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Review – X-Men #1 (Marvel Comics)

X-Men #1 (Marvel Comics) cover art (detail) by Leinil Francis Yu
Overall
8.2/10
8.2/10
  • Writing - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Art - 7.8/10
    7.8/10
  • Overall - 8.2/10
    8.2/10
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X-Men #1

Writer: Johnathan Hickman
Pencils: Leinil Francis Yu
Inker: Gerry Alanguilan
Colorist: Sunny Gho
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: October 16, 2019

The mutants have made their home and their own nation; now it is time for Cyclops to lead them into the future in X-Men #1.

 

A New Beginning in X-Men #1

Well, after the 12 issue prologue that was House of X and Powers of X, it is time to officially jump off into this new beginning for Marvel’s Merry Mutants in X-Men #1. The X-Men have established their home of Krokoa and have set themselves up as a world power and are done trying to be a part of human society. Cyclops has put together his own band of mutants to serve the greater good. While the celebration continues, the threat of Orchis and their space station still looms.

Writer

X-Men #1 (Marvel Comics) cover art by Leinil Francis Yu
X-Men #1 (Marvel Comics) cover art by Leinil Francis Yu

So, Jonathan Hickman follows up his House of X and Powers of X epic by starting his own ongoing X-Men series in X-Men #1. In this first issue, Hickman follows Cyclops as he sets up his own home and his own family/team for the future adventures of this series. I am always a little weary with Hickman’s writing. House of X and Powers of X have that high concept, dense, future setup writing that Hickman is known for. Though it obviously works a lot of the time, it can also make it a struggle to get into his books at times.

Color me surprised that X-Men #1 was a pretty straightforward 1st issue. Obviously you are going to want to read Powers and House of X to have an understanding of where the mutants are at (or you can catch up on what happened here). But besides that, this is a great way to jump into this series. Hickman sets the tone and characters up superbly well. He starts to tease some conflicts and future dangers but keeps the dense high concept setups to a minimum. With that he gives us us great character moments and chances to get into the head of Cyclops and others and how they are processing all of this. Therefore at its heart X-Men #1 is a very “family” oriented issue.

I immensely enjoyed Hickman’s dialogue in X-Men #1. It was funny and touching at times, and Hickman captured all the characters fantastically well. Magneto was the standout; Hickman does an incredible job with the character. If Hickman ever gets a solo/one shot with a character, it should definitely be the Master of Magnetism!

Art

Lenil Francis Yu provides the pencils for X-Men #1. I enjoyed Yu’s detailed styling on the pages; he has great character design and he shows action well. But I do wish the characters’ faces had a little more emotion to them. There is a scene implying that Storm is worn out and tired, and it would have helped if it showed in the art. Other than that, Yu does a great job of catching the tone of the series with some wonderful visuals.

Gerry Alanguilan provides the inks in the 1st issue and he does a solid job. I like that in the close-up shots of character faces he leaves a bit of the rough texture and lines that adds some nice texture to the art. With the tighter ink work in the rest of the issue really helps bring out some great detail in the issue.

Sunny Gho provides the colors in X-Men #1. Gho does some spectacular work throughout. We get a great scene of Cyclops walking through Krakoa that Gho provides some wonderful, pink, orange type colors. Providing an almost like a sun setting type coloration that looks beautiful on the pages and it really stands out.

Conclusion

X-Men #1 was actually a pretty solid 1st issue. Hickman sets up the series well and I didn’t feel totally stupid or lost after reading it. The issue felt more down to Earth and “homely”. Making it is at its core a story about family and new beginnings. As we get to know the characters and what they are about within the story. The art is all-around solid and visually pleasing. But I do wish for more expressions and better “character acting” from the art would really help the story. But other than that the book looks great.

A new era for Marvels Mutants is here, and there are some very interesting things that have been set up and tons of story points to be touched on. It is all starting here with X-Men #1, and fans new and old are not going to want to miss out on this.


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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