All-New X-Men has been an extremely strong book so far. Brian Michael Bendis has really been set loose on this book and has shown us all what a great writer he can be.
This issue focuses on 3 main characters; Jean Grey, Cyclops and Beast. We start out looking into the mind of Beast, literally. This happens when Jean creates a mind link between her and Hank. This leads to a very interesting interaction, where they discuss her telepathic powers. Past Hank joins in to talk about a possible way to cure himself. When he leaves, Jean asks Hank “How did I die?”, he shows her. Elsewhere we see Cyclops trying to convince a new mutant, called Benjamin, to join his band of evil mutants, he succeeds. After that there is a huge scene outside the main entrance to the school. In which Wolverine suggests killing past Cyclops to bring back Charles Xavier. He is stopped in his tracks when Beast walks out. This is the first time we see his new mutation, it is basically the same as his old one except his head looks a lot skinnier. Finally we end the issue with a huge conversation between both X-teams about whether it is time for the past X-Men to go home or not. Jean takes centre stage, convincing the X-Men to agree to stay for the time being.
This was a very interesting issue. Jean Grey takes centre stage as we delve deep into her character. We get to see her reactions to not only her death but also her powers. I’m glad this happened, just because I had feared that she would have been completely brushed aside to focus on Cyclops . One of the better parts of the book was her and Beast’s conversation, which was written fantastically by Bendis. Who uses his good knowledge of character and dialogue skills to create a compelling and interesting interaction between the two characters. The issue was written brilliantly! Bendis controls the scenes very well, making the action and the change between scenes flow smoothly. Dialogue between characters is believable and the story flows at a nice steady pace.
The art in this book is as always, amazing. Stuart Immonen brings the characters to life using facial expressions and body language affectively. I particularly like his rendition of Beast’s new mutation. The splash page in the middle of this book shows Jean looking through the major events in her life. We see things such as her as Dark Phoenix and her and Scott Summers wedding. This was definitely my favorite page in the entire book.
Overall this was a really strong issue. We got an interesting character study of both Jean and Beast. The dialogue was brilliant and the art was fantastic. The only reason I can think of to why someone would not like this issue, is because they prefer an action driven book to a character driven one. I’d definitely recommend this to anyone, one of the best books coming out from Marvel as this current time. If you’re not picking it up, you should be!
Writing – 4.5/5
Art – 4.5/5
Overall – 4.5/5
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