Thursday, November 15, 2012

All-New X-Men #1

So if your teenage self could meet your older self, how would he (or she) react?

It seems likely that our younger selves would suffer some disappointment - it would have to be discouraging just seeing the ravages the years work on us all - wrinkles, grey hair, a broader midsection, balding (well, I'm mostly talking about me here) - but you get the idea.

That concept is at the heart of the All-New X-Men. (Am I the only one who wonders how long they'll be able to realistically use that title?) Through mysterious means, the original X-Men (Cyclops, Marvel Girl, the Beast, the Angel and Iceman) are making their way to the present to confront their modern-day selves (at least the ones who are still alive).

I'm generally not a fan of time-travel stories, because they tend to buckle under the weight of keeping track of the timeline and the aftereffects of learning about the future. This story is shaping up to be a tricky one - after all, if you know the mistakes you're going to make in the future, would you be likely to repeat them?

Still, new X-writer Brian Bendis has this series off to a strong start, as we see the state of the team in the wake of the whole Avengers vs. X-Men event.

My only question is, why are the "bad guy" mutants fighting? Over in Uncanny Avengers, Captain America is working with mutants to bring them into the mainstream. It seems counter to the ideas being expressed in this comic (which it a throwback to the old "humans hate all mutants" shtick. We'll see how that shakes out.

The series has great artwork on its side, as Stuart Immonen and Wade von Grawbadger turn in terrific, high energy artwork that balances between the quiet moments and high-intensity battles.

I'm one of those readers who had given up on almost all the X-books. There are too many of them, with too many characters and an overly-convoluted continuity to keep up with. Add to that some character assassination (such as the one Cyclops is mired in) and it just became too much.

But with this issue - for this series, at least - I'm back on the X-Men side of the fence. We'll see if Bendis and Immonen can keep this momentum going.

Here's hoping!

Grade: A-


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