So, the horror of the terrigen mist story arc is over for the X-Men. At less than a year and a half, that didn’t last very long. Replacing it is a new age where the X-men are finally seen as heroes, and they’re making good use of that. It’s about time really.
X-Men Prime is sort-of a preview for the upcoming X-Men books, but with its own standalone story, in the same way that the Marvel Point One issues usually are for Avengers books. The main story focuses mostly on Kitty Pryde, newly returned to Earth, and learning about what’s been going on since she left to join the Guardians of the Galaxy. A good chunk of it is a conversation with Storm and how she feels guilty over some of her actions during the terrigen mist story arc. The writing is very well done, with a good mix of drama, touching on nostalgia and building up to the new age.
Within the story are a couple short previews for other X-Books. The first one features Lady Deathstrike, who’s trying to lay low and live a relatively normal life for a while. Unfortunately, she’s confronted by the newly resurrected Weapon X, with a new and very evil purpose behind them. It’s a tense little scene with a fair amount of creepy build-up, teasing what should be a pretty dark series (Weapon X). The other scene features the original 5 X-men practicing in the Danger Room, or at least that’s what they want the others to think. Spoiling what happens there would ruin the fun, but it’s a somewhat amusing moment in an otherwise fairly serious, but mostly upbeat comic. The writing duties are shared between Marc Guggenheim, Greg Pak and Cullen Bunn, and although we know who is writing which upcoming series, I won’t make any assumptions as to who wrote which parts.
The art his handled by a whole bunch of people – Ken Lashley, Ibraim Roberson, Leonardo Kirk and Guillermo Ortego. For the most part their art styles actually work pretty well together. Although it’s easy to tell where the artist changes happen, they’re also used to separate Kitty Pryde’s story from the other mini-stories within. In any case, it’s all good. Kitty’s story makes good use of facial expressions and body language. The scene where Kitty and Storm talk takes place in a small restaurant, complete with detailed backgrounds showing the counter, a couple stools in front of it, and advertisements for the fictional drinks and some of the snacks available.
Lady Deathstrike’s scene is a very clean yet detailed look – it’s probably the best art in the comic. The original 5 scene is more of a cartoonish look, but it’s very slight and could still be called traditional art (just that the eyes are a bit bigger than normal, and some facial expressions are slightly exaggerated). The action in the danger room scene is chaotic in all the right ways. The colouring is handled by three people: Morry Hollowell, Frank D’armata and Michael Garland. Besides Lady Deathstrike’s scene that is appropriately dark and makes great usage of shadows, the comic is bright and colourful.
As a whole, this is a good comic. I hesitate a bit to call it great because it is kind of a glorified teaser, but it’s definitely worth a look if you’re considering picking up either X-Men Gold, X-Men Blue or Weapon X. It doesn’t touch on the other X-Men books, so if you’re not interested in those three at all, this is skippable. For what it is though, it’s mostly a dramatic character study, looking at Kitty Pryde’s mindset at the time when she decides to lead the X-Men for a while, and it’s well-written on that front.
As for the X-Men comics I plan to pick up, I’m going to try X-Men Gold, X-Men Blue and Generation X. I decided early on that I’m only reading one series with Old Man Logan in it, and they’re shoving him in almost everything. It’s as if they haven’t learned that Logan’s overexposure led to him becoming less popular in the first place. There are other Wolverine characters they can use instead, like Sabretooth, who’s trying to be a hero now, All-New Wolverine, who deserves more spotlight, and, you know … non Wolverine related characters. In any case, the rest of the cast in X-Men Gold made that one the easy choice for now, but we’ll see how that goes soon enough.
And as for the Weapon X series, not only is it being drawn by Greg Land (ugh), but you have a bunch of Weapon X and X-Force related characters, yet you’re completely ignoring All-New Wolverine, Deadpool and Daken? I know Daken hasn’t shown up anywhere since Wolverines and I’m not a fan of his character anyway, but this Weapon X series sounds like the perfect place for him to show up again. I don’t know – having a Weapon X series and seemingly ignoring several major Weapon X characters feels wrong to me. Not interested.
Anyway, I’ll also be checking out Cable and Jean Grey’s solo titles. I was never really an Ice Man fan, so I won’t bother with his series. And of course I’ll be sticking with All-New Wolverine.