Tuesday, February 23, 2016

X-Men (Marvel Now! version, so whatever the heck reboot we're on) Vol. 1: Primer

If you had to create a list of words that do not describe me, then let me give you a head start:

Extrovert
Sporty
Fan of the X-Men

Yes, it's true.  Nothing about the X-Men intrigues me.  As I type this, I am waiting to be smote by some sort of comic god hovering about.  I mean, everyone loves the X-Men, right?  Like Wolverine and Rogue and Cyclopes and Professor Xavier?

Not me.  Although I understand the purpose of the mutant storyline, I find the stories far too full of angst and more angst to be enjoyable.  I couldn't watch the movies because Something Horrible Was Going to Happen to Everyone.  Betrayal.  Unrequited love.  Evil government entities.  It's all very brooding and when I read comics, I prefer them to be anything but brooding.

However, I was compiling my list of All-New All-Now All-Confusing All-Too-Many Marvel! comics to buy when the new trades come out (ah, my job is so demanding!), and I was poking around the X-Men Wikipedia page.  Hm.  An all-female X-Men team during the Marvel Now! (please read with appropriate enthusiasm!) run?  I can dig that.  I could, at the very least, try it.


Generally, I enjoy what Brian Wood writes.  And to be honest, there's not much writing that happens in the first volume of X-Men: Primer*.  People yell each other's names a lot: "Rogue!" "Storm!" "Rachel!" "Rogue!" etc.  Some random stuff goes down with the twin sister of a fellow who can inhabit human bodies.  The X-Ladies kick butt.  Rinse, repeat.

But.  I liked it.  Against all my scruples.  I found it to be enjoyable.  Not because the ideas were profound or the writing was particularly snappy, but because I was reading about women in a position of power and rocking.  It.  Even with leadership squabbles, they worked together as a team.  They let students at the Academy assist in the fight instead of shielding them from danger.

And they look ... like goddesses.  Especially Storm.  You do not want to mess with her.  She is a punk-rock call-the-winds deity with a killer mohawk and an iron will.

Wolverine does make an appearance here, but it's more to facilitate Jubliee's telling of her own story than for any clawed Canuck antics.  Bub.

Many readers didn't like the inclusion of Jubilee's origin story from an 80's issue of Uncanny X-Men, but I thought it was insanely hilarious.  THE HAIR.  THE CLOTHES.  THE MAKEUP.  THE NEON.  Storm has a mullet and it's supposed to be hardcore.  Business in the front, mutant in the back, baby!  And the whole fight takes place in a mall because the ladies are tired of kicking around the Outback.  They need some retail therapy.  AND A MALE STRIP CLUB because WHY NOT?  I laughed because it was just so dated, but in an endearingly bizarre way.

Overall, I can't say I'd recommend this as an example of good comic writing, but it's very good-looking and full of ladies who unrepentantly kick butt.

*Would it have killed them to call it something other than X-Men?  X-Ladies?  X-X Chromosomes?  X-Feminist?  X-Ambassadors (whoops, wrong medium)?  Really.  If you're doing an all-female X-Men comic ...

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