The new X-Men series caught my attention because of the all female line-up. All female characters, that is, as both the writer and artist on the series are in fact male. Intriguing then that it’s the female editor of the series, Jeanine Schaefer, who has been doing the promotional rounds to talk up this book.
For a start, this tells me that Marvel are actually interested in getting the attention of a female readership as well as the ‘default male’ comics fans, which is rather nice to see. It doesn’t hurt that the awesome cover of #1 shows the ensemble cast fully dressed, and posed in reasonably practical and character-specific ways. I kind of love the way they’re all eyeballing the camera with different shades of suspicion and/or friendly challenge.
The interviews with Schaefer are worth reading – she’s obviously very creatively invested in the comic and it’s pretty cool to hear such in depth perspectives from the comics editing side of things – we don’t often get an insight into that world except to some extent through the letters column of any given comic, and considering that there are far more women editing comics than writing or drawing them at the Big Two, it’s pretty cool to see X-Men through Schaefer’s eyes.
But what of the comic itself? So far only one issue has been released and I have to say, I really enjoyed it. The art is very pleasing – not your standard bright superhero style, but Olivier Coipel captures the women nicely, managing to give them character as well as a striking visual style – I particularly like his warrior mohawk take on Storm, Rachel Grey’s armour and a classic-looking Jubilee.
Speaking of Jubilee – as someone who first came to the X-Men thanks to the 90’s animated series, I am SO GLAD to see her being written and drawn something like the character I remember (just the right amount of angsty) instead of as a wisecracking emo depressive vampire. Her current plotline, with her seeking sancturary while caring for an abandoned baby, is compelling and I really like that she is the centre of the first storyline. She was the POV character back in the 90’s, too! Back then, I couldn’t find any way into the X-Men comics that was remotely as comprehensible as the TV show.
So yes, I’ll be following this comic with great interest. The only character in it that I haven’t especially read much about in the past is Psylocke, whom I’m only familiar with from an old bash-em-up Playstation game I used to enjoy, but she’s very promising so far, and the balance of powers in the team is pretty awesome. Plus I love that Rogue is the ‘bruiser’ of the ensemble, and any comic that has her front and center without focusing on her shagging Magneto is a good thing in my book.
This could well be the comic that gets me reading X-Men regularly. Let’s see how it goes!