X-MEN: Evolution

Devin Grayson, Author, Devin K. Grayson, Author, Udon Studios, Illustrator . Marvel $5.99 (96p) ISBN 978-0-7851-1359-1

The X-Men appeal to many audiences, but this book is squarely aimed at younger readers. The story takes place before major team action, just as Professor Xavier is locating young mutants and giving them a safe haven at his school, where they may develop their individual superpowers while learning to get along with each other and the normal humans around them. Meanwhile, villainous Magneto is recruiting his own team of disaffected mutants who expect to be hated by humans and who return that feeling with interest. The original comic appealed to adolescents who didn't fit in with the world around them and wanted to believe that this was because others resented their superior talents. Although two successful movies have intensified (and darkened) the theme to reach an adult audience, this collection reduces the intensity. Labeled "All Ages," the slender, digest-sized volume adequately rehashes the basic scenario for kids who weren't following earlier versions of the story. In the process, though, this work simplifies everything, so that everyone looks manga-cute and talks like the slogans posted in public school hallways: "Share Your Problems; Be Yourself; Let's Work Together." The results are pleasant but insipid. In addition, dark and muddy printing hinders the art. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 01/12/2004
Release date: 12/01/2003
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