Home Comic BooksComic Previews [Comic Book Review] Marvel Comics’ AGE OF X-MAN: NEXTGEN #1 (of 5)

[Comic Book Review] Marvel Comics’ AGE OF X-MAN: NEXTGEN #1 (of 5)

by Adrian Care
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PopCultHQ received an advance review copy of AGE OF X-MAN: NEXTGEN #1 from Marvel Comics. Available February 13th, 2019, the creative team for this series features writing from Ed Brisson, art from Marcus To, colors by Jason Keith, and lettering from VC’s Clayton Cowles.

Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…

Age Of X-Man: NextGen (2019) #1 (of 5)

Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Marcus To
Colorist: Jason Keith
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
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Cover Artist: Chris Bachalo
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ENTER THE AGE OF X-MAN!
The perfect heroes for a perfect world! The X-Men have helped make the world into a utopia where living in fear and hatred is a thing of the past. All people are united under the banner of mutantkind, and all of mutantkind idolizes the X-Men. Jean Grey! Colossus! Storm! X-23! X-Man! Nature Girl! Magneto! And of course, the amazing Nightcrawler! When danger threatens the world, the Marvelous X-Men set things right for the good of all. And no one dares say otherwise.

PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
AGE OF X-MAN: NEXTGEN #1 (of 5)

The exploration of the utopian ‘Age of X-man’ continues, this time focusing on the next generation of X-men. The likes of Pixie, Glob Herman, Rockslide, Anole, Shark-Girl ,and Armor study to fulfill their potential. Model students, full of wide-eyed-idealism, but they can’t help feeling there is something more to the world than what they’re being told.

Writing:

Ed Brisson is a good writer. The Field, The Mantle, and Sheltered are proof that he has great ideas and isn’t afraid to execute them. He’s familiar with the X-universe as well. Stints on Old Man Logan, Cable, Uncanny X-Men, and (most recently) Extermination prove that he can tackle many varied types of stories and can work with any character.

But something doesn’t gel with NextGen’s first issue. I don’t know if the subdued nature of the events in this issue are from writing that lacks impact, or if that is a storytelling device that will bear fruit when the time is right. The character interaction has a legitimate feel to it, however, and really advances the story. Brisson also does a great job of emulating the optimism and sense of wonder that the younger cast exude throughout the issue.

Art:

Red Robin, Joyride, New Warriors. Marcus To delivers solid reliable work of young heroes and daring adenture. In NextGen, To has the young hero aspect down pat. The played-down redesigns in this reality are the one thing the artist does better than the two other entries in this X-over so far. Unfortunately, this is a very ‘still’ book that’s main goal is to establish character and world build. This doesn’t play to To’s artistic strengths. Sure, the art in the character moments is capable, but stylistically it doesn’t serve the story well enough where it needs to. It relies on picturesque poses rather than body language and expressions that tell a visually mobile story. Much like the writing, where it needs to distinguish itself from the main universe, it plays it rather safe.

Colors:

Jason Keith’s colors are a much-needed shot in the arm to NextGen #1. Keith brings tried and true technique and talent that he’s displayed on Scion, The Incredible Hulk, and Guardians of the Galaxy. His colors and effects liven up proceedings enough and really accentuate the kids; powers, especially in the stranger power sets such as Glob Herman’s. He manages to conform to the feel of the Age of X-Man universe, while also bring the distinction that other areas lack. His backgrounds, foliage, material textures (and livestock) coloring are all strengths and nail the balance between realism and imagination. His color separation is the difference between all the diversity clashing/distracting the eye and attracting and dazzling the readers senses as they read through.

Letters:

There seems to be a lot more here to work with than in the peaceful Marvelous X-Men and Alpha installments. And Clayton Cowles makes the most of it. Finding ways to make the lettering essential in a chicken coop or as students raise their hand is another feather in the cap of one of the best working letterers today, as well as a highlight for this issue. The placement is instrumental as well. This is a very dialogue-driven issue and Cowles does well to aid this. Visually guiding the reader and boosting emphasis in exactly the right spots.

PopCultHQ’s overall assessment

While consistent in message and theme with other ‘Age of X-Man’ releases, NextGen #01 isn’t exactly of the same quality. The definition is somewhat lacking, there’s not enough distinction. Besides familiar feeling events, separate this book from one that could be occurring in the Marvel Universe proper. What Brisson does well is make the interactions feel real. The story’s underlying strength is the bond the principle X-men hopefuls share. After two very potent issues, NextGen felt like a bit of a breather and remains a worthwhile read with or without the other Age of X-Man titles.

PopCultHQ’s Rating:

3 out of 5 Stars

PopCultHQ Rating - 3 Stars

PopCultHQ Rating – 3 Stars

AGE OF X-MAN: NEXTGEN #1 can be purchased on ComiXology and available
at your local comic shop and online retailers on Wednesday, February 13th!

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Buy Direct from Marvel Comics!


Follow the creators online!

Writer – Ed Brisson

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Artist – Marcus To

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Colorist – Jason Keith

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Letterer – Clayton Cowles

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Publisher – Marvel Comics

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