October 15, 2019 – Patrick Tejada
X-Men 1: The 5th Iteration, or something finally clicked
Warning: Minimal spoilers ahead
- Artgerm Virgin Variant
- Bachalo Hidden Gem
- Bagley Every Mutant Ever<
- Brooks Party Cover
- Checcheto Young Guns
- Dauterman Variant
- Muller Design
- Portacio Variant
16 October 2019 - the day The Walt Disney Company launched the first X-Men #1 of their watch. The cautious adjective "first" is just a reminder of potential reboots years or decades henceforth. At this moment, though, there is a feeling of permanency and the chances of seeing another X-Men #1 happening soon (or ever) appear nil.
Two reasons to consider here: From a business standpoint, Disney now holds sway on all things Marvel. This is not a foolproof guarantee of success. To wit, look no further than their acquisition of Lucasfilm Limited. With their complete disregard of every Star Wars Expanded Universe (Star Wars Legends) story/mythos, the fate of the Star Wars franchise now hinges on the last film of their released sequels when the presumption should have been "It'll be a success. I mean, c'mon, it's Star Wars." Obviously, that's a different conversation. In fairness to the creatives at Disney, they appear to have learned a lesson and have kept as much of the pre-loved stories X-Men fans know intact. In this instance though, a tweak is not all bad. It actually provides a clearer timeline since among Marvel's super teams the X-Men have the most convoluted storylines.
When House of X and Powers of X (read as Powers of Ten) filled comic book stores' shelves, the anticipation was met with stories that satisfied X-Men fans and comic book readers alike. What Jonathan Hickman vis-a-vis Marvel/Disney created was a solid foundation upon which all future X-Men/X titles will originate from, which brings us to the second reason. HoX and PoX have two "cutoff" points. One time frame details mutantkind's story a century into the future, the other their fate in a millennium. With this device, they now have a structure to frame all the X titles. Should they veer, then brace for X-Men Volume 6.
Aptly dubbed Dawn of X, these X titles have already broken new ground. No longer is mutantkind struggling to integrate with Homo sapiens and struggling for acceptance. They now have a country of their own (for the trivia junkie, their nation is called Krakoa). Prejudice still abounds and legal recognition of Krakoa among Earth's population is still a pipe dream, but with their autonomy and an offer to provide a miracle plant to cure almost every human disease, the mutants now flaunt their title Homo sapien superior.
X-Men #1 still contains battles and explosions. Amidst the familiarity though is an unsettling feeling of danger forthcoming. The panels posted online (only superlatives for the pencil work of Filipino comic book artist Leinil Francis Yu) show the X-Men Cyclops and Storm destroying the defences of Earth's last Orchis stronghold. There is a valid reason for their attack. Orchis is an organization comprised of agents from strange bedfellows of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra , and A.I.M. and others whose mission is to curtail the rapid rise of mutant population. It's unclear if this was a pre-emptive strike although it does appear Orchis' defences had to scramble. Either way, Cyclops' and Storm's shock-and-awe tactics are enough to overwhelm any resistance. The aggression is the overt display; the undertone, that's something worth mentioning. Scott and Ororo's conversation now lacks the empathy it once had for humans; there may even be a tinge of cruelty. Gone is the frustration regarding prejudice, in its place, the mocking of the human race for failing to recognize their defeat.
Dawn of X is upon us and, to quote Magneto's soon-to-be iconic declaration, You have new gods now.
What May Be Overlooked This Week:
- Gideon Falls #17 (Image Comics)
- Absolute Carnage #4 (Marvel Comics)
Patrick is a 40-something spirit aware of his duality (still clashing, much less now). Sans the embellishment of his grand delusions, Patrick is a left-handed ghost-in-the-machine chronicler of disembodied voices still trying to write better sentences.
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