It’s hard to believe that “All New X-Men” is already starting its second story arc considering how sluggish a lot of Marvels other issues are coming out. Yet even at the steady release rate this book is going, it’s just not fast enough. This series is already a classic.
In the last issue the original X-Men took a vote and decided to stay. This issue shows us the ramifications of that decision. Jean and Cyclops get the bulk of page time and it’s easy to see that despite their decision to skip their past, living with the knowledge of what they may become is still haunting.
Jean, whose telekinetic powers are starting to blossom, is now under the tutelage of Kitty Pride. The scene where Jean’s powers literally explode onto the page in a whirlwind of word balloons proves that Kitty is up to the challenge. However, that fiery panel just a page before that tells us a different story, one the reader knows all too well.
Cyclops on the other hand is having an even harder time. No longer the leader of the X-Men, and being branded a murderer is weighing heavy on his soul. So what’s an ostracized and angst ridden teenager to do? Steal Wolverine’s motorcycle of course! Now, a lot of people don’t care too much for Scott Summers, but I for one have always been a fan. He’s the leader who can never look his troops in the eye, and that says a lot, and honestly, his more, d-bag qualities are what make him stand out in the Marvel Universe. Plus when Cyclops gives Wolverine an optic blast from the past, I had a smile on my face.
Now that the premise of the series has been set and the original X-Men know their fate (except Angel. Poor, poor Angel) it’s nice to move into our first actual storyline. Brian Michael Bendis just knows how to write these characters, and while at times he can be a bit wordy, I find his writing to be similar to that of Joss Whedon’s. He understands the importance of a conversation, and when the action does happen, it makes it all the more effective.
The art is incredible, as Marquez is a master of emotion. The tears that stream down Jean’s face as she talks about her fate and the fear her eyes emote come heartbreakingly to life. The youthful features of the original X-Men, mixed with our knowledge of what’s to come, makes you hope that maybe, just maybe, some things will change.
Overall, this issue was a great read and an excellent jumping on point for newcomers. While I was originally hesitant about this series when it was first announced, I can now eat my words. “All New X-Men” is shaping up to be on par with Whedon’s run on “Astonishing X-Men” and I for one am stoked I’m around to watch it unfold.
– Sean Tonelli