The first issue of Blender, a spin-off from the popular Maxim magazine empire, includes rave reviews of Uncanny X-Men #394, by Joe Casey and Ian Churchill, and New X-Men #114 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Blender, which is obviously Maxim's answer to Spin, is a hip music mag bent on covering comics as well as movies, books, and of course, music. In the premiere issue Reviewer Douglas Wolk raves about both of the X- books, and, while noting the X-Men's longtime reign over the comic bestseller lists, lauds Marvel for having the courage to fix something that, in terms of circulation rank anyway, wasn't broken.
In his review of Uncanny X-Men #394, Wolk notes that: 'For Casey the series is about the power of difference and the war against bigotry.' Wolk not only knows the X-Men themes, he is well aware of the history of the title as he points out that Casey 'restages a big fight from the almost 40-year-old first X-Men issue.'
As for Morrison and Quitely's work on New X-Men #114, Wolk gives the issue a full five stars, noting the originality of the story which is 'anything but generic... the conflicts are mostly ideological, even when they're played out by flesh-ripping robots and psychics with their heads in gigantic Frankenstein machines.' If Casey is looking into the fabled past for inspiration, 'Morrison drags the X-Men headfirst into the future, roaring 'Cooool!' like a battle cry.'
Since this review appears in the first issue of Blender it is impossible to estimate its impact, but the article's strongly positive tone and its setting in a hip music mag aimed squarely at the teen and young adult male demographic can only help sales. Comic retailers have already reacted very favorably to the new creative teams on the X-titles (see 'X-Books, Green Arrow Jump in May'), so it's especially satisfying to see rave reviews coming from outside the comic market.