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Review: X-Campus - Antarctic Blue
ardweden
ardweden
Review: X-Campus
Marvel. X-Campus.

There's no copyright info as far as I can see, though I assume this graphic novel was published this year. Mind, I don't generally post about the comics I read, but I figured I'd put up one about X-Campus, as I'd just finished it and it's reasonably self-contained. (I really SHOULD put up a review of the full series Y: The Last Man, which I've also recently finished, but in that case I really should revise my essay on it instead. So instead, concerning Y, I'll just say this: It's very good. Go read it. Then please talk to me about it, because zomg.)

Anyway. X-Campus is a graphic novel which is a retelling of Marvel's X-Men, the main difference being a number of the iconic X-Men (Rogue, Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Iceman, etc.) are teenagers, and some are teachers/staff at a private high school. This is not Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, either: he's a teacher there (so is Magneto!), but he does not run the school itself.

This is the kind of crap that I love, so it's no wonder Dre suggested a friend of ours get it for me for Christmas (I didn't even know it exists). And I did very much enjoy reading it. The story is decently concise and self-contained; a rudimentary knowledge of the X-Men is useful, but not necessary, and by the end of the graphic novel all loose ends are tied up.

Things that I really like:

1. Codenames are minimized - they're high school students; why do they actually need them?

2. The X-Men as fairly normal students is fun to watch. Examples: Cyclops, instead of being the uptight leader he's generally thought of as, is instead an awkward, skinny dork of a teenager with no control over his powers. Wolverine, instead of the eXtreem badass with a heart of gold we're used to (sigh) is instead a kid who likes to act tougher than he is and - while a decently effective bully - is not good at getting girls.

3. While there are villains, and they're pretty super, they're not actually supervillains in the truest sense. Example: Juggernaut is abusing his powers on the football field, not wreaking havoc in a wacky costume. Actually, nobody has wacky costumes.

Things I don't like:

1. The art style took a little while for me to get used to. It's not bad, but Rogue seriously looked like she was stoned/disinterested in everything even when she was (apparently) highly interested (or traumatized). Later, she didn't look so bad to me - so I must have either gotten used to it or she actually did look stoned at first.

2. I've always thought that Professor Xavier's a little creepy and overbearing/demanding - maybe it's that whole SUPER POWERFUL TELEPATH thing - and that so has not changed for me with this comic. Oh well. It's just Xavier being Xavier.

Anyway, fun read. I recommend it if high school X-Men is your kind of thing. Otherwise, you'll probably hate it. Edited to add: Also, flight is a waaaaay cooler power when nobody else can do it. Just saying.

Up next: Chuck Klosterman's Eating the Dinosaur, since I've finished it.

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Comments
tozetre From: tozetre Date: January 3rd, 2011 01:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
"A little creepy?" Try reading some of the original comics. Prof X, the 40something wheelchair-bound psychic, is explicitly but secretly in love with Jean Grey, his 16-year-old student. What's more, he is perfectly aware how inappropriate this is, but his internal monologues keep running over how much he wants her anyway. He shoves her into Scott's arms because he feels guilty about wanting to mack on her.
ardweden From: ardweden Date: January 4th, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
OMG SO CREEPY AAAAGH (No, I haven't read any of the older ones. I find the main X-Verse impossible to follow in general.)
tozetre From: tozetre Date: January 4th, 2011 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Then you'll have missed out on this gem; young Hank "Beast" McCoy, who hangs out in jazz clubs with young Johnny "Iceman" Drake, refers to Jean Grey with a series of synonyms for "woman;" girl, lady, kiddo, chick, bird, etc. At one point, having run out of obvious words, the writers have him call her, and I kid you not, "wench."
ardweden From: ardweden Date: January 4th, 2011 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wooooow. Different times, man. Different times.
grysar From: grysar Date: January 3rd, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

I've now finished Y-the last man

Although it's been a bit, so maybe I should brush up on the ending.
ardweden From: ardweden Date: January 4th, 2011 02:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I've now finished Y-the last man

Do it! Then we talk. After I get home. :)
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