Generation X Review – Not Trying To Cause A Big Sensation
You may know from a couple times I may have mentioned it on here, I'm kinda a big fan of Generation X, the classic Scott Lobdell and Chris Bachalo created series that basically got me into comics.
And so when as part of ResurrXion, Marvel announced a new Generation X, by Christina Strain and Amilcar Pinna, I was beyond excited. This excitement was a little tempered when I learned it wouldn't be a full return of the original cast (to be fair, most are dead now, thanks Marvel) but still, I was kinda excited and the premise for this new series had potential.
Sadly, for me, it's so far not really lived up to it.
Don't get me wrong – I really wanted to love this series. Generation X, it bears repeating, means a lot to me. And I had high hopes for the potential of the premise of this. Plus, hey, it is only three issues in.
However, I find this series kind of troubling so far.
First off, I will say that it has some interesting elements. The characterisation is largely good, and the banter between characters is sometimes rather fun. However, it has so far got off to a rather slow start. The first issue is a basic new character comes to the school, school fight breaks out and then a Purifier attack (Purifiers seem to be everywhere since ResurrXion).
If we look back to the original Generation X #1, we had new kids at school, teenage personality clashes, superpowered rough-housing, a mysterious new character arriving, an attack by a major new villain who was like a nightmare, and then another mysterious new character dumped at the school mysteriously. LOADS happened in that first issue, but so far, three issues in, this new Generation X doesn't really feel to be quite reaching the same heights.
Then, there's the other thing…the premise, for me, has become a bit troubling.
From the first issue, Kitty Pryde, who is now in charge of the mutants at the school's future, comes across as something of a low-key horrible person. She's decided to base a class system on ability, and has just decided to sideline these kids into it, with no input from the kids about what they want from their futures.
Her system, which Jubilee begrudgingly just goes along with it would seem, would seem to set out to remove options from young people's futures, rather than let them have the opportunity to find their own path.
Completely the opposite of the original Generation X, where the kids were treated as possibly the next generation of X-Men but had the option to do whatever they felt like (some of the characters had no desire to become X-Men).
The idea of following some of the less spectacular powerset characters was quite intriguing at first, but with this set-up that they come together as they are lumped together as being somehow incapable compared to others? I find it really problematic.
Especially as it doesn't make sense for some of the characters. Quentin Quire is too rebellious to be relied on as an X-Man, sure, but he is in full control of his abilities, so his inclusion in this class makes little sense. And Roxy, a.k.a. Bling! has a powerset that makes her nigh-invulnerable, incredible defensive and offensive, and has been through a lot of crap already. Sure, to say she's unscathed would be wrong, but she does seem to have handled things like watching her classmates get blown up in a bus, or fighting Sentinels and even once being kidnapped by Emplate and fed upon repeatedly, with ease. If anything, she seems a perfect candidate for future X-Man to me.
What has been nice to have again, though, is some of remaining/surviving original Gen Xers getting more time in the comics again. We've obviously got Jubilee a ton, but also had Chamber as a kind of recurring guest star. And the next issue promises a return of M, who of course is currently possessed by her brother, Emplate.
Still, another thing which hasn't sold me on this series has been the art. Amilcar Pinna's lines, at times, look incredibly rough, rushed and sketchy. Sometimes they can be pretty good, but a lot of the time they look rough around the edges. The colours by Felipe Sobreiro and Nolan Woodard have worked well with the art, occasionally doing a lot of the work of building depth to the page, however even this isn't kept up throughout, and sometimes layers are left flat.
This Generation X does do a pretty good job of approximating the tone of the original, but it just doesn't seem to have the same heart as the original had. And the premise could have played out really well, but sadly has instead come across as kind of problematic. Hopefully, with time, this can be worked out.
There's a lot which can work here. New character, Nathaniel, is quite intriguing, and Benjamin Deeds actually getting a chance to get some character exploration and depth is fun. But I do think the series could do with a slight change in direction, and maybe lose Pryde's 'this is all you can ever be' class structure.