Posted on February 6, 2013 AT 06:36pm
The return of one of the X-Men’s biggest foes marks a major shift in dynamic for this already exciting series. With the original five X-Men staying on to train with the present team, Cyclops the younger is trying to make sense of the task that has been given to him: to eliminate the militant older version of himself and stop a potential mutant genocide. The first appearance by Mystique in the series does not bode well for the X-Men, especially the team from the past, who know nothing of her sordid history.
This series has been good from the very beginning, rising steadily in intensity since the dying Hank McCoy brought the original five X-Men back from the past to stop Cyclops from bringing on a mutant apocalypse through his militant ways. As the shock of the world around them begins to wear off, the old team has begun to get themselves into shape to fight for the world in the now and help preserve the dream that Charles Xavier taught them. This, so far, is not going well.
Bobby Drake, Jean Grey and the younger McCoy have all stuck around the Jean Grey School For Higher Learning, with Warren Worthington off with his future self, and Scott Summers figuring out how to stop himself from doing something he isn’t even sure he would do. These kinds of questions bring all sorts of intrigue to this complex story, and the ulterior motives of Mystique are surely not going to help matters. What her plans are have yet to be made known, but they definitely aren’t something that the X-Men are hoping for, especially at this difficult time.
Brian Michael Bendis truly has the pulse of this series, leading it in the correct direction at every moment. The plot is emotional, gripping and full of heart, with multiple plot-lines pulling at the minds of the reader, especially those who know about many of the things this group has been through. While being known as the man who killed Professor Xavier before he even began writing X-Men books, Bendis should be feared in terms of the readers most beloved character, but there is surely no other writer who could be doing this story so well.
There are very few gripes about the way this series has been heading, with Bendis even making the more minor characters (those not named Jean, Logan or Scott) true to their personalities. Young Iceman is immature, the mark of his character during Stan Lee’s original run (though maybe a bit too whiny in this one, as he was always immature, but more of a prankster), Kitty Pryde is showing the maturity of a woman who’s been through so much with this team, excelling at her new position at the school, and Wolverine has been his usual happy-go-lucky self, all long the lines of how these characters have been seen for the longest time. While not perfect, Bendis is doing a hell of a job on this series so far, with no signs of letting up on the emotional roller-coaster that the reader has unknowingly been put on.
The art team is still putting on one of the best examples of proper Marvel Comics work in the entirety of the current comic book line. The artwork by David Marquez is still a bit off from the work of Stuart Immonen, who’s not been on the last few issues, but he is still doing an impeccable job. Some of the facial expressions seem a bit off (especially from the first X-generation, namely Iceman and Cyclops), but overall, the pencils are terrific. Marte Gracia has been continually doing his best color work to date, topping his previous mark with each issue. The colors are vivid, bright and eye-popping, bringing out the best and worst of every character in each panel. He and Marquez are making a terrific team, thus far.
Summary: If anyone is not reading All-New X-Men right now, they should be. This had been a controversial premise before the release of the first issue, but since issue one, it’s been nothing short of incredible. With near flawless writing and artwork, an engrossing story and more time-travel paradoxes than can be handled by most minds, there is no limit to where this series could go, especially if the current creative team keeps themselves on this path.
- The Good: Incredible Writing And Artwork, Major Emotional Connections
- The Bad: Some Pretty Off-Putting Facial Expressions
- The Ugly: N/A
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