X-Men #1 is Already Better Than All of HoXPoX [X-ual Healing 10-16-19]

HoXPoX is over and the Dawn of X is upon us… which means it's time for the X-books to deliver on the promise of a bright new future. Did that happen in X-Men #1? Read on to find out.

Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities, but thanks to a corporate merger and a line-wide relaunch, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics.

X-Men #1 is Already Better Than All of HoXPoX [X-ual Healing 10-16-19]

What Happened in X-Men #1

The Dawn of X Breaks the Monotony of HoXPoX [X-ual Healing 10-16-19]

(W) Jonathan Hickman (A/CA) Leinil Francis Yu
The X-Men find themselves in a whole new world of possibility… and things have never been better! Jonathan Hickman (HOUSE OF X, POWERS OF X, SECRET WARS) and superstar artist Leinil Yu (NEW AVENGERS, CAPTAIN AMERICA) reveal the saga of Cyclops and his hand-picked squad of mutant powerhouses!
Rated T+
In Shops: Oct 16, 2019
SRP: $4.99

X-Men #1 opens with s scene of Professor Xavier first giving Scott Summers his ruby quartz glasses before jumping right into the post-HoXPoX action, as Cyclops and Storm invade an O.R.C.H.I.S. facility to put a stop to their mutant-murdering ways. As the forces retreat into the compound, Magneto and Polaris arrive for backup. Base leader Dr. Mars declares that their research not go to waste, so they inject themselves with a serum that turns them into apes. Magneto takes care of them as the other three X-Men descend further into the compound and find a bunch of mutants held in stasis tubes, along with one posthuman subject. She teleports away though, and the X-Men bring the freed mutants back to Krakoa, delivering them to Dr. Cecelia Reyes.

Storm stays with Dr. Reyes to help keep an eye on the mutants in case anything goes wrong, while Magneto basks in the adulation of the local crowds, which Polaris finds embarrassing. After a conversation about what Krakoa means to him with Polaris, Cyclops heads back to his house on the moon, where the whole Summers clan lives, to meet his dad and the Starjammers for dinner.

We get an interlude at the ORCHIS Forge, where Director Devo and Omega Sentinal Karima Shapandar discuss the previous disaster when the X-Men invaded the Forge and tossed the Mother Mold into the sun. Devo takes responsibility for the failure.

At the Summer House, Scott chills with Corsair while Wolverine watches Vulcan grill some steaks, with Vulcan waxing poetic about the inferno inside himself as he cooks. Kid Cable asks his "mom," Jean Grey, if he can trade guns with Raza of the Starjammers, while Rachel Grey bonds with Hepzibah over being badass women. Before dinner, Alex Summers gifts his dad with a Krokoa flower to plant on the Starjammer and form a portal to Krakoa. An infographic shows us the living quarters, including connecting doors between Wolverine, Jean, and Scott's rooms, which has been the subject of much salacious internet gossip. Scott and Corsair share another conversation after dinner where Corsair worries about how dangerous what Scott is doing is, though Scott assures him that he understands the danger but is focusing on enjoying the people he loves.

In a final scene at the ORCHIS Forge, Dr. Gregor tells Director Devo that she has a way to bring back her husband, who died in the X-Men attack during HoXPoX.

Was X-Men #1 Any Good?

As HoXPoX ended last week, I weighed the pros and cons of the story and whether it justified relaunching the X-Men. Ultimately, while I found a lot of issues with the story itself, I felt that the interest the series sparked in the X-Men with existing comic fans was at least a good start in reinvigorating the franchise, though we'd be relying on the Dawn of X books to capitalize on that momentum.

Interesting to learn, however, in an interview last week at AiPT with Cullen Bunn, that Marvel had been planning this relaunch since at least 2015, and even more interestingly, that the X-Books seemed to be in a purposeful holding pattern because of it, with Bunn saying the creative teams were "very limited with where we could go with the story because the plans for House of X–those were already in play." Hickman descended on the X-books like the savior that would lead them out of a dark time of mediocrity… but was his coming the source of that alleged mediocrity in the first place?

All of that said, while HoXPoX offered big ideas, it suffered from a lack of personality, with hardly any insight into what was making the characters in the story tick beyond Moira and maybe Xavier, and many of the X-Men acting completely out of character. For the most part, X-Men #1 is the opposite of that, with a focus on families, mainly the Summers family, though some nice interactions between Polaris and Magneto as well. There was warmth here that was missing throughout the twelve issues of HoXPoX, and it's a relief to see, because it's the found family aspect of the X-Men that makes it special as much as stories about time travel and mutations and the epic war with humanity.

That being said, there's still some stuff to be explained. The Wolverine/Jean/Scott room thing is cheeky, but will it be explored, or serve as just an inside joke that distracts from the story rather than adding to it, like Vulcan's cooking? There's a lot to be explained about the motivations of various characters for going along with the Krakoa plan as well, though this issue did a lot for explaining it when it comes to Scott Summers, even if he was probably the mutant least in need of an explanation.

Either way, it's nice to see a moment of personal downtime for the X-Men after HoXPoX, and I'm looking forward to the launch of the rest of the books breaking up the monotony of Hickmanism, even though it looks like we can expect the damn infographics to remain pervasive throughout the line.

Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Week

Now that HoXPoX is over and we'll be getting more X-books, it's time to bring back the Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the week, awarded to the comic that provides the most satisfying X-Men experience, like grilled meat on a hot summer day. It seems we may still get single-X-book weeks for the foreseeable future, and on those weeks, if the one X-book sucked, then no one will get the Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Week. This week, however, X-Men #1 was satisfying enough to earn the award.

X-Men #1 is Already Better Than All of HoXPoX [X-ual Healing 10-16-19]

Congratulations to the creative team.

I'll also be keeping track of Wolverine's Weiner Winners, so…

  • 10/16/2019: X-Men #1

Next week, we've got Marauders #1. See you then!

Read more X-ual Healing here:

X-Men #1 is Already Better Than All of HoXPoX [X-ual Healing 10-16-19]

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Jude TerrorAbout Jude Terror

A prophecy once said that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero would come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events. Sadly, that prophecy was wrong. Oh, Jude Terror was right. For ten years. About everything. But nobody listened. And so, Jude Terror has moved on to a more important mission: turning Bleeding Cool into a pro wrestling dirt sheet!
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