Nostalgia Without The Time Travel – X-Men #1

When the new X-Men #1 was announced, one of the aspects that people noted was that, just like Uncanny X-Force and Fearless Defenders, it was another Marvel team book that featured just women in the lead roles.

The actual issue takes that and runs with it. Because not only do we have all female good guys, we have an all female bad guy, hiding in the most unlikely of places. Although her motivation is a little more complex than being “bad”.

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This is not, as some may have expected, a comic with superheroes talking around a kitchen table about their feelings and relationships. That’s the wrong Brian writer. And the only periods being talked about are the timings of classes.

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Instead, this is a eighties action movie with, in the first issue, planes, trains and helicopters, some that survive the X-Men’s interference and some that do not. The all-femaleness of the X-Men just depends on who happens to be in the X-Mansion at the time. And the chosen ones are those that can punch a train, run through an explosion, or merely stand or sit there looking bad ass.

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It’s also an eighties action comic, the closest I’ve read to one of those mid-Claremont issues, just after issue 200 or so. The ones that judged action and introspection so perfectly. Indeed, just around the first time we met Jubilee. Who is now a mother…

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The art doesn’t try to be too flash, shots are well measured, the art and colours give us light struggling to break through the darkness, but when it does it’s spectacular. It feels real and grounded, with power waiting to emerge, and bringing all sorts of danger with it when it does.

And dammit, if it didn’t work on me. Nostalgic, while still being fresh. Something that recognises and reflects the history of the X-Men but doesn’t need time travel to bring that slap bang against the present.

Enjoy. I did.

X-Men #1 by Brian Wood, Olivier Coipel, Mark Morales and Laura Martin is published by Marvel Comics today.

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