X-Men: Before the Fall – Mutant First Strike #1 Review

Writer: Steve Orlando

Art: Valentina Pinti, Frank Williams, VC’s Travis Lanham, Tom Muller, Jay Bowen, David Baldeón, and Israel Silva

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Price: $4.99

Release Date: June 7th, 2023

Ever since mutants declared themselves humanity’s new gods, certain circles have been waiting for the other shoe to drop – the wrath. When a small New England town is hit by a devastating mutant attack, it seems the wrath is here as X-Men: Before the Fall – Mutant First Strike #1 by Steve Orlando kicks off! But all isn’t as it appears. And Krakoa doesn’t hesitate to save lives – so it’s time for Bishop to lead Krakoa’s biggest rescue effort yet!

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So, it’s finally happened. A strike so massive that it finally makes the mutants look like evil, dictator gods. But why? And was it really the mutants or was it made to look like the mutants? This was a fantastic plot angle that was way overdue. Actually, it somewhat reminds me of what I feel like I see in our politics and media today. Orlando uses X-Men: Before the Fall – Mutant First Strike #1 as a tool to show miscommunication. The problem again remains as to which side that miscommunication is coming from. Is it self-sabotage to elevate yourself and your agenda or is it truly a heated and hated blow from the opposition at all costs? Surprisingly enough, this tactic hasn’t really been used yet on a global scale and it was exciting to see this angle played out well by Orlando in the Krakoan Era.

Next, Orlando delivers another unique element to the X-books creating a team similar to the Red Cross but it’s a Red X. This team is an assembly of mutants from a variety of respected teams to come together to help disaster areas around the world. Of course, this team is met with aggression, however, who wouldn’t initially think the mutants were responsible? Therefore, it seems obvious this would be the reaction regardless of what the mutants can show them. It smells of the current cultural reality we have today of “fake news”. Nevertheless, Orlando spins the plot a bit more making even the mutant extremist group opposed to the X-Men’s help also unaware of what’s going on implying that both sides appear to be pawns in this disaster. That said, no reasoning could possibly work adding yet another parallel to our current cultural climate today.

Today, we have no middle ground. Our country, if not the world is so divided with both sides feeling they’re right. It doesn’t matter what science or morality is spun in any direction, the other side can spin it right back their way making trust and misconceptions on high alert. X-Men: Before the Fall – Mutant First Strike #1 feels just like that with Jean Grey discovering that very same angle in the midst of helping the disaster and holding off the Watchdogs.

Nevertheless, Orlando’s creative juices start flowing as he grabs dozens of mutants and uses their abilities in ways to help the sick, rebuild their homes, relieve poisons, regrow nature, and ultimately refurbish… everything that was destroyed from the physical and the mental. Yet spiraling back to the “fake news” angle, even when the town of Milford openly states what the mutants did to help, the media continues to spin their ideas, their agenda, and their mission to the world making the mutants still seem like the villains. Hey, sound familiar today?


I’m not the biggest Steve Orlando fan, however, I really appreciated his take within the pages of X-Men: Before the Fall – Mutant First Strike #1. The parallels with our current cultural climate today are uncanny. The concept of what truth actually is and from what perspective was just nuts. Even after the townspeople watching the mutants help in the recovery, the Watchdogs still continued to spin their hate… not because they had a secret agenda but because they’re so jaded that it wouldn’t matter anyway. The Left and the Right are so far left and right anymore that there is no middle ground. Everyone feels they’re correct and everyone’s own truth is the right truth. And ultimately, that’s exactly what’s played out in X-Men: Before the Fall – Mutant First Strike #1 in a pretty amazing story by Orlando.

Now, if you’re into reading comics for an escape, this one isn’t for you. You’ll see the undertones of reality smacking you in the face. Moreover, X-Men: Before the Fall – Mutant First Strike #1 isn’t necessary to understand the overall dynamic of the X-books anyway. Meaning, it is skippable. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t recommend that especially if only to see how creative Orlando puts his own spin on the culture today. I’d give it a good read if I were you. However, you’re not going to want to read it for the excitement or action because you’ll find very little. It’s more for the subtle metaphors that may gravitate your attention this week. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!


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