This review is spoiler free! Don't worry! (be happy?)
Jubilee has herself an orphaned baby and is heading back the the school, but she's being followed by an old and very powerful enemy of the X-Men. However, there's something bigger on the horizon that could destroy all of humanity.
I'm a bit of a flaky X-Men reader. I pretty much only read series written or drawn by some of my favorite characters. Essentially, I'm relatively new to the X-Men world, and I felt very at home with this new series, mainly because it has a tie-in to one of my favorite runs of any comic: Grant Morrison's NEW X-MEN. Even readers that haven't read Morrison's epic in the past should have no problem jumping in because writer Brian Wood does a stupendous job at explaining many aspects of the tie-in that they missed out on. The only thing, as a "new reader" that lost me a tiny bit was the ending because I wasn't familiar with the character the at the end of the issue.
Without giving anything away, I have to say the subject/villain choice for this first story works incredibly well. This isn't an over-used villain, and it's one that has the potential to pose a big threat to the X-Men and the entire Earth. We get to see some of this villain's history and their origin as well in the opening pages. I really haven't been this excited for a conflict, in an X-Men book, in a long time.
I'm really digging this new X-Men team. One thing I always loved about Brian Wood's writing is that he's great with team dynamics and relationships (Read ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN also). The team seems to work well together and there's little to no conflict within the group. Honestly, it's nice to see a team getting along from the get-go. These are all characters who have a place on this team, and there's just something special to the way Wood writes Kitty Pryde. She's much more of a frontline warrior here, compared to the Ultimate series where Wood has her in more of a diplomatic role. Rogue, Storm, and Kitty all work very well together, especially in one particular instance, and I love seeing well-established characters working together.
On the artistic side of things, X-MEN #1 delivers some well-crafted and epic scenes that are extremely intense and show movement extremely well all thanks to the creative team of Olivier Coipel (art and inks), Mark Morales (inks), and Laura Martin (colors). They opening pages of this issue are fantastic. Felt like an opening to a big budget, summer blockbuster, but in a good way. There was a great use of negative space throughout the opening as well. Coipel's work, through the rest of the issue, is eye candy, plain and simple. It's solid story telling through art.
I had high expectations for this book because of the creative team, and I wasn't disappointed. You will most likely see this at the top of my list for this month's Top of the Pile.
It's Marvel's all-female X-team that never mentions the fact it's an all female X-team, and that's something I love about it. The focus is on the story and its characters and not the sex of the characters that make up this book. What Wood and Coipel have given readers is a wonderful introduction to a team book. There's a few interesting twists, right from the start, and it is one of my favorite reads from this past month. This is the start to something awesome.
Overall, I highly recommend picking this issue up.