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Review: Way of X #1

Way of X #1

The elevator pitch is that Way of X is about Nightcrawler founding a mutant religion. However, Si Spurrier, Bob Quinn, and Java Tartaglia bring so much more to the table in a book that visually looks like an X-book, but is far from it. What they’re really doing is picking up some of the threads from Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men and exploring what life is like on Krakoa and what holds it together.

Utopias seem to be doomed to failure, and Nightcrawler has a nagging feeling about that when the book opens with Professor X telepathically calling to him in shadows surrounded by pictures of his exes. Looking into Charles Xavier the man and not just figurehead or cameo king is one of the myriad delights of Way of X #1, which goes down many amusing and thought-provoking rabbit holes of potential storylines until finally finding a real hook in its final scene.

Before showing long conversations between Nightcrawler and Dr. Nemesis about Dunbar’s number, belief, and psychedelics or data pages that are feel like riffs on Augustine of Hippo’s Confessions (Kurt is Catholic), Spurrier and Quinn set up Way of X with a team of mutants going on a mission.In keeping with the series’ premise, this mission is religious theme with Nightcrawler, DJ, Pixie, Loa, and Blink disrupting a “museum of hate” that the cloak and dagger mutant-extermination organization Orchis is using to convince people that mutants are dangerous and evil. It’s like that room in Kentucky’s Creation “Museum” that pins all evils, wars, and sicknesses of the world on people not believing that the world is 4,000 years old and was created in seven 24 hour days, but with panels from old X-Men comics. This is pretty messed up and is a commentary on how museums (Especially more respectable ones than the one mentioned in the previous sentence.) can codify narratives about countries and people, but Si Spurrier and Bob Quinn also connect it to Krakoan belief systems when Pixie takes a bullet in the head so she can be resurrected again. This really messes with Kurt’s own beliefs and gives Quinn an opportunity to draw one hell of a befuddled Nightcrawler.

It also sets up the overarching conflict between the violent ritual of the Crucible being the shared narrative of Krakoa or something more peaceful, which Kurt is still workshopping in the data pages of Way of X #1. As seen in other X-Books and succinctly explained by Exodus, the Crucible is a ritual where mutants who were de-powered by the Scarlet Witch fight to the death so they can be resurrected and re-powered. It’s primal and bloodthirsty, and Bob Quinn switches from his usual grids and tiers to more diagonal and chaotic layouts to show the discomfort that mutants like the aptly named Lost feel as they are forced to be a part of a violent struggle to get their abilities back.

Java Tartaglia also uses flat, stark colors to show how much of the crowd has embraced the Crucible as Krakoa’s proverbial theory of everything. However, he, Quinn, and Spurrier hint at another way when Lost calls Nightcrawler a “kindly one” an allusion to the Greek play Eumenides, which showed the vengeful Furies becoming the protective Kindly Ones.

But, originally “Kindly One” was a euphemism so the people of Athens could avoid the wrath of the Furies and still mention them by name so maybe Nightcrawler is seen as more of a malevolent force a la the mysterious Patchwork Man, who is a kind of a folk Bogeyman spirit in Krakoa rising up through campfire stories along with the more “orthodox” baddie Scarlet Witch. Unexplainable forces dart between the margins of Way of X #1 culminating in Si Spurrier and Bob Quinn’s big final page reveal that makes sense in both of the context of this issue and Spurrier’s larger body of X-Book work. Nightcrawler and Pixie darting around in a big action scene is interspersed with a spooky figure that even causes Professor X to cry out in the night and cut the bullshit for once in his conversations. It’s a figure that can’t be taken out with the blunt force of a strike team, hence, its appearance in the clever, intellectual X-Book whose protagonist is trying to find a belief system for Krakoa that isn’t centered around ritual combat as things come fun circle.

