Posted by: Graeme McMillan on June 21, 2007
X-MEN: ENDANGERED SPECIES is a very, very strange event book, if only because nothing really happens in it, and yet it still feels long overdue. Partially, it’s because it feels as if this is really the first time that we’ve seen the X-Men books actually deal with the “No More Mutants” thing and what that means in a real sense. I mean, yeah, we got “Decimation” for a couple of months after House of M finished, but even that was, it seemed, quickly forgotten, and the X-Books quickly returned to the same old same old that we’d read hundreds of times before; it was as if the loss of so many mutants was less a brand new status quo than it was getting rid of Grant Morrison’s brand new status quo. And so, purely for using the idea that there are now less than 200 mutants on Earth, and that number is getting lower all the time, as a springboard for a new story, then this book feels worthwhile in some sense.
It’s just that nothing really happens in it. The X-Men go to the funeral of one of the 198, who died in a traffic accident, and then think about their own mortality. There’s no story here, as much as there is a collection of scenes roughly about the same thing starring characters from different books in the franchise – Perhaps more worryingly, there’s nothing in the book that makes me think that I have to pick up the fourteen-part spin-off back-up strip crossover that’s going to thread through the X-Books for the next few months, mostly because I have no idea what it’s going to be about. Fourteen short pieces about Cyclops and Wolverine crying on each other? Some more scenes featuring characters from New X-Men who get no introduction whatsoever? A plot that got its start here in such an understated manner that no-one even noticed?
Despite the complete lack of story, I can’t say that this is any worse than Eh; it’s a reminder of the calm, quiet issues back in the day that followed the big fight issues. Mike Carey does a convincing Claremont-esque scene, and Scot Eaton’s art is nice enough. I’m sure that it’ll be an entirely galvanizing and exciting book for the X-Faithful; I just wish that there was something here for new readers to consider.