David has a problem.  And the whole Marvel Universe hangs in the balance!  Your Major Spoilers review of Marvels X #1 from Marvel Comics awaits!

MARVELS X #1

Writer: Alex Ross & Jim Krueger
Artist: Well-Bee
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: January 8, 2020

Previously in Marvels XDavid has a problem.  He lives in a world of monsters that would love to devour him.  He’s the last boy on Earth.  The last human being on Earth.  And these creatures that see him only as prey, they’re his former neighbors.  He has one hope:  to get to New York… to get to where Captain America and the rest of the heroes are.

DESPITE THE TITLE, IT’S AN ‘EARTH-X’ PREQUEL

Our story beings with bright, retro four-color images of Captain America, Iron Man and Spider-Man, featuring lots of Ben Day dots and the 70s designs, transitioning to reveal we’re seeing the fantasies of a young man named David. He and his family are hiding, nervously watching the new to see that latest updates on ‘The Scabbing’, a strange plague that is striking around the world. Notably, everyone but David, even the TV newscaster, shows the symptoms and the whole thing is being blamed on mutants. Several months later, David is practically alone, with his parents gone, his sister refusing to leave her room and his grandmother quietly informing him that she’s about to die. He goes scavenging for food anyway, revealing a world ravaged by newly super-powered people who would likely kill and eat him. He is able to get food form the local pantry, where the sole remaining caretaker has been transformed into a walking tree, but returns home to find Grandmother dead and his sister angrily flying away. David decides to head to New York, where the heroes are, but ominously forgets his mask…

I REALLY *HATE* THE COVER COLORING

As someone who was never able to get into the endless sprawling non-story that was Earth/Universe/Paradise X, I was surprised to find that I was immediately engaged in David’s story. Perhaps it’s the focus on one person, rather than explaining every single Marvel character’s fate, or perhaps it’s the fact that this issue is TELLING a story, rather than slowly revealing a story that already happened, but I really like this book. Grandma’s farewell to David is a sweet, human moment, one of many in the issue, and even his worries about being killed by rampaging mutant monsters feels perfectly relatable. Well-Bee’s art is reminiscent of the style of the original Earth-X, but with a much clearer outline and (thankfully) much less muddy coloring. The appearance of a red-bearded, tattooed man with dark glasses seems to imply that David’s newfound friend is the former Daredevil, one of the heroes whose demise wasn’t shown in the original story (at least, as far as I can find), but his identity is still ambiguous enough to add another compelling mystery to the story.

BOTTOM LINE: A PLEASANT SURPRISE

In short, this issue makes for a great introduction to David and his world, even without big battles or punchy-punchy conflict, leaving Marvels X #1 with an impressive 4 out of 5 stars overall for strong art and an engaging story. Seeing as this is a prequel to fifty issues of dystopian nightmare, ending with a literal battle between life and death itself, I can’t expect a happy ending for David… but I still hope that he gets one, and that’s more than many comic books can achieve.


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MARVELS X #1

80%
80%
A Solid Opener

A quiet start to an archetypical Hero's Journey, with engaging writing, clear art and a likable main character, making this the first 'Earth X' universe story I'll be following all the way through.

  • Writing
    7
  • Art
    8
  • Coloring
    9
  • User Ratings (1 Votes)
    9.3
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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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