Digital Mini Reviews | The X-Men Takeover

Hi there!

I have been a fan of the X-Men ever since I first saw the X-Men: The Animated Series as a kid. It ran for countless episodes on TV alongside all the other classic animated shows that hit me with nostalgia at the mere thought of them. I remember those innocent times where I couldn’t stop myself from getting excited to see these mutants in action and to be among them at their iconic school every single time. While my love for DC remained insurmountable, I always had a soft side for both the X-Men and Spider-Man (the latter being my favourite Marvel hero) and their animated series really helped me grow fond for these heroes over the years.

As part of Marvel’s latest relaunch of the X-Men, writer Jonathan Hickman alongside artists Pepe Larraz, R.B. Silva, and Marte Gracia, began the Dawn of X event that would give these heroes a unique new narrative within the Marvel Universe that is likely to blow everyone’s mind.

Although I’m not done playing catchup with many of these series that have spawned from this relaunch, I’ve been having quite some fun discovering this new X-Men universe! Here’s a look at some of the stories that I’ve read so far.


This feature published at an undetermined frequency (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, who knows) will present a couple of mini reviews on anything that isn’t a physical book that I own (ebooks, comic books, TV series or movies).

Click on the covers to be redirected to their Goodreads page.
Anything presented in this feature doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t get a full-review treatment in the future. That will entirely depend on how much I loved it, how interested you are in hearing more on it, and how much I have to still say about it! 🀣

Wolverine: Origin by Paul Jenkins.

18895890
Publisher: Marvel
Pages: 200.
Format: Digital Comics.
Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜†β˜†

Speaking of relaunch, this one has nothing to do with it but I thought, why not? This one is a stand-alone graphic novel that dared do try to deliver one of the most taboo stories in the history of Marvel comics: an origin story for Wolverine. While the idea in itself isn’t bad, it simply had too much to live up to and this creative team just couldn’t get the execution right.

There are some neat ideas sprinkled across this graphic novel but its style was never really going to take off in my books. There was a subtle dullness that kept on striking me down as I moved forward with the narrative. The art style didn’t help either but did give this story its own personality, something akin to reading an Oliver Twist story, you know?

House of X/Powers of X by Jonathan Hickman.

49203994. sy475
Publisher: Marvel
Pages: 423.
Format: Digital Comics.
Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†

This is the ginormous story that officially kicks off the X-Men relaunch. The story explores Charles Xavier’s master plan for mutantkind as he figuratively builds a bridge that will allow them to crawl out of the shadows and become part of human affairs, and it all begins with the creation of a new haven made just for mutants called Krakoa.

This was such an epic way to rebuild the X-Men universe and allow it to have even more scope than ever before. The structure in this one is quite complex but once you get used to the flow, you start understanding how the pieces move together and it’s simply stunning to watch it all develop.

Speaking of stunning, the artwork is quite wonderful and really brings to life the colourful new environments introduced throughout this story-arc.

X-Men (Vol. 1) by Jonathan Hickman.

51624565. sy475
Publisher: Marvel
Pages: 176.
Format: Digital Comics.
Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†

Following the events in House of X/Powers of X, this story explores the X-Men’s rise for independence as they set in motion their meticulously-planned ideas. This first story-arc maintains the same narrative structure as it explores multiple subplots, some more mysterious than others, teasing the reader of the challenges that the X-Men will be facing externally and internally. This new world order is really nothing you want to mess with.

Excalibur (Vol. 1) by Tini Howard.

53345777. sy475
Publisher: Marvel
Pages: 176.
Format: Digital Comics.
Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜†

This series explores the dilemmas of the Otherworld as Captain Britain becomes the center of attention in this story-arc. While Rogue, Gambit, Rictor, and Jubilee work together, whether they want to or not, to stop the incoming threat from the Otherworld, Apocalypse (and his fascination for his new and unreadable name) enters the scene with a mysterious plan amidst the rise of the mutants’ new home: Krakoa.

There’s something original and interesting to this series, especially with the characterization of these heroes that are done quite well, but the story remains relatively mundane and a bit too stretched out. With great artwork making it a dynamic and vibrant experience, it shows great promise for things to come.

New Mutants (Vol. 1) by Jonathan Hickman.

