Review: Age Of X: Alpha #1
WRITER: Mike Carey
ART: Mirco Pierfederici
ARTIST: Gabriel Hernandez Walta
"Cannonball and Husk"
PENCILS: Carlo Barberi
INKS: Walden Wong
COLORS: Antonio Fabela
PENCILS and INKS: Paco Diaz
COLORS: Matt Milla
PENCILS and INKS: Paul Davidson
COLORS: Brian Reber
LETTERS: VC's Joe Caramagna
COVER: Chris Bachalo and Tim Townsend
RELEASE DATE: January 26th,2011
The Age of X is upon us and we can all rejoice! Though just a precursor to the devastation to come, it is a well crafted story from the continually compelling Mike Carey.
In a world where the X-Men never existed and hatred for mutants grew rampant, a band of beaten but strong mutants gather for a rare time of silence before the storm. Stories of the past are told around a desolate bonfire to pass the time, stories that give readers a glimpse into the horrors mutants have had to endure in this strange new world.
Carey does an exceptional job of introducing us to characters that we thought we knew but in a completely different world than what we are used to. It is an overwhelming task to make characters that have such a rich history different, and yet equally compelling, but Carey does it with ease. The level of depth Carey gives to these characters in such a short period of time is maddening. Each of the four stories Carey gives us is riddled with pain, horror, sadness and eventually a small glimpse of hope - and each of them are done extremely well. In a minimal amount of space, Carey has built a world that feels as if it has been one we have read for years and one that I wish - was. There has been a wealth of knowledge put out by Marvel prior to this issue's release regarding the world Carey is trying to build - and it helps to make it a richer one. I just wish this would be a year long crossover as opposed to a mere eight issue run. Carey's Age of X - and it's characters - deserve a chance to breath and expand beyond the restrictions of a cross over. This is the most interesting some of these characters have been in years and it would be a huge push for X books if it lasted longer.
Though the artistic talents vary in style and quality, it matched the individual stories they were attached to and overall worked for the story Carey was trying to convey. This is a book that has had a lot of hype and actually lives up to it. Some people may be put off because this is an introductory style story that doesn't give you all of the answers as to the how's and why's, but it gives us enough to draw us into a horrific world that leaves mutantkind on a precipice. It is reminiscent of The Age of Apocalypse stories, but with a depth of heart to the characters that those stories were sorely missing.
All X fans should check out this book. It is well written, artistically sound and the only place you can see some of your favorite mutants since the Scarlett Witch whispered those three little words. And you have got to see what Mike Carey has done to Cyclops -- completely bad ass!