Posted November 21, 2012 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Comics


Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Stuart Immonen

“‘Cause there’s no sense in going over and over
The same things as before
So let’s not bring the past back anymore”
– I-Have-No-Idea-Who-Sang-This-I-Just-Found-It-Relevant-Sort-Of

We’ve all had moments when we wish we could turn back time and correct our mistakes. Or, even better, turn back time and correct other people’s mistakes, or at least what we perceive to be mistakes. What if you had the power to right what you think is wrong… by bringing in a little extra help from the past? Do you think you would succeed, or would tampering with time prove to be an even bigger mistake?

All-New X-Men #1 follows the adventures of Scott Summers after he escapes from prison with the aid of Magneto, Magik, and Danger, while simultaneously showing us the Beast’s rapidly-deteriorating condition, as well as his attempt to enlist the aid of the original five X-Men in their younger years – himself, Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Angel, and Iceman.

Boy, THAT’ll turn out well.

All-New X-Men (ANXM) is penned by Brian Michael Bendis, the so-called master of “decompressed storytelling” (or, in other words, “finding a way to stretch two issues into six because trade paperbacks sell like hotcakes”). While the premise is in itself really interesting, the execution leaves a bit more to be desired. It’s going too slow for me, which, I believe, should not be the case for the first issue of an action-packed series starring a bunch of characters who can make giant ice slides, throw cars around and eye-punch people with force beams from the Eye-Punch Dimension.

I also noticed that there were times when the characters sounded pretty much the same; perhaps Bendis was channeling Ultimate Spider-Man while writing ANXM. Of course, since it’s Bendis, a lot of Bendis-speak (“Pass the salt.” “ ‘Pass the salt’?” “Yes.” “The salt.” “The salt.” “You want me to pass it.” “Yes.” “Really?” “Yeah.” “The salt.” “Please.”) is expected. I was a bit weirded out by the dialogue, though – “My mutant name is Cyclops”? Really?

On the plus side, the story, while moving at a rather sluggish pace, is gripping, interesting, and full of drama. You can tell that, despite ideological differences and everything they’ve been through, the X-Men are bonded as classmates, colleagues and even as a family, and that most of them would want nothing more than to go back to the way things were.

I’ve always been a fan of Stuart Immonen’s clean and slick pencil work. He replaced my favorite artist Mark Bagley on Ultimate Spider-Man and I thoroughly enjoyed his art there (as well as in New Avengers). His Cyclops is majestic and powerful, Beast and Magneto look dignified, and his human faces in general range from decent to attractive. However, for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on, the quality of his art here is a liiiittle lower than what I’ve gotten used to. That’s not to say it’s bad, though, not at all. It’s just not as good as it usually is.

Also worth noting here is the appearance of the two new mutants who were featured on the interconnecting cover art for the first two issues of ANXM. Now, as to whether or not their placement on the cover holds any actual significance, story-wise, is something that has yet to be seen.

The last page of this issue had already been released months ago as preview pages to drum up interest in the book. Well, color me interested – I can’t wait to see Cyclops versus Cyclops. I also can’t wait to see the look on Logan’s face when he sees barely-legal Jean. Hah.


All-New X-Men is off to a slow start, sure, but from the looks of it, it’s going to be a smooth ride. Come for the premise, stay for the art, and look forward to getting to the destination without having to spend 40 minutes exchanging monosyllabic responses and repeated sentences about why Cyclops is being a jerk and Wolverine is being a hypocrite.

This review was made possible by our friends over at Comicx Hub!

Mikael Angelo Francisco