The X-Men haven't had a good run for awhile in comics. Just when you think you might get a chance to turn it all around, controversy strikes and Marvel seems to be back to square one. It seems that mutant kind can't get a good comic book in the 616.
Good thing Franklin Richards was helping spin other universes back into existence.
In one of those universes we follow the lives of Peter Parker, a photographer for a newspaper, and his small family: wife Mary Jane and daughter Annie. MJ is busy entrepaneur and blogger and Annie is a precocious young girl in school. They live a rather normal life... other than the fact they are all super-heroes. Annie (Spiderling) inherited her powers from her dad while MJ (Spinneret) uses technology taken from a dictator (Regent) to share in Peters powers.
And those powers are what has Charles Xavier interested in Annie.
Chuck invites the Spider-Family for a visit of his school in hopes that Peter and Mary Jane might consider sending Annie there. He introduces them to a couple of teachers: Logan (Wolverine) and Jean Grey (no need for code-name) along with their daughter Kate (Shine). Kate and Annie go for a walk with Jubilee while her parents get Chucks sales pitch.
A sales pitch that Mary Jane doesn't really want to hear. She loves her life with Annie and feels that she offers her daughter the best environment to grow up in. Tensions rise, and Mary Jane storms out leaving a flabbergasted Peter. While walking the halls Mary Jane meets Scott Summers who break down what has happened over the years.
In this world, the super-human registration act never happened. Charles Xavier and the Avengers brokered a deal with the government to self police those with super powers. This is, in part, the reason why they are here; they want to keep an eye on the Spider-Family.
Everything is quite as it would seem, and everyone soon finds out that they are not all playing for the same team. Magneto and the Brotherhood attacks Xavier's school with the help of some mutants from the inside Xavier's school. Magneto takes control of Cerebro and with Jubilee's help, takes Kate and Annie as hostages.
I know I have mentioned before How much I love the Renew Your Vows series, but I'm going to emphasize it again. It is fantastic. This comic has so much going for it. Let me do a list:
1. X-cellent Peter Parker comic. It has Peter having to deal with ordinary life (which he kinda sucks at, but is getting better) while trying to be the best parent and husband that he can be. The story is endearing and the way Annie and Kate get along is downright adorable.
2. X-cellent X-Men Comic. This is quintessential X-Men. While relationships are different and character allegiances might be different; This is the X-Men you watched on Saturday morning while eating your cereal. It's perfect.
3. X-cellent dialog. Gerry Conway has always nailed Peter Parker's quips and parenting cliches, but he really did get the X-Men and the Brotherhood right too. Magneto is megalomaniac who speaks in dramatic tones. He is actually evil, not just misguided.
4. X-cellent story. Conway has cleverly fitted, by using Scott Summers of all people, a subplot. It may not be "sinister," but the deal that the Avengers and X-Men came to with the government of self policing super-powered individuals isn't honest... though it might be for the best. It creates a gray area which will demand justification or destruction.
5. X-cellent art direction. Seriously. THIS IS MY X-MEN. This is what I grew up on, and Ryan Stegman hits it out of the park. It just doesn't get much better than this.
This comic hit's all the high notes. Buy this book. Buy this series. Then buy it in hardback. This kind of book is what Marvel Comics needs right now more than ever.
Rating: 10/10 Vegan Cupcakes