REVIEW: ‘Planet-Size X-Men,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Planet-Size X-Men #1 - But Why Tho

Planet-Size X-Men #1 is written by Gerry Duggan, illustrated by Pepe Larraz, colored by Marte Garcia, and lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles. It is published by Marvel Comics. As the Hellfire Gala is underway, Magneto undertakes a daunting mission with a group of powerful mutants: terraforming the surface of Mars so that Arrako’s inhabitants can live there. Flashbacks throughout the issue highlight the stages of Magneto’s plans, along with various characters’ reactions to the idea of creating a mutant-populated planet.

Both Duggan and Larraz have been an integral part of the current X-Men era, with Duggan writing Marauders and Cable and Larraz providing artwork for House of X and the “X of Swords” storyline. Here they work in unison to produce a stellar story, mirroring the teamwork that the X-Men use to terraform Mars. The issue’s focus is placed on Magneto, and Duggan fully delves into the Master of Magnetism’s mindset. Very few mutants have worked as hard to make Krakoa thrive as he has, and very few mutants can pull off terraforming a whole planet as he could. Magneto’s desire to expand mutantkind’s reach also ties into events in the S.W.O.R.D. series, as he feels that mutants should have a greater presence in the stars. This raises all kinds of questions: where does Krakoa’s reach end? And how will other nations and races-particularly inhabitants of other planets-react to this? It’s a rather exciting setup for plenty of great stories.

Duggan also manages to make great use of the other mutants in the book. Each mutant’s skills are put to the test, including Jean Grey’s psychic powers and Storm’s weather manipulation. The inhabitants of Arakko also play a huge role, with Hope Summers being able to enhance their powers to give life to Mars. Even Captain America and Cyclops have a friendly conversation. Duggan’s work on Marauders means he is no stranger to group dynamics, which leads to some solid scenes between Magneto and Emma Frost and some well-placed barbs from Quentin Quire.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Larraz and Garcia’s artwork, which is mind-boggling in the scale and scope it brings to this comic. The sheer might of the X-Men’s power is on display from the very first page: Magneto sends a barrage of iron ore hurtling into the surface of Mars, with a massive cloud of dust erupting from the surface. Vulcan’s solar energy blasts are shown to rock and split apart the very ground he’s standing on. Water cascades through the crevices, life is shown evolving at a hyper-accelerated rate, and Storm brings rain and thunder upon the ground-it’s truly a sight to behold. Larraz also designs multiple sets, including the grassy venue where the Hellfire Gala is held and the S.W.O.R.D. space station the Peak.

Garcia tops off the issue with his rich and vibrant colors, with red playing a major role in the issue as nearly the entire story is set on Mars. Krakoa itself continues to be a lush, vibrant island filled with greenery and the Peak itself is a cold, sterile steel gray. Combined with the expansive artwork and the amazing colors, Planet-Size X-Men #1 often feels more like a science fiction movie in the vein of The Martian or Dune than a superhero comic-not that that’s a bad thing, mind you.

Planet-Size X-Men #1 more than lives up to its name, expanding the X-Men’s reach into outer space and boasting a story and visuals worthy of a science-fiction blockbuster. With the creative team slated to take over the main X-Men title this July, I can safely say that the merry mutants are in good hands.

Planet-Size X-Men #1 is available wherever comics are sold.

4.5

TL;DR

Planet-Size X-Men #1 more than lives up to its name, expanding the X-Men’s reach into outer space and boasting a story and visuals worthy of a science-fiction blockbuster. With the creative team slated to take over the main X-Men title this July, I can safely say that the merry mutants are in good hands.