Welcome to (another) new age of the X-Men. Jonathan Hickman retired, and so did you
new gods now a new creative force behind the greatest source of juicy Krakoan-era drama: the Quiet Council. Immortal X-Men
After all the underhanded machinations that ensued from the resurrection of queer X-Men icon Destiny, Krakoa’s own super-powered PTA is at odds. But instead of being trapped by all that came before Immortal X-Men
Who is making Immortal X-Men #1?
Kieron Gillen returns to Marvel’s hilarious mutants after his decades-long mess Uncanny X-Men. Since then he has written many, many comics – including the hugely popular ones Young Avengers Arc and a hit by the creator The Evil + The Divine at Image, both with regular collaborator Jamie McKelvie. He’s at his most Gillenian here, with a dense cast of hilarious characters who constantly outwit each other, with none other than Mister Sinister – a character whose Krakoan-era incarnation as an amoral geneticist in the tone of high camp can be traced straight back to Gillen’s earlier one Work – as a character from our point of view.
He’s joined by one of the most prolific artists on the current X-Office, Lucas Werneck, who does a great job balancing the text-heavy story with some quiet character moments, some pretty nice art, and bombastic big reveals. Also on hand is Daniel Curiel for colors, making the book feel smooth and silky to match the solid slate of the X Office books. And letterer Clayton Cowles delivers some of the book’s funniest moments with his eye-catching lettering.
What is Immortal X-Men #1 about?
The truth about the Silent Council is revealed! Yes, the most delightfully dramatic aspect of Krakoa – and what a high bar that is – is getting its own book after years of secrecy. But this is a story by Kieron Gillen, so that’s just the logline that’s the true twist of this installment.
Why is Immortal X-Men #1 happening now?
You can thank Jonathan Hickman for that. Three years later, his 2019 relaunch of the X-Men line is still going strong. Now that Hickman is stepping away from running the ever-expanding X-Office, the show must go on. Immortal X-Men #1 is just one of six new X-Men Comics #1 issues this month. So it’s a busy time for the X-Men and their many comics, but fans have been clamoring for a Quiet Council book since the introduction of the reigning mutant body. This will likely be one of, if not the, flagship X titles of 2022.
Is there required reading?
While this installment welcomes newcomers and introduces the large cast of the Quiet Council and some deep-cut X-Men characters, potential readers might want to do some diligence by reading the catalyst for the current X-series. House of X/Powers of X. This 12-part series by Jonathan Hickman opened up the current landscape of X-Books with a new vision for the characters. This included the creation of the Quiet Council, the inner workings of which make up the central conflict and narrative of the book.
If you want a deeper understanding of how the Quiet Council got to where it is at the beginning of the issue, then you should grab the latest inferno miniseries along with X Life of Wolverine.
But the joy of all the many, many X books Marvel is producing right now is that you can read them sideways, not linearly – they just add up to what you’ve already read. So if you want, just jump on with it Immortal X-Men #1 and then catching up will likely be an equally rewarding experience. Another book has to be mentioned: hells, Zeb Wells and Stephen Segovia’s series on a The dirty dozen Style team led by Mister Sinister. Not only is it the highlight of the recent X-Men franchise, but it’s surprisingly relevant here as well. That’s all that can be said without too much spoilers, so just read and enjoy this wonderful series!
Is Immortal X-Men #1 any good?
The short answer is yes! The longer answer is that Immortal X-Men #1 works really well as a continuation of the general X line – and, to a pleasant surprise, hells – as well as a springboard for new readers.
Gillen and Werneck create an accessible and entertaining introduction to the Council of Silence and its scheming members that will work well for those unfamiliar with the sprawling X-continuity. But they also make rewarding, action-packed reading for those who’ve bothered to keep up with the often overwhelming X-book lineup. There are plenty of funny inside jokes for long-time X fans, and some good silly laughs for those not as closely involved with characters like Destiny, Mystique, Mister Sinister, Hope Summers, and more.
Visually, Werneck and Curiel beautifully bring the Quiet Council’s petty conflicts to life. There’s a lot of moving pieces at play here and each character gets a moment to shine, as well as some very fun, deep-cut reintroductions. Werneck even manages to make good use of the often irritating, repeated panel, changing it just enough that a casual reader probably wouldn’t even notice. The opening in particular shows how well the two work together as we get a really beautiful, engaging and immersive flashback that demonstrates the power of one colorist and artist understanding each other’s tone and mood. These deft shifts between quieter moments and the pulsating drama of Krakoa see the 40 pages of this oversized issue fly to its satisfying conclusion.
A plate that burst open
Kudos to Clayton Cowles for one of the best uses of lettering/balloon placement in a recent Big Two book. Laugh-out-loud hilarious stuff here.