Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ryan Reads Comics: X-Men (Vol. 3) #1

[NOTE: This post is pretty much spoiler-free.]

Or, as I can't help but call it in my head, THE ALL-NEW ALL-FEMALE X-MEN. Heh-heh, I'm a nerd.

Anyway . . .

When I heard that Marvel was really & truly going to re-launch the "adjectiveless" X-Men book with an all-female team, I was thoroughly, completely, utterly, and absolutely psyched. When I heard that Brian Wood was going to write it, and Jubilee was going to be one of the main characters, I knew that I had to go out and buy it as soon as it hit the shelves.

And I was right!


   STORM: Well, duh. I mean, I know I'm just the slightest bit partial here (she is pretty much my favorite comic book superhero of all time), but you really can't have an all-female team of X-Men without her.
   Also, I love that she's rocking her mohawk again.

   SHADOWCAT: Pure badass. Everyone loves her, but everyone loves her for a very good reason. Actually, several very good reasons. None of which are really shown off here, but you know she's gonna kick some serious ass as the series goes on. Well, so will everyone else, but it's more of a big deal for Kitty, because her power is somewhat less of a threat. Or so you'd think.

   Also, she is apparently a telepath again? That's pretty ideal.

   ROGUE: Not sure what's up with her powers these days (she mentions being able to match a train's speed "thanks to Northstar"), but she has superstrength and flight again, so I'm happy.

   RACHEL SUMMERS/GREY/whatever last name she's using now: Honestly, I've never been a huge fan, but she's such an obvious heavy hitter that you can easily understand why they'd want her on this team. I mean, with telekinesis and telepathy, there's no reason (other than her convoluted backstory) to go on not being a huge fan. I guess what I'm saying is, Rachel Grey, I am ready for you to win me over.

   JUBILEE: She's not a vampire anymore, right? Right? Please? I wanna see her blowin' shit up! No, actually, I don't just want it - if I'm gonna keep buying this book every month, I need to see her mutant powers restored! I don't care if the explanation for her no-longer-a-vampire-ness makes no sense, I don't even care if there is no explanation, I just need to see her make some fireworks! Emma Frost once said that she had potential to become one of the most powerful mutants on the planet, and it is about damn time that was explored at least a little! Hey, speaking of Emma Frost . . .

2. So far, Emma Frost is completely absent from this book. I mean, she's a completely brilliant character and all that, but ever since she officially joined the team, she's become almost as much of a spotlight hog as a certain hairy guy with claws; when I heard there was going to be an "all-female X-Men book," I was kind of afraid it might be "the awesome adventures of Emma Frost and her little girlfriends" or something equally dreadful. But no, she isn't even MENTIONED.

3. Words cannot express how grateful I am that no one at Marvel insisted on naming this book X-Women or X-Girls or anything gimmicky. The X-Men have been around since 1963; Storm joined in 1975, Jubilee first appeared in 1989, and the other four joined at different times in between. So my point is, everyone on this team is a veteran X-Man and has proven herself as a hero several times over. If you think of any one of them as "just a girl," you are a moron.
   (Of course, you could argue that "X-Men" is a sexist name, but hey, it was the sixties. They had one girl on the team. She didn't really get to do a whole lot, and she was caught up in quite a few obligatory romantic plotlines. So the way I see it, calling this team "just" X-Men could be taken as a sign of how far women in comics have come.)

4. Seriously, y'all: There are (so far) six people on this team. Every one of them is a woman, and half of them are not white. This shouldn't be a huge deal for a major superhero book in two thousand and fucking thirteen, but it is. And it makes me so. Damn. HAPPY.


1. For some reason, I wasn't completely crazy about the art. Having said that, I can see how it will probably grow on me (I wasn't completely crazy about Adrian Alphona when I started reading Runaways, but - obviously - he eventually became one of my favorites ever).

2. Kitty Pryde - who, in addition to being a superhero who has been saving the world since she was thirteen, is also, you know, legitimately a genius - says "OMG" in spoken conversation. Twice. That seems . . . off, somehow.

3. And now, my only real complaint about this issue:
   It's too short.
   No, I'm kidding - there's only so much story you can fit into twenty-two pages, and this is Part 1 of 3 - but it really does feel sort of like watching the first seven minutes of a really awesome movie that you've been waiting to see for months and months
   and then hitting Pause for another month.

So, all in all, I am already eagerly anticipating #2.

This is going to be so excellent.