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Hard Times

December 16, 2008

     As the successor to the New X-Men title, Young X-Men has a lot to live up to.  After killing off a huge part of its cast, New X-Men portrayed the surviving X-Students in the best way possible, bringing out character traits and personalities no one had even thought of.  They took unimportant characters like Pixie and Anole and turned them into stars, and they made Surge an even more dynamic character than she was before, which I didn’t even think was possible.  Plus, it successfully added X-23 to the X-Men mythos, adding her to the list of characters who made it into comics from their TV adaptations.

     Unfortunately, Young X-Men doesn’t quite pass muster.  For one, it uses only three of the beloved New X-Men characters: Anole, Dust, and Rockslide.  The rest, including Mercury, Surge, Prodigy, Hellion, etc. are in comic book limbo.  Only Elixir, Pixie, X-23, Gentle, and Armor seem to actually be somewhere at the moment.  Instead, Marc Guggenheim kills off Wolf Cub for no apparent reason and adds Ink and Greymalkin to the team.  Ink is an interesting character, even if his manner of speech gets annoying really fast.  Greymalkin could have been interesting, but Guggenheim decided that he was going to be YAGM, or “Yet Another Gay Mutant.”  I have nothing against homosexuals at all.  I have my fair share of gay friends.  And Anole is probably my favorite character in the book.  Either him or Dust.  Who has the only interesting moments in the book with her dialogue with Donald Pierce.

     However, rather than write pre-existing gay characters well, like Anole, Karma, or Northstar, they decide that other characters should just randomly be gay.  Because gays have officially become so “mainstream” that they are now token characters.  Being gay is now an excuse for poor writing.  It’s sad, really, that these writers, who want to try to fight for gay rights, do not write gay characters as round, well-developed characters who just happen to be gay.  Instead, being gay is their entire identity.  Greymalkin immediately falls into that category.  So instead of having a few, well-written and therefore interesting and relatable, we get a ton of crappy gay characters for no good reason. 

     That’s just one of the problems.  Sure, Moonstar and Sunspot are fun characters too.  But under the Guggenheim pen, they’re pretty dry.  They can’t even keep an artist for longer than an arc either.  Yanick Paquette was pretty terrible, Ben Oliver was actually good, and Rafa Sandoval just doesn’t fit the book.  Top off the fact that nobody really cares about a gang full of people who got their powers from tattoos, and you’ve got a book that fails on basically all counts.  To be honest, I’ll probably be dropping this soon for a comic of better quality.  I don’t even get to read about a ton of characters I like, and the rest are written poorly.  How sad.  If only Craig Kyle and Chris Yost would come back and save this title from cancellation…

Plot: 5.5     Art: 8.2      Dialogue: 6.2     Overall: 5.9

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