Recently, Max Bemis, the singer for Say Anything, made his comic book writing debut at Marvel Comics in 2013’s A+X #14, combining Magneto and the Superior Spider-Man for a uniquely unrivaled team-up. Since then, Bemis has written other comic book series such as Polarity and Evil Empire, but now he’s back at Marvel for his own, distinctive mini-series, X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever.
The series is centered on Bailey Hoskins, a stereotypical high school loser who isn’t liked by the ladies, or special in any way. He tries the arts, athletics, and punk music but nothing sticks; he remains a perpetual loser, stuck online playing Halo. But as any story goes, comic book or not, the plot thickens. One night his parents call him downstairs to give his life the ultimate plot twist: Bailey is the son of two mutants, and it’s the greatest thing he’s ever heard.
From there his parents take him X-Mansion to get tested. After strapping him to a table and running vigorous tests, Dr. Hank McCoy, the Beast, informs him that he is indeed part of the Mutant family. Once again, Bailey couldn’t be happier. Unfortunately, his happiness immediately plummets when he learns the actual nature of his powers. Instead of being given the gift to shoot lasers, fly, or possess a healing factor, Bailey just explodes, and not in a good way; he is a one and done type hero. If he uses his power to explode, it’s game over (at least until some other writer revives him later). Bailey’s happiest moment and harshest fall come within seconds of each other, taking him and the reader on an emotional roller coaster, leaving us wonder how the rest of the series will go for the Worst X-Man Ever.
In review, what is most notable about Bemis’ first story is his main character, Bailey Hoskins. Although he initially seems like a forgettable, cookie-cutter character from any generic high school movie, Bailey actually embodies the majority of comic book readers. Who among us would not react the same way? Which of you didn’t dream of being a hero or just flying? Bailey beautifully personifies the childhood wonderment that still lies deep down within each of us and allows readers to share the feeling. Wherever the series goes from here is of little regard to this writer. Good or bad, the first issue of Worst X-Man Ever is not only worth reading for the story, but worth reading to relive the dream of being a superhero through Bailey Hoskins’ journey.