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A new term begins...
on 25 May 2012
Grant Morrison began his run on "New X-Men" 11 years ago but still the series reads as fresh today as it did back then. He sets the tone quickly by having a psychotic psychic beget a genocide killing millions of mutants and then sets off for the stars to bring in the Shi'Ar to battle the X-Men. Suffice it to say, Morrison brings it.
What an epic start to one of Marvel's best loved series! From the Ecuadoran jungle with the Sentinel Factory at the start, heading back to Westchester, then space, even journeying into Xavier's mind! This large, nearly 400-page first volume collecting Grant Morrison's 3 year run on the series, contains too much to go into in a mere review.
Not all of the X-Men are included in Morrison's version, the core remains Xavier, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Emma Frost, and of course Wolverine. Rogue and Storm are left out, maybe to included later, while Morrison and Quitely revise the X-Men's outfits to look less colourful and comic-book-y - the end result is pretty awesome though Emma Frost's "flesh X" you can see on the cover makes her look like a Amsterdam hooker than a teacher.
I thought Cassandra Nova was an excellent villain, a character I'd never heard of before and a challenge for all of the X-Men to defeat. Her methods of destruction - the decimation of confidence, character, and personality - was an interesting way of fighting without using physical force. It's abstract but this is Morrison writing so you've got to expect that. Plus the hyper-surreal silent issue where Jean and Emma journey into Xavier's tormented mind was fantastic, full props to Frank Quitely for pulling it off so masterfully.
There are lots of nice touches in the story throughout and any fans of the X-Men will enjoy the book. The art varies in quality with Frank Quitely setting the gold standard (he's definitely one of my favourite comics artists ever) and Igor Kordey going for rougher, more sketchy kind of pencils for his issues. Morrison's writing throughout is as great as ever and his treatment of Hank McCoy aka Beast was particularly nice to see as that character often gets short shrift. X-Men fans will love this, highly recommended.