By Ed Brubaker
Art by Trevor Harsine and Scott Hanna
This graphic novel draws from the origins of the 60s X-men team and the 70s new X-men team, and starts an arc that is still playing out today for those characters. When the X-men were first created, there was only Scott Summers, aka Cyclops. Later we learned that he had a brother, Alex Summers, aka as Havok. In this book we learn that there’s a third Summers brother, Gabriel, aka as Vulcan. Why has no one heard of him in all this time? Well, it’s a bit complicated.
But if you are an X-men fan, you will be amazed at the all the past events that Ed Brubaker seamlessly knits together to explain the presence of this third Summers brother. Of course, if you are reading Captain America or Iron Fist you already know that Brubaker is a master of incorporating the history of characters and giving them a fresh and unexpected twist. Giant Sized X-men #1 featured the first appearance of the New X-men like Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus, and I bought it on the newsstands (yes, I know that’s dating me). It’s one of the issues I read a gazillion times as a kid. So I was stunned, and happily so, at seeing that issue not only revisited, but cast in a completely different light in this graphic novel. And that’s just one of many surprises awaiting you here.
As far as the art, Trevor Hairsine did the layouts, with Scott Hanna finishing the pencils, which made things look a little rough, and not in the usual style of Hairsine. There are also four different inkers, so the uniform look of book was a little off. But overall, nicely done, with no wasted splash pages. As a graphic novel extra there are pencil sketches of the new character designs by Hairsine. Speaking of, I liked most of the new X-men characters and what was done with them. I hope somehow we get to see more of them. But I wasn’t very happy with what happened to Banshee.
And finally, the book really does change the status quo of the X-men and sets up some great hooks for the future. In particular, Professor X and Cyclop’s father – son relationship, once the bedrock of the X-men, seems irrecoverably damaged. And then there’s Vulcan’s quest for revenge, which leads to several other arcs in the X-men books and will culminate in Marvel’s next big event: War of Kings. If you want to be on that from the ground floor, then reserve X-Men: Deadly Genesis by clicking here.