Dawn of X: The Good, The Bad, And The Upcoming

by Ryan.L on January 15, 2020


So, we are well into ‘Dawn of X’ and some books have shined right from the start. Some books had a rocky start but have really improved. Some books had a very strong start and then just plummeted to their supposed death. One thing can be said about ‘Dawn of X’ though, none of the books hold up to the level of quality or uniqueness brought to us by ‘House of X’ or ‘Powers of X’ series. Jonathan Hickman really managed to bring us something truly amazing, and when the bar is raised that high, it can be hard to reach that level again; even for the person who raised it.
If you like ‘Dawn of X’ or not, or if you like some of the titles but not all - you cannot deny the goal of bringing the X-Men back to being a top selling franchise worked. The mutants are showing up everywhere now. Once they were all but removed from pop culture, with only a small handful of series on the market and the occasional FOX movie coming out but ever dwindling in quality. Fast forward to today and we have several series, it’s hard to keep up, and there are even more to come. The mutants are showing up in mobile games, console games, and now the movie rights are finally back home with Marvel and they will make their Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in the coming years. It’s good to be a fan of the mutants these days.
‘Dawn of X’ currently has six on-going series, and four more in the wings, with the first slated to release next month and a rumored fifth series that has yet to be confirmed. There is also a limited series planned with the Fantastic Four. That’s a potential twelve series that will be released by the spring. It’s been almost a decade since we have had anywhere near that many books on the market at one time.
In anticipation of the new series, let’s take a look at the current series that are out. What’s good, what’s bad, and then take a look at what’s upcoming in the ‘Dawn of X’ lineup. So, here we go:



X-Force by Benjamin Percy, Joshua Cassara, Dean White

Average Critic Rating 8.3/10
This has been one of the standouts in the entire ‘Dawn of X’ lineup. It’s the darker, more edgy book as you would expect from previous ‘X-Force’ titles. Each issue has been extremely consistent, and has taken us on a really exciting ride. The team is very different from what we have gotten before, but that’s what also makes this book standout. It’s a very sophisticated story that is a well-crafted action thriller. ‘X-Force’ has proven to be a must read series that has major implications on the mutants as a whole!

X-Men by Jonathan Hickman, Leini Yu, Gerry Alanguilan

Average Critic Rating 8.5/10
This is one of the series that took a while for me to really find its groove. While none of the issues were bad, they just left me feeling like something was missing. It wasn’t until issue four that I found this series stepped up its game and gave me exactly what I wanted. This is a "one issue, one story" type series. They do all connect but, each story is wrapped up for the most part in each book. With issue four we got to see a lot of the politics that the mutants are now facing, and this is where the book really shines. We have had so many other series with mutants out on adventures that seeing the Quiet Council deal with political hiccups is exactly what we need. It brings something truly unique that we haven’t really seen before. I hope this book continues in the more political direction going forward.

Marauders by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli, Federico Blee

Average Critic Rating 8.2/10
Wow! This book just exploded onto the market and had me laughing like I have never laughed before. There are so many elements that just make this series work. Captain Pryde and Emma Frost have always had a unique relationship, and getting to see it evolve and grow has been incredible. While this book is hugely comedic, it also has a lot of heart. The characters are delivered in such a relatable way that you can’t help but pull for them. This is a team book, but no character gets more time to shine over the other besides maybe the leader Captain Pryde. This is really her book, but she shares the zany spotlight well with her co-stars.

New Mutants by Jonathan Hickman, Ed Brisson, Rod Reis, Flaviano

Average Critic Rating 8.2/10
So this book was one that had a rocky start, but it really stepped up by the last issue. We have two stories going on by two different creative teams. In my opinion this is hurting the series. Hickman’s story is a hilarious sort of space opera with many of our favorite younger mutants. Brisson’s story is run of the mill adventure where things go sideways. While Brisson’s story isn’t bad, it brings nothing new to the table like Hickman’s does. For this series it is a little early as its split between two different stories. It may improve, but I honestly think they should be separated into two different series. I still had to include this in the Good, as Hickman’s portion just absolutely shines and is a reason to collect this series regardless.




Excalibur by Tini Howard, Marcus To, Erick Arciniega

Average Critic Rating 7.9/10
This was one series I was the most excited for, and I was seemingly let down by. I am a huge fan of Rogue, so for me this was the book to get. ‘Excalibur’ has always been a fun light-hearted series. This book is no different, and it just brought in some intriguing elements like Apocalypse and magic. I tried with this series, but found it was almost too over the top silly and almost like a Saturday morning cartoon. I’m not fully sold on Betsy being the new Captain Britain, and Rogue spent most of the first few issues in a coffin or as the light shining in the lighthouse. While some fans praise its direction, I struggled to get into the series. That being said the last issue I found the story really improved. This might just be one of those books that takes time to really get into.

