Major X #0Writer: Rob Liefeld
Penciler: Rob Liefeld
Inkers: Rob Liefeld, Adelso Corono, Cory Hamscher
Colorist: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover Artists: Rob Liefeld and Chris Stevens; Ed Piskor
Editor: Jordan D. White

Following the success of his Major X miniseries, Rob Liefeld takes a victory lap in Major X #0.Of course, the danger of victory laps is that you might trip and fall on the way back around.

This book embodies the best and worst of ‘80s comics. Mostly because it’s almost entirely an actual ’90s comic. As advertised in the synopsis (but conspicuously nowhere on the cover), most of this issue is a reprint of Wolverine #154-#155 (1998). The new content, which makes up mere bookends, only spans about five pages.

Depending on who you ask, this guns-and-muscles era of superhero storytelling was either the glory days or the dark times. Either way, Liefeld definitely delivers all the over-compensational weaponry, balloon-animal muscles, and dude-bro-banter any ‘80s kid could ask for. And of course, the pouches. The glorious, multitudinous pouches.

In interviews, Liefeld has expressed his belief that modern comics need a little less conversation and a little more action. His kinetic pencils embody that belief. As with the other installments of this series, he gets right down to the bloody business. You could perhaps say he’s the best at what he does, but what he does best isn’t very nice.

Unfortunately in this case, what he does best isn’t very coherent, either.

While nominally a prequel to the Major X miniseries, this over-sized issue lacks one essential element: Major X. The titular time-traveler only appears on 4 pages and speaks no dialogue. The rest, of  course, is the reprint of Liefeld’s Wovlerine.

For that reason, the majority of the plot centers around a series of nested flashbacks starring Wolverine. Because of the Major X bookends, the exact timing of the flashbacks becomes ambiguous. Instead of one story with several flashbacks, we now have flashbacks within flashbacks. I found myself flipping back and forth to make sure I hadn’t missed anything and to get my temporal bearings.

The reprinted issues, on their own, don’t add enough to make this a true Major X prequel. This story ostensibly addresses the origins of the Sword of X (which, as we learned in Major X #1, was crafted from Wolverine’s skeleton). But for indiscernible reasons, the plot stops short of showing us Wolverine’s death. Wolverine searches out the mystery of the Watchtower, but the story stops short of real revelations.

The portrayal of women here raises some concerns as well (remember what I said about the worst of the ‘80s?). In this issue, women seem to exist only as eye-candy or scantily-clad bargaining chips. Of course, you can’t accuse Liefeld of inequality in his distribution of exaggerated proportions. But it’s apparent that the female characters here exist specifically for the male gaze. Take, for example, the scantily-clad prostitute who appears simply to proposition Wolverine and then, in one full-page panel with no apparent plot-bearing, return somehow even more scantily-clad to kill him.

If I sound a bit harsh, it’s because I so enjoyed the other installments of this series. What Major X lacked in coherence, it made up for with jaw-dropping action and truly original content. Liefield allowed our imaginations to fill in the blanks with new concepts like the X-ential, the X-istence, and the Watchtower. He gave us just enough explanation to hop on our time-traveling motorcycle and race into the action.

But this issue fails to capture that magic. Mostly because we only get roughly five new pages of content, none of which add anything significant to the Major X saga. It’s admittedly interesting to see some of Rob Liefeld’s groundwork for Major X as laid out in Wolverine. The choice to couch this reprint in Major X bookends, rather than doing a straightforward True Believer’s reprint, can’t help but feel like a cash grab.

There’s just not enough fresh story here to justify the over-sized issue.

Major X #0

4.5

Art

9.5/10

Story Coherence

2.5/10

Fresh Content

1.0/10

The X-Command's Serious Power Rangers Energy

7.5/10

Necessity as part of Major X

2.0/10

Pros

  • Liefeld's art is still friggin dope
  • Plenty of action
  • Lots of pouches

Cons

  • Almost entirely a (poorly advertised) reprint
  • Troubling portrayal of women
  • Lack of fresh Major X content
Jonathan Boes
callmeboesy@gmail.com
Writer, musician, video-maker and church media guy from central Pennsylvania. Certified nerd with an emphasis in Star Wars, Twin Peaks and Marvel Comics. Find me on Twitter/Insta/FB @callmeboesy

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