Planet-Size X-Men # 1 Review: A Creation Myth Made By Mutants


In House of X # 1, Magneto started this new era of X-Men in the Marvel Universe by warning humanity, “You have new gods now.” In Planet-Size X-Men # 1 — written by Gerry Duggan with art from the same House of X the team of designer Pepe Larraz and colourist Marte Gracia — he keeps his promise. At the climax of the Hellfire Gala, mutants force the elite of humanity to watch a myth of mutant creation unravel in real time. As the crown jewel of the Hellfire Gala event, this important issue showcases the current X-Men line at its most forgiving. Still, it meets its own hype as an all-changing event in the delicate balance of power between humanity and the mutant at Marvel Comics.

Duggan, Larraz and Gracia start Planet-Size X-Men like the Book of Genesis — fair, given the X-Men line’s historical fondness for that term. The first page is nothing but the empty cosmos in all its majesty. Turn the page to a splash of Magneto shaping celestial bodies at his will as one of the gods he claimed to be, Gracia making him appear stark white against the void, a light in the dark.

Throughout the remainder of the issue, readers see the mutants of Krakoa plotting – like deities on Mount Olympus – to terraform Mars, then implement their important plans. Vulcan manipulates the molten core of the planet. Iceman covers the planet in patches of ice. Storm controls the weather on the planet and a habitable atmosphere is born. These mutants are like elemental beings of legend. In a final act of power, they then teleport Arakko, an island inhabited by millions of people, from the third planet in our solar system to the fourth, as if they were bringing an entire nation out of the underworld.

Mutants are doing all of this, in part, to solve the problem of millions of mutants suddenly occupying space on Earth’s oceans. But Magneto admits things were always going in that direction, making humanity fully aware of the power mutants now have, both in terms of raw ability and political might. It’s pretty much the same for the X-office. There is no substantial plot to Planet-Size X-Men # 1. The team behind the current X-Men lineup by dropping a 42-page one-shot of pure spectacle is a testament to the swagger and influence that X-office has since gained. House of X and Powers of X made X-Men the hottest superhero comics around.

But like the mutants in this story, Office X should be judicious in how they wield this power. Push too far and, as other numbers of the Hellfire Gala have warned, you risk a backlash.

Still, it’s hard to argue that giving Larraz and Gracia 42 Pages to Play is anything but a giveaway here. No one has touched Gracia in describing a lush green paradise of Krakoan. He shows that he is capable of much more in these pages, providing righteous deeds with a fiery glow. These pink and purple hues recur throughout the book, building on the theme of This New Day for Mutants, and culminating with the first sunrise of Mars as the planet Arakko.

Planet-Size X-Men # 1 represents the peak of the current X-Men line on several levels. On the one hand, it expands Krakoa’s already sprawling era to yet another new frontier. On the other hand, this is a prime example of the X-line gravitating towards self-indulgence. The story is titled “Fireworks,” which is fitting given how much of the problem lies with its dazzling visuals. It’s less of a story in itself and more of a pivot point for an expansive line, a prologue to things to come through many series. Planet-Size X-Men May be primarily a show, but it’s an impressive sight and one that will leave hungry X-Men readers even more anxious to see what comes next.

published by Marvel comics

At June 16, 2021

Written by Gerry Duggan

Art by Grandpa Larraz

Colors by Marte Gracia

Letters from Clayton cowles

Covered by Pepe Larraz and Marte Gracia

Covered by Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia

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