X-Treme X-Men #1 Review
Here we go. Another X-Men book being released by Marvel. In the ever-growing landscape of X-books, each one needs to set itself apart from the rest, or they go they get cancelled into oblivion. Does X-Treme X-Men do this? Yes, but it fails as a #1 on almost every level.
Greg Pak is a great writer. Incredible Hercules, Alpha Flight, and Incredible Hulk are great examples of that. But when establishing a new book, the writer needs to bring the reader in. With this book being a continuation of Pak’s run on Astonishing X-Men, some form of recap would have worked. Instead, X-Treme X-Men picks up right where Astonishing X-Men #47 ended. It’s a fun ending to that, but what comes next is just…..bad. The premise is established in mere pages and we are off on our first journey. Oh and Dazzler is along too. She doesn’t connect to the story much, besides being in the right place at the right time. It feels as if she was one of the few C-lister X-Men who wasn’t doing anything, so Pak got her. His characterization of her isn’t bad either. She is more interesting (to me) than she has been in recent memory. The dynamic of General Howlett, Charles Xavier’s head, Emmeline Frost-Summers, and Kurt Waggoner are still an interesting bunch as well.
What saddens me the most is how fun this book could be. The insane idea that different Xaviers need to be killed is an over the top idea that would be fun in comic form. But it’s very disjointed. We have multiple action scenes, then the premise starts. It doesn’t feel organic. But the biggest fault with X-Treme X-Men is it’s failure as a #1. It doesn’t matter if Spider-Man is the main character of the book, a writer needs to go in thinking that no one has read about this character before. Pak does this with Dazzler, who was in dire need of a status quo change, but the rest of the characters are skipped. I’m sure that, as this series goes on, Pak will establish the group’s dynamic and it will be a hit. But for now, X-Treme X-Men has a steep hole to dig itself out of. X-Treme X-Men also has quite a few similarities to Exiles, the universe jumping, fan-favorite team. It’s a fair comparison, and X-Treme seem to suit that niche.
Stephen Segovia pencils this issue, and his art has improved since we last saw him. His art doesn’t blatantly rip off Leinul Yu anymore. He seems to have adapted his own style. There are some odd facial movements, but nothing that breaks the scene. But everything feels better once we hit the action scenes. The over the top ideas that Pak gives Segovia look great. Huge squid that is clawed to bits by Wolverine? I love it. The ending proves that Segovia is going to be a great fit, as he pencils Roman versions of the Avengers and X-Men without skipping a beat.
X-Treme X-Men is going to be a book to watch at Marvel. If #2 and #3 continue this trend of not realizing the fun potential, then this book is going to be on the bubble.
X-Treme X-Men #1 gets 2.5/5.