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June 6, 2014 / Jett

New X-Men Book 5 Review

For a series that has made its mark by bulldozing its way through conventions that have defined Marvel’s mutants since their inception, Book 4 in the New X-Men series was kind of a letdown. By spreading the team out across the world to handle different missions, the end result was a book that wasn’t very cohesive, meaningful or entertaining. Maybe cognizant of the way the last installment played out, Grant Morrison’s New X-Men Book 5 is not only a return to form, but is also one of the most outside-the-box X-Men tales I’ve read yet.

Finished for now with their jet-setting adventures, the team head home to prepare for an “Open Day” event for humans at the school. This should be mundane, except for the student uprising led by Quentin Quire, Professor Xavier’s prized student. Fueled by his Omega-level powers, teen angst and a new-found drug addiction, he sets out to overthrow the school in a misguided attempt to avenge the murder of a fellow student.

Grant Morrison introduced the new class of X-Men in earlier issues, but this arc is their true coming out party. Quentin and his gang drive me nuts, which is the desired response for their actions, but Morrison gives you reason to sympathize for their plight. Not all of the students are running amok, as some of them step up for the side of good. In both cases, they all get their moment in the sun to prove that they’re worthy of their inclusion in this greater narrative.

As a consequence of moving the new class to the forefront, most of the main team is pushed to the back-burner for New X-Men Book 5, but that’s more than fine. By doing so, Morrison is able to tell one of the most original and entertaining X-Men stories while making these new characters matter. Having passed the halfway point now on New X-Men, I wouldn’t be surprised if I look back on this as one of the best arcs of the series.

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