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April 30, 2014 / Jett

X-Men: No More Humans Review

Within the blink of an eye, all of the humans on Earth disappear. For some mutants (I’m looking at you, Magneto), this is the best thing ever. Others, however, won’t let this brazen act of mass kidnapping or genocide go unpunished. Despite their differences, an all-star cast of mutants come together to solve this mystery in X-Men: No More Humans. Created by Mike Carey and Salvador Larocca, this is the first X-Men graphic novel since God Loves, Man Kills, which was released in 1982.

The last time Marvel pulled together the whole band, they created the awesome Battle of the Atom, which found a way to give almost everyone an opportunity to grow or shine. Here, Carey struggles to use this ensemble cast effectively. Most of the book is strung together by fleeting cameo appearances that matter little to the outcome. Had this story only feature say, a third of the cast, it probably would have given the remaining characters more time to do something meaningful.

That said, they’re not really working with top-notch material here. The setup is interesting, though it’s then completely undermined by the lack of anything actually happening. Most of the book simply involves the X-Men arguing with each other and their opposition over what to do next. I guess this could work if the arguments were more engaging, but they’re very straightforward and lacking in drama.

Further frustrating matters is the inherent flaw I’ve come to expect with Marvel’s Original Graphic Novel line. Just like Spider-Man: Family Business, this one is specifically written in a way that doesn’t conflict with the current continuity. This means that nothing in this book actually matters. I’d be somewhat fine with it if the journey was great, but it really isn’t here. Most damning is the way in which the story digs itself out of its tremendous hole, which is offensive on multiple fronts. For one, it’s an overly convenient solution for restoring the lives of 7 billion people. Furthermore, they didn’t dig very far into the X-Men playbook for the perfect plot device. I actually cringed when the big reveal occurred, because this was literally the most obvious thing they could have done.

I have read X-Men: No More Humans, and I highly recommend that no more humans after me follow. It has great art and an interesting setup, but it’s squandered by trying to fit too many characters into a weak plot. Also, for the cover price of $25 US or $28 CAD, you’re asked to pay a lot for a sub-par X-Men story. With little in the way of redeeming value, you’re not missing much by letting this one go.

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