Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Pencils: Leinil Francis Yu
Inks: Gerry Alanguilan
Colors: Sunny Cho
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller
The Dawn of X is upon us as the Hickman X-Revolution continues with the new array of Marvel Mutant books beginning with this week’s X-Men #1. To be honest I have not been this excited for an X-Men #1 since the Chris Claremont-Jim Lee multi-cover extravaganza of 1991 yet I feel comfortable in saying that this X-Men #1 was far more satisfying of a read. While many of the Dawn of X books are being taken up by creators other than Hickman X-Men #1 is truly a Hickman book and feels like a direct continuation of the recently completed House of X and the Powers of X. Also, anyone worried that the books that followed these two massively important mini-series wouldn’t live up to expectations need not worry as X-Men #1 is an incredible read in its own right.
X-Men #1 picks up in the wake of House of X and the Powers of X as the new mutant nation of Krakoa is growing and expanding onto the world stage. Yet like most new nations there are growing pains and in the case of this new nation there are threats to its very existence that must be dealt with. In the case of Krakoa its main antagonist is the new anti-human organization known as Orchis first introduced in House of X #1. Unlike most nations who wait for conflict to come to them Krakoa and its protectors set out to end Orchis and take the fight directly to the anti-mutant organization. Leading the fight are two of the most noble X-Men, Storm and Cyclops yet it is Magneto and his daughter Polaris who make the biggest impact in the fight, which includes your average evil scientists who turn themselves into great apes to fight the latest incarnation of the X-Men. In the wake of the battle we do learn more about Orchis and their intent, and it is very clear Hickman is setting them up to be the main antagonist to the X-Men, at least for this flagship title. We also get to spend a lot of time with the Summer’s clan and with Krakoan technology I do mean all of the Summer’s clan, and those who have become a part of the Summer’s home including Wolverine. Jean, Scott, and Logan have seemed to work out the kinks in their relationships and with Havok, Vulcan, Young Cable, and Rachel they have set up a home adjacent to the Blue Area of the Moon. The Starjammers are in for a visit and while the first half of the issue is balls to the wall action the second half reads like a domestic paradise, which it might actually be. All I know is that I was utterly fascinated from cover to cover and cannot wait to see how Hickman defines the new era of the X-Men going forward.
The Dawn of X is here and I for one am very excited. While I appreciated the soft-reboot last year lead by Ed Brisson, Kelly Thompson, and Matthew Rosenberg this current relaunch feels like it has the gravitas the X-Men deserve. Jonathan Hickman came roaring out of the gates with the two-precursor mini-series and has not let up with X-Men #1, which is another fantastic comic full of action, drama, and wonderful Hickman text pieces that I can now translate with the Krakoan alphabet card I received with the issue. Leinil Francis Yu’s art is consistent with his work over the years. I believe this is his third or fourth stint on the flagship X-Men title and he has a great grasp for these characters and draws both excellent action scenes as well as quiet moments. Yu’s art is a bit of departure from Pepe Larraz (House of X) and R.B. Silva’s (the Powers of X) but it still works in this new Dawn of X and absolutely compliments Hickman’s grand design. If the rest of the relaunch titles are as well done as X-Men #1 then it truly will be a new dawn for the X-Men franchise.
Verdict: The X-Men are back! X-Men #1 was another fabulous X-book from the great Jonathan Hickman. With veteran X artist Leinil Francis Yu on art this book is not only a fantastic read but it’s beautiful to look at as well. Buy this book!