X-MEN: NO MORE HUMANS

X-Men: No More Humans
Marvel Comics
Writer: Mike Carey
Illustrator: Salvador Larroca
Marvel’s really been kicking some butt with their new line of original graphic novels. Naturally, they feature the A-list characters with A-list talent. Avengers with Warren Ellis and Mike Mckone, Spider-Man by Mark Waid, James Robinson, Gabriele Dell’Otto, and Werther Dell’Edera and now X-Men by much-lauded former X-writer Mike Carey and X-artist Salvador Larroca. They shot it off with a very clever name, “No More Humans;” referencing Scarlet Witch’s classic mutant decimating line “No more Mutants.” Plus, a premise that immediately gets your attention.

All at once, every human on the planet disappears. Not a word, sound effect, or puff of smoke, they just vanish from existence. When people just vanish there’s disaster all around. The X-Men rush to stop a plane from crashing into the Jean Grey School only to discover the entire thing is empty. Using Cerebra it shows there are no humans anywhere on the planet. Just mutants. (and aliens) It’s the kind of event that makes feuding family members renew against a common problem. Wolverine’s team from the school and Cyclops’ renegade team show up to figure out what to do. It’s a gathering of the ages. Quickly, all X-Men show up, including the now-solo-running Magneto with his children Quicksilver and the reality altering Scarlet Witch. It’s difficult to trust someone whose life has been devoted to the Mutant superiority when the only problem for that vision has been erased. But he is still powerful enough to be part of the inner circle. Following traps, the X-Men find a new Brotherhood behind this mysterious missing human event. Led by the future son of Wolverine and Mystique, Raze, who recently came back to this time to cause problems. He and his Brotherhood will do whatever it takes to make sure mutant kind will prosper. Of course, a fiend like Raze always has more on his mind than what he says.

“No More Humans” is huge in scale. There’s a massive cast and big ideas to come from his story. While the Original Graphic Novels have been great, there’s been a sense of “nothing’s changed” after the stories have ended. This was one that could have changed quite a bit. While Raze isn’t that interesting a character in general (oh, look, Wolverine has another kid that’s evil and hates him and is an evil mastermind. YAWN.) What he sets out to do is quite exciting. The angles he’s though out are interesting and keep you reading. Writer Mike Carey knows how to write a page-turner. From years of writing X-Men books he knows all these characters’ personalities and uses them beautifully. Except for the one’s he doesn’t. The Scarlet Witch. She should have been a huge part of this. Now, to Carey’s credit, he gives a very logical explanation why she is pushed to the side and forgotten. But this is a possible apocalyptic-level occurrence. Someone should have, at the very least, questioned her. Rogue and the Witch have been on a team together for months. But she’s ignored. Fair enough, it’s a relatively small point (that should have been huge) but what really strikes a chord is the ending. “No More Humans” is addicting. Once it sets off you must keep reading. It seems to be building to something incredible. Everything right up to the ending is great. Until, deus ex machina. It’s all just… solved. I won’t ruin it because the book is absolutely worth reading, but the ending is a letdown.

It’s possible Carey was beholden to a certain number of pages but there seemed like a lot of missed opportunities that came from this book. He’s a massively talented writer that wrote some fan-favorite runs and his talent is definitely on display here. It’s more than enough to look past the ending. Because of how highly entertaining it was. He works so well with Salvador Larroca. Larroca is in top form here. It’s difficult for an artist to do a book with as huge a cast as there is here and he makes the panels explode off the page. His work is bright and gorgeous. His splash pages are worthy of wall framing. He was a perfect choice for this book, if nothing for being with the X-books for the better part of two decades.

There is a lot of amazing work in “No More Humans.” And for even an avid fan of X-Men this book is a must read. The ending does leave it open for continuing stories involving characters new and old. I just don’t know if Carey will be the one picking those stories up. Here’s hoping he does. He clearly has a plan with one interesting new character. Carey and Larroca will, hopefully, be given a sequel graphic novel, because they deserve it.

 

Jo Schmidt