Friday, 31 March 2017

X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever Review (Max Bemis, Michael Walsh)


Bailey is an ordinary high school kid who doesn’t fit in anywhere - until he discovers he’s really a mutant and belongs in the X-Men! Except his power is to explode. Once. And he can’t re-form, he just dies. He’s basically a suicide bomber who doesn’t need to strap on any explosives. So.... pretty much a worthless mutant power. Worst X-Man Ever! 

Max Bemis and Michael Walsh’s book isn’t bad but it’s also nothing special. It’s accessible to new readers as it exists outside of continuity as a standalone book with the classic setup: Xavier, Cyclops and Wolverine are all alive and the school’s still going, Magneto and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants are the baddies, etc. 

The book is essentially highlighting the weird world of the X-Men to readers new and old through the eyes of someone experiencing it first-hand, Bailey. It has this subversive tone to it that’s amusing and makes it stand out. Bailey is a Marvel fanboy who gets screwed over again and again by the things he thought he loved: his parents are stomped by a Sentinel, the first supervillain lackey he tries to fight ends up suing him for abuse, and his superhero name, X-Ceptional, is embarrassingly ironic and mock-able. 

It doesn’t have much of a story though. Bailey goes through Xavier’s school meeting familiar characters, then he meets Magneto, then we’re into that X-Men staple: the dystopian future. Being generic doesn’t make for a gripping read in the least and it’s very easy to put down. The two new mutant characters, Rags and Riches, are also really lame. 

There is a new character that’s interesting though who’s basically the embodiment of Marvel Editorial, taking the book’s waggishness further by unexpectedly shattering the fourth wall in the finale. And Michael Walsh’s art was pretty good throughout but nothing amazing. 

Worst X-Man Ever is far from being the worst X-Men book ever. It’s a decent comic but it’s also quite forgettable and not terribly engaging. Still, I’d rec this one over the current range of appalling X-titles easily!

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