Thursday, December 3, 2015

All-New X-Men #1

   In the vast ocean of X-Men titles, starting back up after the (still running) Secret Wars, I have to admit that so far - of the ones I've read - my favorite is All-New X-Men.

   The main reason for that is because it actually includes most of "my" X-Men team (the one I read when I first got into comics).

   The featured players include Cyclops, the Angel, the Beast and Iceman. (Note that Marvel Girl, sadly, is missing.)

   They're the original team, brought through time to the present - and now stranded here.

   Added to the team is the new Wolverine (formerly X-23), Kid Apocalypse and Idie Okonkwo.

   We start the issue with the team scattered across the country. Most of them are enjoying a holiday of sorts, getting ready to get down to the task of helping other mutants.

   Cyclops is wandering alone, apparently saddened by the fate of his future (present-day to us) self - and no, we don't know what that fate is.

   Can someone tell me why Marvel hates Cyclops? He was always my favorite X-Men - the team's leader and strategist, he is the mutant Captain America - dynamic and forceful - but they always want to make him into a jerk and a monster. I don't get it.

   Anyway, the issue sets up a conflict between the team and a renegade group of mutants who are using the symbol of Cyclops to further their criminal goals - setting up a great clash with the All-New crowd.

   The story is by Dennis Hopeless, who has a good grip on the characters - they're all district and personable - and the art is by Mark Bagley and Andrew Hennessy, a terrific team creating dynamic layouts, intense action scenes and strong character designs.

   Sometimes the best strategy with a series is to get back to the basics, and while that's not the whole story here - the team doesn't live at Xavier's school anymore - it feels like a fresh start, and that's good enough for me.

Grade: A-


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