Being average may seem like no-effort-work, but it is far more difficult than it so appears. When there is nothing special, nothing truly significant about you, the feelings can weigh down. And when the slightest bit of X-traordinary light is shifted in your direction, something that could make you pop, you will grab hold like it is the most fantastical thing in the world. Or, in Bailey’s situation in Marvel’s newest X-series, X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever #1 (of 5), he will hold onto that new spark of difference like it is the last chance to be anything but “normal”.
Bailey has lived his life as an average kid, going to a normal school and making plans for rejection to his normal prom. Yet, when his parents drop an X-gene bomb in his lap, Bailey takes the near unimaginable news with… Excitement! A mutant? Him? Finally! Something that will make him stand-out. Or will it? When it is announced that his special ability could bring his life to an explosive end, Bailey must accept his own reality. He may just be the most normal mutant ever!
Though we don’t live in a world filled with super-powered heroes and psychopathic villains trying to take over the world on a day-to-day basis, being the definition of normal echoes in the real world. Marvel’s new limited series, X-Men: The Worst X-Man Ever, plays on our recognition of “average” by giving us a character that is recognizable both emotionally and mentally. A character who wishes to grow, but due to personal (and genetic) limitations, finds himself constantly running into a brick wall.
Say Anything frontman, Max Bemis, has been known to make statements within his books. With titles such as Polarity (Boom! Studios), the story of Timothy, a man who’s problems with mental illnesses is only surpassed by the new awareness of super-abilities. Once relieved form his medication, a whole new world opens up. But is mental strife worth super-power? Writing a book like X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever, makes sense. Though it is not as deep as mental illness, the reality of Worst X-Man is very sharp. Like Polarity, it tells a story that at its core can be related to by much of the audience.
In Worst X-Man a boy who has never known anything but the very middle is taken out of his safe zone and thrown into a world completely out of the ordinary. He deals with the incredible and unbelievable. All of which is then shattered with rejection and hardships. Minus the Marvel-izing with the mutant gene, that is pretty much the definition of the typical modern day, real world high school experience! One that many of us can recognize.
Michael Walsh (Secret Avengers), along with colorist Ruth Redmond (Deadpool vs. Thanos), takes an interesting artistic perspective of Bemis’s new X-story. His style seems like the intriguing mix of Fiona Staples outlines and coloring techniques mixed with Erica Henderson’s (Unbeatable Squirrel Girl) animated features. Broken inks that transition one color into the next. Bailey’s orange hair is just fluff atop his head. Though fun, the soft greens and pastel purples are meant to lighten moods when even the darkest events happen, yet rock the reader in and out of normalcy.
X-Men: The Worst X-Man Ever #1 (of 5) plays at the connections between the characters, the emotions and the real world audience. Invoking emotional rejection, loss and the ability to overcome. As well as feelings of simplicity. Of… Normal! And the ups and downs of living along the middle. He may not be super interesting, he may not have any noteworthy characters but Bailey will make a (probably accidental) X-citing new addition to the X-Men.
Make sure to stop by your local comics retailer and pick up X-Men: The Worst X-Man Ever #1 (of 5).