Ever since the Age of X-Man started, it’s been clear that Nate Grey had crafted a careful facade to accomplish the goals and vision he had for his world. Cracks showed in that facade immediately. However if anyone is rock solid in living this fascist utopia, it should be Department X, the stars of the X-Tremists. Or are they?
Leah Williams, Georges Jeanty, Roberto Poggi, Jim Charalampidis, and Clayton Cowles brings the next chapter of the Age of X-Man to life in this issue.
Department X- Blob, Psylocke, Jubilee, Iceman, Northstar and Moneta–are enjoying a simple day off when they receive a tip about a pair of third time offenders. Though the capture duo after some struggle, they find themselves shocked by a revelation from the woman. It causes the team to do something that could endanger everything.
Williams does a lot in this issue to establish this group as so much more than they appear. It would have been easy to make this the villain book of Age of X-Man, as this group is essentially a secret police and team of enforcers. However, she goes out of here way to show us that the characters that we know and love are still here, but they have been forced into a situation that doesn’t fit them.
This book is absolutely full of charm, too. This is the most human the Blob has ever felt, for example, and the rapport between Jubilee and Iceman is fantastic. In fact, the conflict in the series is clearly that these characters have been forced into the worst possible roles Nate Grey could have given them, and that’s going to be part of his downfall.
Jeanty is one of most reliable artists in comics, and his work here with Poggi and Charalampidis is great. They give life to Williams’ script, keeping the focus tight on the characters, their reactions and interactions with one another. They also do great action, keeping such a low stakes battle engaging and exciting. Charalampidis puts a lot of emphasis on the action with his colors, keeping them bright and clear to emphasize the world they’re in, adding a lot to the decision they make.
Every issue of this event to date has been engaging and exciting in its own way. It’s so different from similar stories in the past, and each story has had a great unique identity. I’m excited to see where this goes from here.
X-Tremists #1 is available now from Marvel Comics.