Earth X

So this is Earth X which was apparently Marvel's response to DC's Kingdom Come which was probably a response to Marvel's Marvels, but I had pretty much dropped out of superhero comics at that time so I won't swear to the timeline. In any case, both of the Big Two were on the "let's write stories that will really test the mettle of our heroes and put them into apocalyptic situations and then blow the crap out of them in really cool and exciting stories...But let's do it in an imaginary story so that we don't actually kill or change our popular properties. Oh and the books'll be painted to look realistic and maybe get some street cred as an art book." Yeah, it was all fun and good, I suppose. But like everything else, they milked it too much and ended up with montrosities like Earth X. The good news is that the art by John Paul Leon and Bill Reinhold art is not so photo-realistic (which I, for one, find antithetical to comics) as it is just dark and brooding. That works for me, and it keeps this book from being a total disaster. And writer Jim Kreugar does throw in a couple of interesting takes on some time-worn characters. Now the bad news. Earth X takes itself way too seriously. I mean to the point of your doctor telling you to sit down, seriously. But worse than that, it is just so freaking boring. In a story ostensibly about the future of the Marvel U, not only do we get the history of Marvel universe for the umpteenth time, but we get it several times in this one book. But okay, Marvel history is cool right? Stan, Jack, and Steve were onto something, and it was way cool, right? Sure, but somehow Kruegar manages to retell it the same way your 7th grade teacher told you about the Revolutionary War: all dates and no heart. What makes it so bad? Well get this: the entire story is narrated by the Watcher and Machine Man (who is to become his replacement). Can you think of two more boring characters in the Marvel U? A big passionless bald guy who lives on the moon and a purple robot with a learning problem. But if that weren't bad enough, the Watcher spends all his time telling Macine Man (or X-51 if you prefer) that nothing he watches is important and not to get emotionally involved. So you get it? A lackluster story told by your boring uncle who every few minutes reminds you that the story is not important but it is long. Woof. It's hard to believe that a story in which the entire human race gains superpowers and in which we find out the purpose of existence could be so dull. Meandering plot, turgid narrative, and passionless dialogue. Earth X: if this is the future of the Marvel Universe, Make Mine DC.