Friday, May 19, 2006

X-Men Fairy Tales

X-Men Fairy Tales is a four-issue limited series, with different artists each issue, retelling a fairy tale using characters from the X-Men, ala the infamous "Kitty's Fairy Tale" from Uncanny X-Men. Issue #1 of the series features the writer C.B. Cebulski, and artist Sana Takeda, retelling the Japanese fairy tale Momotaro. But the premise sounds a lot cooler than it actually is. It's really neat to have a series that showcases a different artist like this, like in DC's recently-canceled Solo, but the stories (or this one anyway) really have nothing to do with the X-Men. The main character of this story, Hitome, who was found by his parents floating down the river within a giant peach, can shoot red beams out of one eye when he removes a peach pit. And that's the extent to which he resembles X-Man Cyclops. It's not the same character, doesn't look like him - they just half-borrowed a power and slapped the X-Men logo over the series' title to sell more books. Oh, yes and the Beast is a little blue monkey, Iceman is a dog that blows ice and Professor Xavier's a monk who brings them together (sort of). The most interesting designs were of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants representing demons (Magneto, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and Toad). These characters were more representative of how the characters appear and how their powers work, but they still aren't the same people. A brief appearance by Mystique and Pyro illustrated nothing but a slight appearance in dress to distinguish who they were. It's all kind of silly, lightly attaching attributes to the characters for the story. Although it is a good chance to showcase some good artists (since people will buy more X-titles no matter what), it is quite misleading. But in the end, it's the content that counts. And the art is really great, very beautiful and lush. And I did enjoy the character designs, despite being bothered by the insignificance of the characters attached to them. The story, on the other hand, left a lot to be desired. It was just too simple and told in a fairy tale manner that I was pretty turned-off by. I'm sure some people will love this book, but it's really going to depend on the strength of the artists attached to each issue, like with Solo. They are going to be charged with recreating X-Men characters to fit the story and tell it in an entertaining fashion. I just hope others pull it off better than the debut issue. I'm personally waiting for the Bill Sienkiewicz issue (number four)!

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