Review: An Ordinary Man Becomes A Hero In ‘X-Men- Marvels Snapshot’

by Tony Thornley


The Marvels Snapshot tour through Marvel history continues, showcasing Marvel’s greatest characters through the eyes of ordinary people! Or does it? In this case, the “ordinary person” is teenaged Scott Summers, witnessing the dawn of the Marvel Age from a Nebraska orphanage and wondering what his place in it might be. What was it like to experience the debut of the FF, the Hulk, Iron Man and more? To wish you could be a part of it all? Writer Jay Edidin (Thor: Metal Gods, Jay & Miles X–Plain the X–Men) makes his Marvel comics debut, teamed with Tom Reilly (Immortal Hulk), to tell a story of upheaval and decision that would shape the X–Men (and the Marvel Universe) forever after.


The Marvels story has always been about how ordinary people are affected by the fantastic world of the Avengers, Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man. However X-Men: Marvels Snapshot tells a first for the franchise and it’s an important story to tell- what happens when one of these ordinary people becomes a Marvel themself?

Cover by Alex Ross

It’s an important story that Kurt Busiek’s mini-franchise has only danced around before. We finally get it told from the perspective of one of the greatest Marvel heroes, Scott Summers. It comes to us from Jay Edidin, Tom Reilly, Chris O’Halloran, and Tom Orzechowski.

Scott Summers thought he was an ordinary kid in an orphanage in Nebraska, or so he thinks. Yet when he see the debut to the Fantastic Four on TV, something within him changes, and he becomes obsessed. It’s an obsession that will change into something more and craft one of the world’s greatest superheroes…

Edidin has made no secret of his connection to Cyclops as one of his personal favorite characters. He takes a deep dive in his Marvel debut here, breaking down what makes Cyclops tick at the point in his history that’s least explored. It’s a look at hero worship turning into inspiration, and it results in perhaps one of the best explorations of the character we’ve ever seen. It helps that Orzechowski’s welcome return to the X-Men in his lettering here gives us a throwback to the classic X-Men days as well.

I know for me, this meant a lot personally. I was a shy awkward kid who slipped into escapism wherever I could find it, and that escapism turning into inspiration for my life and how I lived it. Seeing a profile of a character I love and connecting to him in this unique way was a deeply affecting experience.

Reilly‘s art is quiet and subdued, but that’s what this issue needed. Scott was relatable on a personal level, and Reilly made sure he was awkward without leaning into making him nerdy and unrelatable. Every quiet, lonely kid walked like Scott Summers here, hands in their pockets, staring at the sky. O’Halloran largely colors the issue in shades of blue, which adds to the loneliness without pushing the reader away, until the fantastic happens, and everything explodes in full color.

Frankly any flaws this issue has are extremely minor (at worst a slightly confusing timeline), and it struck me where it needed to. It’s perhaps the best big two comic published this year, and I look forward to going back and revisiting it for years to come.

X-Men: Marvels Snapshot is available now from Marvel Comics.

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