Evil Geek Book Report – All-New X-Men #8 & 9
Well, now that publication of this book has calmed down to a more reasonable pace, I’ve gotten lazy about reviewing it. Well, I’ll fix that… I’ll fix that real good.
Now let’s get down to business!
Issue 8 finally shows us what the two Warren Worthingtons got up to while the other X-Men took the spotlight in the last few issues. The two Angels were enjoying a carefree flight over New York when they conveniently noticed Hydra agents attacking Avengers tower. The younger Warren is shocked, even horrified, to see the differences in his counterpart’s personality and physiology. Despite older Warren mopping the floor with a few Robotech-style Hydra mech-suits, the terrorists eventually get the drop on the heroes. Thankfully the Avengers get home from the supermarket or wherever just in time to save the day. But then there’s the question of the two Angels…
Looking for some answers, Cap and friends pop by the X-Mansion and have a chat with the Beast. That’s gotta be a tough situation to be in… the quintessential father figure of the Marvel universe is giving you a lecture about responsibility, and you haven’t got a leg to stand on. Luckily, we don’t have to see too much of the actual chiding, we get to watch adult Iceman and Kitty Pryde mock them from a distance, and it’s actually very funny.
Young Cyclops eventually shows and up puts a stop to the admonishment. He shuts Captain America up like a pro and even earns some respect from Wolverine… not too shabby, kid. Then back inside the mansion, young Warren tries to send himself back in time, but the other X-Men reach him in time to talk some sense into him. Or, more to the point, to wipe away his concerns and replace them with happy thoughts. Jean Grey has started to get very comfortable with her telepathy, and no one at the Academy is at all comfortable with this idea.
Then we get to issue 8. The cover got me pretty excited, since so far the major villains in the story have been the other X-Men. They’re not exactly evil, they’re just the other side of the Mutant dream. The All-New Brotherhood? Now those are some bad guys.
Aww shit, this issue was a good one. We start off with the young X-Men fighting some Sentinels in the Danger Room. We don’t see enough of that sort of thing these days, it’s a good way to work in a fight scene without forcing a conflict with the actual antagonist and it’s just plain fun. Kitty Pryde has words, or rather, thoughts with Jean Grey. Granted, Jean is out of line diving into the minds of others, but Kitty comes off as a bitch. It reminds me of Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men where Kitty was constantly verbally assaulting Emma Frost. The only thing Emma did was to repent her evil ways and fall in love. I think she has a real problem with telepaths.
After the Danger Room scenario is wrapped up, we see what appears to be Bendis favorite Maria Hill arriving at the Raft to drop off Sabretooth. We soon learn, however, that it’s Mystique in disguise and that the pair are actually there to spring Lady Mastermind for their new Brotherhood. I really like where this is going, hopefully in the next few issues they’ll continue picking up new members… although most of the classic members are either dead, de-powered, or reformed. However, the series so far has had an awful lot of that sort of “Act I of Ocean’s Eleven” style recruitment drive feel, and I don’t know if I should encourage another couple issues of that. The story isn’t a disappointment, but it’s been moving pretty slowly.
It’s certainly not without its charms, though. I thought the scene with the Avengers in issue 8 was cute, but I think it may have been more effective if the figures of Captain America and the Beast in the background were in the same poses as those mocking them. Marquez’ art is easy on the eyes, and he can certainly handle the chores of this book, but he’s no Stuart Immonen. Nothing against David Marquez, but I was very happy to see Stuart Immonen return on the most recent issue.
As far as the writing goes, Bendis set himself up for a success with the aforementioned scene. The prescient but childish mockery on the parts of Kitty and Bobby was the perfect scene for his style of Tarantino-esque unrealistically clever repartee. Not that I’m complaining, I enjoy that style of writing enough to have followed him all throughout his Avengers run and into his X-Men work, it’s just strange to me that both of these writers are lauded for natural dialogue when in fact it’s far less believable than most. It’s accessible, but it’s not the way that people actually speak to one another.
Still, the books good enough to justify buying 9 issues in four months. I’m still on board for the foreseeable future.
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