This week Max Bemis makes his Marvel Comics debut with by introducing us to the Worst X-Man Ever, and Deathstroke takes on an army of Bizarros!
X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever #1 (of 5) (Marvel Comics)
I know, I know, another X-Men comic. But what sets X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever apart from the many other mutant-centric books that Marvel publishes is two things: it’s the first Marvel miniseries by Say Anything lead singer Max Bemis, and it’s a great look into how mutant teenagers of the Marvel Universe view the X-Men. These two things make Worst X-Man Ever’s debut issue truly stand out, and hint at some pretty promising things to come in this miniseries.
Bailey Hoskins is your typical teenager. He enjoys playing Halo, hanging out with friends, and is trying desperately to get a date for the prom. Bailey continues to exist in high school until the day his parents let him know that they are both mutants, which means that Bailey is most likely also a mutant. Bailey’s parents take him to the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, where he learns about his lackluster powers, and after a tragedy, joins the school’s ranks as their latest student.
What really makes this book work is Max Bemis’ script. Bemis clearly has a love for not just the X-Men, but for the Marvel Universe in general. Bailey’s written so well that it’s scary how much he seems like a normal kid. His enthusiasm at the thought of gaining powers is infectious, and it’s heartbreakingly hilarious when those powers are revealed to him.
Michael Walsh handles the art, and his style is perfectly suited for Bemis’ script. Walsh’s panels have a style very similar to old school Archie books, and the throwback look really works well here. Walsh’s X-Men are all pretty close to the classic design, which is a smart move as this is a story that doesn’t need to be tied down with any era of the X-Men. You could place it at any point in their recent history and the issue still works.
Worst X-Man Ever was a pretty pleasant surprise, and I’m really glad that I decided to give it a read. This could very will be the X-Men’s version of Superior Foes of Spider-Man or a mutant version of Hawkeye. But even if it doesn’t reach those highs, Worst X-Man Ever will still be a really fun look at the X-Men through the eyes of a “loser mutant” and I really hope it finds an audience. It really deserves it.
Deathstroke #15 (DC Comics)
Deathstroke’s search for his daughter continues in James Bonny and Tyler Kirkham’s Deathstroke #15, and I’m beginning to think that he’s never going to find her. There’s a lot of padding in this issue, and it definitely seems like Bonny and Kirkham are spinning their wheels so they can stretch this story into another issue.
Sure, Slade’s search has seen him square off against the Suicide Squad, Lex Luthor’s sentient battle armor, and now Lex’s army of Bizarros, but there’s been little to no movement on the actual mystery front. For all of the crazy fights with different DC characters, it’s been easy to forget the purpose of all of these slugfests: Slade’s looking for his daughter. When the few scenes that do forward the main plot show up, I had to remind myself that he’s supposed to be searching for his daughter. Not only that, but the fight with the Bizarro army is over way too easily. While it’s easy to believe that Deathstroke could get out of this situation, the fact that he gets out of it with barely a scratch is a bit of a stretch.
But it’s not all bad. James Bonny’s script shows that he does have a better handle on the character than Tony S Daniels ever did, and Tyler Kirkham’s art has been rock solid since he came onto the book. Kirkham’s panels are spectacular, and his pacing for the action sequences is great. With any luck, he’ll be moving up the DC chain when the Rebirth hits.
While this issue of Deathstroke was a bit of a dud, I won’t lie, Slade’s next challenger pretty much guarantees that I’m buying issue 16. Deathstroke’s not the best comic book on the stands, but it’s still a goofy dumb action movie of a comic that can still be pretty fun. Let’s just hope the plot gets moving a little more next issue.