When I first decided to pick up All-New X-Men I didn’t really have a clue on what I was getting myself into. I had picked up a copy of Marvel NOW! Point One and had a look through. In that book were previews for a small selection of the Marvel NOW! titles that have been hitting shelves over the past few weeks. In this Point One issue was a preview for Brian Michael Bendis’ All New X-Men and what I saw grabbed me and I didn’t want to let go.
I picked up issue #1 some time later and I was transported back to the simplistic Silver Age era of the original X-Men, rendered beautifully in Stuart Immonen’s pencils. But it presented me with a problem: for a first issue, it set things up for the series very nicely but it turns out that everything that needed to be said about the plot was said in the same pages I had previewed in Marvel NOW! Point One. This irked me a little, seeing as the only new info we gathered was that Henry McCoy is apparently dying and that Wolverine’s X-Men were out to stop Cyclops. Now, with the latter being a complete given and the former being a little surprising, I feel that the first issue of the big blockbusting time travel-laced series was a little “wet” with the middle of the book providing somewhat adequate filler for the revelations at the beginning and end.
But onto the task at hand, which is issue #2 of this new X-book from Marvel. On that note however, I think these books are getting a little ridiculous in terms of number. I miss the days of when we had 3 or 4 (maximum) X-books to keep up with. When Marvel NOW! is in full swing, we will have seven to contend with (yes, SEVEN). I’m not entirely sure if this series will be ongoing or not, I don’t see how it can progress past this initial story but time will tell.
Issue #2 is a big step up in progressing this mind-bending plot line. We have Henry McCoy currently (or is it previously?) conversing with himself and fellow X-Men in the past while in the present we have Bobby Drake and Kitty Pryde snooping around Hank’s lab attempting to figure out where their furry friend has gotten to. Hank attempts to convince his friends to come with him to the future in order to prevent Scott from committing Mutant mass murder and possibly genocide; he even goes so far as to ask Jean Grey to use her telepathy to prove that he is being truthful. However, he has traveled so far back that Jean’s mutation has not reached that level yet and she does not have access to that part of her power. But, curiously, Jean somehow acquires her telepathy almost the minute that she sets foot in the present timeline (which is a loose end from the issue I do hope Mr Bendis ties up in the future).
It also would seem that no matter which edition of Scott Summers he comes across, Wolverine will have an issue with him; this time, it’s Scott breathing and generally being alive seems to be the problem. Okay, the man in question has just caused destruction previously unseen in the Marvel Universe and murdered his mentor, but not yet. Not “this” Scott. You would think Logan would recognize a much younger Scott, not to mention a fur-less Hank and a living Jean Grey.
Not knowing very much of art and the artistic process taken, I don’t feel very well equipped to critique the art of Stuart Immonen. All I know is that I like it and he should probably draw more. Seriously, this issue is visually stunning from end to end. All comics should look like this!
Issue #2 of All-New X-Men feels like it could have been the perfect #1 issue to kick the series off. I probably wouldn’t have minded how lackluster and (as I’ve said before) wet the first issue was if it was in a different place in the series. A series like this should open with a bang and issue #2 provided that bang one issue too late! There was a perfect balance of exposition for the series along with some great little action sequences when the past X-Men arrived in the present. If the rest of the series is like issue#2 then I believe this is one that I will be eagerly awaiting each month!
All New X-Men #2 by Bendis and Immonen is out NOW and it get’s a solid and well deserved 4.5/5 from me!