By MARC BUXTON
Wolverine and the X-Men #1. Writer: Jason Latour. Artist: Mahmud Asrar.
When any writer finishes a beloved run on a title, it’s always up to the next writer to choose whether to follow or to move the book whole cloth in another direction. If a new writer changes direction, they risk losing the built-in audience, but if the writer stays the course, he risks the book stagnating.
In the case of Wolverine and the X-Men, new writer Jason Latour is following the path set by Jason Aaron, but Latour’s own voice is unique enough to make his own mark on the title. Latour does not have that humorous quality that Aaron did, but he has a classic sensibility that makes the new series seem like a tribute to the New Mutant comics of yesteryear.
Latour’s Quentin Quire is less snarky than previous incarnations of the character, and seems a bit watered down, but Latour’s Storm, Wolverine, and the other students ring true. His use of Wolverine is particularly effective as Logan realizes he may soon die without his recently lost healing factor. Logan seeks out Fantomex to fill the void Wolverine could leave if he is killed in action. The intrigue adds to a more traditional but entertaining take on the book.
Moon Knight #1. Writer: Warren Ellis. Artist: Declan Shalvey.
Yes, Warren Ellis writing Moon Knight is a good idea. A very, very good idea, a match between a writer who knows how to present broken protagonists paired with Marvel’s most squirrely hero. It works, by God does it work.
This book has style; thanks to Ellis’ so-sharp-it-will-cut-you dialogue and the eye-popping art of Declan Shalvey. Plus, the use of blacks and whites by color artist Jordie Bellaire really makes Moon Knight jump off the page.
This is a Moon Knight that harkens back to his original days by writer Doug Moench. Ellis effortlessly weaves the hero’s origin into this new title but propels the character forward into a very modern adventure. The new Moon Knight’s design, a white suit and white hood, is brilliant in its obvious simplicity.
Ellis, a writer who knows the dysfunctions of the human mind, creates a Moon Knight that moves beyond the old multiple-personality motifs into a new dimension of potential insanity. Ellis and the artists create an urban crime drama mashed up with the more mystic aspects of the character.
Magneto #1. Writer: Cullen Bunn. Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta. Fans have been clamoring for a Magneto book since X-Men: First Class,” and Marvel delivers the goods with the X-Men’s arch foe’s first solo monthly. The problem with a Magneto book, with any villain book really, is that it is hard for a reader to relate to a character who is fundamentally an unrepentant murderer. To get around this obstacle, Cullen Bunn has Magneto narrate the story, inviting readers into the villain’s mind in order to make the usually aloof character more relatable. It works.