Friday, November 23, 2012
Comic Review: All New X-Men #1
ALL NEW X-MEN # 1
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger & Marte Garcia
A lot has changed over the last several years. Cyclops, dealing with the weight of being the leader of mutant kind, decided it was time to protect mutants and turned his back on his dream of co-existence. And while having Asteroid M become its own Mutant Nation seemed like a good idea ... at the end of the day, it wasn't. Isolating Mutants from Humans only made things worse. Schism ripped apart the team. And Scott Summers seemed fine with some of the decisions he's made.
Then the Avengers ... led by Captain America Steve Rodgers .... in all his wisdom, decide when they found out Scott's granddaughter was the next host of the Phoenix, that they were gonna take her: whether she wanted to be taken or not.
This lead to a war between the X-Men and the Avengers ... which flip flopped in which side was doing wrong. At the end of the day, it took the X-Men and the Avengers against the 5 X-Men who became the Hosts for the Phoenix (Cyclops, Emma Frost, Namor, Magik & Colossus) to take them down. Scott Summers was imprisoned after he and the Phoenix 5 were out of control . .. including Scott killing Professor Xavier when he became the Dark Phoenix.
Scarlet Witch, Hope Summers and the others were finally about to free Scott of the Phoenix but it changed him even further. Scott Summers completely turned his back on Xavier's dream. After breaking out of prison, Scott leads Magneto, Emma Frost & Magik on his crusade to help mutantkind his way.
This is the beginning of Brian Michael Bendis' run on the X-Men. This first issue. And it starts with a bang. Hank finds that he is mutating again ... possibly a result from the Phoenix's dispersion reactivating mutants worldwide, giving way to some serious issue for Hank.
Then we see Scott doing what he's become known for ... attacking humans if there is a mutant nearby. Actually, Scott and his team find 2 new mutants. Sure. They beat up comes and feds in order to get them. And both mutants seem like they were being perscuted by humans but ...
Back at the mansion, we get Storm, Kitty, Bobby and Hank talking about what Scott is doing. Iceman reminences that the Scott of old would slap some sense into Scott of present day. Which ends up giving Hank and idea ...
We see the original X-Men as teens. Young Hank says he is fed up protecting humans. Just before he leaves he runs into ... himself ... older. bigger. Present day Beast talk to the original X-Men for his big plan ... for young Cyclops to talk to old Cyclops in order to save Scott from becoming what he is now.
Stuart Immonen's art has evolved a lot since his days as artist on DC's Legion of Super Heroes. The style has changed drastically. And it definitely works here. The pages are kinetic. The action is vibrant. The emotions feel really and almost palpable. You can tell that Immonen is having fun with this. Even more so than he did with Fear Itself. I can honestly say that besides his work on New Avengers .... All New X-Men seems to be the most his work has come to life since Nextwave. And that is saying a lot.
Wade Von Grawbadger's inks really help give the power to Immonen's pencils. Really strong black but not too deep in inks that the book would look dark. This is not a dark, depressing book. Still, the inks help Immon's pencils give a strong first impression. Well done Wade.
Marte Garcia ... I thank the comic book gods for you. Your colors were exquisite in this first issue. They really gave Immonen's & Grawbadger 's pencils and inks. This world is very different and alive. You can feel the excitement off the pages. The mood and colors for the X-Men of the Past and Present day Beast are even a little different. Slightly enough to show the difference in attitude and manner. Well done to Marte Garcia.
Brian Michael Bendis. People either love him or hate it it seems. He either brings horror or joy. And I can honestly say that Bendis is off to a better start here than he was when he wrote Avengers Dissembled years ago. The pacing is excellent. The dialogue was very natural. We see the national progression of the characters we have followed since AvX, if not before that.
This is a new world. Mutants are no longer endangered. And Scott Summers is considered a criminal. Makes you think, doesn't it? And we get to see the world quickly as new mutants are popping up and guns are being pointed. And Scott ... in his infinite wisdom ... decides he needs to help mutants his way.
All the motivations of the characters feel real. All the choices that the characters have made feel authentic. This is truly a great start for this book. My only real gripe ... it feels breezy. I enjoyed the issue but I expected more.
Nothing was really disappointing. I just felt like a scene was missing from the issue. I just felt like the issue stopped more than ended. Otherwise, great writing by Mr. Bendis.
All New X-Men #1 set a new bar. Bendis has the reigns now and I am gonna enjoy it. This along with Wolverine and the X-Men and the other X-books, it is an interesting time to be a mutant. I am very happy to see that this is the start of something new for the X-Men. Roles have changed. People have changed. They are all evolving and this book gives you a front row to that evolution.
Despite the feeling that their could have been more, it was a great start to the Bendis X-Men era. Immonen and company paint a clear picture of it and it is gonna be a fun ride.
I give All New X-Men #1 a 4 out of 5. Not bad Marvel. Not bad.