Today marks the fourth volume of X-Men, complete with a #1 issue. I for one don’t really care about numbering, but I’m sure the whole, “OMG it’s a #1!” is wearing off on comic readers. Don’t you realize it’s nothing but a number and Marvel is actually keeping track of the one number we’re “really” at? Either way, Brian Wood takes us on an all-girls mutant team which is exciting and new nonetheless. Is it good?
X-Men Vol. 4 #1 (Marvel Comics)
The decompression that takes place in comics today is a frustrating experience. Not only are comics reduced in page count, but stories are plotted out for collected editions of six issues. Back when Chris Claremont was writing you could get a whopping amount of story, dialogue and character development in a single issue. Now it seems stories are slowed down to hit the marks needed for six issues. Some writers are really good at telling a decompressed story but also delivering bits of character development and side stories to make each single issue worth a purchase. Can writer Brian Wood accomplish this? Judging by the first issue, the jury is still out.
Yet another creation story at Marvel. Isn’t Hickman doing an ambitious story already?
This issue opens with a new character explaining he and his sister were born and battled. He won and cast her out to the cosmos and he stayed here to create Earth. A creation story to start the issue, marvelous! I for one love the mythical nature of the creation story and generally speaking it works here. The only problem I have is, how many creation/alternate dimension stories are currently going on at Marvel? Too many in my opinion, but I’ll roll with this.
Love the body language each character exhibits.
That’s the big baddie storyline, but the major story arc involved Jubilee. The book opens with her rushing back to the X-Men in order to be back with family, but also introduce a mysterious baby to the family as well. I can’t help but think Wood introduced this baby story because women are mothering creatures and having an all-girl series requires it. It works though, so no harm no foul and it’s interesting to see the mothering side of some of these characters pop up, however brief.
Storm: Scary eyes.
Which is great, because Wood’s strength is writing characters. If you were coming for big action sequences or plot driven story you’ve come to the wrong place. This issue does a good job reintroducing everyone, passing off all the character tinges and setting up the new villain. That said, there are a lot of questions in the air and not a whole lot of story here.
Thankfully artist Olivier Coipel is here to send this comic into the stratosphere. His talent at expressions and body language is unmatched, which works perfectly with Wood’s character heavy work. Without his exceptional work you might think there wasn’t too much to this comic, but he makes the simplest panel interesting.
Where did Psylocke’s nose go?
- Well written characters
- Exceptional art
- Decompressed stories are decompressed!
So is the story decompressed? Yes, which is the unfortunate truth of comics today. We’re going to have to deal with it or become trade waiting readers. That said, there’s just enough character in this issue to soak up the lack of plot and story progression. Now, we’ll see how this comic fares when Coipel is replaced, but for now it’s a good fun and great reading.
Is It Good?
Yes! An all girl X-Men team?! Sign me up!
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!