Comic Book Review: Generation X #1
Of all the X-Men books newly released or yet to be released, Generation X #1 is one of my more anticipated. It goes without saying that as good as the X-Men books can be, there are times when they play it too safe in this corner of the Marvel Universe. By that I mean not too many willing to take the risk on centering around the mutants we don’t get to see too often if not much at all. The ones whose powers aren’t as viable on the field as the others, but still have purpose worth exploring. That is the appeal of Generation X and what should attract you to it like me.
Now if you were looking for the easiest X-Men book to jump into, I would say that Generation X is in fact the most new reader friendly. This is the book that takes our attention back to the Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Outreach. We had a book that did this once before, but that book we don’t have anymore, and unfortunately it did lose its way over time. With Generation X there is nothing you need to know aside from what is going on currently with the school relocated.
If you are like me, then you probably adored the start to this series. I think at this point shame on you if you still think there is a problem with Jubliee as a character. One of best still out there if you ask me, and part of that reason is for the normalcy she managed to carve out for herself in the form of Shogo. Yeah, if this is your first time reading an X-Men book in a while, she has a kid. May not be by blood, but regardless she has a kid. Well that, and the whole vampire thing that I still think was a cool twist considering she is a daywalker. But none of this is what you really find engaging. That is what you find through Jubilee tapping into her experiences up to this point. A lot of the older X-Men seem to be going through that phase where they are looking to the past to help them through the present, and to move forward. Jubilee is no exception and everything comes from the heart as it always does.
The cast for Generation X was another attraction in comparison to the other books on the line-up. These are the mutant kids you don’t see enough of, the ones you barely see at all, and the ones you have been dying to see more of. This class is just as advertised being a group of mutants that aren’t the most suited for battle or greater roles. Especially when each one of them come with their own baggage. Some could say they aren’t prepared for all that drama and so forth, but that is what you ask for when you put mutants like this together in the same room. The kind of tension we enter to make the statement that we are to expect no less from them or the struggle that Jubilee will have in mentoring them. I mean this is Quentin Quire of all students that she is also stuck with. This may be a turning point for him and his attitude towards everything, but it all starts here and the way he interacts with the rest. As for the rest of them, to see how they grow from these new experiences will be a treat.
If there was anything I feared most about this book, it was how the interior artwork would turn out. It is always hard to say when they will take a book like this seriously to give us a capable art team. To my astonishment they did. Amilcar Pinna and Felipe Sobreiro brought a distinctive look to this book that we aren’t getting from the rest. The other X-books are a little more flashy, bold, gritty, intense, but Generation X looks like the book that tries to have both feet planted on the ground. Some perspectives were a bit off here and there, though there was an overall grasp of making these characters look natural. Even adding more humanizing elements to the mutants who are less than human. What you take notice of are all the things that Pinna pays close attention to be it wrinkles in the clothing, organic expressions, and a sharing of texture effects between pencils and colors from Sobreiro. Hindsight is our new mutant here and the way they captured his power was interesting. It’s not something we see very often and they add that layer of fear to his power which takes you back to early Rogue days. The same goes for Nature Girl as well who they didn’t waste time showing how she shouldn’t be underestimated. Aside from this the natural and tame colors bring this together. There’s a soft touch to it which allowed for greater depth, and a better application of highlights and shadows. Characters like Roxy only benefited from this.
This was a satisfying start to Generation X. You can’t revitalize the X-Men franchise without a book like this which develops the activities within the school. The Gold team is the team that takes action, the Blue team has their own battles, others are flying solo to figure themselves out. So that leaves this book to show us again what it means to be a student in the Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Outreach. Again its welcoming to new readers, and treats the older readers who wanted more from these characters as well.