Widely known for creating Deadpool and Cable, writer and artist Rob Liefeld introduces a new character, Major X, into the X-Men universe. Unfortunately, Major X lacks the originality and magic of Liefeld’s most popular creations. Major X #1 is one giant, confusing flashback to Liefeld’s 1990s heyday. Comics have evolved in both storytelling and art style since Liefeld first took over New Mutants and created X-Force in the late 90s. Somehow, Rob Liefeld seems intent on resurrecting past glories and rehashing familiar storylines.
This issue takes place between New Mutants #98 and X-Force #1, and centers on the new character, Major X, and his attempts to prevent a cataclysmic future event that will destroy mutant kind. If this sounds familiar, its because it is basically Cable’s origin story, retold with different characters and an altered apocalypse to prevent. The fight scenes between Cable and Major X were compelling, but that feeling dissipates as soon as Major X begins explaining his reasons for showing up. This leads to several flash forward scenes where Major X escaping his world as it is collapsing and eventually time jumps into the specific moment where he encounters Cable.
Reading this was like a vicious circle of cliches and redundant themes. We’ve seen this exact storyline told numerous times throughout the decades, causing this scenario to become a major theme in X-Men lore. With the current X-Men titles focusing on a completely different theme, it’s confusing as to why Marvel and Rob Liefeld would revert back to this type of storyline. The inclusion of Deadpool and Wolverine seems like an attempt to link this story to a larger event, which may occur in the coming months once War of the Realms and is complete.
While Rob Liefeld’s story leaves much to be desired, his artwork is the saving grace for this comic book. While known for drawing over-exaggerated, insanely huge and muscular body types with very little distinction between characters, Liefeld’s artwork is much more subdued and realistic. His illustrations during the action scenes is still reminiscent of his bombastic approach from the 90s, but it was refreshing to see that he refrained from making each character look like miniature versions of the Hulk, but with different costumes on.
Even with its shocking twist on the last page, I’m not certain that I’ll keep reading Major X. This just feels like more of the same stuff that Marvel produced decades ago, and is a far cry from what Marvel Comics is creating for today’s modern audiences. Verdict: C-