giant-size x-menWriter: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Russell Dauterman
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Artist: Russell Dauterman
Editor: Jordan D. White
Publisher: Marvel Entertainment

An X-Men mission with Jean Grey and Emma Frost — what could go wrong? Find out in this week’s Giant-Size X-Men: Jean Grey and Emma Frost #1.

Giant-Size X-Men is the latest legacy title to reappear in the “Dawn of X” era of X-Men comics. First used in 1975, the original Giant-Size one-shot famously introduced Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler, and Colossus to Xavier’s merry band of mutants, following the team’s lengthy hiatus from newsstands. It has since returned on a few occasions, and this new iteration of the title is being presented as an anthology series of one-shots following specific characters on standalone missions. This first issue sees Jean Grey and Emma Frost venturing into the astral plane to rescue a comatose Storm from ruin.

Written by the “Head of X” himself, Jonathan Hickman, Jean Grey and Emma Frost #1 leans into the fraught dynamic between its titular heroines as they’re forced to work together to save a mutual friend. What transpires is a silent journey into Storm’s mind, where they’re faced with an unexpected danger that is much more complicated than they first thought. In other words, it’s a normal Wednesday for the X-Men.

As I mentioned, this issue is mostly dialogue-free, with only the beginning and ending parts containing panels with words. When used poorly, this tactic can come off as a gimmick, but thankfully, Hickman hands his sparse script to modern master Russell Dauterman. It goes without saying that this issue is gorgeous, using Dauterman’s skillful visual storytelling to convey action while also communicating the emotions of our central characters. Dauterman’s frequent collaborator Matthew Wilson also turns in quality work, with lush color palettes and dreamy lighting that more or less justifies the premium price tag of this oversized issue.

If I’m going to nitpick something, however, it’s the cliffhanger ending. Though it’ll presumably conclude in Storm’s upcoming Giant-Size issue, there’s no indication that this is part one of two, which I’m sure will cause some confusion for those who don’t obsessively pick over the monthly solicitations like I do. The fact that the aforementioned Storm issue is scheduled for release in May (just over two months from now) means we’ll have to wait a while to see how this story wraps up, which may put off some. But that’s more of a criticism for Marvel’s publishing practices than this issue itself. 

(Also, I love the return of Jean’s X-Men: Red look modified with the Marvel Girl color scheme. It’s one of my favorite Jean looks of all time, and it doesn’t get enough love!)

Giant-Size X-Men: Jean Grey and Emma Frost #1

4.99
8.6

Premise

8.0/10

Execution

9.0/10

Script

7.5/10

Art

10.0/10

Pros

  • Reliably strong art from Dauterman carries the issue
  • Starts an intriguing two-part story
  • Fits within the larger "Dawn of X" era without requiring much knowledge of continuity

Cons

  • Not telegraphed as a two-part story, which it is
  • Won't be concluded for another two months
  • Hickman's sparse script may lead to a feeling of slightness for some
Nico Sprezzatura
nicofrankwriter@gmail.com
Nico Frank Sprezzatura, middle name optional. 24. Schrödinger's writer.

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