Writer: Torunn Gronbekk
Art: Diogenes Neves, Stephanie Hans, Rain Beredo, and Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: August 23rd, 2023
Leaping straight from the astonishing events of this year’s Hellfire Gala, the unlikely team of Magik, Mirage, Marrow, Dust and Typhoid Mary find themselves stranded in…Vanaheim? And what’s even more confusing, the locals seem to believe that they hold the key to fulfilling a prophecy that can either raise the realm to riches – or cause it to fall to ruin. With Magik’s powers malfunctioning and a mysterious figure amassing power on the outskirts of the realm, these X-Men are going to have to band together if they want to stay alive long enough to find their way home as the Realm of X #1 by Torunn Grobekk kicks off!
Instantly, Gronbekk throws readers into a new place, a new time, and completely unhinged from the Hellfire Gala. You know the story. The characters wake up in an unknown place surrounded by unknown people with no understanding as to how and why they got where they are. By the end of the story, you’ll figure out the details. But for now, we are left wondering with a ton of questions. Nevertheless, we do see exactly where this band of mutants lands almost immediately: Vanaheim.
As Realm of X #1 continues to unfold, Grobekk sets readers up for what appears to be a war between the House of Mult and the White Witch. Sandwiched directly between the two are the mutants who appear to have just arrived through the gates they were forced to enter. Moreover, Grobekk drops readers into what appears to be a medieval story, which was drastically unexpected by this reviewer.
As someone who doesn’t read the solicits in order to stay surprised, I was expecting a story more related to the mutant’s demise, their fall from grace, and the catastrophe that was the Hellfire Gala. Sadly, this is not that story… not even close. It’s almost as if the Gala ended and we find our favorite mutants in the Lord of the Rings. Nevertheless, Realm of X #1 does get a tad bit interesting as it wraps with a special guest Witch that’s incredibly fitting for this title.
The illustrations are clean, and the colors fit the motif well, but the line work is a bit too sharp of a design. The facial features of the characters down to the eye work have no curvature to them. Moreover, the Prophecy entry as well as the Diary entry takes page count away with words instead of providing more images that beef up the story with action to draw the reader deep into the issue. Sure, I “read” comics but I’m also more interested in the visuals which is why I’ve always gravitated toward this medium, as I’m sure many of you would agree. So, I didn’t sign up to thoroughly read paragraphs on a page. I signed up for a great story on the back of outstanding illustrations and designs.
Realm of X #1 was nothing like I expected nor was it anything I feel like we needed. With so many questions surrounding this Fall of X since the Hellfire Gala, I can’t help but wonder what the purpose of this book is. The medieval style mixed with a ragtag group of mutants and an almost domesticated Magik just doesn’t seem very enticing. It’s almost as if the title is handcuffing itself. I’d much rather see how the mutants react to Orchis than see a few of the mutants save another realm from a familiar foe. Now, if medieval, Norse-style, stories are your jam, then give Realm of X #1 a shot. However, if you’re looking for more in this Fall of X, as well as Magik being… Magik, you won’t find it in this series. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!