Part of a reviewer’s job is to determine what the art is trying to accomplish and then decide on whether or not it has done that well. It’s a big reason why a blockbuster film can score high marks while an artsy and important film might score low. It allows a reviewer to tackle a kids book and on the same day a dreary horror novel for adults only. It’s something I kept in mind when tackling Rob Liefeld’s newest foray into the X-Men universe after years of contributions. Major X #1 is out tomorrow, but is it good?
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
This series takes a unique moment in ’90s X-Men history and adds a new character, conflict, and “never before seen adventure” to the mix. Given how much time travel has been used with the X-Men, the main narrative is a natural inclusion even if it’s a bit of a last minue add-on. This is an obvious purchase for those who enjoyed Liefeld’s Cable and Deadpool runs, offering up the nostalgic vibes many are after with media today.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
If you like Liefeld’s art this is going to be a big win for you. The style is there, the layout design, and the ’90s vibes. It’s like Liefeld hasn’t changed at all since those iconic days nearly 20 years ago. That includes the choreography in fight scenes, the many familiar faces, and very in-your-face imagery. Speaking of characters, fans of Liefeld will love this issue with every character Liefeld has drawn imaginable popping up.
This issue is basically one long fight sequence between multiple characters, all of which hang onto the big mystery of who Major X is and why he’s jumped into the past. There are a lot of big ideas not yet explained, like the “X-istence” that adds further mystery to the narrative. It’s a safe sort of mystery since it doesn’t immediately affect the main universe — but for what we know anyway, it will be rectified by the end. If you like fight comics there’s so much here I can only say this is a must buy, especially if you like Liefeld’s art.
The final cliffhanger isn’t bad either. It certainly has me wondering what Liefeld is up to even if this character could go poof at any moment (due to time travel and such).
It can’t be perfect, can it?
The art is very Liefeld to the point where it maybe could have used another pass. Panel to panel, the art isn’t consistent enough to look seamless, vehicles can go from well rendered to oddly cast in silhouette even though the lighting doesn’t call for it. A character can look pretty normal one panel and then in the next their chest is hilariously huge. At this point, it’s what we’ve all come to expect from Liefeld, but there’s no question it can be jarring.
Outside of that, the plot of this issue is incredibly simple. Major X keeps prattling on about what he needs and the fighting continues since the heroes aren’t listening. Once you accept the fact that this is a rather simple fight comic, though, it’s not that bothersome.
Is it good?
Serving as a fun throwback to Liefeld’s days drawing Cable, Deadpool, and Wolverine, this is a huge success. It offers a ton of action, a curious mystery, and a killer cliffhanger. It certainly accomplishes what it sets out to do. If you’re even reading this review you know what you’re in for, so pointing out any faults or curious choices in plotting is probably pointless anyway.
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