Last month debuted Marvel Now’s new X-Men #1, a title devoid of both adjectives and Y-chromosomes. Put out by team Brian Wood (Channel Zero, Ultimate Comics X-Men, The Massive) and Olivier Coipel (House of M, Legion of Super-Heroes, Thor), the somewhat misleading title focuses on the all-girl team of Storm, Rogue, Kitty Pryde, Psylocke, Rachel Grey, and Jubilee.
Not surprisingly, the comic is well written, and the story grabs you from the get-go. An ominous recap of evolutionary events serves as the prologue to the story arc, but issues #1’s main focus is on Jubilee. We find the 90’s mega character and former Wolverine sidekick on her way back to the Jean Grey School in possession of a baby. No, this isn’t another sad chapter of Jubilee’s life, the child isn’t her own but an orphan found while traveling through Europe. However, something is amiss. Not only is Jubilee being followed, but the baby seems pretty peculiar. In a story full of plot twists, Jubilee might be toting the seed of an ancient evil that will destroy life as we know it. Or maybe it’s just a baby. Only time will tell.
That the X-Men title features an all-female team is notable for a few reasons, one being that the comic book landscape is remarkably low on all-female team titles. Marvel Now’s X-Men joins the ranks of Fearless Defenders, Birds of Prey, and Danger Girl, and Marvel’s choice of Brian Wood as writer would indicate that they are serious about making the title successful. This comes just a few short months before Red She Hulk’s cancellation in August (and a few years after the failed X-23 title). Wood’s reputation for writing holds up, and Olivier Coipel’s artwork is great. In fact, his somewhat minimalistic style serves the title well, and his character designs feel right (with everyone looking just a little bit French… or that could just be me projecting).
Having a reputation for being progressive, the X-Men franchise seems to be a good fit for such a move as an all-female team. However, that the creative team is comprised of all men shines a light on the fact that, new women-centric titles or not, the comic book industry is still a male dominated place. But, many hope, maybe if more girls get interested in comics more women will get involved in the industry. Though, that’s probably a conversation for another time.
Issue #2 of X-Men comes out this week.