Artist: Olivier Coipel
Although the previews for this series looked amazing I wasn't originally planing on getting this series, as I'm getting enough X-Men series' as it is. I did however change my mind when I heard about the upcoming Battle of the Atom crossover, which will include this series, wanting to get to know the direction of the series prior to the crossover.
As Jubilee flees with a child, she calls the X-Men for help, saying that she's being followed. There however seems to be more to this child than meets the eye, especially when the sentient virus, Sublime shows up.
This was an amazing issue, and although I was expecting it to be amazing, I wasn't expecting it to be as amazing as it was. The main thing that had me sceptical over whether this would be a good series or not was the writer, Brian Wood, as I wasn't fond of what I read from his Ultimate Comics X-Men run, and with that being the only work of his that I've read, along with the X-Men connection, I was dreading that this series would follow suit, and be poor. This wasn't the case thankfully, and although the story itself wasn't quite perfect, it wasn't far of, and it's one of the best opening issues I've read so far in Marvel NOW! The way Wood's has brought all these classic female X-Men together, in a fun, mysterious way was brilliant, and the interaction between all these character's was just perfect. I also loved how he's given a unique starting point for this series, showing that everything isn't quite what it seems, without giving too much away, leaving me gripped as to finding out what will happen next. I also loved how Wood added a little bit of action, and suspense to this issue, as although he's held back slightly, he's still kept this issue exciting, and interesting, and I can't wait to see what he has in store for these lovely ladies next.
Now I said that the story itself wasn't quite perfect, but what makes up for that is the artwork, which was simply outstanding. I've always loved Olivier Coipel's art, especially on the likes of Thor, Siege, House of M, and The Mighty Thor, but his art on this issue may have even been better. Everything about Coipel's art was amazing, and although there were the very odd imperfections, you need to really look to find them, and they in no way take away from the rest of his fantastic artwork. The two things I probably love most about Coipel's art in this issue is the way he draws the female X-Men, and the way he handles the facial expressions. I've always loved the way Coipel draws female character's, but he's really outdone himself this time, as he's made all these lovely ladies look amazing, especially Jubilee, and Kitty Pryde. The facial expressions were also on the mark, really suiting the fun feel of this issue, and showing exactly what the character's are thinking. The way Coipel laid out his artwork was also brilliant, adding more drama to the story, whilst also adding a dynamic edge, which really makes the issue that much more enjoyable to read. The small bit of action was also perfectly handled, and I look forward to seeing Coipel get a chance to work on some proper action sequences, although the small one in this issue was amazing.
This issue would see Jubilee ask the X-Men for help, officially returning to the team. Now I personally haven't seen Jubilee in an X-Men series since she turned into a vampire, and although I know she stuck around for a while after that I don't know exactly what happened to her, but I'm sure she left the team. Anyway all that aside it's nice to see her in a series that I'm following, as I really liked Jubilee when I was growing up as a kid, and loved her in the 90's X-Men Animated series. Anyway, Jubilee was brilliant in this issue, and brought the fun, and innocents that comes with her character. I also liked how due to being an orphan herself that she see's it her responsibility to look after this orphaned child that she's carrying about with her.
Talking of the orphan child, he was also a very interesting addition, and appeared to be more than meets the eyes. The child appears to have some powers of it's own, and although I won't go into any further detail on what the baby can, and can't do, as to avoid spoilers, it did add even more fun to the series, as well as a similar type of innocence that Jubilee brings, which was fitting. I also loved how all the other female X-Men reacted round this child, which also added a lighter tone to the issue, prior to the small bit of chaos. Without saying much more, in fear that I'll spoil something, I'll finish talking about the baby by saying that I look forward to seeing how Wood's develops it throughout the next couple of issues, and whether it will have a prolonged feature in this series.
This issue would also see the return of the ancient sentient virus known as Sublime. To be honest I don't know a great deal about Sublime, apart from the fact that he's appeared in X-Men comics before, so this was really me getting introduced to the character, and I feel that Wood's did a brilliant job of this, whilst also making it feel very natural, and realistic. I also loved how Wood's has apparently changed Sublime's goal, with the X-Men being shocked by his actions, which yet again added more drama to the story. I won't go into too much detail over Sublime's appearance, as it would give away spoilers, but it looks like this opening story will heavily feature him, and his past, and I look forward to seeing how Wood progresses this in the next issue.
As far as I'm aware this is the first X-Men title to have only female character's as it's main cast (although I may be wrong about this). Again this was something that had me slightly sceptical, as although it's a nice touch, making the series stand out from previous X-Men series, it also limits the possibilities in which directions the series can go. From this opening issue however it looks like Wood's has handled this perfectly, managing to have male character's as either side character's or background character's, whilst making the female X-Men shine through, which made it very natural. I also liked how you could see the connection all these character's had, but in a subtle way, showing that the girls will stick together, without that fact being shoved down the readers throats, which I liked. Again like everything about this issue, Wood's has made a great start in exploring this all female cast, and yet again I look forward to seeing how this series progresses, and hope that it gets even better.
A brilliant opening issue to this all female X-Men series, and Wood, and Coipel have done a phenomenal job. It was a really fun issue, whilst also having a innocent feel to it, which was nice. There was also a brilliant, and chaotic action sequence, and a mysterious nature to the overall story. I would highly recommend this to anyone, and am really looking forward to the next issue.