|Funny how a lot of X-Men relaunches feature|
"X-Men walking towards the camera" type shots.
I need to be up front here and go on record as someone that does knock Grant Morrison. I also need to go on record as saying that whatever you've heard about this book, it's probably true. Because there's plenty of room for interpretation of quality here, and it's not possible to put it down to any one thing. Yes Kordey's art is terrible. Yes Quitely does great art (if you like his style, which I can never seem to decide on). Yes some of the ideas are wonderful. Yes some of those ideas are poorly executed. And, yes, Morrison changed the status quo and moved the X-Men away from the typical plot-lines of "mutants are an analogue for minority x".
|I mean, it could have been "Alas poor Yorrick!"|
Whether that would have been better or worse is up to you.
As a run down of some of the other sweeping changes that occur, New X-Men sees:
- Beast's secondary mutation into a leonine form;
- Genosha's annihilation (it's hard to be a minority when you control a nation);
- Emma Frost's secondary mutation to have her diamond form (as well as joining the X-Men permanently);
- No more spandex uniforms;
- The School for Gifted Youngsters actually functioning as a school;
- The introduction of Cassandra Nova, Xorn, John Sublime, Beak, Angel, and the Stepford Cuckoos; and
- The beginning of the end of Scott and Jean.
There's also a decent fight with the Shi'ar Empire, and imagery involving Charles Xavier's conception that really was a bit unnecessary.
On the face of it, it's not that big a deal, and this volume doesn't contain some of the most talked about points of Morrison's run, however this collection (and the two that follow) are crucial to Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men run, which in turn has been pivotal to Matt Fraction's work on Uncanny X-Men.
In the end I think there's a few things to weigh up before deciding on this, the first being if you want to really want to read a well written X-Men book, the second being if you can handle some of the poor art, and finally what format you'd like it in (keeping in mind that the Omnibus now costs an arm and a leg on eBay).
Personally I enjoyed it. I think there's the odd issue (or half issue) here and there that I could skip (really I could probably skip the entire Shi'ar side of things, as I've never found that side of X-Men to be as much fun) without missing too much. But for a fifteen issue collection, it's good value, and also more than a little necessary for reading before next week's review.