Fallen Angels by Bryan Edward Hill, Szymon Kudranski, Frank D’Armata

Average Critic Rating 6.3/10
The biggest let down of all the ‘Dawn of X’ books. The first issue of this series started off really strong. It was so dark and edgy, but entirely unique to anything we have gotten before. That quickly fell apart with the second issue and the series kept diminishing with each following book. It could have been the intense holiday release schedule that really affected this series. Not only did the story lack substance and quality, you could see the art suffering as well. While this book is on hiatus for February, I wonder if it will come back at all. If there is any book to skip, this is definitely the one.




X-Men/Fantastic Four by Chip Zdarsky, Terry Dodson

Release February 2020
It’s our first crossover, and we are finally going to get some answers many of us asked back when Cyclops told the Fantastic Four: Franklin Richards has a home on Krakoa. Things will probably get heated, and while the mutants and the FF have butted heads before, this time it will probably get really heated. The series notes “KRAKOA. Every mutant on Earth lives there … except for one. But now it’s time for FRANKLIN RICHARDS to come home. It’s the X-MEN VS. the FANTASTIC FOUR and nothing will ever be the same.”

Wolverine by Benjamin Percy, Adam Kubert, Victor Bogdonavic

Release February 2020
This book has a few great things going for it. Not only do we have a writer who is proving himself on another x-book, we have one of the best classic X-Men artists on this new Wolverine book. If that’s not a reason to pick it up I don’t know what is. This book notes “Wolverine has been through a lot. He’s been a loner. He’s been a killer. He’s been a hero. He’s been an Avenger. He’s been to hell and back. Now, as the nation of Krakoa brings together all Mutantkind, he can finally be… happy? With his family all together and safe, Wolverine has everything he ever wanted… and everything to lose.” While I’m not the biggest Wolverine fan, there is so much here I’m actually pretty excited to check it out. With ‘X-Force’ being pretty dark one can only assume that this series will be just as dark or even more.

Cable by Gerry Duggan, Phil Noto

Release March 2020
This is another character that is not really my favorite. Though I have been enjoying Kid Cable more than original Cable, I know blasphemous haha. What has me really excited is for Phil Noto’s art. Noto is one of my favorite artists and the pages of this book are going to be amazing! Also ‘Marauders’ writer Gerry Duggan is writing, that mean we could have a hilariously fun adventure with Cable. This series notes “Cable was a grizzled old veteran of the wars to save the future… and he will be again. But for now, he’s a young mutant living in paradise leading a life of adventure! Nathan Summers, son of two of the most powerful mutants on Krakoa, has a destiny leading the youth of mutantkind in rebellion… so why not start now?”

Hellions by Zeb Wells, Steven Segovia

Release March 2020
I honestly don’t know what to expect from this series. This is one of the oddest teams to be seen yet. Though it’s being written by an amazing writer. Zeb Wells' run on New Mutants was one of my favorites. It was so fun and quirky, so with some of the members of this team I somewhat expect this book will be very similar. The series notes, “BAD IS THE NEW GOOD! When Krakoa opened their doors to all mutants and forgave all past crimes, they might have known they’d have to accept some of their worst foes into the fold… but they didn’t plan for what to do with them. Not to worry—Mister Sinister knows what to do with the troublemakers. Meet his new Hellions: Scalphunter, Wild Child, Empath, Nanny, Orphanmaker, Psylocke…and Havok?! Under Sinister’s direction, they are sure to become productive members of mutant society.”

X-Factor by Leah Williams, David Baleón

Release April 2020
They’re back!! Oh man I’m so excited and this team looks really awesome. While I wish Havok was on this book, I think we are in-store for a really fun book. ‘X-Factor’ has always been the investigative book and I’m very happy they are continuing with that theme. This series notes “By the grace of The Five, the resurrection protocols can bring back any fallen mutant. But such a huge enterprise isn’t without its problems and complications… When a mutant dies, X–Factor is there to investigate how and why to keep the rules of reincarnation. Writer Leah Williams (AMAZING MARY JANE, X–TREMISTS) and artist David Baldeón (DOMINO, WEB WARRIORS) take Northstar, Polaris, Prodigy, Eye-boy, Daken and Prestige into the world of murder and missing persons…”

X-Corp by Carmen Carnero

Not much is known about this previously announced title. All we know is artist Carmen Carnero was slated to draw the series. Originally the book was to be released in February 2020 but the February solicits have no mention of the book or a synopsis of what the series will be about. Was it dropped from the line up or just pushed back? We will just have to wait and see.
*All critic data taken from www.comicbookroundup.com