Realm of X #1
The Women of X have found themselves in a realm of Asgard, and unfortunately they've landed in the middle of a civil war. Can they save the day, find their missing children, and get Magik's powers working before Orchis sends in the drones?
This was a strong start to what promises to be a fun adjunct to the main events of the Fall of X event. Torunn Gronbekk had a good feel for the characters (with one exception, which we’ll explore in a minute), excellent pacing, and she balanced the time spent on each player with a great deal of skill. Some standout moments included an exploration the the strengths and limitations of Curse’s powers, the welcome return of Marrow’s refreshing kick-ass attitude, Dani Moonstar’s (perhaps too certain) leadership skills, and Dust’s strong sense of ethics.
Indeed, Dust’s inclusion proved to be the high point of this book for me. After her unfortunate stint in (the equally unfortunate) Legion of X, in which she was stripped of her phsical form, her personality, all the markers of her faith, her racial identity, and even her status as a human being, seeing her acting with agency and a clear awareness of her own sense of ethics as she questioned Dani’s assumptions was a tremendous relief.
After three years spent watching her being used as an object, a literal tool, her use here was absolutely triumphant. She provided a sense of ethics, a determination to act without making assumptions based on appearances, and Gronbekk was careful to showcase the tremendous versatility of her powers, an area of characterization that hasn’t yet been sufficiently explored. Even though Dust is physically lost in a strange realm of space, she’s found herself again, and that was absolutely wonderful.
The one sour note, in terms of character, was Magik’s helplessness. I don’t think that she’s ever been depicted as having such a tenuous grasp on either her combat abilities, or her sense of identity. However, since this is a character who is known for her strength, with or without her powers, it’s difficult to read this helplessness as anything other than the author’s intention. It is likely that this helplessness will serve a narrative purpose in future issues, so I’m disinclined to view it as a flaw in the writing rather than a potential plot point. Given Magik’s recent interactions with Curse, it’s likely that something else is going on with her.
Diogenes Neves’ art is beautifully rendered. He balances acting and action with a delicacy that is truly beautiful. Whether it’s curse obliterating trolls or Typhoid Mary struggling to balance after she finds herself unwillingly mounted on the back of a horse, Neves manages it beautifully. Rain Beredo’s colors are, frankly, nothing short of gorgeous. Beredo has populated this world with rich, gem-like colors that lend a sense of heightened reality to this new and vibrant world.
This was a strong, vibrant book, balancing action, magic, and well-rendered characters. It will be interesting to see where this series goes.
Realm of X #1 Some Kind of Fairy Tale
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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