Title: X-MEN ’92 #1
Written by: Chris Sims and Chad Bowers
Art by: Alti Firmansyah and Matt Milla
Published by: Marvel Comics
Release Date: March 30, 2016
The X-Men comics have often been dark and serious. Even in their moments of carefree joking, Professor X’s team of mutants always seem to have something that pulls them back to their grim reality. The new X-MEN ’92 is a refreshing change from all that, focusing much more on the lighthearted fun of having superpowers. While it still has the interesting plot to keep an audience invested, writers Chris Sims and Chad Bowers combine with artist Alti Firmansyah to provide a unique animation-esque comic, reminiscent of the old ’90’s X-Men cartoon. This first issue of X-Men ’92 sets the bar high for this comic series and promises X-Men fans a lot of amazing things along the way.
Just like in any old cartoon, some of the dialogue and actions of the characters can be rather cheesy. I mean, within the first few pages you have Wolverine on roller skates, Professor X drawn with humorous huge eyes, and Gambit speaking in the third person. But this atmosphere is exactly what X-MEN ’92 #1 calls for, and part of what makes it so brilliant. Sims and Bowers can transition from this kind of humor to a more serious plot in the blink of an eye, and make it all seem fluid in the process.
Characters are introduced blatantly, but it is a seamless process. In fact, it’s almost as if Sims and Bowers are eagerly inviting fans in from the first page, showing them which of their favorite characters will be playing bigger roles in the series. That being said, this first issue of X-MEN ’92 is notably missing some important characters.While comic includes Jubilee, Psylocke, and Bishop, both Jean Grey and Scott Summers are left out – to the chagrin of many fans. Personally, I didn’t mind Grey or Cyclops being absent, as I simply assume they will be mentioned at some point in the series. However, I was saddened that Nightcrawler did not find a place in X-MEN ’92 #1. Kurt Wagner is a naturally interesting and funny character, and I think he would have added much to this cast. But I digress.
In looking for a specific highlight from this issue, it is difficult to pick just one moment. Different scenes are easily juxtaposed, from moments where the characters are in epic fights to moments where they are just being funny. Sims and Bowers are clearly fans of the X-Men themselves, and it shows in the way they write the characters. While each character stays true to their known personalities, they also have a more lighthearted feel, bringing a lot more humor to their personal quirks. I think the most poignant example of this is the scene where Wolverine and the X-Men confront Omega Red and his crew on the front lawn. Wolverine recognizes Omega Red from his past, and Gambit responds, “Is it already time for another trip to yo’ mysterious past, Logan?” Psylocke then adds, “I’m starting to think we need a chart to keep up with.” Not only is this small interaction true to who the characters are, but it paints Logan’s long and forgotten past in more joking manner, which works well. Sims and Bowers also portray characters like Professor X in a more cartoon-ish way. This is surprisingly effective, as the Professor is always shown as the wise and stoic leader of the X-Men. But give him moments to expand outside that wall, such as a silly expression, and he fits into the feel of an ’90’s cartoon quite well.
Some of the panels can be confusing as they switch from two-page reading back to singular page panels. But this is not enough to deter from the great art and storyline. The villains are all quite vibrant characters, and the addition of Alpha Red is interesting enough in itself to keep me coming back for more. Sims and Bowers use a combination of nostalgia, derived from the ’90’s cartoon feel, and a plot that grabs readers’ interest. These elements work together well, and ensure that X-MEN ’92 will continue to be a great series.
From the art style to the colors, the whole comic has the feel of the ’90’s plastered all over it. The characters are all in their classic, recognizable outfits, which fit well with the theme themselves. Matt Milla’s colors are light enough to convey the not-so-serious feel of the issue. However, they are also solid as well, which makes the animation style of art done by Firmansyah that much more believable. This makes it an impressive and interesting comic to look at. Add in the plot from the two writers, and you have an amazing reboot for the X-Men.
- Entertaining look at well-known characters
- Art looks like 90's animation
- Interesting plot with plenty of nostalgia
- Missing some key characters
- Some confusing panel switching