Marvel 100th Anniversary Special: X-Men #1

6 Overall Score
Art: 6/10
Dialogue: 6/10
Story: 6/10

Another future ripple in the X-Men mythos | An interesting, albeit sloppily executed, premise.

Sub-par pacing | Uninspired artwork | The lack of any true suspense makes everything going on the story feel more burdensome than enjoyable | The

Marvel 100th Anniversary Special: X-Men #1
Robin Furth, Jason Masters
Marvel Comics
2014

No… there’s no need to look up Marvel on Wikipedia to determine the veracity of this comic’s title – Marvel Comics did indeed begin in 1961 and not in 1914, as the name would otherwise have you believe (although, if we’re going to get super technical, the company actually got its start in 1939 – albeit under a different name: Timely Comics).

So why the somewhat misleading title? That, my dear reader(s), is essentially the crux of this story. Along with Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers and Fantastic Four, Marvel 100th Anniversary Special: X-Men #1 explores a rather intriguing premise: what would the Marvel Universe look like in 2061 – 100 years after Stan Lee penned his first issue of Fantastic Four?

The answer: not really all that different.

The comic opens with a brief synopsis of previous events untold. Scott Summers (AKA Cyclops), still leader of the X-Men after all these years, saved New York from yet another disaster (this time it was a giant black hole in a Large Hadron Collider). More than ever before, he and his band of merry mutant revolutionaries experienced a surge in popularity and acceptance.

So, like anyone in a similar position, Cykes did the obvious thing: he got elected President of the United States. On the eve of his election, he married his on-again/off-again snuggle buddy, Emma Frost (AKA the White Queen).

Soon, the mutant haters arrive outside of the White House and begin protest verging on the violent, but a far more malevolent force has already converged on the Presidential bedroom, obliterating Frost both physically and in the memories of everyone besides Scott.

Who could and would have done such a thing? Can you think of anyone? Huh?

Yeah.

The rest of the comic is a series of bland references and guest appearances. Wolverine is still crotchety! Captain America still wears his uniform wherever he goes! Morph still bats for the other team! Beast still says, “Oh, my stars and garters!”

All of these little details are tossed to readers like tender vittles to a house cat as the plot shambles towards its foregone revelatory conclusion. On the last page’s final panel, these words sit ominously: “The Beginning.”

Oh crap, there’s going to be more?

Marvel has faced a problem for a while that no amount of deaths, spinoffs and gimmicks can fix: the X-Men books are getting a little stale. Overcrowded with a still-growing cast of rather forgettable characters, there is little to look forward to month-to-month from a series that was once the high watermark of the publisher. When the most interesting X-Men book out there is one featuring the original 1960s lineup brought forth into present day (All-New X-Men), you might have a problem on your hands.

The writing in this issue is adequate, if a tad uninspired. It seems to me that Furth was so concerned with making sure all the moving pieces in the plot wound up where they needed to be by the end of the book that she forgot to make it fun. Likewise, Jason Masters’ artwork is decent, if not awe-inspiring. He may want to take it a little easy on the inks, however, as there were several panels where, despite the scene taking place in a well-lit room, Beast was more black than he was blue.

100th-Anniversary-Special-X-Men-1-Cover__scaled_600

Comments:

Jesse Scheckner
Author: Jesse Scheckner View all posts by
A freelance writer who regularly produces work for MMA Owl, Tuff Gnarl, Broward Palm Beach New Times, Florida Geek Scene and Miami's Community Newspapers. Moderately relevant. Follow me on Twitter @JesseScheckner.

Leave A Response