Thursday, January 30, 2014

X-Men #9

X-Men #9

I've gone on the record as saying that I really like Brian Wood's take on X-Men, and despite the very painful loss of Oliver Coipel's pencils, it's still a damn good book. In the Korean article, I mention that part of the appeal of this book is its all-female team being done is a way that is not drawing much attention to the fact that it's an all-female cast. Not only is it not a swimsuit issue-type piece of garbage or set up with a ridiculous premise ("Only people without a Y chromosome can fight these aliens!") but it's so nonchalant about having no male members on the team. A threat emerges, X-Men go fight it, and they just happen to all be females. It's exactly the way an all-female cast book should be done.
I want to mention as well that this book is getting a lot of praise for being an all-female team, but it should also be getting a lot of praise for just being a good book. Wood is focusing a lot on the relationships between characters and (particularly with Jubilee) characterization, while keeping a steady pace with action. Coipel's art was amazing but he's gone now and I'm not upset about that EXCEPT FOR THAT I FUCKING AM.
Now that that's out of the way, I'm going to keep talking about the all-women thing.
I want to again repeat that the key to making all-female team work well was the fact that it was organic in its creation; It started with a lot of popular characters who were in the same place at the same time, introduced a new character and reintroduced a few old, all of whom happened to be female, but, again, fit into the story so well that no attention was drawn to that fact. Which is not to say that there wasn't any dudes around. We had Beast and Wolverine, John Sublime, and some male students...Like I said, a very natural situation.
Now, starting with the current storyline, we have two new members of the team, both female, one of which was possessed by this series' main antagonist (comics!) and one who is...kinda an X-Man and kinda friends with Jubilee. And then we have a new antagonist, who is also female and her best friend, female, implanting another character's, female, personality into her brain, and finding a mercenary, female, and working together. See what I'm getting at here? The good thing about having an all-female team was that nobody was drawing any attention to it. A team of women superheroes. No big D. But if it starts shoe-horning female characters into it, it loses that organic quality to it and starts being "a girl comic".
I want to be clear though, it's still a very good book, and the storyline with the two new team members and three new villains just got started, so maybe with further development I will be unconvinced that they were shoe-horned into this book, so I don't want to say that X-Men is bad now, I'm just more apprehensive.
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