Need a few extra days to bang out this week’s new toys article, which means another “filler”-article where I get to talk comics instead. I am excited for times like these, and am probably the only person who is.
If you would have told me the quality of the X-men line would be as good as it is now post-AvX a year ago, I would have called you crazy. And by crazy I mean something more offensive, because I’m kind of a jerk. But at this time in 2012, we had Kieron Gillen on “Uncanny”, Jason Aaron on “Wolverine and the X-men”, Christos Gage on “X-men Legacy” and Rick Remender on “Uncanny X-Force”, all amazing book in their own right. 12 months later, Aaron is the only one of those writers still involved in the X-books, and the line has only gotten better!
Part of that improvement has come with Brain Michael Bendis taking over writing duties on the recently relaunched “Uncanny X-men“, as well as the launch of “All-New X-men“. “Uncanny” follows Cyclops, Magneto, Emma Frost and Magik and their new Mutant Revolution, putting them at odds with their fellow X-men and the government., which means SHIELLD and the Avengers. It also touches upon Scott’s new status quo as the face of a rebellion, which is an interesting character study, given how he used to be such the boy scout. “All-New” is the tale of the original 5 X-men being dragged into the present via Hank McCoy and all the drama surrounding that. “All-New” feels just fresh as Bendis’ work on “Ultimate Spider-Man”, and has a great blend of humor, drama. and action. All of Bendis’ strong scripts are enhanced with having great artists drawing them- Chris Bachalo and Frazier Irving handle art duties on Uncanny, and Stuart Immonen and David Masquez draw All-New. Both books are $3.99, and the 8th issue of All-New shipped this past week, and Uncanny comes out this upcoming Wednesday. As someone who was concerned about the quality when Bendis took over these titles, I’m quite glad those concerns were put to rest.
With Uncanny getting relaunched, Wolverine and the X-men becomes the elder title in the core X-family ( As enjoyable as “Astonishing” has been, it’s very much doing it’s own thing.). Not that that’s a bad thing mind you. Aaron’s script still feel like classic Claremont scripts with a nice modern twist to it, as the focus on the X-kids has been nothing short of great. Nick Bradshaw has stepped up and become the series’ main artist, with Ramon Perez currently drawing the current arc which involves Wolverine taking the students on a field trip to the Savage Land. Much like Uncanny, it’s $3.99 per issue.
“X-men, but with a classic Vertigo twist” is the best way to describe the relaunched X-Men Legacy, which now follows the journey of Legion in this post AvX world. Simon Spurrier wrote an amazing “X-Club” mini-series after post-Schism X-men series, and it’s good to see Marvel put enough faith in him to get an on-going. Easily one of the best books Marvel’s been putting out, and definitely it’s weirdest, and easily worth the $2.99 to add it your monthly pull list.
Marvel wouldn’t be Marvel with having a dozen books with Wolverine in them, which is why we currently have 2 Wolverine titles. To be fair, Savage Wolverine is more of a Shanna the She-Devil max-series written and drawn by Frank Cho, which has so far delivered a fun story with amazing visuals. Paul Cornell and Alan Davis are handling the new solo Wolverine title, which are also an impressive creative team in their own right, and should be a great run too . Both are $3.99.
And as they say, the best is yet to come, as May will see the launch of “X-men” under creators Brain Wood and Oliver Copiel is set for a May launch. The first all-female X-book ever looks to be a great read, given the creators involved, and will only serve to make the line stronger. As someone who’s never been THAT into the core X-books, Marvel NOW has definitely done it’s job into increasing the appeal of the X-Men side of the Marvel universe, with books that read and look great. If you’ve ever been tempted to get into X-men, now’s the time to do it.