Comic Book Pick of the Day: Young X-Men #2 (2008)

Comic: Young X-Men issue 2
Writer: Marc Guggenheim
Penciler: Yanick Paquette

Every once in a while with the big comic companies, small, lesser known series will somehow manage to be better than the popular, well-known flagship comics on the racks. For instance, over at DC, I’ll occasionally find that I enjoy reading about the adventures of Batgirl, Batwoman and Nightwing more than reading books featuring Batman himself. As a long-time X-Men fan, I’ll ever so often grow weary of overly-serious, melodramatic stories, but find enjoyment in spin-offs like X-Force or Wolverine. That’s also the case with Young X-Men; after reading the whole turgid tale of the death of the mutant gene and the birth of Hope, I found the light-heartedness of Young X-Men to be a breath of fresh air.

The roster of Young X-Men is composed of members from the last generation of mutants to be born before M-Day (if you don’t know what M-Day is, check out my guide to the Marvel Universe). Young X-Men is a team for the 21st century. They’re definitely more diverse than a lot of the teams out there. Not only are there different races mixing together–including a Middle-Eastern superhero who wears a full burka–but there’s also a few mutants on the team that are only nominally human to begin with. There’s one character named Santos who looks like a revised version of The Thing except made from shale instead of whatever weird orange substance Ben Grimm is, and then there’s a member who’s not quite a wolfman, hence his name: Wolfcub.

In Young X-Men #2, Cyclops instructs them that their mission is to take on a new version of The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, except–and here’s the kicker–the supervillain team is made up entirely of members who used to be in a former lineup of the Young X-Men! They’re led by Cannonball. I must be out of the loop. That Cannonball is a bad guy now is news to me.

I give Young X-Men a lot of props for including a middle-Eastern woman as a superhero. This issue’s also noteworthy because, although it’s a b-list book, it features two A-List artists: Marc Guggenheim and Yanick Paquette. You might recognize Marc Guggenheim’s name from the credits of the Green Lantern movie, which was highly underappreciated if you ask me. Yanick Paquette has done a lot of great work over the years, including his recent art for Swamp Thing.

In the end, Young X-Men #2 did what a good comic should: it makes me want to read more of the series.

If you liked Young X-Men #2, you might also like the series Runaways.

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