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Evil Geek Book Report – X-Men: Primer

Riding the high of my current X-Men Bendis buzz, I thought I’d tempt fate and see if lightning could strike twice. I wanted more X-Men but I knew I wasn’t interested in any series that had the X-Men teaching classes to new mutants so Wolverine & The X-Men was out. Brian Wood’s X-Men series (just called X-Men…like in the 90’s) was only about 11 issues in and boasts one of the best team rosters imaginable. We’re talking Storm, Psylocke, Rogue, Kitty Pryde and Rachel Grey…oh and Jubilee. What’s not to like?

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This trade collects the first 4 issues of the series before it gets derailed by the Battle Of The Atom crossover that ran through all the X-Titles. Issue #1 is pretty much a perfect debut issue and we find Jubilee returning to her former teammates with a baby! Where did this baby come from you ask? Jubilee saved it’s life, but she’s also being stalked from afar and followed back to the X-Men.

Who is this handsome creeper? Apparently, someone named John Sublime who probably is my candidate for one of the worst possible names in the whole X Universe. I had no idea who this suave game show host looking guy was but it turns out he/it is some ancient form of bacteria that can possess people or something? Whatever. He surrenders himself to the X-Men who don’t trust him at all and lays down the facts pretty quickly. Turns out he had a sister, Arkea who was also bacteria that he defeated and banished but now she’s returned to Earth thousands of years later for revenge in the form of a technological virus.  First possessing Jubilee’s baby but now being able to take over anyone she wants in the Jean Grey School For Higher Learning.

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She chooses to do so immediately with the body or Karima Shapandar who for some reason is in a coma in the mansion (full disclaimer: I have no idea who she is). She in turns fights off the X-Men and then infects their electronic system virtually turning the entire school into a hazard. She escapes of course and the X-Men track her to a specific hospital in India which is where Jubilee rescued the baby. Inside the hospital a battle royale pursues with Arkea and a horde of electronic assailants and the X-Men that results in a controversial decision leaving 2 team members at odds with one another.

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Issue #4 is a one and done that is kind of a nice breather and reintroduction to Jubilee as she and Wolverine go out to California and discuss her past. It’s a very relaxed issue that alternates from that to the rest of the team helping a civilian flight that’s in trouble.  Since most trades are 5 issues they padded this with 1989’s Uncanny X-Men #244 which is Jubliee’s first issue (referenced in issue #4) and involves Storm, Rogue and Pyslocke heavily, which is kind of a neat touch.

Like I mentioned earlier, the first issue here is great it. It’s a perfect introduction to the characters and setting up the story and it’s problem. I didn’t find the series to be as user friendly as I thought it might have been. For that the current Uncanny X-Men and All New X-Men take the cake. I also just flat out didn’t like the storyline. Technorganic viruses just aren’t my thing, I guess. Didn’t they kind of do this already with the Phalanax coveneant in the 90’s? Also, isn’t Jubilee a vampire or something now? I felt that a lot of the characters didn’t really got to do much, especially Pyslocke. On the plus side though Oliver Coipel’s art is fantastic. Each character’s facial expressions are fully defined and everything here just looks perfect and vibrant. He never once stoops down to T and A shots of the female X-Men. Unfortunately, he left after the first 3 issue arc.

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X-Men: Primer ended up being a bit of a mixed bag. I will probably check out the arc following Battle Of The Atom to give this a second chance. Based on these 4 issues though, they are going to need to up the ante to keep me hanging around.

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About Biff Tannen

Film Noir, Pulp, Comic Books and Hitchcock.

Posted on February 28, 2014, in COMICS!, Evil Geek Book Report, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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