Comic Book Review – X-Men – Brood: Day of Wrath #1 (of 2) Sept 1996

Writer – John Ostrander

Artist – Bryan Hitch

Preacher’s wife Hannah Connover has a secret: she has the ability to heal people’s pain and suffering just by laying her hands on them. This may seem like a gift from God. It’s not – she has this ability because she is a Brood Queen! She’s not healing the faithful either, she’s infecting them with Broodlings.

One night, Hannah dreams of the Brood home world and hears a message from the Empress Brood. Hannah is resisting her transformation into a fully formed Brood Queen. If she continues to resist, the Empress will send her Firstborn to kill Hannah. Hannah wakes up from the nightmare in a cold sweat. As does Jean Grey, who was psionically connected to Hannah during her nightmare. When Jean tells Scott about the nightmare, they decide to track Hannah down. Before they do, Jean contacts Professor X about their plan to find Hannah before the Firstborn are sent to Earth to terminate her. Professor X sends the X-Men to help Jean and Scott. It’s a race against time to find Hannah and protect her. Who will reach her first? The Firstborn or the X-Men?

I have always been a fan of the Brood and when I found this issue in the dollar bin, I decided to buy it. John Ostrander and Bryan Hitch present a forty-eight-page comic full of pulse pounding action with no ads. This story is fast paced and full or surprises with zero interruptions. If you don’t have any knowledge about the Brood, Ostrander does a good job explaining what they are and their history with the X-Men. There are a few fun tidbits I learned when reading this issue. For example, Jean Grey and Hank McCoy (Beast) have never encountered the Brood. That is an interesting fact and one I did not know until now. I love Hitch’s art and how he brings the Brood to life in all their slimy and menacing glory. I love the transformation scenes of humans becoming Brood and reverting back to human form again. The fight between the X-Men and Firstborn was a page turner to see which side emerged triumphant from the heat of battle. All of the X-Men play an important role in the fight and my favorite part was Storm and Bishop using their powers in tandem to fend of the Firstborn.

Religion is one of the main themes of this story. Hannah uses her power to help others but its not until she hears a sermon from her husband, William, that she realizes the error of her ways. Once she stops using her power to turn humans into Broodlings, this is the moment she becomes a target by the Empress Brood. When the X-Men determine Hannah is the first human being able to resist her transformation into a Brood, Cannonball says it’s a miracle. Wolverine retorts saying he doesn’t believe in miracles. The X-Men are divided on what to do with Hannah after she’s rescued. When Hannah tells the X-Men what she wants, it sets up a cliffhanger that is a shocker to say the least. I ordered part two of this miniseries to see the fallout from Hannah’s decision and if the X-Men can do anything to change her mind.

In my opinion, Marvel Comics should have released X-Men – Brood: Day of Wrath as an oversized ninety -six-page prestige format comic. I would have definitely plunked down the eight or nine dollars to read this story all at once. Of course, they released it as a two-issue miniseries to ratchet up the suspense to see what happens to Hannah. Damn you, Marvel!

X-Men – Brood: Day of Wrath #1 and #2 is currently available on ComiXologyif you are interested in reading this sci-fi/action miniseries from the late 90s.