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X-Men Prime #1 Review

Writers: Marc Guggenheim, Greg Pak, Cullen Bunn
Artists: Ken Lashley, Ibraim Roberson, Leonard Kirk, Guillermo Ortego
Publisher: Marvel

It’s a period of resurgence and reimagining for the X-Men universe. Whether you want to call the new lineup of books a reboot, crossover event or something else, it’s clear that X-Men Prime #1 signifies the start of something new. This one-shot is comparable to the beginning of DC’s Rebirth last year, in that it’s a story that brings together new and classic characters for an event that will likely span across multiple storylines.

On the one hand the book is an easy jumping on point for newer readers, as the main story revolves around Storm re-recruiting Kitty Pryde and asking her to lead the X-Men. Kitty has been away from the team for a while, joining up with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and later returning to Earth with the hopes of living a more simple, quiet life. That’s not to say that the creators don’t incorporate major events from the X-Men and Marvel universe continuity into this book, and use them as the launchpad for a larger narrative. Prime sets the stage for two new X-Men books in April: X-Men Gold and X-Men Blue. Gold is set to focus on a team of classic characters like Nightcrawler, Storm and Old Man Logan, all lead by Kitty; while Blue is comprised of the original five X-Men (Cyclops, Angel, Beast, Jean and Iceman), who have been time-displaced to the present.

All in all, the creators do a fantastic job of keeping the story here both self-contained, as well as a prelude to the aforementioned new titles. When Marc Guggenheim isn’t busy with his showrunning duties on Arrow, he crosses over from DC to write books for Marvel. He’ll be scripting X-Men Gold, while Uncanny X-Men writer Cullen Bunn will take on Blue. Meanwhile, the other writer on Prime Greg Pak is writing a new Weapon X series. Pak does a particularly good bit with Lady Deathstrike in this issue which is easily one of its highlights.

I also really commend the art team on this book for making the transitions so seamless. Prime brings together multiple pencilers and colorists, all of whom work well together to create a cohesive and engaging narrative. Whether or not you’ve read the recent Inhumans vs X-Men crossover event or are just looking for a solid jumping on point, Prime has a lot to offer for both new and old readers. In many ways it’s a solid love-letter to the X-Men universe, and it definitely has me excited for the new titles in the coming weeks. If nothing else, it puts Kitty Pryde at the forefront of the book, and the prospect of her leading her own team is pretty exciting.

-Kevin Schaefer for Ultimate Comics