The Marvel Rundown: Goofy election fallout in SECRET X-MEN #1

Let’s laugh at the group of weirdos who were thrown together by the Krakoa election results.
This week in the Marvel Rundown, everyone’s least favorite kind of fallout has arrived: election fallout! This review includes X-Spoilers, so proceed with caution.
If you’re looking for some quick spoiler-lite reviews, scroll on down to the Rapid Rundown! And be sure and let The Beat know which Marvel Comics issues were your favorite this week over on social media @comicsbeat.
Writer: Tini Howard
Artist: Francesco Mobili
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller
Reviewed by Zoe Tunnell
Secret X-Men is goofy as all hell. That’s a good thing! While it may lead to important plot beats down the road, the X-Men Election fallout one-shot is, at its core, just a silly little romp that revels in its eclectic cast of electoral losers. Given the current drama-filled upheaval across the line between the Inferno fallout and the rise of Destiny of X, I’m grateful to Howard and Mobili for putting out an issue that wants nothing more than to make you laugh at this group of weirdos flung together due to losing a fan election.

If you somehow missed it, a fan vote was held for the final member of the roster of Duggan and Larraz’s X-Men, the winner of which ended up being Polaris. The losers ran the gamut from X-Veterans like Banshee and Cannonball, underutilized fan favorites like Armor, and a few wild cards like Tempo and Marrow. The 9-person group is a weird mish-mash of personalities, histories, and powers, something that Howard is more than happy to use to drive their antics as the impromptu team embarks on a life or death mission in Shi’ar space.

Sunspot and Cannonball serve as the defacto leads of the tale and team, their relationship falling right into the comedy-heavy double act patter that they’ve worn so well since Hickman’s Avengers. The most notable moment for either of them comes from an off-hand remark from Sunspot: Justifying both Banshee and Boom Boom’s place on the team by admitting he finds them sexy. Given the decades of queer readings for both men, it’s one of the strongest nods towards Beto’s bisexuality we’ve gotten yet. Not a full-throated confirmation, but I’ll take it for now.

The rest of the cast is a bit of a mixed bag, with Marrow as the clear standout as an absolute dirtbag disaster thrilled to be out on a mission for once. Mobili’s work with the cast is largely energetic and fun, the only rough points being a few awkward facial expressions. A largely action-less issue, Mobili keeps things flowing and kinetic with what could easily be a stuffy and stiff parade of talking heads. The highlights are found in his design work, with the new Secret X-Men uniforms providing a slick, cohesive look for the team as well as bits of flair like Marrow’s impromptu space suit.
Really, there isn’t much left to say about Secret X-Men and that’s not a bad thing. The one-shot doesn’t overstuff or overstay its welcome and even with a dangling thread to be pulled upon later it stays grounded in its light, comedic vision. If you’re looking for a weighty character study, you’ll be disappointed. If you’re looking for a group of misfit mutants stumbling their way through a goofy space adventure that includes a 4th wall-breaking word puzzle, well, that’s a very specific request but Secret X-Men has you covered.
Final Verdict: Strong Browse.
Next week: an all-new, all-different Iron Fist #1, plus an all-star line-up on Marvel’s Voices: Legacy (2022) #1.
Cannonball needs to be reunited with Lila Cheney because I get the feeling his apparent marriage to Izzy isn’t going to last as for his brother Jebediah he needs to come to Krakoa and get his electrokinises mutant powers back.
A minor nitpick, but Badr’s “code name” in Moon Knight is Hunter’s Moon, not Dr. Moon. Unless they changed it in this issue, in which case, I stand corrected.
Stephen – Badr introduces himself as “Dr. Moon” to Mr. Flint on the first page of the issue, which gave me a chuckle. Apologies if the allusion wasn’t clear.
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