PICKS OF THE WEEK! Friday, July 9, 1st Pick
After the events of Planet-Sized X-Men, I was delighted and my enthusiasm was renewed for where the X line of books could be heading. That promise has been there since House of X/Powers of X two years ago, but I think most would agree that the books have, at times, lost their way. And at the very least, meandered a bit off point. Filled with both highs and lows, the Hickman era has, if nothing else, given us a truly unique and new approach to the X books. So, with that said, the reason I loved X-Men #1 by Duggan and Larraz was because it felt familiar. Simply put, it felt like my X-Men again.
After mutants suddenly revitalized the atmosphere and core of the planet Mars, and claimed it for a new mutant planet and homeworld, the X-Men have now, overnight, grown a new plant based headquarters in New York, called the Seneca Gardens, in honor of past historical events in that location. Despite the reaction of New Yorkers, the X-Men work to feel at home in their new headquarters. Perfectly placed for the all-too common activity of threats and menaces in New York, the X-Men spring into action after a fireball hits near the city, containing a giant alien menace.
Firstly, the artwork by Pepe Larraz is jaw droppingly gorgeous. And let me not understate that my favorite thing about this issue was that it felt like the X-Men again. They each felt like different, fleshed out characters, and in the face of the alien threat, they come together and work as a team to defeat it. And they make mistakes along the way, which I always appreciate in my hero books. Are their seeds of the surrounding weight of the (mostly) slow moving Hickman era plot? Yes, and this book sets up more plot lines too, but more than anything, it was really fun.