Friday, 15 August 2014

Original X-Class...

The Season One line is an interesting idea for sure, an interesting idea that could fail, crash and burn in a blaze of fail glory. I would say this idea has got some wings and some life in it though. And while the need to go out and get these books could be there, for a single fan who lives on his own, maybe not. But the fan who has a family and wants to continue the legacy of these books, or the new fan who wants to read the classic stories and well even if you want to refresh your memories. The Season One books can do that, and so far I've got to say, these books really hold up and do justice to the classic heroes and their stories. The latest collection that I just finished is Season One of X-Men. I decided to pick this one up for a few reasons, first of all I am a huge fan of the current All-New X-Men comics, in my opinion it's one of the best series out today and I loved the Battle of the Atom arc that went down. So naturally I was excited to see an update version of the classic X-Men stories. The first time this team has to go into battle and work together, the difficulties they faced growing up in a world that fears and hates mutants. Not to mention that the art is done by Jamie McKelvie, who did some fantastic work on Young Avengers and currently on The Wicked + The Divine. Shut up and take my money! And was it worth the price of admission...?

With the amount of years that have passed since Stan Lee originally brought the X-Men to life, it can be hard to remember that the classic team had a lot of history behind them, and this is before time travel and clones and Apocalypse. This was a simpler time. Although dealing with Magneto and the Brotherhood is hardly a walk in the park, it was a lot easier to understand as a reader. So here we are now with X-Men Season One, a modernized take on the same events that happened back in the 1960's, which gives the young mutants cellphones, laptops and a better fashion sense. Though I got to say I love the retro look on Jean Grey. I don't what it is but she can rock that retro look like no ones business. Back to the comic though, I had mentioned earlier that it was illustrated by Jamie McKelvie, while the writing is handled by Dennis Hopeless. And they both do a great job here, the book feels modern but it stays true to heritage of the X-Men, no big changes or anything as such that would take away from the experience. The five heroes; Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Ice Man, Angel and Beast are all written as we have come to know them by now. We see Cyclops learning to become a leader on the field, we see Jean evolving with her powers, Angel the rich kid who doesn't have a clue, Bobby as the class clown and Hank as the brains. We get to see a love triangle between Scott, Jean and Warren, that feels authentically awkward as any young romance. As well as the friendship between Beast and Ice Man. Not to mention how each mutant deals with the headmaster of the school, Charles Xavier. He prepares his students with various crazy missions that include field trips to the Savage Land and the occasional fight with Magneto. All the X-Men things that we love are alive and well in this book, the team interactions to the concept of fighting for a world that fears and hates you, it is the perfect treat for any and all X-fans!

That being said the books isn't without a few complaints. Minor complaints though, nothing that makes the book unreadable. This is a little silly but I have to say, while I do enjoy McKelvie's work, I don't understand why he made Bobby Drake look like Justin Bieber. Call me crazy if you don't see it, but the face and hair is practically the same, even the purple flannel shirt is similar. Maybe it was something for the young readers, and if that is the case then I guess that makes sense. But it is still kind of awful seeing that little pop-star puke in my comic panels. I swear that's my only beef with this book, otherwise you are looking at really solid piece of any X-Men collection. A book that gives you an even greater appreciation for the original five, to read their past and enjoy their future. 

Well that's another comic book review in the bag. I actually need to mention this, I got a really good deal on this graphic novel over at my local comic book shop, Excalibur Comics. If you live in the Etobicoke area this is the comic book store to go to, just off Royal York station and above the Kingsway theatre. An incredible store with an awesome atmosphere for the comic book fan, an incredible collection of classics and new books alike! Check it out! And an apology to all the readers outside of Toronto and Canada, just got to plug my store. So have you read any of the Season One books from Marvel? What did you think? Leave a comment below and subscribe to the page for plenty more comic book reviews and blogs. My road to Fan Expo continues still, but I will be back with more, until then keep chasing the storm.