Review: ‘X-Corp’ #1 Has A Rough Initial Public Offering

by Tony Thornley

One of the most interesting world building elements of the last two years of X-Men books has been X-Corp, the business arm of everything Charles Xavier has been doing in secret since the X-Men’s formation. Now the company finally gets its own solo series, continuing the Krakoa-era X-Men line’s third wave.

Cover by David Aja

This is an interesting launch, but it’s a bit more rough than its sister books in S.W.O.R.D. and Way of X. However, it does show some promise, thanks to the work done by Tini Howard, Alberto Foche, Sunny Gho, and Clayton Cowles.

X-Corp is finally ready to make its mark on the world. However, Warren Worthington has one important meeting left before their grand debut. Unfortunately, Monet St. Croix is going to have to bail him out of it when things go horribly wrong.

Up front, this is the roughest debut of the line since the HOX/POX relaunch. Much of the business related dialogue feels inauthentic, as if it was something learned from watching documentaries and sitcoms. The stakes are low, but try a bit too hard to convince the reader that they’re a bigger deal than they are, and the antagonist is a spoiled billionaire throwing a tantrum. Foche’s characters are stiff in the quieter moments, with no life to them.

The issue also has a problem with how it handles one of the leads, Trinary. Trinary (who still doesn’t have a ‘real name’) is treated as a plot point, not a character. Her introduction to the story is nearly exactly the same as her actual introduction in X-Men Red a few years ago, and is an incredibly shallow take on the actual social issues facing India today.

However, when the issue works, it is a lot of fun. Foche’s action sequences are great, and he does some very cool designs. A huge highlight is the mutated horses at the racetrack Angel visits in the back half of the issue, which are strange and fun, but also still look and feel like actual horses. Gho continues to step up his color work as well, transitioning into one of the strongest parts of the overall X-Men line.

The story has some strong moments as well. From the moment Warren steps into his meeting forward, it takes a big leap in quality. Howard knows how to write two businessmen trying to outmaneuver each other, and even with the low stakes, she makes it interesting at worst and a lot of fun at best.

In the end, the issue was at least interesting, with some fun moments and some exciting plot threads to explore in the future. It was enough to get me interested in the remainder of the arc, but the team does have a ways to go before they’ve hit their stride. I hope they can get there.

X-Corp #1 is available now from Marvel Comics.

Overview

An interesting premise gets dragged down in the execution. The dialogue is clunky, and the plot is too low stakes to invest in. The art is stiff and figures are awkward. However, when the issue works, it works and shows promise for the future. 

Overall
6/10
6/10
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