Three weeks ago, an explosion took place that leveled a town in Europe. Some say it was a terrorist attack, others say it was the result of a crashing meteorite. In the present, Jubilee is trying to catch a ride back home to her family the X-Men with an infant girl in hand. And she’s being followed. But as Shadowcat, Rogue, and Storm immediately head off to pick up Jubilee early, Rachel Summers and Psylocke meet a surprise visitor to the Jean Grey Institute in John Sublime. But he claims that he is not there to cause conflict. Rather he is seeking their help. Because there is something Jubilee doesn’t know about the infant.
I’m going to say it right off the bat, I’m a Jubilee fan. Been so ever since the X-Men animated series first aired way back in 1992. I feel a connection to the character as she was roughly my age when I discovered her and she has grown in similar ways as I have, except for the last ten years of misuse I feel she has endured. So imagine my joy when writer Brian Wood noted that Jubilee would be central in the new X-Men volume, or rather X-Women given it’s all-women cast. There are some questions that need to be answered, such as whether or not Jubilee is still a vampire, which I’m of the opinion that she’s not as she’s been in direct sunlight virtually through the whole book. But as far as kicking things off, Wood is setting the stage to a potentially intriguing story with one of the most solid writing to date. The pacing is good and Wood appears to have a true sense of understanding of the characters’ personalities and how they interact with one another.
The real gem of the book, though, is the artwork by one of the top guns in Marvel’s arsenal, Olivier Coipel. Coipel is known for drawing some of the most beautiful pages ever seen in a comic book and he has brought he A-game for this title. The way he illustrates the characters is so rich that it’s absolutely astonishing to look at from time to time. Take the seemingly simple sequence of Jubilee trying to hush the crying infant on a plane. Speaking of the baby, is he not the cutest little thing to ever grace a comic book? There is so much care and delicacy to every panel that it’s rather hard to turn the page because it’s easier to get lost in examine the gorgeous details.
All New X-Men remains the elite of not only X-Men books, but also Marvel books at the present moment. While X-Men being an all-women book would be looked upon as a gimmick, Brian Wood writes such a solid script that it really doesn’t matter that the characters are, for the most part, all women. The characters was wonderfully defined and presented in a story that is quite intriguing. And then there is the masterful artwork by Olivier Coipel, who delivers some of his best work in a while with pages that one could just look at for hours before turning to the next pair. Here’s to hoping that the next issue sustains all this great work because then it would make the book as highly recommended as I want to give it, which I will for the first issue.
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