Comic BooksReview

All New X-Men Review

Andrew Houldcroft ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Writer

All New X-Men is an ongoing series part of Marvel NOW!, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Stuart Immonen. The series is currently on issue 11 of its run, with many more on the way throughout the year.

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Photo via All New X-Men issue 1

 The story of this title introduces the original five members of the Uncanny X-Men to the current state of affairs that has followed Avengers vs X-Men. Cyclops remains a fugitive alongside Magneto and Emma Frost, while Wolverine and Kitty Pryde continue to hold down the fort at the Jean Grey Institute for Higher Learning. Needless to say, this is a very different world from what the 1963 team is familiar with.

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Photo via All New X-Men issue 6

 New readers may remain wary of time travel; however, this has continuously been a staple of the franchise. Just consider Days of Future Past, a story in which an older Kitty Pryde from a dystopian future transfers her consciousness to her past self to prevent the X-Men’s failure during a pivotal event. In other words, space and time have always been malleable.

This has made for a convoluted universe that virtually no reader can instantly break into. It would almost appear that All New X-Men would fall under that category as well, but–remarkably–it doesn’t.

 Bendis’ writing keeps the series fresh every week and provides an excellent comparison between the pure and confident retro-Cyclops and the seemingly corrupted, modern version of the character. Certain moments of the series bring these characters together to make the differences in moral alignment clear, yet allow the reader to know this is the same mutant, with a different level of experience. These differences are revisited by allowing plenty of interaction between both old and new versions of Beast and Iceman, but it leaves Jean Grey and Angel in limbo (with Jean being deceased and the modern Angel being for the most part MIA).

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Photo via All New X-Men issue 4

 Bringing Angel to the future has major ramifications. This is a character with a troubled history and, as he slowly comes to understand what has happened to him throughout 616’s history, he becomes disgusted and makes a major decision in the latest issue of the series. This is a genius way of providing commentary on the convoluted, or disturbing, nature of the X-Men series as a whole. Bendis knows what he’s doing.

 Jean Grey tells a different story. By having her discover her telepathy this early in her life, she discovers the horrors that await her. She understands that if she is to return to her time or reality, then she will suffer from a series of events that will end in her tragic death… several times. This does not disgust her; it aggravates her.

 Immonen illustrates  the story of Jean’s emotional evolution by making her as innocent, youthful, and plain as the other team members, then contrasting this with hard shadows and a colorful distance from the other members of the X-Men both old and modern. Longtime fans find such treats as Immonen’s rendition of the Marvel Girl costume pleasing to the eye and experience heartbreak from brilliant panels such as the one below.

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Photo via All New X-Men issue 2

 The X-Men history is most certainly a long, confusing mess too difficult to explain to the reader in one go. Yet, when you cut the middle of it all and take its beginning and–for lack of a better term–end, it can become simplified and digestible. The 1963 X-Men comment on the changes over the years while Bendis masterfully tries to explain history to both them and the reader. This superior storytelling clears up some of the mess in this universe and also pays tribute to the better moments over the X-Men’s fifty year sprawl.

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Photo via All New X-Men issue 5

As for now, All New X-Men is looking to continue onward with its 12th issue being released in June and will conclude with a temporal crossover entitled Battle of the Atom. The crossover will combine the 1963 X-Men, the current X-Men, and some newly designed future X-Men. All things considered, there are some major questions in the air:

 Will these displaced X-Men ever return to their own reality? Or has this become another displaced timeline like that in Days of Future Past? The questions are enough to keep an avid fan up at night, but if this series continues with the quality its already set, then these questions will evidently be answered.

Rating: 9/10

            All New X-Men is an ongoing series part of Marvel NOW!, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Stuart Immonen. The series is currently on issue 11 of its run, with many more on the way throughout the year.

            The story of this title introduces the original five members of the Uncanny X-Men to the current state of affairs that has followed Avengers vs X-Men. Cyclops remains a fugitive alongside Magneto and Emma Frost, while Wolverine and Kitty Pryde continue to hold down the fort at the Jean Grey Institute for Higher Learning. Needless to say, this is a very different world from what the 1963 [M1] team is familiar with.

            New readers may remain wary of time travel; however, this has continuously been a staple of the franchise. Just consider Days of Future Past, a story in which an older Kitty Pryde from a dystopian future transfers her consciousness to her past self to prevent the X-Men’s failure during a pivotal event. In other words, space and time have always been malleable.

            This has made for a convoluted universe that virtually no reader can instantly break into. It would almost appear that All New X-Men would fall under the category as well, but, remarkably, it doesn’t.

            Bendis’ writing keeps the series fresh every week and provides an excellent comparison between the pure and confident retro-Cyclops and the seemingly corrupted, modern version of the character. Certain moments of the series bring these characters together to make the differences in moral alignment clear, yet allow the reader to know this is the same mutant, with a different level of experience. These differences are revisited by allowing plenty of interaction between both old and new versions of Beast and Iceman, but it leaves Jean Grey and Angel in limbo (with Jean being deceased and the modern Angel being for the most part MIA).

            Bringing Angel to the future has major ramifications. This is a character with a troubled history and, as he slowly comes to understand what has happened to him throughout 616’s history, he becomes disgusted and makes a major decision in the latest issue of the series. This is a genius way of providing commentary on the convoluted, or disturbing, nature of the X-Men series as a whole. Bendis knows what he’s doing.

            Jean Grey tells a different story. By having her discover her telepathy this early in her life, she discovers the horrors that await her. She understands that if she is to return to her time or reality, then she will suffer from a series of events that will end in her tragic death… several times. This does not disgust her; it aggravates her.

            Immonen [M2] illustrates[M3]  the story of Jean’s emotional evolution by making her as innocent, youthful, and plain as the other team members, then contrasting this with hard shadows and a colorful distance from the other members of the X-Men both old and modern. Longtime fans find such treats as Immonen’s rendition of the Marvel Girl costume pleasing to the eye and experience heartbreak from brilliant panels such as the one below.

            The X-Men history is most certainly a long, confusing mess too difficult to explain to the reader in one go. Yet, when you cut the middle of it all and take its beginning and–for lack of a better term–end, it can become simplified and digestible. The 1963 X-Men comment on the changes over the years while Bendis masterfully tries to explain history to both them and the reader. This superior storytelling clears up some of the mess in this universe and also pays tribute to the better moments over the X-Men’s fifty year sprawl.

As for now, All New X-Men is looking to continue onward with its 12th issue being released in June and will conclude with a temporal crossover entitled Battle of the Atom. The crossover will combine the 1963 X-Men, the current X-Men, and some newly designed future X-Men. All things considered, there are some major questions in the air:

Will these displaced X-Men ever return to their own reality? Or has this become another displaced timeline like that in Days of Future Past? The questions are enough to keep an avid fan up at night, but if this series continues with the quality its already set, then these questions will evidently be answered.

Rating: 9/10


 [M1]Love that you included the year! Really put things in perspective

 [M2]Who is this?

 [M3]I changed the verb to ‘’illustrates” because it reinforces the idea that Immonen is the artist and I didn’t initially pick up on this.

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One Comment

  1. I totally agree! It’s such an enjoyable series! I love the emotion and character development in it; especially everyone hating on young Scott for what older Scott did… I feel so bad for that poor boy! I’ve never been a Jean Grey fan, but I find her really interesting in Bendis’ hands!

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