Tug's Pick of the Week

NEW X-MEN: ACADEMY X #1 — Click for a Larger ImageNew X-Men:
Academy X #1

This week was a tough one, boys and girls.  So you know what that means — that’s right:  Really great comics all around!

But when the dust settled this week, the one book left standing was New X-Men: Academy X # 1!  (See, I told you Marvelites that the "X-Men Reload" would more than likely be claiming some "Tug’s Picks" spots.)

One of the things that I always liked about the X-Men was the unbridled teen angst that ran rampant through the various X-books.  But somewhere towards the end of high school, I realized something: The X-Men weren’t teenagers anymore.  (Shock!)  Besides the occasional up-and-coming new recruit (Jubilee, ugh), there weren’t any teenage characters on the teams, and yet the actual X-Men were still acting like teenagers.  Isn’t Iceman in his mid-20s now?  Shouldn’t he have stopped being an idiot three or four years ago?

Finally, when the ill-fated Tsunami line began, I got what I had been looking for in the form of New Mutants.  The book followed a rag-tag group of mutant misfits as they attended classes and lived out great high-school drama in the halls of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.  Not to mention the return of certain former New Mutants as the newbies’ mentors.  Unfortunately, towards the end of the series, Marvel asked writers Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir to change an already solicited story arc that concerned one of the students committing suicide.  This caused lots of delays and a hodgepodge of artists doing every other issue, but the writing and story were still the great teen drama that we had come to expect from the book.

Now, as part of the "X-Men: Reload" event, New Mutants is being re-launched as New X-Men: Academy X, and the first issue is a great introduction to the characters for those who didn’t jump on the New Mutants train.  The story is a well-executed look at how these characters interact in the new environment of the school, now that Cyclops and Emma Frost are co-headmasters.  And Randy Green’s art looks better than ever before!  Just check out the way he draws Emma Frost’s costume.

There’s action!  There’s unrequited crushes!  There’s kids with strange powers!  There’s Sentinels!  There’s raging hormones!  And there’s a neat hook at the end of the book!  If you’re going to give one new comic a try this week, this should be it!

More goodies for you to pick up:

SEAGUY # 1 — Click for a Larger ImageSeaguy # 1 — What happens when you’re the only hero left in a world that doesn’t need heroes anymore?  Find out in this new Vertigo mini-series from writer extraordinaire Grant Morrison and artist fantastique Cameron Stewart!  Meet Seaguy and his floating fish sidekick, Chubby Da Choona — who says one of my favorite lines to appear in a comic in a long time:  “I don’t get space.  Dere’s so much of it out dere, and ya still can’t find places ta put stuff when ya need it.”

EXCALIBUR #1 — Click for a Larger ImageExcalibur # 1 — This one is another "X-Men: Reload" title that should be given a second look by all you mutant lovers out there.  Written by X-Scribe Chris Claremont, this book follows Xavier as he helps rebuild Genosha and tries to get on with his life away from the X-Men.  Look for lots of new mutant faces and the return of some faces that may surprise you!  With pencils by Aaron Lopresti (Mystic) and inks by Columbia’s own Greg Adams (X-Treme X-Men), this is without a doubt one of the best-looking X-books coming out right now.

LUCIFER #50 — Click for a Larger ImageLucifer # 50 — I had never read an issue of Lucifer until this one, but the promise of P. Craig Russell art lured me in.  The art is most definitely worth the price of purchase alone, but the terrific story by Mike Carey makes it a solid read.  The issue flashes back to when Lucifer was still an angel shows the events leading to him eschewing the heavenly hosts for a much hotter climate.

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