X-Men: Worst X-Men Ever #1 Writer: Max Bemis Pencils: Michael Walsh Colors: Ruth Redmond Letters: Clayton Cowles Publisher: Marvel
Note: This is a five issue mini-series that was first released digitally on January 6th, 2016 and has just been released in printed form.
If you like myself, got into comic books during the 1990’s then you probably got introduced to them through the abundance of animated series based on them at the time. From Batman to Spider-Man to Silver Surfer and of course, X-Men. That’s the series that introduced me to this triumphant franchise and is the reason for my love and passion for the wonderful medium of comic books. If this was your childhood then this series was made for you.
Bailey Hoskins is an average, everyday, non-remarkable teenager trying to find his way in life. The issue starts out with him trying to find a date for the prom with help from his gay best friend, Steve. After conceding that he doesn’t stand a chance with any of the popular or charismatic girls his complete lack of any noteworthy quality becomes evermore apparent. After a humorous montage of panels where he takes a crack and fails at various extra curricular activities in order to stand out, he bails on the attempts and settles on playing video games.
Afterwords, in a conversation with his parents he finds out that they’re mutants and that he may be one as well. Bailey’s ecstatic and his parents bring him to the Xavier Institute where he discovers he in fact is a mutant. The caveat is that his power is such a downer and disappointment to him that it indeed makes him the “Worst X-Men Ever”; power wise that is. After a fairly dramatic tone twist hits our protagonist which causes a new direction for Bailey we get a wonderful scene with Jubilee who Bemis seems to be setting up as the mentor figure. The comic then ends on a cliffhanger that will have you cheering for Bailey to take charge of the situation ahead.
The twist at first felt out of place while reading but remembering that this is in fact an X-Men book makes it feel completely in place. It’s very true and follows the X-Men lure. However because this is a five issue mini-series it does suffer from the pacing as it does feel a bit rushed to establish the characters and motivations to get the plot in forward direction.
Writer Max Bemis is writing this comic geared entirely to pure “X-Fans” and it’s following a character that most of us can relate to when we discovered the franchise. We all wanted to discover that not only mutants were real but that we were one as well and join the X-Men. Bailey is a representative of us fans which will completely grab ones investment and eagerness to continue reading this mini-series to see whats in-store for his future.
Penciler Michael Walsh does a solid job of grabbing not only the tone and direction that Bemis seems to be going for but the innocence of Bailey as well. The character designs feel genuine and the action scenes are giving the vibe of nostalgia. It’s also great just to see various classic X-Men characters drawn in this lighthearted way. Ruth Redmond’s colors are on point as well as they compliment Walsh’s pencils and Bemis’ tone.
X-Men: Worst X-Men Ever #1 is a series created for “X-Fans” and does a more than solid job on delivering the nostalgia. It’s central character is cleverly crafted for the reader to relate to and is perfect to grab their investment. That along with well written dialogue, a dramatic X-Men lure fitting tone twist, and solid artwork, this is a book that is worth it’s bang for the buck.
Score: 4 out of 5
Review by Eric Bradach