Grant Morrison’s seminal run on the X-Men returns to print… and just in time for the new movie! Originally penned when the first X-Men film was reigniting the public’s favour with these long running characters, Morrison sought to incorporate new, modern elements while remaining true to the spirit of the earliest issues. What resulted was signature-style Morrison bizarre, which is to say, pure mutant gold.
Prior to the X-Men movie of 2000, Marvel had been battling with bankruptcy, and their once flagship X-Men series was struggling to capture fans’ interest. The debut and success of the film changed that, but the premier mutant super-team still felt out-dated and plodding when it came to their original format – the comic book. In stepped Grant Morrison and, now big name artists, Leinil Francis Yu, Frank Quitely, and Ethan Van Sciver.
Starting with modernizing the costumes, Morrison also shook up the X-Men legacy by tarnishing the once pristine ‘reputation’ of Professor X. Mix in a new generation of characters, secondary mutations, Emma Frost joining the team, and New X-Men was soon one of the best reads on the market. While developed further in later volumes, Morrison’s run also introduced the romantic relationship between Cyclops and Emma Frost, making both characters vastly more interesting than they had ever been before.
Only encountering his acclaimed run years later, this new printing breaks apart the Ultimate Collection (UC) editions, returning to the less expensive, but more “books-required” volume numbering. And while the first two volumes of the UC were phenomenal reads, the last one was just too wild and Morrison-bizarre even for me. Still, the first six books of this latest printing stand as some of the best X-series writing and art; their plot lines are still being developed and shaping current story arcs.
This is Grant Morrison at his best. Wacky and wild, fresh from his acclaimed Vertigo titles, and given carte blanche to reignite the X-Men series, he pulls out all the stops, and delivers an epic read that has few rivals. Morrison is definitely writing for a more adult audience, and refuses to spoon feed even the simplest plot beats. This just makes New X-Men Vol. 1 that much more rewarding to read.