X-Club #1

A comic review article by: Sara McDonald

X-Club #1 comes across as a bit of a departure from a lot of what's going on in the X-World right now. It's not full of emotionally-charged debates over the moral issues facing the remainders or mutantkind or anyone fighting to the death just because the world fears and hates them. What it is, however, is witty, engaging, and full of science snark. If you're looking for a superhero comic that treads into dark and gritty territory, this probably isn't the comic for you. However, if you're looking for a superhero comic that's both engaging and simply fun, then this one you'll want to pick up.

After opening with a quick teaser of a flashback to 1945 and the Invaders, X-Club #1 goes back to the present where the X-Men (of Utopia) are appearing at a press conference for the opening of the Stringstar, the first space elevator, which the X-Club (the nickname given to the X-Men's Utopia-based science team) designed in order to create good PR for mutant/human relations. Which probably work out pretty well for them, were it not for the small issue of a group of nomadic Atlanteans claiming the construction of the Stringstar has "had a negative effect on local sea life -- and their own 'spiritual equilibrium.'" While the X-Men and the company in charge of the Stringstar, Stratocorp, are both quick to deny the Atlanteans' allegations, it becomes rapidly apparent that their complaints aren't baseless and this won't be the PR boon the X-Men were hoping for.

While the X-Club is comprised of four members, two members are the real stand-out characters of this issue. Ex-training simulator and current self-aware robot Danger demonstrates her ability to show a more human-like side as she jokes with Madison Jeffries, only to later show signs that there is much more to her than what was expected. She'll be a character to watch as this miniseries progresses, and it should be interesting to see how Spurrier chooses to develop her. Also standing out is Dr. Nemesis, whose one-liners and snarky quips manage to be genuinely funny. While he tends to be surly and insulting, Spurrier allows him to show another side, albeit briefly, as he tells reporters, "My team represents the greatest collection of scientists on the planet, and I'm proud of them all." Of course, he immediately threatens the reporters not to tell them that upon pain of digestive system polar shift, but it's small moments with Dr. Nemesis like this one that allows him to be more than simply one-note comic relief.

X-Club #1 is a promising start to a mini-series, and an issue that builds a momentum that hopefully will continue over the next four issues.

Danny Djeljosevic is a comic book creator, award-winning filmmaker (assuming you have absolutely no follow-up questions), film/music critic for Spectrum Culture and Co-Managing Editor of Comics Bulletin. Follow him on Twitter at @djeljosevic or find him somewhere in San Diego, often wearing a hat. Read his comic, "Sgt. Death and his Metachromatic Men," over at Champion City Comics and check out his other comics at his Tumblr, Sequential Fuckery.

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