Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Age of X Universe #1 of 2
Spurrier, Pham, Palmer & Oback
The Age of X crossover has been a pleasant surprise thus far. Mike Carey has scripted a complicated story that weaves the regular Marvel Universe into an alternate reality. We have yet to learn how the regular universe is anchored in the alternate world and I was hoping this short mini series would shed some light on it. However, this book focuses on other, non X-Men, characters. While this is all interesting stuff, the book misses out on actually involving the characters interacting with the mutants in the crossover. I found the stories to be good but badly missing the mark in terms of their placement in the crossover.
The main story is about the Avengers by Spurrier and Pham. Not only are the Avengers altered (in some cases grotesquely) visually, but their personalities as well. The hook here is that the Avengers are basically hunting mutants. The story touches on some of the characters and how they came to the point that they are in this story. For example, the Hulk’s story isn’t terribly different than the normal origin story but it has a mutant twist to it. The most creative is that of Sue Storm. She basically sold out her family to pursue the notion that mutants need to be controlled and not protected. However, the story fails to engage any of the characters from the crossover which was very disappointing. I love the ideas in here but the story just doesn’t come together with the crossover.
The second story (by McCann and Davidson who don’t receive cover credits) is all about Spider-Man and Mary Jane. Mary Jane is pregnant and because she has what could be considered a mutant baby in her belly, Spider-Man gives himself up to allow her to escape persecution. It’s a good, but very short story. Again, it fails to inject any character from the crossover. It just feels disconnected from the overall story, even that of the Avengers main story.
The art in both stories is good. The Avengers story provides a ton of creative looks for the characters and takes some of them to the extreme, such as that of Tony Stark and the mutant held on a chain. The Spider-Man story is a darker one but fits the mood well. Overall the art provides a good, solid visual story throughout the issue.
Ultimately comic books are all about expectations. I was hoping this mini series would either provide some context to the mutant situation or give some recognizable mutants for the characters in these stories. This book doesn’t do either and becomes a throwaway for the crossover. Priced at $4 I am thinking this is a book that can be skipped unless you absolutely must have the entire crossover. Don’t be fooled, though, the creator’s work within the covers is good and enjoyable. It’s the book’s direction and price point that makes it something you can miss.
2.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles