First Generation X-Men

This is how the authors describe a young Magneto: “There was always something about metal he loved.” Really? Is that so? A mutant super villain named Magnet-o who hearts metal? Uncanny! Did Archangel always have a thing for down pillows too?

Later in the book, Magneto (who by this time has grown up to be Ian McKellen) begins spouting crazy things like, “You Homo sapiens and your guns…when will you ever learn?” Dialogue like this belongs in comic books and movies, two media platforms that encourage larger-than-life characters and their tiresome grandstanding. Novels, however, don’t suffer such foolishness lightly. Writers should be careful with super-size proclamations, even when cribbing directly from the source material.

Despite the novel’s writerly shortcomings, it does an adequate job of servicing the X brand. It takes readers into Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters and gives all the X boys and girls a little bit of inner life. For some, that may be enough to convince them to pick up the book. For others, their X-Men experience should probably end with the movie’s final credits.

[X-Men / By Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith / First Printing: June 2000 / ISBN: 0345440951]

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