Title: Deadly Genesis
Review by: James Hatton
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Penciler: Trevor Hairsine
Inker: Kris Justice
Colorist: Val Staples
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Published by: Marvel Comics
It goes without saying that Deadly Genesis is a book I’ve been looking forward to for quite a bit of time. First off, it is a look back on the past of the X-Men. Second, it is one of the debut books for Ed Brubaker’s stint at Marvel. Finally, it apparently is going to be a story about the secrets of what happened during Giant Size X-Men #1, and that in and of itself is worth the price of admission.
I’ve been salivating at every little bit of rumor and suspicion that has come out concerning this title, that now it’s here… and I get to review it.
What’s remains for Marvel’s mutants after the white flash from Scarlet Witch? A world where the X-Gene is a rarity. A world where Sentinels surround the X-Mansion. A world without Charles Xavier.
So the X-Men are left trying to figure out what to do with the pieces. The first thing they’ve decided to do is try and find Charles. Their leader and mentor has been gone for a long time, and this is their time of greatest need. Emma stands watch on Cerebra and waits.
It’s there that she finds an Omega Class mutant (AKA really powerful) crashing down in a spaceship somewhere in the north of New York. Why? Who? Completely unknown to us. Unknown like many of the other things in this book. The dead rising from the grave? Banshee finding a secret cabin and video of Moira Mactaggert that labels Charles Xavier a horrible person? Kitty seeing not Colossus, but a zombified version? The questions abound in this book.
Back to the main plot though, the X-Folk figure out a way to get past the Sentinels and head off to see what’s going on… only to be as confused as the reader is when this unknown quotient of a character stops them all.
The writing is, just as I expected, excellent. Without a question, Brubaker understands how each of the characters works. Nightcrawler has a moment of reflection. Kitty has a moment of hating Emma (which seems to be the standard role for Kitty to play these days), and Cyclops remains the stiff leader, as always.
I can only assume that the fragments of story will tie together in the end. For now though, the fragments are interesting enough to not make me upset with the way the story is going.
In every shiny day, a little rain must fall. The art of this book is not wholly consistent. Although within that, I can’t be sure whose fault that is. The character portions, the designs of the backgrounds, and even the basic characters look fine from a distance. That lends me to believe it isn’t Trevor Hairsine’s fault at all, but instead the inker Chris Justice.
In time will that even out? I am wholly unsure, but I hope it does (as the glaring darkness in the characters – and the lack of consistency in the faces is distracting from the rest of what is going on).
There is another short story in this book about a new mutant girl named Petra. The art in that one is wholly more consistent, and just as intriguing. Whether or not these two stories are connected is unknown right now, but we get 2 Brubaker stories in one. Sweet.
So in the end, Deadly Genesis holds up to most of what I wanted it to be. It is a damn good story, and hopefully reflective of what we will see from Brubaker at Marvel. Artistically, I hope it can possibly clean its act up a bit, as it’s the only thing holding this title back from being every single thing I want it to be.