I always read every comic I review twice. I try to do that with every comic I buy anyway, but I make sure to do it with every review. Part of the reason I do that is that for my first impressions posts, I read all the comics I picked up that week in one sitting. It’s easy to miss something when you do that. Even ignoring that, sometimes your opinion can change with a second reading. So the first time I read Generation X 1, I thought it was just ok. The second time through, I enjoyed it more, but not a huge amount more.
Written by Christina Strain, Generation X is the second mostly teenaged focused X-Men series out right now. The first is X-Men Blue, starring the time displaced teenaged original 5 X-Men. This one focuses more on the newer X-teens, who have been overlooked over the last year. The cast of characters chosen for this book is well balanced. You’ve got Jubilee as their team leader, a former X-Men teenager herself. You’ve got A couple of the more potentially interesting characters introduced during Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men run, Quentin Quire, Bling and a new character. There’s a good balance of power sets and personalities here.
The characterization in this comic is really good for the most part. Kitty Pryde only shows up for a few pages, and yet she’s portrayed with more character than in X-Men Gold. The new character clearly feels out of place, and he’s rightfully scared after witnessing a fight between Quentin Quire and a couple of the other students. He doesn’t have much character depth yet though – he’s just the nervous new guy who doesn’t know whether he wants to stay at the school or not. This comic is also kind of busy with things happening. Some of it is entertaining, but it doesn’t really let dramatic scenes happen, even though there’s clearly a place for a big one toward the end.
The art by Amilcar Pinna is good. It’s a mostly clean, simple look that often uses angles to zoom in on characters’ faces, but the details on leaves in the background is often impressive. The eyes are usually very expressive, even if sometimes exaggerated, to help convey emotions. The fight in the school makes great use of debris after Quire throws Bling through a wall, and seeing a bunch of other students duck for cover is a nice touch. The new kid’s powers seems to be some sort of touch-based psychic reading, which leads to some great montages of several characters’ pasts. The colouring by Felipe Sobreiro is also good. It’s bright and colourful, matching this comic’s overall mood.
So I kind of like this comic and there is a lot of potential, but this issue feels like it’s rushing to introduce all of its elements. It feels like I need to read the second issue to properly decide how to feel about this one. There are some amusing moments, like Jubilee almost giving her son the wrong bottle (she’s still a vampire), but this comic feels like it could have benefited from being more focus. Jubilee fans should at least look into this series, as should those interested in a teen X-Men book. I’ll at least check out the next issue and see how I feel after.