Brian Michael Bendis’s run on All-New X-Men has set off at a strong pace. Issues have been hitting store shelves a lot lately. Not one of them has been a disappointment and this one is no exception.
The issue once again focuses on past Cyclops as he tries to come to grips with what his future self has become. We start out seeing Cyclops enter a bank where he retrieves objects from a safety deposit box. While in the bank he has a run in with Wolverine, or what at least appears to be Wolverine. Wolverine turns out to really be Mystique, which leads to a long and interesting conversation between her and Scott. Mystique tries to convince Scott to stop his future self by any means necessary, as well as take control of “The Jean Grey School” and in doing so destroy Wolverine. Mystique has an ulterior motive in all of this; she wants to keep the X-Men preoccupied so that she can pull of a plan of her own. Scott is then picked up by Wolverine and is driven back to the school, where at the end of the issue he hands Jean Grey their wedding invitation.
This series continues to be a very character and dialogue driven book. There is little to no action in this and instead focuses on the relationships between the characters, and in particular Scott and Jean’s reaction to their future. In this issue we mainly focus on Scott’s relationships with Wolverine, Jean and even his future self. He grows to greater understand his responsibility to stop future Scott at all means necessary.
This issue was written brilliantly by Bendis. We can see he has a vast understanding of the characters through his smooth and compelling dialogue that fits with each character perfectly. Mystique in this issue was written particularly well, as we get to see her use her trickery to not only fool guards in a bank but also Scott. I was even surprised to find out that Wolverine was really Mystique. Bendis continues to move the story on at a steady and enjoyable pace while adding twists and turns in there to keep you interested.
The art in this book fits well. I prefer Stuart Immonen but David Marquez does a decent job in his absence. He portrays emotion well and the movement between the panels flows smoothly. However he just doesn’t have the certain flair to his art that Immonen had that made it a joy to look at. Only time will tell whether Marquez will fill the shoes that Immonen left behind. Another problem I had with the art was with shading. A beautiful day in Westchester was made to look drab and boring; this just made the whole book feel less fun in certain places. However this was relevant in some parts and added emotion and depth to the more emotional panels.
Overall this issue was good. The story is moving along nicely and I am looking forward to seeing the relationships in the book develop more. I am particularly excited to see Scott will deal with his future self. I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fan of a character driven book with great characters because the action really takes a back seat in this series. The art can be a problem but the book still remains one of my favorites of “Marvel NOW”.
Story – 4.5/5
Art – 4/5
Overall – 4/5