Krakoa is safe and secure. Now, it’s time to take care of the rest of the world! Your Major Spoilers review of X-Men #1 from Marvel Comics awaits!
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Pepe Larraz
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Editor: Jordan D. White
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: July 7, 2021
Previously in X-Men: The heroes of Krakoa are here to save the planet! Things might be complicated between the nation of Krakoa and the rest of the world, but to the X-Men, things are simple: you do what’s right, you protect those who need protecting and you save the world we all share. Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Sunfire, Rogue, Wolverine, Synch and Polaris are the chosen champions of mutant-kind, and they will not shrink from any battle for their home planet.
A TREE GROWS IN
X-Men #1 begins, strangely, with the life story of one Kelvin Heng, a young genius whose life goal was to make it to and terraform the surface of Mars. Now that the X-Men have done it, he has decided that they must pay. But that’s later… Right now, Ben Urish of the Daily Bugle has come to Central Park to check out a new building that has sprouted up overnight. Well, not so much a building as a tree, chock full of advanced technology and mutants. He manages to have a quick conversation with Cyclops, during which the X-Men’s leader explains that he always wanted a treehouse and dodges the question of how mutants seem to be coming back from the dead. Once he’s free of the media, Cyclops is free to give a tour of the facilities to new member Polaris, finishing just in time for the team to respond to a giant monster attack in the bay. The creature’s first salvo nearly takes the team out, but a little creativity from Sync gives us one of the more memorable moments in recent memory, as Rogue, Polaris, Cyclops, Synch, Jean, Wolverine and Sunfire pool their resources and powers to create… THE X-MECH! The team takes care of the threat before the Avengers and Fantastic Four can even arrive, getting cheers from the people of New York, but also making themselves a bigger target.
BEN URICH IS ON THE CASE
As an old person, perhaps the most terrifying part of this issue is a brief appearance of The High Evolutionary, but all in all, this is a really good book. Larraz makes the X-Men Treehouse look amazing, and even the quietest scenes of the story are full of action and emotion. I especially like the full page of the heroes’ game faces as they face down the psychic alien monster. It’s also nice that the X-Mech isn’t destroyed, but instead installed on Krakoa in case we need it again, and the story has a lot of big hints that indicate it might be needed sooner rather than later. There are at least three or four threats established in these pages while Cyclops and his team settle into their new park home, and it’s especially nice to see the team honoring local history by naming it Seneca Park, after the displaced Black landowners whose property was stolen to build Central Park in the first place. It’s a well-crafted first issue and one that has brought me back into the X-Men fold after my disillusionment of recent months.
BOTTOM LINE: I LIKE THIS
If you’ve been on the fence, you should know that X-Men #1 is really good visually, in terms of story, in the team membership and the use of the new Krakoa era as backdrop for something closer to traditional superheroics than we’ve gotten from the X-Men in years, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. When House of X/Powers of X debuted, I was excited, but this issue actually feels more revolutionary and engaging, and I really appreciate the overt, textual mentions of trying to be a superhero with kindness. I hope that the creative team can keep up this good work.
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I don't want to fall back into all the X-books, but this one is a matter-of-fact bit of brilliance, with a really interesting team of mutants trying to make it clear that they're heroes and doing it with kindness. I also like that their Wolverine is Laura. This one's good.