REVIEW: ‘Marvels Snapshots: X-Men,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Marvels Snapshots: X-Men #1 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Jay Edidin, art by Tom Reilly, colors by Chris O’Halloran, and letters by Tom Orzechowski.  A young Scott Summers(one day he’ll be known as Cyclops) struggles to find his place in the world. Then, four astronauts went out to space and returned as something fantastic. It will be a moment that will change this young man’s world. And set him on the path to becoming something uncanny.

Many of us can pinpoint moments of cultural change that touched our lives. Creating a sense of who we were before, and after, that moment. A profound turning point that leaves us with a new understanding of who we are. And a new purpose to strive for. With the numerous revelations and culture shifts many of us have experienced this year, this concept may be all too real at the moment. Cosmic rays may not be turning people into superheroes, but our world is just as surely changing. Hopefully, we can find a way to use it to become stronger better versions of ourselves. Like a certain Scott Summers.

Marvels Snapshots: X-Men #1 introduces readers to Scott Summers long before he arrived at the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters. Here we see the usually focused and determined leader of everyone’s favorite team of mutants adrift and lost. Being told things he knows to be real aren’t, and bullied by those around him, Scott gets through his days in a state of despondency. Writer Edidin captures this point in Scott’s life extremely well. Scott’s struggle with his place is laid out clearly and in a way that is thoroughly relatable. Most of us have felt adrift at some point. I certainly have. And seeing a character who has always had such a strong sense of purpose portrayed in this manner makes the feeling hit all the harder.

It is in knowing where Scott will eventually end up in life that makes the pivot point of Marvels Snapshots: X-Men #1‘s story hit with all the more impact. When he sees a news report showing the Fantastic Four squaring off with Namor his world is instantly changed. He begins to pursue anything he can about superheroes. Then, one day he has the opportunity to meet Mr. Fantastic in person. And that’s when the final piece slides into place.

Seeing this early evolution of a character I would’ve said I knew thoroughly proved most enlightening. Edidin delivers the character’s transformation as he discovers his sense of purpose with power and skill. It drives home the fact that with many heroes, it isn’t the power that is their greatest weapon. For Scott Summers this has always been true. And Marvels Snapshots: X-Men #1 does a great job of showing that.

The art in this story does a splendid job making the story feel placed in the past. Reilly delivers panels that feel like they are memories of Scott’s. They have a simplicity that drives home the human narrative of the issue.

This separation of the mundane and the super in Marvels Snapshots: X-Men #1 is further highlighted in O’Halloran’s colors. The majority of these panels use just a few variances of a single color. Most of the time this color is blue. A reflection of Scott’s somber mood one would imagine. But, when the heroes are present the panel is fully colored. This gives these moments a truly powerful impact. Especially when Scott’s sees that first broadcast.

Lastly, we round out this book with a solid lettering performance by Orzechowski. Their lettering work delivers the story in a clear and easy to follow manner.

When all is said and done, Marvels Snapshots: X-Men #1 delivers an emotional look at the beginning of one of Marvel’s iconic characters. We get to see the boy who would become Cyclops discover those aspects of himself that will guide him, and others, to become heroes.

Marvels Snapshots: X-Men #1 is available on September 15th wherever comics are sold.


Marvels Snapshots: X-Men #1
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TL;DR

When all is said and done, Marvels Snapshots: X-Men #1 delivers an emotional look at the beginning of one of Marvel’s iconic characters. We get to see the boy who would become Cyclops discover those aspects of himself that will guide him, and others, to become heroes.