Mind Capsules – Death of X #1 and Champions #1

Death of X #1

Writer – Jeff Lemire, Charles Soule
Artist – Aaron Kuder
Colours – Morry Hollowell
Letters – VC’s Joe Sabino

Death of X is the promised series that was to explore the events surrounding the death of Cyclops during the missing time after Secret Wars and the disappearance of Emma Frost. While the book is good on the whole, it should have been a much more compelling story after waiting for it as long as we did. Such as it is, the book is split between its focus on Cyclops and his team which are investigating a mutant research facility and that of Crystal and her team of Inhumans as they go about their business of finding and helping out those newly transformed by the Mists. The latter group find themselves in Japan and are soon attacked by Hydra and while it is all somewhat fun to see, it is the mission that Cyclops is pursuing that really hooks you and that you want to see more of. There is a big surprise in this book that should have had more of an impact than it did, but it was almost treated as a throwaway moment instead of one of importance and that was a bit of a shame considering the history of the X-Men. It is during this part of the story where Cyclops learns of the effects of the Terrigen and it is here where he decides that the Inhumans are the enemy, responsible for this latest attack upon mutants and that they must fight back or face extinction. The biggest fault with the book is that it focuses far too much upon the Inhumans. Sometimes you cannot see the forest for the trees and it would have been nice to see more of Cyclops and the X-Men even if the Inhumans are an integral part of the story. It would also have been good to see a big-name artist on the book to really prove to the reading public that this is a title that matters and while Aaron Kuder does a fine job, a Kubert or a Finch or what have, would have been a bigger draw. Additionally, while the story should be exciting, it falls a little flat, perhaps because you were expecting more and did not get it. There are still three issues to go and things are sure to escalate between the two peoples, but for the moment, this book just feels like a random issue of any X-comic when it should have that feeling of being a big event.

3 out of 5

Champions #1

Writer – Mark Waid
Artist – Humberto Ramos
Inker – Victor Olazaba
Colours – Edgar Delgado
Letters – VC’s Clayton Cowles

Kamala Khan, better known as Ms. Marvel, is tired of the way the Avengers conduct their heroing and as such, plans to do something about it. That is the premise for Champions, Marvel’s new teen-team book written by Mark Waid and drawn by Humberto Ramos. It finds the aforementioned heroine discouraged because while the Avengers fight those threats that no one hero can handle, those that the common man would fall before, it is that common man that concerns her. More specifically, she thinks that heroes should also help during the aftermath of their battles, cleaning and rebuilding like Damage Control used to do for instance. What is great about this moment during the opening scenes of the book is that it completely falls in line with her character and it strengthens your faith in Waid as the perfect writer for this story. Even more interesting is that this one issue is far more exciting and engaging than most of his recent run on All-New, All-Different Avengers. With the introduction of this book, the legacy characters of the Marvel Universe finally get a title of their own which you knew was going to happen at some point in time. As a Marvel reader, you also had to expect it because they like to roll out a young roster every now and then, whether the Young Avengers, Generation X, New Warriors or what have you. The book was inevitable with only the title and team members being up in the air. In a very novel move by Waid, our team’s first real mission is not against any super-baddie, but against a real-life, everyday problem that by all accounts, is on the rise – slavery and the sex trade. By adding a dose of realism into the story, Waid is able to connect with the reader more than if they simply had to defeat the villain of the week. Though we cannot expect this each and every month, seeing this group react to humanity at its worst is utterly refreshing. The cast for the book is half-inspired and half no-brainer, for this team truly is the Young Avengers in all but name. A great addition is Viv, daughter of the Vision and fresh from his solo title and a character that will definitely be one to watch in the coming year. The first issue of Champions features a strong and solid start with some of the best pencils that Ramos has ever delivered.

4 out of 5

1 reply »

  1. I thought Death of X #1 was a very poor issue. Not at all living up to the hype. Its a shame, Marvel’s X-Men comics need a major revamp. I’m afraid I don’t see Death of X doing much to help either. However, Champions #1 was like a breath of fresh air. What a wonderful issue this was, great to see these kids walking out on the stuffy Avengers and striking out on their own like this. Excellent and thought provoking issue. Great reviews as well 🙂


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