Marvel Comics is beginning, in their words, the “most drastically insane X-Men story…ever,” and for what it’s worth, I’m not so sure. All-New X-Men #1 debuts the not-so-secret story that will bring the first class X-Men to the future in order to see what they’ve become in the present; more specifically what Cyclops has become. Brian Bendis begins his X-Men run here, with Stuart Immonen on pencils, which both mean good things, but as far as the comic book as a whole, is it good?
All-New X-Men #1 (Marvel Comics)
It seems like ages ago that Marvel revealed its idea to zap old school X-Men into the future and from the getgo we all knew why. Cyclops has been off the rails for way too long during Avengers vs. X-Men and even before that with his Extinction Team. What better way to give someone a wake up call than to force them to see their more naive and altruistic self? It’s safe to say there aren’t any surprises within this issue aside from the dash-happy title.
In case you didn’t already figure out the dynamic this book will take.
Possibly the most surprising thing in this issue is Cyclops’ explanation to a fresh mutant he’s out to rescue. Her powers have manifested for the first time, she’s created a big mess and Cyclops and his team show up to help her out. She’s in shock and is scared, so naturally Cyclops replies:
Way to be strong for her, Cyke. Start explaining your own selfish issues to a very scared girl. Also you want to atone for things, but then more specifically you talk about mutants, so I guess you’re either going to make humans fear you or kill them all. This conflicted speech spoken in one breath is a little unnerving and is the most surprising thing you’ll see in the issue. Also, how are you going to make things right with the world when you…
Essentially Cyclops is locating mutants who are in trouble and swoops in guns ablaze before the X-Men can help them peacefully. It’s a bit of a shock to see the chaos that ensues when said mutants are rescued, but I guess if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Sure the girl did get guns shoved in her face, but let’s remember the humans are scared too and she even admitted it was her fault without them even questioning her.
Poor innocent flower.
The concept of Cyclops thinking he’s doing the right thing but maybe not in the right way is an interesting one. The problem stems from how Cyclops thinks. It may not be out of character for him to say he wants to make things right with the world, but then uses all-out force to help mutants. Sure he’s lost hope in peacefully making humans like mutants, but he seems a tad nutso when he says it. So in one sense I like this concept, but in the other it seems out of character. It does appear that this issue will play up the hate and prejudice mutants face. If anything, this is a natural progression from AvX: Consequences #5.
You stinking mutant!
It’s evident Bendis wants readers to feel conflicted on whether Cyclops and his team are heroes or villains. They are saving mutants from condemnation, albeit with extreme violence, and they’re drawn as if they are the heroes of the book; whereas Storm, Beast, Kitty and Iceman are all sulking indoors, unclear of what to do.
The Right Stuff.
Beast seems to be the foil to Cyclops at this point in the story as he is leading the charge in blasting the old X-Men into the future. When he prays to God in the opening pages to put things right for mutants in the world it’s clear the man has a mission he must accomplish, especially considering his new mutation may kill him. This suits the extremist view Cyclops has taken and the turmoil he’s gone through the last few months as well. They are on opposite sides of how mutants should face the world, but they’re both doing so with nothing to lose. This is another bud of good writing you’ll most likely enjoy in the coming issues.
But there’s the rub. This issue serves as an okay introduction of characters goals and their ideals, but the first class X-Men barely make an appearance and the Storm, Iceman, Kitty side of things isn’t explained at all. They’re confused on what to do, but aside from being annoyed with Cyclops they don’t know how to proceed. It’s nice to know the next issue in this series comes in only two weeks, since this issue largely doesn’t explain how the first class X-Men will change things.
Man, those extra mutations sure make him bigger.
It’s clear Bendis is writing this book with the intention of breaking down two points of view that will go to equal extremes to make things right. This is something that should be commended considering most comics are intended to be enjoyable snacks and nothing more. And I haven’t even talked about Immonen’s work! His style works wonders with Bendis’ wordy nature because his ability to draw expressions is excellent. In most cases Bendis has probably cut out verbiage simply because the expression says all that needs to be said.
It’s a good possibility this issue will make it into the ComiX Weekly 10 dollar budget later today. The main issue I take with this comic is it’s not very clear where this series is going outside the premise we already knew about.
Is It Good?
Yes, with some reservations.