By Gerry Duggan, Pepe Larraz and Marte Gracia
The birth of a new X-Men team is always interesting to see. This one is especially cool since fans got to vote for the last member, which ended up being Polaris. Having said that, this week brings out a new X-Men #1 and a new writer in Gerry Duggan. There are usually high expectations with new flagship mutant books, especially in the Hickman era, but Duggan has become one of the more quality writers for Marvel and has a good record with pretty much every book he’s been on, so let’s get on with the review.
What every good mutant book needs is an interesting villain. For this series, Gerry Duggan gets us on the right path with Kelvin Heng. Nobody likes having their hard work and dream stolen from them, and for Kelvin Heng, it’s happened one too many times for him to sit back and take it anymore. Duggan starts our team off by giving us something we haven’t had for a while, X-Men in New York interacting with humans. Ben Urich has a good interaction with Cyclops, and he asks some good questions that will more than likely come back up later. Duggan takes us through the members of the team. and Cyclops even makes a funny joke while talking with Polaris. Duggan does give us some action this issue and allows every member of the team to have a moment to shine. Duggan gives us an ending that should raise some questions but also get you excited for the direction this series is going in. If this has the feel of a Hickman book to you, you’re not alone, but Duggan’s style differs enough to make it his own.
The pencils this issue are handled by Pepe Larraz with colors by Marte Gracia. The art is something that sets this issue apart from other X-books. Larraz is a stud on pencils and absolutely kills every book he draws. This issue you can see gorgeous action shots as the new team attacks a gigantic metal alien. Larraz has an amazing panel of Rogue flying as an explosion is happening behind her. Wolverine leaping toward the alien with her claws out is also a sight to be seen. To be honest with you, there isn’t a bad panel in this book from Larraz, cementing him as one of the best current artists at Marvel. For as good as the pencils were, the colors by Marte Gracia are equally impressive. Gracia beautifully colors a magnetic construct built by the X-Men with the sun shining behind it perfectly. Gracia also gives us our first glimpse of the X-Men’s new headquarters with a gorgeous blue sky in the background. The layers of colors on the buildings and background make this panel outstanding. The art couldn’t have been any better for this debut issue of X-Men.
I’m not sure what more you would want out of an X-book. There was action, story set up, good character moments and new villains. Duggan was impressive taking over the reins from Jonathan Hickman and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do on a flagship book. The pencils and colors are simply stunning. Larraz and Gracia absolutely crush this issue and dazzle in tis debut issue. X-Men #1 looks like it’s setting up for great things.