NEW X-MEN 42
Story: Christopher Yost & Craig Kyle
Script: Christopher Yost
Pencil & Inks: Skottie Young
It’s been a bad couple of years for mutants. The Decimation started us all off, and it’s pretty much gone downhill from there. The Xavier Institute changed from a mutant training academy, into a holding fortress for the couple of hundred mutants left on the planet, fearing for their lives from enemies on all sides. Things haven’t really got much better recently, though the young mutants have acquitted themselves quite well. But, never fear, the cavalry is on the way. (Kinda.)
In this issue, Cyclops, Wolverine, Kitty, Beast and Colossus decide to take a little time to get to know the 25 young mutants currently at the Institute. However, there’s a bit of a generation gap, which makes for some humorous scenes. And, while one could argue that Cyclops was emo before emo was cool, he’s nothing compared to a couple of the kids hanging around this place.
The story moves along briskly, and gives face time to just about everybody, with a good bit of character establishment (even if the character only has two or three panels in which to do that). I am, however, unable to get paste my distaste for the art. Are you telling me that this is really supposed to be Cyclops in this first panel?
Seriously, he looks like a fifteen year old skater wearing red sunglasses. Characters should be recognizable on site, not only with explicit call outs to their names. I simply cannot believe that it took me over three-quarters of the book to realize that one of the “old” X-Men was Kitty Pryde, someone I literally first encountered in a comic over 15 years ago.
The combination of disorienting art, confusing camera angles, the total and complete lack of exposition (there is nothing but dialogue on all but one page), and the large cast of characters makes for a somewhat frustrating reading experience. The creators would have been well off to pull back a bit, and concentrating on establishing who everyone is and what they might be thinking, rather than trying to develop something new in every single panel.
Rating: 5 out of 10