X-MEN Go Solo!

X-Men go solo!

Recently, there’s been an influx of solo X-Men titles. Most of whom have never had an ongoing series before. Now we’re going to see if they truly deserve their own books.

Cyclops- Cyclops not getting his own series before isn’t a surprise. Frankly, until a few years ago he hasn’t been interesting. It wasn’t until he stepped up as the Mutant Leader he deserved to be that anyone really cared about him. Ironically, this series isn’t even about that Cyclops. A little while ago the original X-Men (the 60’s versions) were pulled into modern times. This book is about a teen Cyclops traveling space with his no-longer-dead-but-hiding-a-secret-as-to-why, space pirate dad, Corsair. And it’s exactly what we didn’t know we needed. Greg Rucka does the perfect job of showing sweet, awkward teen Cyclops ecstatic he is spending time with the father he thought he’d never see again. Corsair is a rogue. He loves that he gets a second chance to be a father, not just to a lost son, but a lost son that’s once again in his teens. But Corsair is hiding things. Lead of which, how is he alive? For now, it’s a father-son adventure told beautifully by Rucka and artist Russell Dauterman.

Magneto– How is this his first ongoing? Cullen Bunn puts Magneto at his rawest on display in this dark, gorgeous book. Magneto has left the X-Men to take some mutant justice out on those that seek to eradicate the next evolutionary step. Bunn’s Magneto has done away with the monologues explaining his plans and replaced with it sheer ferocious brutality. This is the realistic Magneto that would show from a holocaust survivor, a former super-villain, a teacher, a monarch, a martyr, and a man with nothing to lose. He knows who he is and is not afraid of what he has to do to keep mutants safe. As he searches for those that continue to hurt his kind he meets a mysterious woman who, inexplicably, wants to help. He knows there’s more to her, but he’s getting what he wants. It appears so is she, for now. Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s stunning, stylized art brings out the rage that Magneto’s thoughts and actions are meant to convey. Magneto is doing good through bad and it’s gripping to watch happen.

Nightcrawler– Let’s get to the main point of this book. If you’re a fan of ye olde Chris Cleremont’s run of Uncanny X-Men, then you’ll love Nightcrawler. Cleremont loves Nightcrawler and it shows. Since he created the fuzzy elf he has a great handle on the X-Man’s voice and origin. The first arc delves into Nightcrawler’s family and loved ones. He returns to the circus he left so many years ago because there are bad things about. It’s time to reconnect, especially after returning from the dead, with his step sister and evil step mother. Cleremont is the perfect person to be writing this book. It’s really his baby but sticks well in continuity, past and present. Todd Nauck’s cartoony art lends the bright and fun edge that makes it a great book to enjoy and will surprise you with how much you care.

Storm- Finally. Finally, Storm gets her own series. She’s been a character too long not to have had one. Many writers have made her into one of the most interesting voices in comics and a strong female leader, so now she finally gets some respect with a beautifully drawn and powerfully written book. Storm has been many things in her life from a goddess to an X-Man, a leader and a punk. She stands proud of her past as she takes a stand, alone, against those that have been forgotten. Her power is far above many others and writer Greg Pak proclaims it loudly in the first issue. Pak has written some very impactful and excellent books so to see him get a great character like Storm feels like a fit made in heaven. Plus, Victor Ibanez’s shines. He renders the words on a page to a stunning, epic degree. Pak and Ibanez have a major winner with Storm.

Jo Schmidt