We are approaching the end of the year and have received our LAST installments for the six ongoing Dawn of X titles launched since the conclusion of Jonathan Hickman’s (iconic) House of X and Powers of X.
As the twelve part mini-series revived my hope in the franchise, I have been tuning in every Wednesday to get my mutant fix. I thought it would be a good time, now that we’re done with new X-books for the year, to rank the six titles from best to worst!
Here we go.
1: X-Force: I admit I wasn’t looking forward to this book when it was announced. I was never really an X-Force fan. I couldn’t get on board with the vibe. However, no other book of the six titles that have launched seems to carry-on the aesthetic and themes from HOX/POX as much as this book does. I appreciate what Benjamin Percy has done with the first four issues. I admit, Xavier’s death sparked a very loud, “al-F****-ready?!” but I think they landed that plane really smoothly and drove its point home.
Kid Omega? Hysterical. Wolverine? Badass. Jean? Take that ridiculous dress off you’re in the Krakoan CIA not an extra in an Austin Powers film for F*** sake…
This book has stayed consistent and I appreciate how grounded it is in its story-telling as well as, dare I say, it’s violence. Kid Omega and Wolverine deaths at the end of #4? BRUTALLY FANTASTIC.
Favorite moment of the title so far would have to be Magneto reshaping the destroyed Cerebro into a sword that now rests over Xavier’s head as he sleeps; a never-ending reminder of truly what’s at stake. Brilliant Mr. Percy, just BRILLIANT.
2: Marauders: Yet again, I saw the announcement of this book and gave a very vocal, “No thank you.” Damn, was I SURPRISED at just how much fun I had with the first issue. Seeing Kitty, I’m sorry, KATE, use her powers offensively and take out that tank? BADASS.
I enjoyed the subtle nods to manga style art while not coming off too goofy, I appreciate this ensemble as it has some of my favorite X-characters (Storm, Bishop, and Iceman), and it too holds one of the strongest ties to the ideas and themes from HOX/POX.
Am I little irked by the obvious leaning into Game of Thrones elements? Yes… The Red Keep, our protagonist who owns that Keep having a pet dragon, establishing herself as a queen, and ultimately exiled by the place she should call home…yes, many correlations. However, it works!
Marauders has proven to be a solid ride so far with a great sense of humor. Can’t want to get back into this in 2020.
3: The New Mutants: Wow. This book has assembled my New Mutants dream team (minus Magma who I’m still hoping will find her way home). The Way Hickman is writing Sunspot in this title is pure gold, the banter between the characters is hysterical, and the art of the first couple issues really pays homage to Bill Sienkiewicz’s iconic 80s run on the book.
On my grading rubric this title HAS fallen on the scale the last couple weeks primarily because I’m not too interested in this Armor and Boom Boom plot on the farm. I miss my OG squad and I’m eager to get back to them in 2020. I’m hoping whatever is going on here can tie back into the main crew in a big way to pay off, but time will tell.
4: X-Men: This is the only title of the bunch missing a fourth issue. We know the title has experienced some delays with releases, but we are set to return to the book on New Years Day in just a couple weeks.
That being said, with the three issues we’ve gotten so far, I’m on board. I think it’s a big risk on Hickman’s part to be approaching the title as “one and done’s” but I’m glad to see each has impressed me more than the last. Issue #3 was so funny, gave that great Cyclops panel, body in the soil panel, and ultimately made the next big X-Men villain the Golden Girls. I’m here for it and I’m not leaving.
A big positive to the “one and done” format is that Cyclops is joined by a revolving door of mutants. I think this is great for the Dawn of X as a whole as this book can serve as seasoning for whatever other stories are unfolding in other titles while also allowing Cyclops to reclaim his glory as leader of the team.
5: Excalibur: Hm. Okay. Um. Sure! I signed up specifically because I really was into the new Captain Britain identity and uniform for the returned Betsy Braddock. That was cool! Gambit and Rogue together in a title, alright! Jubilee, uhh yeah come on down!
Rictor? Absolutely! I’m a sucker for representation so I’m happy to have him be a principal character on a title with a decent uniform. My fingers are crossed that Northstar finds his way to the front soon enough.
However, the idea of magic and Krakoa and all of that? BIT of a stretch for me I won’t lie. I feel there are certainly other areas of this mutant nation that can be explored rather than the entertainment value of a baby turned into a dragon…?
Whatever though! I’ll read until it’s cancelled!
6: Fallen Angels: No. Nothing much more I can say here. Forced myself through the first issue and it wasn’t landing for me. I hope this is the first casualty of the DOX titles, and I hope it is soon since there is a CHUNK of new ones coming our way in 2020.
Speaking of new titles, let’s take this time to remember in 2020 we will be getting;
-unnamed Moira McTaggert Title
-X-Men vs. Fantastic Four mini-series
It truly is just the DAWN of X.