Way of X #1 is a true feast of a X-Book from Si Spurrier, Bob Quinn, and Java Tartaglia. It’s funny, sensitive, smart, and covers a range of emotions from hope to doubt and even confusion. (It’s definitely one you’ll have to read a few times to let it sink in.) Its 42 page length also let Spurrier and Quinn give an extended glimpse at the life of the mind, body, and soul of Krakoa, pick the brains and feelings of an idiosyncratic cast of characters, including Magneto, Professor X, Nightcrawler, and stealing the whole damn show, Dr. Nemesis, and also set up the initial plotline of the series.

Story: Si Spurrier Art: Bob Quinn
Colors: Java Tartaglia Letters: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.8 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comixologyZeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: Way of X #1

Way of X #1

(W) Si Spurrier (A) Bob Quinn (CA) Giuseppe Camuncoli
Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 21, 2021
SRP: $4.99

THE WAY TO THE FUTURE OF X!

Mutantkind has built a new Eden… but there are serpents in this garden. Some mutants struggle to fit in. Some mutants turn to violence and death. And the children whisper of the Patchwork Man, singing in their hearts…Only one mutant senses the looming shadows.

Snared by questions of death, law and love, only NIGHTCRAWLER can fight for the soul of Krakoa. Only he – and the curious crew he assembles – can help mutants defeat their inner-darkness and find a new way to live. The WAY OF X. SI SPURRIER (X-MEN LEGACY) and BOB QUINN (CAPTAIN AMERICA) push the frontiers of Krakoa in this unmissable entry into the bold new REIGN OF X.

Way of X #1

Reign of X is Coming

The Reign of X is here! The latest era in writer Jonathan Hickman’s revolutionary transformation of the X-Men universe is now underway, bringing with it exciting new titles like last month’s Children of the Atom by Vita Ayala and Bernard Chang, next month’s Way of X by Si Spurrier and Bob Quinn, and May’s X-Corp by Tini Howard and Alberto Foche. And after June’s highly-anticipated franchise-spanning Hellfire Gala, fans can expect even more surprises, including a trio of brand-new series by amazing X-Men creators such as Gerry Duggan, Leah Williams, Pepe Larraz, Valerio Schiti, and the Head of X himself, writer Jonathan Hickman.

The Hellfire Gala Delivers Couture and a New X-Men Team

Humans of planet Earth. While you slept, the world changed.” The now iconic opening line from House of X #1, the start of writer Jonathan Hickman’s radical transformation of the X-Men franchise, foretold the incredible plans that mutantkind was about to unleash on the Marvel Universe. This June, the X-Men set out to change the world yet again at mutantkind’s inaugural Hellfire Gala.

Yesterday, the first of many exciting new character designs X-Men artists have contributed specifically for the Hellfire Gala were revealed and the world saw the meaning of “Mutant Fashion” as envisioned by superstar artist Russell Dauterman. Today, readers can check out the covers of all 12 Hellfire Gala issues, getting their first glimpse at the secrets, the battles, and of course, the fashion that await at this unforgettable evening.

These highly-anticipated stories will be told across 12 issues, offering different perspectives and viewpoints of a single night that will go down in Marvel Comics history. Throughout the event, fans can expect critical moments to occur that will shape the X-Men’s future as we know it—including the unveiling of the first Krakoan X-Men team, the final member of which was decided by a mega-popular Marvel.com vote.

The Hellfire Gala is the result of an epic creative collaboration of all the current X-Men writers and artists. Check out the covers and solicit text for all 12 tie-ins now and stay tuned for even more exciting news about the Hellfire Gala including additional designs, variants covers, and more!

On Sale 6/2

HELLIONS #12

Written by ZEB WELLS
Art and Cover by STEPHEN SEGOVIA

WHO INVITED THE HELLIONS TO THE HELLFIRE GALA?

Who thought it was a good idea to invite the antisocial HELLIONS to the fanciest bash of the year? Oh, no one? They weren’t invited but they showed up anyway? Yeah, that sounds about right.

