Marvelous X-Men #1 Shows The Dark Side Of Utopia

by Tony Thornley

The X-Men have been about fighting against oppression. However, what happens when they’ve won, and the world has become a utopia for mutantkind? Unfortunately, in the case of Marvelous X-Men #1, that might not be all it’s cracked up to be.

Cover by Phil Noto

The core miniseries of the Age of X-Man launches here. It comes to us from Zac Thompson, Lonnie Nadler, Marco Failla, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna.

The X-Men respond to a massive California wildfire, splitting between extinguishing the fire and rescuing those endangered by it. One of the team members has flashes of their true history though, leading to a post-mission confrontation (and mind-wipe) with X-Man. But the mutant’s messiah complex is placed in danger when Jean Grey’s mind is hijacked by a mysterious new group of foes- En Sabbah Nur, Genesis and Kitty Pryde.

Where Age of X-Man Alpha was a horror story, this issue shifts to a psychological thriller, a tale of a world where all the problems are solved, but it may be beginning to unravel. Thompson and Nadler ably show that this world isn’t all bad, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay. However, the difficulty Nate Grey is having is rooted in the characters, and the relationships they have with one another, which is a perfect theme for the X-Men. It’s a skilled depiction of the characters, balanced with superheroic action and worldbuilding, and that’s exactly what this story needed.

Failla and Milla flesh out the world ably. They show how much the characters have changed, yet their essence is still there, using both design and palatte choice to get to the root of the characters. The action is deftly done, with the layouts and camera movement building tension throughout.

This event is off to a great start, and it’s worth checking out for any Marvel fan.

Marvelous X-Men #1 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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