How many mutants can you kill before people start to wonder? Zeitgeist is about to find out! Your Major Spoilers review of The X-Cellent #1 from Marvel Comics awaits
THE X-CELLENT #1
Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist: Mike Allred
Colorist: Laura Allred
Letterer: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Editor: Darren Shan
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 15, 2023
Previously in The X-Cellent: Zeitgeist is still on a mission to achieve social media godhood, no matter who he has to kill! But the spotlight won’t be big enough when the next generation of the X-Statix drop in! Join Peter Milligan and Michael Allred for the final half of their mutant celebrity saga!
PICKING UP WHERE WE LEFT OFF
This issue is actually Volume 2 Number 1 of The X-Cellent, grabbing all the story threads from Volume 1, so we pick up with Uno, one of Zeitgeist’s mutant band, infiltrating the headquarters of X-Statix. The Orphan and his team quickly teleport in to confront what they think is a full invasion, only to find that the X-Cellent trashed their home and ran. While they try to figure out what’s going on, Zeitgeist is on to his next target, an A.I. that can breach anyone’s privacy called The Digital Man, but finds himself clashing with the team’s new teleporter, Toodle Pip, who seems to be in love with his girlfriend. At the same time, Orphan convinces Mike and Katie, two of his own team members to fake a relationship for the social media clicks, leading both teams to wonder whether either of them has anything resembling moral high ground.
Ever since this revival began, it has focused primarily on Zeitgeist and his obviously villainous team as if they are the heroes, with the X-Statix serving as guest-stars or even recurring villains in their story. It’s an interesting approach, in keeping with the conceit that Zeitgeist has won the hearts and minds of the population, but it’s proving more and more difficult to maintain the facade, in-universe and out. Milligan’s grasp of character is as strong as ever, especially as we get the perspective of a mutant who is nothing but a giant, floating eye. His questions about sex and relationships and booze frame things with an alien point of view that makes it easier to see the crimes of both teams in a more neutral way. The Allreds once again go above and beyond with the art and coloring, making even the most bizarre events grounded and believable. When Toodle teleports Zeitgeist to the frozen peak of a mountain to remind him who’s really in charge, the clash of two opening evil people is visually stunning, conveying everything we need to know in the faces and body language of the characters.
BOTTOM LINE: THIS IS ENTIRELY MY PROVERBIAL JAM
Needless to say, I enjoyed the hell out of The X-Cellent #1, to the point where I’m going to re-read the first five issues, then go through this one again to see if I missed anything, with Milligan, Allred, Allred, and company making a fine comic that earns 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. In these days of sexy Wolverine and Krakoan intrigue, it’s the last bastion of real weirdo mutants, and the X-Statix are as relevant as they were 20 years ago.
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THE X-CELLENT #1
Zeitgeist's front is starting to crumble, but The Orphan finds himself having to compromise his own values to keep up with the X-Cellent. Things are really building to what could be a killer conclusion, which I hope is just the arc and not the series as a whole.
I loved how the cover has ‘Legacy’ numbering. It’s only six issues in the Legacy. What’s next a series where every issue is both a number 1 and Legacy serialized? “Brand New Issue 1 (LGY #2)”
Marvel has done this on and off for about 10 years now.
Yeah, I just hadn’t seen it with a Legacy number in the single digits before.