51821665. sy475
Publisher: Marvel
Pages: 128.
Format: Digital Comics.
Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜†

This was a pretty decent story that focuses on the New Mutants (Sunspot, Wolfsbane, Mirage, Karma, Magik and Cypher) within this new era of the X-Men. The downside is that it doesn’t really give readers a good idea of who these young adults really are and the story sometimes derails to the point of losing the reader along the way, making it harder to appreciate what happens later on.

The premise is essentially some kind of rescue mission that sends these guys off to space to find their comrade Cannonball but then they somehow get caught and there’s a whole side-plot related to their intergalactic sentence. Let’s just say that it was fun discovering these guys but the story needed more direction.

I think the main problem lies in how the comic book series single issues were shared with another ongoing New Mutants series written by Ed Brisson (this one exploring a completely other story with other members of the New Mutants) and collecting issues #3-4, 6, and 8-12.

Marauders (Vol. 1) by Gerry Duggan.

53345769. sy475
Publisher: Marvel
Pages: 176.
Format: Digital Comics.
Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†

Imagine the X-Men but… turned into pirates! This was one of the stronger series that was born from the X-Men relaunch. This story focuses on Kate Pryde who, unfortunately, runs into a problem as she attempts to enter Krakoa and is thus led to becoming a pirate captain to a crew that vows to save mutants. The Marauders aren’t without their own enemies with the arrival of Sebastian Shaw though. With excellent artwork, there’s something truly appealing to how this story is told and developed. The political tie-ins with the larger plans in development makes this a wonderful surprise series for fans out there!


Have you read any of these?

Share your thoughts on anything and everything with me! 😁

TILL NEXT TIME,

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27 comments

  • I loved the old x-men animated series. In fact I own the whole thing on dvd, and it’s still quite a joy to revisit from time to time😊
    I haven’t read any of these (yet) but the House of X is a series that I have heard a lot about, and also the one I’m most interested in to check out at some point. Too bad the Origin of Wolverine is a let down, as he’s certainly one of the coolest X-men of course. I also like the pirate idea though…that’s a nice and very cool twist!πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ Nice round up Lashaan, and very helpful to decide what to check out when it comes to all things X-men! πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now that’s what I’m talking about! You get +30 points for loving, owning, and rewatching that animated series, my friend! πŸ˜› This new relaunch is indeed worth everyone’s time and is a fun starting point, although it can be confusing, especially when you don’t necessarily know many characters. It’s worth discovering Origin of Wolverine though. I wasn’t too impressed by it but I’m sure others might find it rewarding or intriguing somehow! πŸ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

  • This relaunch is completely new to me, and I didn’t watch the animated series, but the X universe was my destination of choice for the majority of my active comic reading days. I loved X-Men and New Mutants, and I really enjoyed the odd Excaliber when it first came out. It was different but had some of the characters I’d grown to love from other series and I liked the artwork. And Wolverine was always one of my favorite characters, but I really enjoyed the mystery behind his origins, how they were periodically hinted at but never fully revealved. There were lots of Japanese influences that I enjoyed. And it was fascinating some of his early exploits up in Canada alone and with Alpha Flight. I can understand how trying to release an origin story could be a letdown. This does leave me wanting to reread some of the issues I have. One favorite of mine was the graphic novel God Loves, Man Kills. Chris Claremont was probably one of my favorite writers back in the day. Even if I don’t get into any of these relaunched titles I appreciate the walk down memory lane!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you would’ve had a blast with the animated series back when you were collecting too. It’s very Chris Claremont-esque and will probably always be among the best animated series to have ever existed. Wolverine is indeed a fantastic character, mysterious yet wild in his ways. I’ve always enjoyed his adventures too. While the live-action movies did milk him a bit too much (good thing Logan ended up being an extraordinary movie though). I plan on revisiting Chris Claremont and Jim Lee’s run though. Duly noted for God Loves, Man Kills. It sounds like a story worth checking out. Thank you for sharing your trip down memory lane haha! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

