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The Marvel Rundown: Duggan, Larraz, and Gracia take the X-MEN to new heights

Reviews of this week's notable new Marvel Comics releases, including the first issue of the newly-relaunched X-Men series and more!

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This week, Marvel’s merry mutants enter the next stage of their evolution with a relaunched X-Men #1! New series writer Gerry Duggan joins Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, and Clayton Cowles in bringing the newly-reformed team back to their superheroing roots.

We’ve got a review of the new X-Men #1, as well as a Rapid Rundown of other new Marvel Comics titles, all ahead in this week’s Marvel Rundown!


X-Men #1

X-Men #1

Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Pepe Larraz
Color Artist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller
Cover Artists: Pepe Larraz & Marte Gracia

It wasn’t that long ago, in the grand scheme of things, that Marvel relaunched their core X-Men title with a new writer following a grand X-event that dramatically altered the status quo of mutants in the Marvel Universe. Whereas writer Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men title served to further flesh out the concepts he’d laid forth in the House of X and Powers of X miniseries, and to lay more of a foundation for the rest of the X-line, new X-Men series writer Gerry Duggan is taking that foundation, as well as the planet-shaking events of the recent Hellfire Gala storyline, and building on a new wing to the house — one that combines the key elements of the current era of X-books with the trappings of a traditional superhero comic. The new X-Men series has set out to answer a question that I didn’t even realize I wanted answered: in the age of Krakoa, what does a mutant superhero team look like?

Based on this week’s X-Men #1, the answer is “pretty damn great,” in every way possible. Duggan teams again with the Planet-Size X-Men #1 art team of Pepe Larraz & Marte Gracia and letterer Clayton Cowles for a series debut that establishes a lot for the mutant team, from a new home to new threats to their new place among the other heroes of the Marvel U. Duggan’s scripting sets this all up seamlessly through dialogue, but also through the unspoken actions of the characters at the center of the book. The X-Men are here on an outreach mission to humanity, in a way that they’ve perhaps never been before, and the way they carry out that mission is incredibly entertaining.

From X-Men #1

Yes, X-Men #1 includes more of the politicking between mutants and humans that we’ve seen in the X-books since the Krakoa era began, but it’s also a book that doesn’t forget what makes superhero comics great. This is a comic book about highly-competent people with incredible abilities doing extraordinary things, and it’s frankly so much fun. Larraz and Gracia are an absolutely stellar pairing, and their work on this issue, from the look of the X-Men’s new treehouse to the design of the creature they face to the team’s absolutely bananas method of defeating said creature, is spectacular as always.

Of course, New York is home to many of the Marvel U’s superheroes, and this issue also re-establishes the X-Men’s standing among that community in an interesting fashion. After the tension of the Hellfire Gala, the Avengers and Fantastic Four both seem outwardly very pleased that the X-Men have returned to New York. I’m looking forward to seeing this series continue to expand on how the other notable characters of the Marvel U view and interact with the X-Men, which is something we’ve only gotten glimpses of ever since the Hickman-led revamp.

X-Men #1 is a fantastic start to the relaunched title. If there was any concern about Duggan taking over the series this issue should clear that right up, as he, Larraz, Gracia, and Cowles all turn in excellent and enjoyable work. If this is the level of inventiveness and high superhero adventure that’s in store for the rest of the series, sign me all the way up.

Final Verdict: BUY.

From X-Men #1

Rapid Rundown!

  • Avengers #46
    • Fresh off of re-establishing the proper Marvel Universe timeline, we find The Avengers at Avengers Mountain, their headquarters inside the body of a Celestial, semi relaxing. Captain Marvel is working with the Hulk on her ability to control her rage, Captain America and the Black Panther are discussing whether or not the aged-up Starbrand child and newest Phoenix force host are fit for active Avengers duty, and all while being betrayed. All in all this issue does a lot to establish the status quo and push the story into the next arc of Jason Aaron‘s run on the Avengers, further upping the scales he’s established from the previous two events and page by page bringing us closer to that inevitable confrontation with a certain Lord of the Underworld. Solid start. —GC3
  • Thor & Loki: Double Trouble #4
    • The final issue of this irresistible miniseries from Mariko Tamaki and Gurihiru delivers with an adorable final chapter that fully delivers on the “Double” in “Double Trouble!” If you thought the Gurihiru renditions of Loki were cute in the first three issues of this series, just wait until Loki meets Loki! The fun and frenetic tone established in the first three issues carries through to the final page of this conclusive comic, and you’ll be laughing all the way back to Midgard. As a bonus, the multiple letters pages feature tons of notes from young readers who enjoyed the series as it was released in comic shops… Hey, the kids are alright! —AJK

Next week, Spidey has his hands full as Sinister War breaks out!

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