell
  • Colors: Frank D'Armata
  • Story Title: Endangered Species
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Jun 20, 2007

As another member of the dwindling mutant population passes away, the X-Men must come to terms with the reality that mutants, as a species, are doomed to extinction.

When the Scarlet Witch altered reality with those infamous words "No more mutants" she ensured there was no way back for Homo Superior. With just 198 mutants left in the Marvel Universe, and no new emergences of power or mutant births, the gene pool is far too shallow for the remaining members of the species to ensure their long-term survival.

At the funeral of a young mutant, the assembled X-Men are forced to face their powerlessness at the stark truth that their kind is facing its end times. As old friends and enemies alike begin to accept the consequences of Wanda Maximoff’s actions, one X-Man is determined to reverse the events of M-Day.

Marvel’s latest X-Men crossover event begins in the pages of this one-shot Special before spinning out into seventeen chapters across the X-stable of books over the next few months. Mike Carey offers a quiet and reflective focus on a team that knows that everything they have fought for over the years has been for nothing. They no longer have to worry about acceptance in a world that fears and hates them because the cold, hard fact is that their time in that world is coming to its conclusion.

Carey does a fine job in catching the varying reactions of the cast to their plight. Some are accepting, some are angry, some grasp at straws while others are determined not to give up without a fight. There’s a particularly poignant scene where Wolverine realizes exactly what it all means to him, which is probably the standout image of the book.

Eaton and Dell are an excellent choice as the art team. In the entire Marvel Universe, the X-Men’s allegorical world is the one that is most grounded in real-world concerns. It’s a personal preference but I always feel that a more realistic approach to the visuals in X-Men stories works best in underlining this, rather than some of overly-stylized and hard to follow faux manga we’ve seen elsewhere on the X-books of late. Eaton and Dell’s powerful pages lend a somber authenticity to the proceedings that is entirely appropriate to an X-Men event where hope is an outsider and despair permeates every panel.

I’m sure everyone will have their own views on the where this storyline continues and the ethics of a marketing stunt that forces readers to pick up every issue of X-Men, New X-Men, X-Factor and Uncanny X-Men for the next four issues of each book if they want to follow the whole story (although apparently these 8-page backup chapters will come at no extra cost). Ignoring those concerns for a moment though, X-Men: Endangered Species is a moving and compelling examination of recent events in the X-corner of the Marvel Universe and is well worth a look.

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