          • I just finished watching Logan. Wow! I think this is my favorite so far of any of the mutant movies, and exactly the sort of story I used to most enjoy in comic form, very personal and emotionally intense. So well done, and not just a fit ending of Hugh Jackman’s run but also a fit ending for the character (if that’s what it is). He did a great job, but so did the actress playing Laura. She fit that role perfectly. And Professor Xavier, that’s not something I’d seen coming… A real powerful story. I very much appreciate you recommending it, best film I’ve seen in a while (although I did recently watch Weathering With You…. tough to compare those two πŸ˜€). It’s funny, too, I’d never read anything with Laura’s character but I immediately recognized her from some collections I’d purchased years ago but not yet read, X-23: Target X and Nyx/X-23. Now I can’t wait to crack those open and give them a try, as well as some of my older Wolverine/X-Men/New Mutants/etc comics. Funny how one great story can reawaken a passion! πŸ˜€

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yes! Yes! Yes! I’m really happy that you got around to checking out Logan. It is my favourite of all the X-Men movies too. It’s what they should’ve been working towards, considering how bad the previous Wolverine movies were (I was personally on the verge of disliking the character and his movie stories too). Thank the gods that they made Logan just in time. I do think it’s a perfect send-off for both the actor and the character; it is based on the classic graphic novel Old Man Logan after all.

              Ahh yes, hard to compare Weathering With You and Logan hahahah

              I haven’t read anything with X-23 either but I definitely look forward to reading more of them, either focused on their character or parallel through X-Men stories like this whole House of X/Power of X reboot. I’m really glad to hear how it sparked an interest to un-dust all those comics you’ve stored, Todd!!!! Now I’m also hyped up and can’t wait to read more, I’ll even try and read those two X-23 stories you own! Thanks for taking the time to let me know your thoughts on Logan, my friend! πŸ˜€

              Like

  • X-Men animated series was the thing on Sat morning! And on a slightly unrelated note, I cannot say enough for Batman: The Animated Series, as that was a staple for cartoons and art in general! X-Men and I go way back to the yellow and blue suites ( that in my opinion are the best – It’s probably the nostalgia! ). But, I sadly haven’t read any of these titles, so I must not be a big of a fan as I need to be. 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes!!! I especially woke up for Batman: TAS though. That is where my love for Batman also began and grew to this day. πŸ˜€ I do agree though, the yellow and blue suits are claaaasssic! And don’t worry about not having read these. πŸ˜‰ You can always start now. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  • My relationship with X-Men is complex πŸ˜‰ There’s so much going on that I don’t feel invested enough to care – if you know what I mean 😎 My favorite X-Man is Wolverine, and he’s as often in as out, and has his own comics, so the main X-Men line is something I only dip my toes in from time to time. It doesn’t help that because of various reasons (large cast is definitely one of them ;)) it still keeps that high-school vibe πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can totally understand. I’ve always found everything outside the original X-Men gang. And it didn’t help that Marvel had a gazillion different series for each of them (Superior X-Men, Ultimate X-Men, Extraordinary X-Men, etc. etc.) hahaha I do have to admit that this new relaunch helps enormously in giving readers a starting point with an overarching plot and all though! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  • I have never read any X-Men comics or graphic novels but have watched most of the movies. i’m sure X-Men fans will be thrilled with all these new books.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Awesome, glad to see you diving into the X-universe Lashaan! We have a similar-ish history with both X-Men and Spider-Man it seems, my very first American comic book was an X-Men issue which came out just before the (awesome and eXcellent) animated series launched…and then I was hooked! In fact I’m currently in this midst of a rewatch as well as re-reading some classic Marvel 90s X-Men collections. Same with Spider-Man, I was reading UK Spider-Man reprints a couple of years before the ace animated series started. But, I was a Spidey fan even before that as ‘Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends’ would re-run Saturday dinner times when I was a real youngling!

    Anyway, I digress with the biography hahaha! House of X/Powers of X blew my mind really and I had high expectations after Hickman’s Avengers run. A really, really great new start for the X-family!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually never really thought about the idea of finding comic books of those heroes that I discovered through those very animated series. I think my very young self never figured it would be a logical step but I think it might be because I had no clue where to find them and enjoy them and simply found refuge in manga instead hahah I should give Hickman’s Avengers run in the near future. πŸ˜€ Thanks again for pointing me towards it!

      Liked by 1 person

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