X-Men Issue 1: Curse of the Mutants, Part 1

By Vince

I’m a bit conflicted on the necessity of this title. To be honest, the X-Men family of books is big enough as it is. Comparing it to Marvel’s other big super-team, it’s surpassing the Avengers franchise in terms of monthly publications. However, many of the Avengers have their own solo titles for character development, leaving the team books for larger stories. With the exception of Wolverine, none of the X-Men have solo titles, so the team books have to carry the weight of both character development and overall plot advancement.

The franchise has been doing well enough in recent years, with Uncanny X-Men carrying both weights, but then again the X-Men haven’t really DONE anything. So, I’d say there’s a definite role for X-Men in the lineup, but it may be one title too many to expect people to buy. Though, that’s a discussion better left for another time, once we’ve seen how well things play out.

On it’s own, how does X-Men #1 stand up? Quite well. I’ve loved Victor Gischler’s work on Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth, and he handles the higher profile of this title with ease. Coming out of Gischler’s Death of Dracula one-shot, “Curse of the Mutants” is a story that essentially boils down to “X-Men vs Vampires.” The story starts with the de-powered Jubilee returning to the spotlight at the center of a vampire-terrorist attack. The vampires have developed a virus and are trying to increase their ranks by infecting the people of San Francisco. The story moves from one plot point to the next quickly and seamlessly, maintaining a solid pace throughout.

Paco Medina’s artwork compliments the story perfectly. His designs capture each character as they should. Even a new reader can tell from the artwork alone, before they even say a word, that Cyclpos is the confident leader and Wolverine is the sarcastic muscle. Getting that much character through just from the art is an important factor for a book that will likely feature many of them. His facial expressions, while a bit cartoony at times, even further add to this effect. If you’ve seen any of Medina’s previous work on Deadpool, you know the guy can handle action.

In the end, X-Men #1 works as a single issue. It works as the start of a new storyline. It even works as the start of a new era for the X-Men franchise. However, as the first book of an entirely new title, it falls a bit short. It lacks the “wow” factor that every title launch really needs to be successful.

X-Men Issue 1: Curse of the Mutants, Part 1
Marvel Comics
Story: Victor Gischler
Art: Paco Medina (Pencils), Juan Vlasco (Inks), Marte Gracia (Colors)

Vince is the self-proclaimed “Massive Nerd.” His interests range from video games and comics to anime and Transformers collectibles.

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