Title: X-Men: Deadly Genesis
Authors: Ed Brubaker, illustrated by Trevor Hairsine & Scott Hanna
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
What happens when the skeletons in your closet finally break down the door and come looking for you? The X-Men are about to find out! In the wake of the tragic events of House of M, the mutant community is in turmoil, and the X-Men are bearing the brunt of this New World Order. Amid the chaos, a new enemy awakens, one whose very existence will haunt the founding members of the X-Men like nothing has before. Who is this new threat? How is he tied to Professor X's darkest secret? Cyclops, Wolverine and the others must find out soon, before they and those closest to them go mad! X-Men: Deadly Genesis, by Wizard Top Ten creators Ed Brubaker and Trevor Hairsine, is a mysterious blend of horror and super-heroics, as well as a celebration of the 30th anniversary of Giant-Size X-Men #1, that will have X-Men fans talking for years to come! Collects X-Men: Deadly Genesis #1-6.
As far as retcon's go, this one wasn't too bad. Turns out the team of X-Men that Professor X forms in Giant-Sized X-Men #1 is actually the second team that he sent to Krakoa to rescue the original X-Men. The first set of X-Men he sent were actually students of Moira Mactaggert's, who Professor X quickly trains through mind manipulation and sends off to Krakoa, only to have that entire team seemingly killed on their first mission. The only other person who knows of this tragedy is Cyclops, but Professor X wipes the memory from his mind to make it easier for Cyclops to cope. What I didn't like about this story is that it struck a little too close a cord with the DC Comics mini-series Identity Crisis which was released the year before, in which a terrible mistake in the JLA's past is mindwiped from everyone to keep the secret safe. Deadly Genesis, IMO, was handled well and the repercussions from this story have had significant effects on the X-Men as a whole; I just wish it didn't seem like Marvel was trying to copy the success DC had with so similar of an idea.
This volume does introduce us to Vulcan, the mysterious third Summers brother, who quickly becomes one of the X-Men's deadliest villains. It is also a direct lead-in to Rise & Fall of the Shi'Ar Empire, which ran in Uncanny for a full year after this mini-series. Banshee's death is handled well, too. He doesn't seem to have died in vain, and he appears to have remained dead, which doesn't always happen in comics. I personally feel that the X-Men as a whole seemed to be lacking direction post-House of M, but this volume does seem to start to steer them in a somewhat unified direction.