HELLIONS #12

MARAUDERS #21

Written by GERRY DUGGAN & CHRIS CLAREMONT
Art by MATTEO LOLLI & JOHN BOLTON 

WELCOME TO THE HELLFIRE GALA!

The Hellfire Trading Company has put together the biggest event of the season – the very first HELLFIRE GALA! Everyone will be there – all your favorite mutants, their closest allies…even their worst enemies – for a night of dinner, drinks, diplomacy and deceit. Fireworks to follow. Plus: From the archives, a classic X-Men tale with our very first look at a Hellfire Gala by Chris Claremont and John Bolton!

MARAUDERS #21

X-FORCE #20

Written by BENJAMIN PERCY
Art and Cover by JOSHUA CASSARA

INVITE-ONLY TO THE HELLFIRE GALA!

It’s party time, but somebody’s got to work it. And when invited guests (and a few crashers) prove to be planted antagonistic agents, X-FORCE will need to get their hands dirty and keep this all under wraps…before anyone catches wind!

X-FORCE #20

On Sale 6/9

EXCALIBUR #21

Written by TINI HOWARD
Art by MARCUS TO
Cover by MAHMUD ASRAR

RICTOR HATES PARTIES.

Even the nice ones. And with Captain Britain’s return to a changed world, this one is looking to be not so nice. Excalibur’s Earth-shattering HELLFIRE GALA issue will change Krakoan diplomacy forever.

EXCALIBUR #21

X-MEN #21

Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Art by RUSSELL DAUTERMAN, NICK DRAGOTTA, SARA PICHELLI & LUCAS WERNECK
Cover by LEINIL FRANCIS YU

THE HEROES OF KRAKOA DEBUT!

It’s a changing if the guard as the first X-Men team of Krakoa debuts! One era ends as a new one begins, and the handoff happens here.

X-MEN #21

On Sale 6/16

NEW MUTANTS #19

Written by VITA AYALA
Art by ALEX LINS
Cover by MARTIN SIMMONDS

AND I’LL CRY IF I WANT TO…

The HELLFIRE GALA is here, and the NEW MUTANTS have the chance to take a break from training the youth of Krakoa – an opportunity to get dressed up and get down. But not everyone is on their best behavior…and someone has vanished without a trace.

NEW MUTANTS #19

PLANET-SIZE X-MEN #1

Written by GERRY DUGGAN
Art and Cover by PEPE LARRAZ
Variant Cover by PEPE LARRAZ

THEY CAME TO SLAY!

The HELLFIRE GALA rages on, but bigger things are afoot a world away. Make no mistake – this is an X-Men book drawn by superstar artist Pepe Larraz. It is absolutely the most important issue of the month.

PLANET-SIZE X-MEN #1

X-CORP #2

Written by TINI HOWARD
Art by ALBERTO FOCHE
Cover by DAVID AJA

A SHARK IN THE WATER!

After X-CORP’s shocking debut, they’ve got fences to mend, hands to shake and most importantly – a board to staff. With Dr. Jamie Madrox’s top-class dupes staffing the HELLFIRE GALA, CXOs Monet and Angel must stalk the dance floor and hope they don’t get preyed on themselves.

X-CORP #2

On Sale 6/23

S.W.O.R.D. #6

Written by AL EWING
Art and Cover by VALERIO SCHITI

THIS IS WHAT COMES NEXT.

On Earth, the HELLFIRE GALA is in full swing. But on S.W.O.R.D. Station One, a very different guest list comes together…as Abigail Brand finally unveils her plans for Mysterium – and the future of human and mutantkind.

S.W.O.R.D. #6

WAY OF X #3

Written by SI SPURRIER
Art by BOB QUINN
Cover by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI

MAKE MORE MUTANTS.

It’s the Hellfire Gala hangover. Nightcrawler tries to root out the evil working to destroy Krakoa by investigating all its laws, starting with… **SEXY SAXOPHONE SOLO**

WAY OF X #3

WOLVERINE #13

Written by BENJAMIN PERCY
Art by SCOT EATON
Cover by ADAM KUBERT

HELLFIRE COMPROMISED!

