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Comic Review: X-Men #1

Marvel NOW! X-Men #1 Brian Wood Olivier Coipel

The adjective-less X-Men #1 could have been called X-Women, but that’s okay: Brian Wood and Olivier Coipel start this title off with all the excitement of a runaway train – literally – and lace it with hints at a much grander story that will hook you as any good first issue should.

Writer Brian Wood finds just the right level of feminine touch in this debut issue. It’s neither too girly nor too mysogynistic; instead, it feels like an X-Men story that just happens to fall in the laps of the Jean Grey School’s female mutants.

Wood organically introduces Storm, Rachel Summers, Rogue, Jubilee, Kitty Pryde and Psylocke in stops and starts as the story demands it, and he never tries to put them in an action splash page like you might expect from a team book debut.

Wood’s script certainly has some feminine nuances to it – from Jubilee caring for an orphan baby to Storm breaking up a girl fight – but it never feels heavyhanded.

The story centers around the baby under Jubilee’s care and the threat of a female bacterium named Akrea (yes, really) that has come to Earth after a long exile. Akrea is sister to X-Men villain John Sublime, and the two are not on good terms. Sublime wants to find Akrea, and he seeks out the X-Men’s help to do it.

Olivier Coipel nails the art with some fantastic facial acting and a good level of restraint in drawing his all-female cast. There is no cheesecake here; Coipel lets Psylocke be busty, Jubilee be skinny and Storm be punky without resorting to pin-up panels.

And Coipel’s panels look good, too. He breaks out of the panel edges subtly but effectively, making for a comic that is positively bursting with movement, especially in the runaway train sequence at the center of the issue.

X-Men #1 is good enough to deserve an adjective.

I’m going to call it “Superb.”

9 out of 10

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