Since the end of Second Coming in the X-Men universe, the curse Scarlet Witch put on the mutant race seems to have been lifted. Now we finally get to see the birth of some newer mutants after a long dry spell.
Generation Hope, written by Kieron Gillen with art by Salvador Espin, features picks up from Uncanny X-Men which has lately been about the X-Men tracking down these new these new mutants, known as the five lights. For some unknown reason, these new mutants’ powers have been drastically unstable since their activation when Hope returned from the future. The only thing that has stabilized them is Hope’s touch.
Issue #1 of this series shows Hope, Rogue and the first four of the five lights on their way to Japan to find the fifth light. Unfortunately his powers are far more dangerous and unstable than the previous four. He is an artist named Kenji who is apparently able to manifest whatever art he creates into reality. Unfortunately, his ability seems to have driven him mad and he manifests a giant, techno-organic, tentacle monster out of his own body that begins attacking Tokyo.
Generation Hope #1 is a pretty decent first issue. They jump right into the action and really get the ball rolling for the future issues. The only downside to the story in this book is the fact that it moves so quick that they don’t give you much background on the four new mutants that Hope is working with. If you haven’t been reading Uncanny X-Men the first few pages of this issue could be a little bit confusing even with the “Previously…” page.
The art in this book is really fantastic. Espin has a kind of cartoony style with just a hint, a dusting if you will, of anime influence. It suits the theme of a team of young mutants very well. His characters are VERY expressive and he pays lots of attention to detail.
Overall, Generation Hope #1 is a pretty solid issue and the series itself is looking really promising. If you can stomach the art in the past few issues of Uncanny X-Men, you’ll get a better sense of what’s going on with the “Five Lights,” but take my advice, just read the synopsis online for those issues and jump head first into Generation Hope. Issue #1 also has a few pages at the end featuring a quick history of Hope narrated by her as well that will help get you up to speed.