Thursday, December 12, 2019

Review: POWERS OF X #1


[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Jonathan Hickman
INKS: R.B. Silva and Adriana Di Benedetto
COLORS: Marte Gracia
LETTERS: VC's Clayton Cowles
EDITOR: Jordan D. White
EiC: Akria Yoshida a.k.a. “C.B. Cebuski”
COVER: R.B. Silva with Marte Gracia
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Mark Brooks; Joshua Cassara with Rachelle Rosenberg; John Tyler Christopher; Stephanie Hans; Jack Kirby with Edgar Delgado; Mike Huddleston; George Perez with Jason Keith; Dustin Weaver; Skottie Young
56pp, Color, $5.99 U.S. (September 2019)

Rated T+

The X-Men created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

“The Last Dream of Professor X”

The X-Men are a Marvel Comics superhero team.  Created by editor Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, the X-Men debuted in the comic book The X-Men #1 (cover dated: September 1963).  The focus of that comic book was Professor Charles Xavier a/k/a “Professor X” and his small circle of students.  Each student had a unique power or ability granted to them because each student was a mutant, and each had a code name.  The students were Scott Summers (Cyclops), Jean Grey (Marvel Girl), Warren Worthington III (Angel), Henry “Hank” McCoy (Beast), and Bobby Drake (Iceman).

From time to time the X-Men concept is changed in some way via a relaunch or revamp.  The most famous revamp was and still is the “new X-Men,” which debuted in Giant-Size X-Men #1 (cover dated: May 1975).  Once consistently among the bestselling comic books in the United States (and often the bestselling comic book), the X-Men have fallen on hard times.  The editorial powers that be at Marvel Comics have spent much of the last two decades revamping, relaunching, and remaking the X-Men.

The latest remodeling comes via a pair of six-issue miniseries written by Jonathan Hickman.  The first is House of X, and the second and the subject of this review is Powers of X; they are being published biweekly on an alternating schedule.  Powers of X is written by written Jonathan Hickman; drawn by R.B. Silva (pencils) and Silva and Adriana Di Benedetto (inks); colored by Marte Gracia; and lettered by Clayton Cowles.

Powers of X #1 (“The Last Dream of Professor X”) takes place in four time periods.  The title, “Powers of X,” means “Powers of Ten” – 1; 10 x 1 is 10; 10 x 10 is 100; 10 x 100 is 1000.

X0 is The X-Men, Year One, “The Dream.” X1 is The X-Men, Year Ten, “The World.”  X2 is The X-Men, Year One Hundred, “The War.”  X3 is The X-Men, Year One Thousand, “Ascension.”

In X0, Charles Xavier meets Moira MacTaggert, who has a history to share with Xavier.  In X1, on the mutant sanctuary homeland of Krakoa, Professor X obtains the data Mystique and Sabertooth stole (as seen in House of X #1).  In X2, Rasputin and Cardinal find their teammate, Cylobel, in trouble, so Rasputin launches a one-woman rescue operation to keep her friend from falling into the clutches of Nimrod.  In X3, humanity, mutant-kind, who is left?

That Powers of X #1 takes place in four time periods is not confusing.  That each time period can only tease the story to come is irritating.  I found writer Jonathan Hickman's work in House of X #1 quite intriguing, and I find his offerings in Powers of X #1 intriguing, but a less satisfying read than House of X #1.

The work of colorist Marte Gracia and letterer Clayton Cowles turns out to be just as stellar in Powers of X #1 as it was in the first issue of House of X.  The art of R.B. Silva and Adriano Di Benedetto, with its clear storytelling, is pretty, especially the illustrations for the last two chapters.  When combined with Gracia colors, Silva and Di Benedetto's Powers of X art is flat-out gorgeous.

So I assume the second issue will justify Hickman's approach to Powers of X #1.  I know, however, that good ideas for stories can lose their luster because of poor execution in the storytelling.  We'll see.

7 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2019 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for syndication rights and fees.


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