X-Men Season One:
Instead of reviewing a new comic series this week, I’m reviewing X-Men Season One. Marvel’s Season 1 is a series of hardcover origin retellings. The first Season One hardcover, Fantastic Four, released last month. It was a decent retelling of Marvel’s First Family’s origin story that eases new readers into the family, but wasn’t worth long-time fans’ attention. It wasn’t perfect, but it was satisfactory. So how does X-Men Season One stand up?
This hardcover was just ok. More importantly, X-Men Season One is pointless. There are two X-Men origins paperbacks that cover more ground than this does – specifically exploring different characters’ origins that also explore the beginnings of the X-Men. Those stories also do it better. That’s not saying that those are good, but they’re better.
Unlike Fantastic Four Season One, which told a story that isn’t often retold, there really is no reason for X-Men Season One to exist; it explores no new territory in the history of the X-Men. If you haven’t read about the X-Men origin, check out the X-Men Origin paperbacks instead. Heck, even the recently reprinted Days of Future Past paperback sums up the X-Men origin story, and their history up to the Dark Phoenix Saga, in one issue that doubles as Jean Grey’s funeral. Even that is better for reading about the X-Men’s early years than this.
As for the quality; it’s alright. The artwork is strong throughout, the characterization is good and it does an alright job at introducing newcomers to the X-Men. It’s a little odd that the danger room is holographic here when in the early years, the danger room was a bunch of machines. Yeah, I know this is a modernized retelling, but this clashes with popular stories like the Dark Phoenix Saga, which all new X-Men fans should check out. Magneto’s plan isn’t well explained, and the book even ends on a cliff-hanger. Why would you end an origin retelling on a cliff-hanger when there is no continuation in sight?
In addition to Magneto, the brotherhood is introduced, but you never see a brawl between them and the X-Men. It’s disappointing when the X-Men only have two brief battles with Magneto and a skimmed over fight against a T-Rex in the savage land. Do we see anyone else in the savage land? Nope, making that scene kind of pointless.
There really isn’t anything else to say. It’s alright, but X-Men Season 1 isn’t worth reading even for new readers. Their origin has little effect on the modern X-Men comics considering the X-Men have recently split in two, and Jean Grey, the book’s main character, has been dead since 2003. A much better jumping on point for the X-Men would be either the awesome Messiah Complex event or last year’s Schism event.
This issue is mostly a fight between Supergirl and four World Breakers. Who are the World Breakers? This issue explains that very well. Is this issue any good after the somewhat disappointing Supergirl 5 and 6?
This series started off strong with the first four issues. Then issue five and six slowed the whole book down with too much exposition, Superman science that felt off and cliché plot progression. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t good either. Supergirl 7 brings the series back where it should be. This is pretty much an issue-long fight, complete with enough exposition to explain what’s going on without getting excessive. There is still mystery behind the World Breakers that could promise for some very interesting stories later on.
As for the fighting, Supergirl holds her own against four beings that should easily overpower her, and she really cuts loose with her powers. She also shows analytical and tactical thinking to scare them off. This is coupled with some very strong artwork that emphasizes both the power that each character wields and the emotional turmoil that Supergirl is going through. In the last few issues, she found that her home planet was destroyed and now that she’s found a new home on Earth, she is defending it with her life.
This series has lots of potential, and this issue proves that. As long as Michael Green and Mike Johnson improve on the excessive monologuing and cliché moments, this could turn out to be one of DC’s stronger books in the new DC Universe. This issue is an easy recommendation for anyone who is curious about Supergirl, or just wants to see a super powered brawl between five people who are all capable of destroying planets in their own way. In that sense, this issue is even satisfying as a oneshot.
Everything that you need to know is explained inside this issue – in fact it explains much of what the previous issues have been building up towards.