Wr. Nunzio Defilippis
Wr. Christina Weir
Ill. Randy Green
New X-Men Academy X sports a berserker barrage of errors. But one can find pleasantry if one is patient enough.
I must however digress slightly.
I believe that this series was spawned from Marvel Comics attempt to corner the ever growing Manga market, ever so slightly, and introduce new and certainly younger readers to their core lineup of characters within the Marvel Universe.
Other examples of Marvel's now almost defunct strategic plan included titles like Sentinel, Emma Frost, Manga Fantastic Four amongst many more. Many of these titles are unheard of to the common reader.
The presentation of these Marvel trades is quite frankly boring and simple. You are basically getting a collection of issues, in this case numbers 1-6 of the regular series, without any extras for an incredibly outrageous price. In this case $14.99. Or on average $2.50 per issue.
For me, a new way of introduction to readers would be lowering this trade to around $9.99. But alas, that is far too much to ask for. Even a few extras here and they would have been welcomed. No wonder this thing isn't flying off the shelves and one can find it in a 50-60% off bin.
If that won't turn you off already, then I have more bad things to say about it.
The story follows a few teenage mutants that are introduced into the Charles Xavier Institute, in a very childish manner, might I add. The mutants' powers range from healers, to telepathic skill stealers, electric gauntlet wearers, spike throwers, winged fellows, death touchers and so forth.
Within the first issue you notice the age downplay as the White Queen and Cyclops are not as "dark" as in their mainstream title counterparts. And quickly somehow in a mere 22 pages the reader is introduced to new powers, teenage rebellion, love triangles, friendships, tribulations and so forth.
This plot/story mistake falls upon the writers and their editors, and I don't understand why this nonsense of a book had to be written by two writers, little known Nunzio Defilippis and Christina Weir. Let alone drawn by three artists...but more on that later.
I believe these kids, or rather this idea, were introduced briefly in Grant Morrison's X-men run.
The story keeps on hastening throughout the first six issues making the reader surreally experience a younger next generation of an incarnation (wooo that rhymed!) of another X-men title. It does get better and progresses smartly as the first 2 issues are huge letdowns.
The art of Randy Green is very impressionable. He has a manga-esque style that is more American. And the artists that come after him fit the bill as well. All of them seem perfectly fit for this teenage book. However in the end they don't do enough to stand out on their own. The art is typical of a book like this, very Exiles, Mark Bagleyish. You can name a slew of titles that are comparable.
I do believe that Green's art is better on his Emma Frost counterpart.
You have to give this comic a full read before dropping it. You also have to understand that both writers are in control of a large amount of cast members. And not for one moment you are left hanging as one of them disappears. You see enough of them to care and not miss them at the same time. They all seem intriguing enough and that is very impressive from a writers' standpoint.
The characters also have a voice of their own and they don't seem to mesh together.
The dialogue overall is not entirely bad. There are no punch lines or memorable philosophical speeches, nor moments, but for the most part the characters fit their age...even though it will feel over simplified for the old readers who have nothing else to read for the moment.
This is definitely worth a read, as there is plenty to read. There isn't a lot of action and you can think of this as a larger but poorer version of Runaways.
I would not mind if these characters became the future X-men.
- Pawel Goj