HEROES REBORN: MAGNETO & THE MUTANT FORCE #1
Years ago, Magneto and Professor X led Earth’s mutants in a final push for independence against the Squadron Supreme of America. What followed was the Squadron’s Mutant Massacre, a violent rebuttal that left Mutantkind forever wounded, and Xavier dead...or so Magneto thought. Years later, Magneto discovers Xavier clinging to life in the astral plane and gathers his allies for a first-of-its-kind rescue mission. Too bad the same mission puts the Mutant Force back on the Squadron’s radar!. Failure means the last gasp of mutantkind, but success means the first breaths of something even more elusive to the mutants of Heroes Reborn: HOPE.
Drama… when you think of X-Men stories the best ones have marvelous action but they also have brilliant melodrama. Orlando taps into that melodrama and brings us a tale steeped in desperation and we are at the end of our rope drama as mutantkind finds itself in that very familiar precarious position in a world where the Squadron Supreme struck down Charles Xavier in a protest that became this worlds Mutant Massacre and mutants are hunted by both humankind and the worlds mightiest heroes.
Is it good? Yes, it is. While I didn’t find myself emotionally connected to any of the characters, the pure drama and desperation of their situation is compelling and Orlando writes good dialogue between the dramatis personae of this little vignette. It’s always cool to see an alternative spin on mutants we know and love. While this is not something new conceptually as it’s been done so many times before, Orlando’s take is interesting enough to keep you engaged from the opening page right to the ending, and let me tell you it’s a really good ending, in my opinion, one that made want to read what comes next. It’s great how these different one-offs shift perspective about the main characters like Hyperion.
it’s always a bonus to see characters get time on page that we otherwise never see in continuity. Sabra in particular for me in this instance. Orlando does a solid Emma too and his Magneto has a sensitivity reminiscent of AOA Magneto which isn’t surprising as they share a similar history of tragedy when it comes to their relationships with Charles Xavier.
I have to point out that while I enjoyed this issue thoroughly it reminded me how much I really love the current status quo of the in-continuity books. Orlando sells the high stakes feared and hated desperation angle well enough but man I’m glad we doing something different to that in the main X-Line currently.
Bernard Chang and Dave Curiel bring their A-game here. Chang’s art is gorgeous with bold sold lines, superb dynamism in the action scenes. He does a fantastic job with paneling jumping between the physical and the psychic plane and it maintains the high-quality art we have seen in this series. Curiel’s contouring of faces using shading is amazing. Cowles gets marvelously creative with the sound effects lettering and at the end of it all, we have a well put together story that is engaging across the board including the cover from Nick Bradshaw and Rachelle Rosenberg.
Heroes Reborn: Magneto and the Mutant Force #1 trades inventively on familiar themes for an engaging spin on the mutant metaphor in this alternative universe. A combination of solid writing and good art sells the darker concept of this world convincingly. Well worth checking out.
SPOILER FREE ARLY REVIEW! HEROES REBORN: MAGNETO & THE MUTANT FORCE #1
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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