|X-Men: No More Humans, cover art by Salvador Larroca. Marvel Worldwide, 2014.|
Full disclosure here: despite an early, passionate, and ongoing love of the X-Men, I don't currently have any X-titles on my pull list. Like many comic fans my age, I dropped out of buying comics regularly in the early 1990s when every time you turned around there was a new foil-hologram-cover, factory-bagged #1, 1.5 million copies printed "collectors issue" launching yet another new book from one of the Big Two. These were the days when the proliferation of the X-titles began, and yes, I admit it, I still have all five variant covers of X-Men #1 (Volume 2, 1992). But shortly thereafter I no longer bothered trying to keep up. So it went until the fall of 2012, when I found myself in a city with a really good comic shop (Atomik Comiks in Johnson City, TN - hey guys!), and a budding career studying and writing about pop-culture. So back to comics I went. And boy were there a lot of X-titles! And literally about seventeen years worth of continuity I had missed and which was still playing out with no scorecard in sight. I came in right at the very end of the A vs. X cross-over, just in time to read the last issues of Uncanny X-Men (volume 3,487), and the birth of All-New X-Men and Marvel NOW! (the first one).
Honestly, I wasn't impressed with All-New's first few issues (though people whose taste I generally trust have assured me I should go back and read the series), nor did Wolverine and the X-Men do it for me, and fuck me if Marvel wasn't launching even more X-books, and who the hell knows what's going on or who's on which team anymore anyway, so the only semi-X-title I kept on my new list was Uncanny Avengers (and yes, I realize the irony in that the one title I still get has relied so much on back-stories and continuity from the years 1995 - 2012 that, despite having collected every issue since #1, there have been entire runs of four or five issues where I had to read Wikipedia for three hours just to kinda know what was going on). Since then, every time I think about catching up on the X-Folks, I look at the sheer amount of reading it would take, and I just go re-read the latest issue of Saga or Astro City.
|Girls! Girls! You're both pretty!|
Carey, Larroca, and Ponsor, page 20, panel 1.
|Behold: Magneto! Because... Magneto!|
Carey, Larroca, and Ponsor, page 20.
Carey flat-out nails the voices of Scott, Storm, Wolverine, Magneto, and the Hanks, but, most of the other X-Men are more seen than heard, and the passive-aggressive dialogue between past Jean Grey and Emma Frost feels forced and tired. Plot-wise, Carey is tight and his pacing is spot-on, slowing down for ye olde X-speeches and statements of integrity when he should and smoothly letting the punches fly fast and relentlessly when all hell breaks loose. No More Humans is basically a common foe/problem story, but it is well told, and neither X-team is forced to break their established worldviews. Most importantly, this is an X-story that can be read and enjoyed without having read All-New or Uncanny (volume 3,488) or whatever. In fact, it's the first book in a while that has made me want to go back and catch up on my X-reading. Maybe.
So check out X-Men: No More Humans if you get a chance, and check back here at Solomon Mao's every now and again for more of my musings on various comics and other pop-culture productions.
See ya next time!