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Comic book speculation Sunday is a weekly series where I dive deeper into a relatively unknown book that have potential.
For this week, the comic I am talking a book that I just acquired its newsstand version and shown in the Mewe comics group:
Date of Publication: 2006
Sale number: 95,000
Key strengths of this book
1. First appearance of Children of the Vault team and concept
2. First appearance of the following members: Aguja, Fuego, Sangre, Serafina
X-Men villains are a dime a dozen so what makes this team special and worth speculating on?
The answer lies in Jonathan Hickman’s latest X-Men run. If you have read Powers of X and House of X, you know that Hickman is setting up powerful concepts that will have long term implications.
The theme of humans vs mutants is getting old in X-Men so the next evolution of this conflict come from what he called:
homo novissima: artificially evolved non-mutant superhumans with a grudge against mutants
While Hickman did not go deeper into this concept yet, it seems the the Children of the Vault will be examples of this new species. They are supposed to be an alternate path to the evolution of human kind, and hence are a natural enemy of the X-Men.
Given that Hickman is in the long haul of transforming the X-Men titles, I can see the Children of the Vault becoming a more established threat like the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
Investing in concept vs characters
So, we have established that homo novissima is a new concept, like how the whole concept of X-Men is about people born with X-genes that give them super powers.
New concepts are much harder to come by in comics, relative to characters.
Some of the other concepts beyond the X-Men in the Marvel comics:
- Inhumans: the concept of normal humans gaining superpowers because they were experimented on by the Kree
- Eternals: the concept of normal humans gaining superpowers because they were experimented on by the Celestials
A concept lays the foundation for an entire franchisee. There can be multiple characters, factions, teams etc within one concept. Just look at how the X-Men concept has created so many memorable characters.
Hence, this book represents the first appearance of a new concept that can lay the foundation for a strong future franchisee.
In this aspect, the growth potential for X-Men #188 as the first appearance of a concept is much higher than the usual first appearance of villains.
For a few bucks, I rather speculate on something that has more growth potential than just another villain.
Children of the Vault members
Bringing the discussion down to earth, the members within the Children of the Vault concept are pretty well designed:
When I say well designed, I am referring how their visual design is distinct, colorful and non uniform.
A big problem for many modern character design is that they look too plain. Many look like regular humans being dressed up in costumes. Below is a comparison from the Academy X franchisee.
Is it any wonder that very few members from this team took off?
Lets look at the famous Giant Size X-Men #1’s cover. These X-Men look distinct, colorful and so much more interesting than the above image.
In my eyes, I see the Children of the Vault looking more like the Giant Size X-Men team design than the Academy X team design.
How many members does the Children of the Vault has?
Currently, there are 12 Children of the Vault members but one of them is Aurora who already appeared as part of the original Alpha Flight team.
The remaining 11 members are new creations with Serafina being one of the most popular. See her image below.
4 members made their first appearances in this book. The rest are scattered in the following books:
- X-Men Vol 2, #189: First appearance of Perro
- X-Men Vol 2, #193: First appearance of Cadena
- X-Men Legacy #238: First appearance of Corregidora, Luz, Martillo
- X-Men Legacy #239: First appearance of Olvido
- X-Men Legacy #241: First appearance of Piedra Dura
X-Men #188 variants and editions
X-Men #188 is a heavily printed book with its 92,000 sales volume in North America.
Fortunately there are 2 other editions you can look out for. One is of course the newsstand edition which I spent a long time waiting for it.
The other is a 1:25 sketch variant. These are currently going for $20-30 on Ebay.
In summary, I am speculating on this book because it introduces a new concept that might become important in the X-Men corner of the Marvel universe. Everything being equal, spending a few bucks on such a bet is better than just speculating on any new character.