Chapter 1 – X-Men Legacy #245
Chapter 2 – New Mutants #22
Writer: Mike Carey
Artist(s): Clay Mann/Steve Kurth
(There are potential slight spoilers in this review)
Ever since Carey hopped on board and took control of the Children of the Atom back in 2008 it’s been consistently the best X book; great teams, great arcs, new unique villains, great writing. He creatively co-helmed the Messiah Trilogy and continues to keep the X-Men one of the best books on the shelves. Age of X continues this premise but in a whole new direction, bringing about a new universe with a new story to tell. And it is just damn awesome.
While the Alpha one-shot in January provided us with some back-story on some of the faces we were to see in the story, Chapters 1 & 2 sort of do the reverse and provide us with a ton of characters, familiar yet different, and will explain their particular stories as the plot unfolds. All of these characters are ones common to us within the 616-universe, but it’s awesome to have to do a double-take at some of the new designs and costumes, thinking Who is that?, only to see their name in the next panel and go Ohhhh!; it’s one of the more exciting aspects of the new universe.
Carey quickly shows the division of roles and superiority between the characters on the battlefield, which leads to the first character tension; there is even a death right off the bat! Exposition is done well; without laying it out at our feet, we get a good lay of the land and the who’s who and what’s what of things.
These two chapters kick things off to a running start: Immediate action, unfamiliar relationships, dramatic tension and turmoil amidst the ranks, mysterious outsiders, and a plot gambit that quickly produces a mutant fugitive. Everything about this arc seems dystopic, and it fits the general idea of the X-Men struggle to a ‘T’.
If you’re an X-Men fan, buy this book, plain and simple. If you love alternate universe stuff as well then all the better for you. From these first two chapters we’re already off and running with a great story and personally driven characters. It’s going to be a good couple months for X-fans.
-Superb writing; great dramatic tension and personal struggle between characters.
-Intriguing alternate universe; cannot stress enough the cool character designs and exquisite art by Mann and Kurth
-None; unless alternate universes aren’t your cup of tea.