From pages in Ages of X-Man: Alpha, lays an alternate reality where Professor X’s vision of mutants living in harmony becomes reality, or has it? The mutant population is no longer on the brink of extinction as they thrive through birthing facilities. Ok, cool, not far fetch of an idea as genetics have played a heavy role in X-MEN storylines. The odd thing about this version of mutant utopian world is the outlawing of love, romance, and procreation.
Enter Department X, whose responsibility is to uphold the guiding principles and stop people from getting their grove on. Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #1 gives us a look at this team, their dynamics, and the main confliction of this mini-series. We quickly get introduced to the members of this team along with the similarities and differences between this alternate universe to their counterparts.
Some characters seem more or less unchanged and familiar to X-MEN past methodology. Jubilee is to be a Chinese-American girl, but has lost that cultural melting pot throughout the years and this series seems to forget that as well. We don’t see Jubilee use any powers and does not seem to have a strong role in this issue, except to give Bobby some comic relief. Iceman seems the same immature that we remember him during his adolescent years. Psylocke seems pretty much the same as we know her, except not as attractive.
Others are familiar and yet different, like Blob, who is now the cheerleader of the team mostly focused on the group’s cohesiveness. His look is set with a 70’s mustache and as a sexy bear that may be found in many leather bars. I must say it fits this character and hope to see this beyond this mini-series. Northstar is a bit harder to feel out his character. He spends most of his time reading and quick to call out other team member’s derogatory comments, but seems to be ignorant to his own comments. And there’s Moneta, a new character whose first appearance was in Age of X-Man: Alpha. Moneta has a form of telepathy whereby she produces psychic tendrils that enter a person’s body via open cavities. Kind of cool and gross at the same time.
Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #1 does have some good law enforcement action, but no actual life-threatening danger to the characters. This is not a typical story about brave heroes battling the forces of evil. It’s a story of a team, a branch of the X-MEN, who are to prevent the moral degradations of society. In this reality, mutants have the notion to be evolved beyond the activities that lead to natural childbirth. Romance and coupling are now taboo, disgusting, and breach this reality’s guiding principles. Department X may have their work cut out for them as they are faced with conflicting dilemmas.
In Age of X-Man: Alpha, Department X confronted Lucas Bishop in his 3rd breach of the guiding principles by engaging in a forbidden relationship with Jean Grey and the punishment; Excommunicated.
Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #1 focuses on Department X targeting two mutants in love, Luke and Nezumi. The team has found themselves in a conflicting situation. Nezumi is pregnant and there hasn’t been a natural childbirth in years. It will be interesting how this storyline will play out.
Writer, Leah Williams does a fine job in laying out the plot and it will be interesting how the revelations of this issue play out for each of the characters throughout the rest of the story. Williams tackle many issues that lead to different types of discrimination. She clearly exposes levels of ignorance, but needs to improve on showing the reader how to overcome these negative social behaviors. Hopefully, as the storyline continues, Williams will provide examples how to be a better person by embracing the unfamiliar that may seem taboo.
Thinking of which and given the plot, will we see a spark between Northstar and Iceman or just the cold shoulder? Will Psylocke be torn between the love for a man and a woman? Is Blob gay? LGBTQ+ minds may be wondering. I guess we will find out in the upcoming issues.
I am torn with the talent of the artistic team. George Jeanty, Roberto Poggi and colorist Jim Charalampidis create some great moments with great usage of body language. Unfortunately, the facial details seem to be poor especially in the first few pages. The color and shading is put to good use at some key moments, like; the background goes black as Moneta searches Luke’s mind.
Age of X-Man: Xtremists #1 is far from perfect, but it has plenty to look forwards to in the next coming issues. This mini-series may have attracted interests with the queer leading characters, but this aspect may not even be included with this storyline. This issue stumbles at times with some improvements needed in the artwork. However, overall, the artwork does provide enough energy to support and engage an interesting alternate storyline.
Not a perfect X-MEN story, but it’s a good tie-in to the alternate reality mini-series “Age of X-Man”.
X-TREMISTS #1: No Coupling Allowed!
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 7.5/107.5/10
Art - 6.5/106.5/10
Color - 7/107/10
Cover Art - 7/107/10
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