X-Men Misfits, Vol. 1
written by Raina Telgemeier and Dave Roman
illustrated by Anzu
Have you ever dreamed of an X-Men comic drawn in shoujo style where all the characters are teens, the boys are pretty, and one girl is caught up in the whirlwind of it all? If you haven’t started vomiting by now, then you’re in luck, because X-Men Misfits is just that! Please stop laughing. This is a real book.
Kitty Pride is a teen with one big issue. She has a tendency to fall through solid objects. Her power alienates her from her schoolmates, who think she’s nothing but a freak. Then one day, professor Lehnsherr, a.k.a. “Magneto,” approaches her parents with the offer of a full scholarship to Xavier’s Academy for Gifted Youngsters. And by gifted, he obviously means “mutant.” Although a bit terrified of being among strangers, Kitty decides to take up the opportunity for a chance at finding someplace she can belong.
The academy is beautiful, but Kitty quickly notices something strange…she’s the only girl there. Cue the love triangle. Kitty finds herself instantly attracted to Bobby the “Iceman” but is quickly swept up by an exclusive group of boys known as The Hellfire Club. The club has special privileges, but Kitty feels less and less comfortable as time passes when she realizes that they seem to lack morals. Even her new boyfriend, John (“Pyro”), has become intensely controlling. She starts to wonder if she truly belongs in The Hellfire Club, or even at the academy at all. When an incident in New York City turns the school upside down, things may never be right again.
Frankly, it’s a little difficult to take X-Men Misfits seriously. So make it easy on yourself and don’t even try to. This series is a completely different take on the iconic X-Men franchise. First off, the art style is rooted in shoujo manga, which means the look is more Japanese and all the boys are eye candy. Is that fuzzy bear professor supposed to be Beast? Secondly, the story focuses more on Kitty’s awkwardness of being placed in a situation where she’s surrounded by handsome boys. This series can be compared to a “harem” story, but it’s meant to be more of a drama than a comedy, kind of like Boys over Flowers meets Vampire Knight…emphasis on “kind of.”
Although the series is rated 13+, it would still be suitable for slightly younger readers. Most likely, this will only appeal to girls. There is a little action, but generally, the art and conflict are geared toward a female audience. It might be a little too “girly” for males. It is also unlikely to appeal to hardcore X-Men fans because it’s far from canon. The same story could have been told without the X-Men branding. Nonetheless, X-Man Misfits is a surprisingly refreshing take on a franchise that has been passed on from writer to writer for decades.