Writer: Gerry Duggan
Art: Pepe Larraz, Marte Garcia, VC’s Clayton Cowles, and Tom Muller
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: June 16th, 2021
The HELLFIRE GALA storms forward. However, could it get any bigger? Any better? Well, as PLANET-SIZE X-MEN #1 by Gerry Duggan kicks off his run, readers will get to witness the true future and fireworks as Moira’s vision takes a bold new shape. X-MEN fans won’t want to miss this week’s planetary-sized issue!
WHERE WERE YOU WHEN (Spoilers ahead)
Due to the Five, mutants have conquered death and can now be resurrected from the dead. However, that’s not all folks! The Six were created to basically use mutants as a means to teleport wherever they need to go across the universe. And now (spoilers ahead) using their amazing abilities, mutants are able to practically resurrect a dead planet! Kind of… At the very least, mutants can terraform Mars giving their kind (mainly the Arakii) a planet to live on. Ultimately, that’s this week’s PLANET-SIZE X-MEN #1 in a nutshell.
Now, as silly as this sounds, I’m a fan of the name/ title of the issue. Duggan was smacking readers in the face for months with exactly what this issue was about. Plus, it’s a play on words with the GIANT-SIZE X-MEN issues making it rather clever as well. However, this may come across as odd to say but I feel like this concept has been done already. Sure, I don’t recall the X-MEN nor any of their villains terraforming a planet. Nevertheless, Magneto has led the charge in constructing (I think) five different Asteroid M’s. Yes, I know an asteroid isn’t a planet. Yet, Magneto spearheaded those constructions for mutantkind just like he did by terraforming Mars.
If that’s not enough, do you remember Ex Nihilo? Well, long story short, he tried to terraform Mars AND was created by none other than Jonathan Hickman during his AVENGERS run in 2012. Moreover, (I admit this is a stretch), there is an amazing board game out called TERRAFORMING MARS. If you’re a board game enthusiast, you’ll fall in love with the game! Trust me. Anyway, my point is the shock and awe that I feel like was supposed to be present this issue just wasn’t there. Granted, the premise of the mutants working together to basically do an act of God is truly astonishing. In turn, I left PLANET-SIZE X-MEN #1 wondering what this generation of mutants can’t do! Yet, feeling like I’ve been to this rodeo before.
Lastly, I have to give credit to the creativity involved in the actual terraforming process. Duggan lays out the powers used and attempts to explain how the process transpired. Included in that process, Duggan reverse engineers a means of teleporting millions of Arakii to their new planet while also sprinkling in some sly, subtle humor as he always does. However, I can’t help but wonder why the X-MEN/ mutantkind just don’t do the very same? I’m under the impression that it’s just the Arakii that are leaving the planet. Still, wouldn’t this solve everyone’s problems instantly if mutants just… left?
I know. I know. That’s not the solution. There should be peace. Humans are jerks and ultimately need to accept mutantkind. However, if in every life Moira has lived she’s seen the destruction of mutants by simply staying on Earth, why not try leaving the human bigotry behind? Now, maybe they will in the future? Truthfully, if that’s the “End Game” and direction Hickman’s run goes, that would be pretty epic. They already have their own S.W.O.R.D. for this new planet Mars and the planet is self-contained. What more could you need? Yet, I know that won’t solve anything. The prejudice would still be there and eventually, humans would try to obliterate their new planet too. Regardless, why settle for an island or nation when you can have an entire planet?
Pepe Larraz has a very kinetic style, which basically means his images oftentimes appear as though they’re moving even when they’re not. Larraz has a way of manipulating the reader’s perspective that is unique to his style and tone within his comics. And PLANET-SIZE X-MEN #1 is no different than any of his other X-MEN work. Furthermore, Larraz does a fantastic job of providing the characters with personality that is sometimes forgotten in comics today. Additionally, Marte Garcia adds a multitude of colors that really make this issue pop. Nevertheless, sometimes I feel like he provides the characters with an almost shiny or even glossy exterior which is frankly unnecessary.
PLANET-SIZE X-MEN #1 was certainly intriguing and showcased the true possibilities that the combined abilities of mutants can do. However, to paraphrase MC Skat Cat and Paula Abdul, as the mutants take “two steps forward”, they always take “two steps back”. Why? Because opposites attract. (The answer is in the song!) By solving one problem, mutants have showcased what they’re capable of doing. Therefore, humanity will now be angrier and more terrified than ever before. And thus, more jealousy, more strife, more envy, more hate, more fighting, more killing, and more war.
Yet, as intriguing as this issue was, I left feeling as though I’ve seen this trick before. Plus, I wonder where this is all heading. How does this fit into the larger picture of Hickman’s vision for this series? How does this affect the other storylines and plot threads involving Nimrod, Moira, Mystique, and so much more? It’s as if we continue to get more questions without answering any of the prior inquiries. In the short term, PLANET-SIZE X-MEN #1 has certainly piqued my interest. However, the fireworks factory is looking farther and farther out of reach with INFERNO on the horizon. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God bless!