With Schism coming to an abrupt end, X-Men: Regenesis #1 fills in the blanks, covers the fallout, and builds a bridge to the upcoming new X-Books. Also within: X-Cavemen!
X-MEN: REGENESIS #1
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Billy Tan
Colorist: Andres Mossa
Letterer: Rob Steen
Cover Artists: Chris Bachalo and Tim Townsend
Assistant Editor: Sebastian Girner
Editor: Nick Lowe
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Previously, in the merry Marvel world of mutants: In X-Men Schism: Cyclops and Wolverine’s festering rivalry erupted into a knock-down, drag-out fight during a Sentinel attack on Utopia. Doubting Cyclops’ vision for the future of the mutant race, Wolverine makes the choice to take whoever will follow him back to Westchester to open the Logan’s School for Gifted Youngsters.
SO MANY MUTANTS, SO LITTLE TIME
X-Men: Schism started strong, but ended up limping past the finish line due to a too-slow build and a quick glossing-over of the reactions of any mutant not named Scott or Logan. X-Men: Regenesis is a one-shot seeking to address that latter point, serving to fill in the blanks for how some of the other X-people are deciding to choose sides.
As such, there isn’t a real plot to speak of. Mostly, this issue consists of pages where either Logan or Scott are convincing a key mutant to take their side, or other characters are debating who they should follow. It’s a veritable who’s who of the mutant scene – Iceman, Storm, Rogue, Colossus, Hope’s gang from Generation: Hope, the leftovers from New X-Men – even Martha Johannson gets in on the “action,” such as it is. There’s some humor coming from corners both likely (Rockslide) and unexpected (Avalanche), but Kieron Gillen opts mostly for a more solemn tone throughout. This enables him to fill the issue with gravitas that sets up a good sense of what’s coming next. Gillen’s grasp of characters displayed here is whetting my appetite for what he might deliver on Uncanny X-Men.
TO ME, MY X-(CAVE)MEN!
There is some connective tissue between the scenes in the form of a visual metaphor that comes off as a clunky too-literal depiction of tribalism. Brief cutaways depict Cyclops and Wolverine as Stone-Age tribal leaders duking it out in a circle of torches. As each character in the issue makes a decision, they are shown on their respective side, backing up the chosen leader. It’s not a horrible idea, but Billy Tan’s decision to depict the men in animal skins and the women in torn bikinis is laughable. We see things like a barely-clothed Dazzler beating on drums while a glowering bearskin-shrouded Colossus looms behind, and Cyclops for some reason has a lion on his head and what the hell. Tan’s art is okay otherwise, but the cavemen scenes are too campy when the creators are going for a serious tone.
In the final summation, X-Men: Regenesis is good for anyone interested in understanding how the teams will be split leading into the X-book relaunch. If you plan on picking up Uncanny X-Men or Wolverine and the X-Men in the coming days, Regenesis serves up some interesting bridging narratives. For anyone else, and at $3.99, it’s not really worth it. The book gets 3 out of 5 stars for being ultimately inessential; it would have been nice if these stories could have been told in the Schism storyline proper.