REVIEW: X-Men Regenesis #1

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The X-Men Regenesis #1 one-shot ushers in the post-Schism status quo for Marvel’s mutant heroes that will be introduced across the X-Men line this Fall. We didn’t say much about details of the recently concluded Schism mini-series here at MLD, and much of that had to do with taking a wait-and-see approach after the Prelude to Schism series didn’t connect to it at all. I still enjoyed Prelude, but it was a point of frustration that put me off discussing the details here. Thankfully, Kieron Gillen’s issue chronicling the upcoming changes has put things back on track.

Spoilers for the dawn of Marvel’s X-Men: Regenesis era may follow.

Admittedly, I wasn’t sold on X-Men: Schism at first, but after reaching issue #3 it steadily improved. I had an opportunity to speak with writer Jason Aaron at the Baltimore Comic Con about the new Hellfire “kids” that served as the series’ antagonists before #3 shipped, and he truly hoped I didn’t hate them as characters. I’m not crazy about them, but they grew on me with their relative absence in issues #4 and #5 simply observing the hell they’d wrought. Ending with an epic battle between Cyclops, Wolverine and a massive “suitcase” Sentinel introduced by the new Hellfire Club, the series ultimately hit all the right notes and left me primed for the rift that would divide the reaming mutants of the Marvel Universe.

X-Men: Regenesis #1 follows right on the heels of Schism and just about every other ongoing arc across the X-Men line from the mind of Uncanny X-Men writer Kieron Gillen (preview available here). It’s satisfying to see stories across the publishing line dovetail into one another for the launch point that begins in late October even though the book may have spoiled some minor details about ongoing arcs. At the same time as catching up on all the mainstays, Gillen manages to tackle some complex long standing relationships among the X-Men very effectively in only two or three pages each. It’s all done within the context of a difficult choice for all of these characters regarding whether to remain on Utopia with Cyclops’ mutant nation or return to Wolverine’s new school back in Westchester, New York. Among the best recruitment scenes were Wolverine scoring Beast and Iceman and Cyclops’ plea for Storm to stay and make sure things don’t go wrong with his crew of former enemies: Magneto, Namor, Emma, Danger, Doctor Nemesis, Colossus, and Illyana. For the record, floating brain in a jar, Martha Johannson, sided with Cyclops.

An interesting visual choice was made to connect the stories of each highlighted character with scenes of a surreal battle between Cyclops and Wolverine for tribal dominance, adding each character to the scene as they made their decision. The imagery was unexpected and I came away really enjoying it. Billy Tan’s artwork looks very nice here, but Andres Mossa’s colors make it shine particularly in the tribe scenes that include animal totems with Cyclops wearing a Lion’s head and mane and Colossus as a Russian bear. They’re fun redesigns and my only criticism is that it may have been more effective to make the tribal scenes more stylistically distinct from the rest of the book.

The most interesting element is the fundamental disagreement between Cyclops and Wolverine being presented as ultimately amicable. It makes it particularly fun when the possibility of them continuing on without being at odds is directly questioned on the panel by Emma Frost. We’re sure to see tensions rise as the story continues in Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men and Gillen’s new volume of Uncanny X-Men.

Read more about X-Men: Regenesis on MyLatestDistraction.
and keep up with our reviews as each of the X-titles enter this new era.

X-Men: Regenesis announcements / Wolverine and the X-Men #1

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