uncas007's The X-Men #1 - X-Men review

Teenage Ambition

Little remains to be said about this issue, especially after byzantine's rather thorough summary and review.  One thing that stood out to me when re-reading this again was the meticulous precision Xavier requires: three seconds for this, three seconds for that.  I suppose that is a good tactic, but their training sessions in the first few issues seem so brief it's hard to tell when they actually do their real training (in between issues/major battles, most likely).   Another noteworthy element is their teenage antics and rivalries.  It's easy to forgot after so many decades' worth of issues and stories that they started out as petulant, hormone-driven, brash neophytes.  Bobby Drake, in his snowman form, plays the class clown well; his antagonism with Warren is intriguing, almost as much as his disinterest in Jean's arrival.  Warren is as overconfident as the rest, despite the fact all they've done is train in Xavier's study (not even the basement, let alone called the Danger Room yet).  Hank is not yet the mathematical/scientific genius that he becomes soon - he is just a muscle-bound gruff that takes no orders from "Slim" Summers.  They really are not a team at this point.  We do not yet know how long they have been doing this, but it must have been some time - even though Jean is thrown into combat with Magneto on her first day at the school!  The cockiness of the X-Men combined with Xavier's willingness to just send them against Magneto makes for an odd beginning point on reflection, but there is none of Xavier and Magneto's backstory here, not yet.  Xavier knows there are evil mutants in the world, but we don't know how he knows this yet.  Perhaps the oddest thing is the army's appreciation for what the X-Men do - no real antagonism for the X-Men yet (though maybe they weren't paying attention and don't think the X-Men are mutants).  It is quite telling reading this so close to having read Graphic Novel #4 and the premiere of the New Mutants - despite their success against Magneto, Xavier's reticence to let the New Mutants combat evil mutants makes this original mission of the real first class of X-Men almost foolhardy.  Other little details make this more quaint than anything else: Xavier's Rolls Royce, the mind-powered airplane, Magneto's Wicked Witch of the West impersonation with the message in the sky, Cyclops's slicing through Magneto's magnetic waves - strange, in retrospect.  At least "The Dream" of humans and mutants living in harmony is there from the beginning.  We shouldn't expect fifty years of accretions and connections to be there from the premiere.  Another positive is that the absence of clear origins allows for more detailed character development later on.  It's a good start, all in all.

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