Decompressed stories are something we must become accustomed to in comics today. What it took to tell a story in one or two issues 25 years ago now takes six. Partly, it’s a way to keep readers reading since they want to see a conclusion, but have to read six issues to get to that conclusion. Part of me also thinks it’s a way for writers to get away with less story over time, which makes it possible to write more stories than ever, but the plus side is you can get more character development into each issue.
In theory. All-New X-Men has been one of the most decompressed stories I’ve ever read, but for the most part has been a joy to read. As far as issue #12 goes, is it good?
All-New X-Men #12 (Marvel Comics)
Check out our review of issue #11 if you missed it.
Of course, what I said above doesn’t take into account how we’re getting this book double shipped. We’re 12 issues in and it has only taken six months! The story so far is pretty simple. The First Class X-Men were sent into the present by Beast to jostle Cyclops of today into realizing how his actions are wrong. The First Class X-Men are mostly acclimated to what the present is like, and for the most part they’re a bit perturbed by it all. Angel has joined Cyclops’ school leaving Jean, Beast, Iceman and Cyclops to fend for themselves at the Jean Grey School headed by Wolverine. Last issue ended with the Avengers showing up to have a word with the First Class X-Men after they became aware of a team looking like them robbing people blind. We know it’s really Mystique, Sabertooth and Lady Mastermind.
That “X” thing he does is getting really annoying.
This entire issue takes place in two locations, one taking place between the X-Men and Avengers and the other with the bad guys who are escaping with money. What this issue really boils down to is twofold: The Avengers now have a bearing on who these First Class X-Men are and Jean Grey discovering Scarlet Witch said, “no more mutants.” Considering how Jean simply reacts with incredible force it’s a tad annoying as she’s just so irrational about her actions, but considering she’s only a teenager it makes some sense.
Writer Brian Bendis spends a majority of his time in dialogue heaven, as always, explaining the mindset of everyone in the present forgiving Scarlet Witch. It’s as if he’s speaking to the readers who are annoyed she got off so easy. Of course, how many heroes have used the excuse, “I wasn’t in control of myself” to get away with murder? Plenty, and it’s interesting to see just how okay everyone is with Scarlet Witch here.
Jean Grey dig! Ouch!
As far as the bad guys stealing money we get the most interesting developments. It appears the team might not be so cushy and some rude awakenings may be on the horizon. It’s interesting to note that Mystique probably has a plan outside of just being filthy rich and Lady Mastermind being aware of it.
Climbing rope: yet another reason boob tops are not functional.
Stuart Immonen once again dazzles us with his incredible work. Detailed, interesting and incredible with the facial expressions. Of course he’s only as strong as his inker can assist, and Wade Von Grawbadger adds an incredible amount of mood and tone to every single panel.
So…you’re just going to leave?
- Interesting character interactions
- Phenomenal art
- God this is slow
- Jean is getting a little annoying with her irrational explosions
I’ve been giving this series eights across the board, but this one takes a knock down to a seven because the plot is forced. The Avengers show up to ask for explanations, get a simple one you could get from a phone call, then just leave with no resolution. It’s glaringly obvious Bendis wanted an interaction/altercation and it’s incredibly forced. That said, some good interactions, and impeccable art once again.
Is It Good?
Yeah. Pretty good issue all around, but it’s going to be easy to skip. You can pick up right the next issue without knowing what happens here.