“Heroic Age: X-Men” is a compendium of mutant profiles presented in the form of Steve Rogers’ journal after the defeat of Normal Osborn at the end of “Dark Reign”. All profiles are “written by” the former Captain
, and include the individual’s classification, latest sighting, analysis and comments by America , a quote by the individual, and an image from one of their most recent apparition. Rogers
After an introduction that catches up readers with the state of affairs in the current Marvel Universe and the X-Men world in particular, Steve Rogers starts his analysis of the core team -18 members minus Nightcrawler-, then, we have the New Mutants, X-Factor, and the Five Lights. There are also files in other 63 mutants that are not part of the core team, are former members, missing in action, or on leave. 15 files on mutant allies, 45 files on evil mutants, and 15 files on mutant haters. The journal ends with entries on some locations such as Genosha and the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning.
This is an impressive undertaking and it is evident it took a lot of work by the different writers who deserve kudos; my best guess is that for the most part they are fans like you and I, because they know these characters and their whereabouts much better than actual Marvel creators. To reiterate, this compendium is different from others in the sense that it is not a blow-by-blow description of powers, abilities, and history; it is an analysis of each character from the point of view of Steve Rogers.
One conclusion you draw from this book is that there are tons of useless characters that just need to go away; you would think that M-Day would have taken care of that , but there is still a lot of them around: Alchemy, Adam-X, Bling, Catiana, Gentle, Loa, Pulse… what the heck? And now they have added the Five Lights to the mix! Hey Marvel, can we do something about that?
Cover art is by Jae Lee prominently featuring Colossus and Xavier; a strange choice considering what I had discussed previously about Professor X losing all relevance in the X-Universe. Usually I don’t buy this type of book, but overall, it was actually a good purchase; for four bucks you get 65 pages of material that will keep you entertained for a long while; you might find pics by your favorite artist, avid readers will have fun finding errors to correct, and for new or returning readers, it is a great start point.