The 90’s, the decade that brought us Extreme Sports, X-games, ECW and Pizza Hut’s Exreme Pizza, still had a lingering effect into the 2000’s. 2001 to be precise, the year that brought us the XFL and the X-treme X-men. Sure, they could’ve been simply “Extreme”, but that just wouldn’t be extreme enough. “X-treme” is so extreme that it even breaks language conventions!
I’m not exactly sure why, but I’ve always shied away from covering X-men books on this Crappy Website. Maybe it’s because there seems to be so many of them, they’re so abundant around the Internets, or I fear attracting X-men fans. Or maybe it’s because since 1990 or so, their stories seem to have a fascination with “the Future”. If there’s one thing that annoys me in comics, movies, books, etc, it’s the ambiguous “the prophecy says so”, or the time-traveling character who knows what will happen but refuses to share his intel for the Greater Good of Us All!
So in this Collectible First Issue #1, a group of X-men have splintered off from the main core to deal with “Destiny’s Diaries”. That’d be the Marvel character Destiny — a deceased old blind chick who could tell the future and (while alive) hung around with Mystique and the 80’s version of “The Brotherhood of EVIL Mutants”. Whether or not these “Diaries” of THE FUTURE will come true is up in the air, but there’s apparently some BAD STUFF being foretold. While we’re never told what this BAD STUFF is, it was apparently enough for this little group to break off on their own. If THE FUTURE could potentially have BAD STUFF, then the good guys should try to stop it!
This group consists of Storm, The Beast, Rogue, Bishop, Psylocke, Thunderbird (II) and Sage. The first five are pretty well known to Marvel and X-men fans, but the last two need a little explanation. Thunderbird was an Indian guy namd Neal Sharra, who was sorta’ like Havok (shot plasma beams). Sage was the Hellfire Club chick formely known as “Tessa”. Her mutant powers are the ability to be “human computer” and have a nice caboose:
They all hopped a boat and sailed to Valencia, Spain to begin their “Quest for the Diaries”. But not before crafting themselves new costumes. The main difference being that these outfits seem to be dark blue and RED, as opposed to the usal X-men scheme of dark blue and yellow.
Once there, they kinda’ just… hang out. Psylocke and Thunderbird seem to be sweet on each other. While Bishop grew his hair back and became neutered, as he opens this story sipping latte’.
Everyone’s suddenly attacked by a seemingly secret Spanish organization called the “Guardia Civil” (not to be confused with the Barbers of Civil — *rimshot*). Sorta’ like SHIELD, or the Genosha Harriers, or The Right or… any other group with armor and guns that opposed the X-men in the 80’s and 90’s. La Guardia captures the X-men; with the exceptions of Rogue and Sage; and takes them to their secret underground lair with technological stuff to text them. So already, right out of the gats, this team of X-men has been wussified by lounging on a yacht, sipping latte and getting a beat-down from some random dudes with guns n’ armor.
Notice in that picture of Rogue, up there, how the guy talking has the usual carats in his word balloons to denote that he’s speaking Spanish. That’s fine, but I kinda’ chuckle that the Spanish word HOMBRES is included inside the carats. Wouldn’t you need to break the carats at that specific point? Unless the guy is speaking in Spanish, yet is actually saying “men” and it’s being reverse-translated to show up as Spanish in print?! (Yeah, my mind is kinda’ smoking after considering that) Look, you’re not showing off your worldly knowledge of other cultures by dropping the random basic Spanish word in your dialogue.
Anyways, the captured X-men are probed and analyzed, then inserted into “The Maze” to fight more Guardia Civil guys. That goes as expected for the X-men and even includes the “kick-ass money shot team picture”.
However, the story’s not too bad. While there is A LOT of dialogue on every page, it works as a good introduction to the series. There’s nothing in here that really made me say: “oh, c’mon! That’s silly”. The deal with the Diaries or any “prophecy” doesn’t directly affect the plot, here, which I appreciate. Yet the overall premise of the “Quest for the Diaries” is something that doesn’t intrigue me, which is probably why I never picked up another issue of this title. It also has some trademarks of Chirs Claremont; Storm is often the focal point and the characters like to have long-winded discussions on their current situation in life. The art seems to have a bunch of tall and skinny, or short and skinny panels which makes it tough to depict action at times. There are also several talking head shots, which were needed for all the chit-chat going on.
To top it off, this issue has a cliffhanger ending: the X-men fall through a floor. Gee, I wonder how they’ll escape that?!
Summary: X-men go on a boat to Spain, wear new costumes and get captured by Guys in Armor. Mucho dialogue.
Cover Price: 2.99