MYTHOS: X-Men #1
AN ALL-NEW SERIES OF PAINTED ONE-SHOTS FROM MARVEL, RECAPTURING THE EARLIEST DAYS OF OUR GREATEST HEROES! The first of a series of quintessential, stand-alone, done-in-one stories by Paul Jenkins and Paolo Rivera, MYTHOS: X-MEN takes readers back to the formative days of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, and recounts the first encounter between the nescient, teen-aged X-Men with their ultimate nemesis, Magneto! Filled with new detail and nuance, the MYTHOS books are also the perfect starter set for those readers new to the Marvel cast of characters, or to those who known them only from movies and television cartoons!
The Mythos books from Marvel were meant to introduce new fans to the classic teams that have withstood the test of time, and there is no better place to start than the X-Men. In what is meant to be a modern retelling of the original X-Men #1 issue from 1963, the Mythos: X-Men #1 book captures a sense of the team dynamics for a surface-level look at what the team is about.
There is no getting around it, Mythos: X-Men #1 is frustratingly subpar. The story resembles the classic #1 issue in structure alone, with the stakes and consequences varying wildly in translation. While the relationship between Xavier and his X-Men feels right, that’s just about where the familiarity ends. The impacts are based specifically on the mutant registration act and it frames their entire conflict in a different light than anything we saw in the original issue. The result is a haphazard attempt at a crash course for new readers, lacking in both depth and nuance.
While Magneto is a woefully different character, meant to be more aligned with the film interpretation than anything, his differences are just some of the more noticeable aspects that are meant to familiarize fans outside of comics with the characters. This brings up the question, who was this book for? Fans of the films and the classic animated series won’t really find much for themselves outside of Xavier and Magneto’s chemistry and fans of the comics are sure to be confused at some of the decisions made. Due to this odd situation the book finds itself in, the reading experience just feels lost.
The artwork from Paola Rivera is heavily stylized, but it finds plenty of opportunities to impress. The hollow script won’t stop you from enjoying some powerful moments with great characters as the action picks up and the tension comes to a head. The pacing is enjoyable and the letters are strong, it’s undoubtedly a well-executed book. If you are into the painted style panels, this book is going to be a treat to look at.
Ultimately, there just isn’t much to be gained from reading Mythos: X-Men #1 that can’t be better substantiated by going back to the 1963 classic #1 issue. It’s a visually enjoyable issue that serves as an acceptable surface level look at how the team operates, but some flawed characterizations and a lack of willingness to delve into the modern significance of the team turns what could have been an exciting opportunity into a mundane experience.
There is no getting around it, Mythos: X-Men #1 is frustratingly subpar. There just isn't much to be gained aside from some enjoyable visuals that can't be better substantiated by going back to the 1963 classic #1 issue this story is based on.
MYTHOS: X-Men #1 (2006): Let’s Have a History Lesson
Writing - 5/105/10
Storyline - 6/106/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 7/107/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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