X-Men by Gerry Duggan Vol. 1 review – The X-Men return to their roots.

Marvel’s acclaimed revival of The X-Men continues as Avengers and Deadpool writer Gerry Duggan takes the reins alongside superstar artist Pepe Larraz. The heroes of Krakoa are here to save the planet! Things might be complicated between the new mutant nation and the rest of the world, but to the X-Men, it’s very simple — you do what’s right, you protect those who need protecting and you save the world we all share. Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Sunfire, Rogue, Wolverine, Synch and Polaris are the chosen champions of mutantkind, and they will not shrink from any battle. But as threats hurtle towards the Earth from all sides, these fearless X-Men fight a seemingly unstoppable wave of annihilation… and even greater dangers lurk in the darkness ready to strike!

Since Jonathan Hickman’s landmark work on House of X/Powers of X, the X-Men have once again risen to the prominent position they deserve in the Marvel Universe. With Hickman’s recent departure from the series, it is a tall order to follow on from the ball he started rolling. Fortunately, Gerry Duggan is a more than suitable replacement. Having worked on almost every Marvel character imaginable (with a particularly sizable run on Deadpool), he is a natural fit for X-Men and is paired with original House of X/Powers of X artist Pepe Larraz.

Whilst following on from lots of the threads established in Hickman’s run, Duggan has his own purpose with this series. Though in a far more prominent position than recent years, the X-Men have still been a bit cut-off from the rest of the Marvel Universe. This series not only intends to bring them closer back into the fold, but also to bring the team back to their roots as a superhero team. The opening chapters sees the team tackle a threat in Manhattan and it is quickly established as this group’s base of operation which goes a long way in re-establishing their place in the Marvel hierarchy.

Whilst there have been several X-Men titles running since the beginning of Hickman’s run, there hasn’t really been a core team that acts a focal point. Duggan accomplishes this very quickly and brings the series back to its roots, whilst building on the previous volume. It helps that he has a great handle on all the characters involved and knows how to make a fun superhero comic.

As previously mentioned, Pepe Larraz is a bonafide superstar artist who has been on fire in recent years. This X-Men series is no exception as he continues to turn in some of the most dynamic and exciting art you’ll see in a superhero comic. His character designs are always on point, and he gets to cut loose with some of the more outlandish threats the team faces.

This new volume of X-Men is a strong call back to the series’ roots whilst building on the new status quo that Hickman established. With Duggan and Larraz, the series is in very safe hands.

X-Men by Gerry Duggan Vol. 1 is out now from Marvel  (9781302927233, p/b, £14.99)

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