Evil Geek Book Report – All New X-Men #1

Like most comic book fans my age, the X-Men were my favorites as a kid. Sure, the Fantastic Four were my first love, but in the late 80s and early 90s the X-Men books were so much fun that no child could resist.  And I know he’s not the most popular character, but I liked Cyclops. And it wasn’t too hard to like Cyclops, he was a bit of a wet towel for Wolverine’s tastes, but that was okay in my eyes.

Ever since I first saw “Pryde of the X-Men”, I’ve annoyed my friends by reading Wolverine’s dialogue aloud with an Australian accent. Try it! It’s fun!

But in recent years, it’s been very hard to like Cyclops.  Grant Morrison had him cheat on Jean with Emma Frost. I actually liked that, the reasoning behind it made sense to me: It’s very hard to relate to a wife that’s the embodiment of a cosmic deity, so he strayed. But other writers decided that a man who could fall out of love with a woman must also be the kind of man who could sanction murder and wage war on a species.  So, after the events of Second Coming, Schism, and AvX we were left with a Cyclops who was barely recognizable as Slim Summers, the student of Charles Xavier.

Add “straight up murder” to the charges, as well.

Since the Morrison run on X-Men, I’ve gotten very little enjoyment from the books. They hit, in my eyes, an all time low shortly after that and now I check in on the book from time to time, but get very little enjoyment out of it. The fun is gone, and I don’t think that’s just my opinion. They don’t seem to want to characters to be the same adventurous kids. I understand that the mission statement of the book was that they were fostering a relationship between humankind and mutants for future generations, but I really preferred it when they were off in space or living in a shantytown in the Outback. When every issue is maudlin race relations, it’s hard to justify a $4 price tag. But I keep giving it another chance.. and I did it again this week with the Marvel NOW title All-New X-Men.

I’d like to be able to complain about the cover, all of those inexplicably angry teenage X-Men… but Stuart Immonen is so god damned talented.

I’d decided to give these books a try unless they were really, really hard to get into it. Also, it certainly didn’t hurt that Stuart Immonen is drawing it, he’s one of my favorites. Since it’s a Bendis comic, it only took me a few minutes to read but I will say that there was more accomplished than you might expect. Now, I didn’t read AvX: Consequences, but I read about it after the last installment of that 5 issue mini-series was released. And if you don’t know, I’m about to tell you.

So, by now it’s common knowledge that, at the climax of AvX, Scott Summers killed Professor X and was taken into custody by the Avengers. Well, at the end of that series Magneto, Emma Frost, and Magik bust him out and they lot of them decide to once more fight for mutant rights, this time without Wolverine of all people trying to talk sense into them. So, they start running around doing the whole “intervening just as a mutant’s powers first manifest” thing that they do, and we meet a couple of new characters of whom we’ve surely not seen the last.  And then we see how the for-reals X-Men are doing. They seem to spend most of their time bitching about the Cyclops problem. He’s their friend, but he’s a dick, but they don’t want to be dicks, but he’s being totally uncool…. and so forth. Bobby mentions that young Cyclops would be ashamed of modern day Cyclops, and Beast remembers that he can travel through time. And instead of directly averting any of the many tragedies that have befallen the X-Men, he goes back to their early days to convince the original team to travel to…

What happens to us in the future? Do we become assholes or something?

I don’t remember them dressing this sharply in the old issues… but I don’t *have* to remember now that there’s an internet!

Is that a La-Z-Boy brand wheelchair?

So, while the first issue is certainly not beyond criticism and is far from the best X-Men story ever, it’s the best X-Men story in a couple of years and I’m going to continue picking it up. If you’re looking to give the X-Men another chance, you could do a whole hell of a lot worse. I’d always assumed that Bendis had a deep-seated hate for mutants after what he’d done to them in various books across the past decade, but so far he’s handling them quite well. And the art! Stuart Immonen might not be the flashiest artist that Marvel has on contract, but he’s one of the most professional. He’s done short stints on many of their biggest titles and even replaced their lackluster work horse Mark Bagley on Ultimate Spider-man without missing a beat.

I’d give 3/5  X’s.  Actually, I DO give it that rating.

All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners.

Posted on November 17, 2012, in COMICS!, Evil Geek Book Report, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

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