X-Treme X-Men # 1: Written by Greg Pak, Drawn by Stephen Segovia
The opening issue to this X-Travagant new X-Men series is not so much X-Treme, but rather X-Cellent. If there’s one thing that X-Treme does well, it’s provide a silly, light hearted atmosphere to a series that’s coming off a serious event. This issue, (and most likely the whole run) takes place before the “Avengers vs X-Men” crossover, so it stands on its own merits without any of the baggage from Marvel’s recent event.
At the centre of the story stands Alison Blaire, our world’s Dazzler (strangely absent from the front cover), and she sets the tone – she’s loud, energetic and high spirited. The supporting cast consist of alternate universe versions of more well known characters; Captain James Howlett, Emmeline Frost-Summers and Kurt Waggoner. They’re all very entertaining, young Kurt is enthusiastic, Emma’s smarmy and cold hearted – the polar opposite of Dazzler, and the Captain is just bad-ass through the entire thing.
Greg Pak does a fine job with the plot too, this issue alone shows us multiple universes, and lays down the framework for this arc; it involves taking down many different versions of the ‘big bad’ – it’s very fantasy-ish at points, right down to the locales and the enemies they fight. This is no surprise, considering Greg Pak co wrote the fantastic (and sadly short lived) Hercules series simply titled ‘Herc’. The art has a lot of character too; this is due mainly to the vivid colours provided by Jessica Kholinne – this is very good news, a series with Dazzler at the forefront needs to be vivid artistically.
The ’universe hopping’ concept gives the plot tons of creative potential, and I for one can’t wait to see where they go with it. This first issue is a solid start to a promising adventure. I highly recommend it.
Bottom line: A good plot with plenty of room to grow, and it’s just straight-up fun to read. It’s packed with colourful action and a colourful cast. If Avengers vs X-Men has you burned out on melodrama, this is a welcome change.