COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Generation X: Natural Selection
By The Masked Medic
Okay, so I think A+E is a fantastic place to work, but just the worst when it comes to a life outside of that! Haha! I’ve been meaning to read a new series for a while and would you believe that I’d finished this next novel a week ago but just haven’t got round to writing the review. But here goes. So one of the most frustrating things I find about Marvel Comics is that their X-Men series are just the most convoluted and confusing stories ever. I never know where to start. But I persist nonetheless and decided I’d give ‘Generation X’ a go!
‘Natural Selection’ takes place at a time where the Xavier School for Gifted Mutants is being run by Shadowcat, aka, Kitty Pryde. The X-men have split into many different classes, and one of the classes is being run by Jubilee. Her class consists of a number of odd students; Bling, a girl who’s entire body is now made from some sort of gemstone, Omega Man, a mutant with almost unlimited ability to change reality, Morph, whose name is pretty self-explanatory. We also have Nature Girl and Eye-Boy, the former being able to communicate with animals and plants alike and the latter who has 37 eyes on his body that can see more just the visible spectrum. Finally we have Hindsight, a new mutant to the school who has the ability to see a person entire past and experiences by just touching them. Initially, Hindsight, aka, Nathaniel Carver, is hesitant to join the school and when a group of tourists who are ‘Mutant Purifiers’ in disguise attack the school, many of the mutants get involved in protecting their home. Nathaniel decides that he’ll stay in order to learn how to control his powers. The next few issues sees this particular team beginning to gel and Jubilee beginning to feel like she has the teacher thing under control. However, when a student from the school goes missing, despite being under curfew, the team sneak out to find out who attacked their classmate, without telling Jubilee. It soon appears that the mysterious villain is a mutant named ‘Monet’ who has the ability to absorb the powers of her victims, albeit temporarily. Can this team of untrained schoolkids stop the threat? And can Jubilee really step up to be a leader of an X-Men team?
As far as novels go, it wasn’t the worst that I’d read. Especially given the last review I wrote. That being said, I was extremely confused at when exactly this story is set. Why is Shadowcat principal? What happened to the school that Storm was leading in Extraordinary X-men? I don’t even know. I think one of the disappointments of the novel was actually that the stakes aren’t particularly high and although there is definite character development as we learn about this particular team, I found it very difficult to get attached to any of them. I think having Jubilee as a teacher was a great idea, but she doesn’t particularly feature in the novel in a productive way. The villain, Monet, is underused despite being an interesting character. I just could not get invested in this series!
The artwork was variable but the majority of it was not to my particular liking, especially that first issue. The covers, however, did manage to sway me a little bit and may have been the best thing about this novel. Overall, quite a disappointing start to a series. I’m not at the point where I don’t want to read it at all, but it’s gonna be a while before I decide to revisit!
It’s very funny seeing Jubilee as a teacher when we’ve always known her as this sassy teenager!
It’s always tough to choose in a team book, but I’d say it has to be Hindsight, purely because he’s such a good guy!
Story Arc: ★★½
Character Development: ★★★