What If? X-Men #1
Writer: Bryan Michael Hill
Artists: Neil Edwards, Giannis Milonogiannis
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Review by Greg Brothers
Through all of my years collecting comics some of my favorite stories could be found within the various volumes of What If. Sometimes those stories would take one linchpin moment and show you how a different choice makes major changes in the character and their path. In other cases the stories would tell a tale completely different than anything the reader has seen before. So when Marvel announced that they would be doing a series of What If? I was excited to say the least.
So what version of the X-Men do we get with What If? X-Men #1? Imagine a digital world where you can go to escape, or prosper, or socialize. All you need is the capital to make it happen. Unless of course you are carrying the .EXE gene. Unfortunately that .EXE gene that may that give you power within the digital world also makes you an enemy of the state.
Unlike most X-Men stories, What If? X-Men #1 focuses on just a couple of the .EXE Men. uDomino and uCable are sent into the digital world to eliminate a threat that could destroy them all. The focus on just a few characters works well for Hill’s storytelling. It eliminates the chance that the story gets watered down or ends up being overshadowed by the introduction of a plethora of characters. The concept is simple enough that little explanation is needed and the idea of being hunted and misunderstood within this new world provides a setting that is familiar to X-Men fans. The use of a well-known character with similar goals as his prime universe was again a smart move that allows the readers to feel comfortable.
The art is filled with plenty of action and panel layouts that allow the eyes to follow the story easily. The characters are familiar enough that it is easy to recognize them, but with some unique characteristics as well. The change between the real world and the digital world makes it easy to recognize the change in the story.
Verdict: Check it out.
If you are a fan of the X-Men, then What If? X-Men #1 is a fun read. It gives a chance to look at some classic characters in a different way. The story is familiar enough that you will not feel as if the rug has been pulled out from under you, but it also does little to feel ground-breaking in it’s originality. If you have never been a fan of the X-Me,n then you will miss nothing by skipping this book and spending your money on a different series. The art is good, but again there is nothing groundbreaking here. Instead, it merely compliments the story well without offending the eyes for longtime X-Men fans.