Can WOLVERINE and X-FORCE keep the peace or is the gala doomed?

WOLVERINE #13

On Sale 6/30

X-FACTOR #10

Written by LEAH WILLIAMS
Art by DAVID BALDEÓN
Cover by IVAN SHAVRIN

THE LAST DANCE!

At the Hellfire Gala, SECRETS WILL BE REVEALED! VENGEANCE WILL BE HAD. And someone’s number is up. You’ll never guess whose.

X-FACTOR #10

Nightcrawler Leads the Way in Way of X this April

Since 2019’s House of X and Powers of X, writer Jonathan Hickman and a host of amazing creators have revolutionized the X-Men franchise. Now begins the Reign of X, the latest chapter in Hickman’s grand vision for mutantkind, and acclaimed writer Si Spurrier brings fans a groundbreaking new series: Way of X. Known for his high-concept storytelling on titles like X-Men Legacy and X-Force, Spurrier returns to the X-Men with a series that will explore some of the most pressing questions that have been raised in this thought-provoking new era. Led by Nightcrawler, a brand-new team of mutants will assemble to confront the dark mysteries of the X-Men’s new way of life.

Mutantkind has built a new Eden… but there are serpents in this garden. Some mutants struggle to fit in. Some mutants turn to violence and death. And the children whisper of the Patchwork Man, singing in their hearts…Only one mutant senses the looming shadows. Snared by questions of death, law and love, only Nightcrawler can fight for the soul of Krakoa. Only he – and the curious crew he assembles (including fan-favorites Dr. Nemesis, Pixie, and Blink) – can help mutants defeat their inner-darkness and find a new way to live. This is the WAY OF X.

Joining Spurrier to bring these unique mysteries to life will be rising star artist Bob Quinn and the first issue features a cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli.

Be there for this unmissable entry of Reign of X when Way of X hits stands this April.

Way of X #1

Preview: Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Coronation Vol. 2

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Coronation Vol. 2

(W) Si Spurrier (A) Daniel Bayliss (CA) Fiona Staples
In Shops: Sep 16, 2020
SRP: $16.99

As the clock ticks ever closer to the thirteenth hour, Maria struggles through the canals of the Labyrinth alongside her peculiar band of companions, wishing desperately to be reunited with her son. While she may be no closer to the Owl King’s castle, Maria begins to uncover the secrets of the Labyrinth and her own power within the walls of this magical domain.

Written by Simon Spurrier (Jim Henson’s The Power of the Dark Crystal) and Ryan Ferrier (Kong on the Planet of the Apes) and illustrated by Daniel Bayliss (Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Dragons) and Irene Flores (Heavy Vinyl), Labyrinth: Coronation Volume Two continues the bestselling prequel to one of Jim Henson’s most iconic creations.

Collects issues #5-8.

Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Coronation Vol. 2

Preview: John Constantine: Hellblazer #3

John Constantine: Hellblazer #3

(W) Si Spurrier (A) Aaron Campbell (CA) John Paul Leon
In Shops: Jan 22, 2020
SRP: $3.99

John has found the cause of the magical madness slaughtering gang members on Peckham Rye…and it’s just one guy! How hard can it be to stop him? Well, when the gangs get involved and the source of his power becomes clear, the answer turns out to be “Near impossible, actually!”

John Constantine: Hellblazer #3

Preview: The Dreaming #17

The Dreaming #17

(W) Si Spurrier (A) Bilquis Evely (CA) Yanick Paquette
In Shops: Jan 01, 2020
SRP: $3.99

Wan’s takeover of Dream’s realm is nearly complete. As his identity slips away, Abel only has one secret left in his pocket. And poor, tortured Lucien, lost and without purpose, longs for nothing but release, and to return to the foundations of the Dreaming. So why can’t he go? Does he have a purpose yet to serve? If he wants to die…why must he continue to pay the high cost of living?

The Dreaming #17
Almost American
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