Marvel Now! is (again) re-launching titles and starting with new number ones. This includes many of the X-books with the big one being All New X-Men. But can this book succeed in bringing new readers into the complicated world of the X-Men? Major Spoilers looks at the latest issue to find out.
Previously in All New X-Men: Cyclops and his group of X-Men are snatching up all the new mutants they can find. In an effort to stop him, Beast travels back in time and brings back the original X-Men. But will that be enough?
FUTURE MEETS THE PAST OF THE CURRENT FUTURE POSSIBLE
The world of the X-Men has always been a convoluted mess. Time travel, time streams, futures, possibilities of futures all make it difficult for new readers to jump in. I myself am a X-Men fan but because of a lapse in reading X-books, I’ve had to stay far, far away. The history and growing amount of characters was just too much for me to handle. But when I saw a new X-Men title starting, I decided to give it a try and for the most part, I’ve been pleased.
This issue deals with Cyclops and his group rescuing Emma Frost as their powers go out of control. It seems Cyclops’ use of the Phoenix force in Avengers vs. X-Men has “broken” their mutations and they must find a way to fix them. They also recruit a new mutant who has the power to look like other people. Of course, the issue ends with the original X-Men showing up ready to stop Cyclops’ revolution.
I really enjoyed the first two issues and thought that the premise was a neat one. This issue slips slightly compared to the quality of the previous books but, for the most part, continues to be new reader friendly. I didn’t read Avengers vs. X-Men but I feel I didn’t really need to in order to enjoy this title. I’m aware of what happened: Cyclops went crazy while possessed by the Phoenix and killed Professor X. Bendis presents all that info; so reading Avengers vs. X-Men is not a necessity. I liked that it showed the consequences of Cyclops’ actions and his guilt for what happened. He’s trying to atone for his sins, so to speak, and hopes to start a revolution. This is nothing like the Cyclops of the past as his views on mutants and humans co-existing have changed and become more in line with Magneto’s. I was aware this change had occurred and I like it as it provides a clash between the two Cyclops. This clash is promised at the end of the issue and I can’t wait to see it. Bendis’ dialogue is good and doesn’t feel as Bendisy as usual, something that sometimes gets on my nerves.
I do wish there was more of the X-Men of the past as their interaction with the present day was a fun one. There is very little background history to know as well. You have the original X-Men, the current ones and a smaller cast of characters, all which helped this be an easy read for me. But when dealing with time travel there is always going to be problems. Exactly what period of the past are the original X-Men from? If Jean Grey’s hair is any indication, it’s around the sixties, but this doesn’t line up with the age of the current X-Men who appear to be mid to late thirties. It’s enough to make a comic fan’s (and robot’s) head explode and I found it easier to just shut that part of my brain off and enjoy the ride. This may prove harder for some readers to do, and those detail obsessed may want to stay away.
I don’t know that I’ve ever read a book with Stuart Immonen as the artist. I’m definitely going to now, as his work is fantastic. His handling of characters, action and panel layout are wonderful and he provides a nice easy flow to the read. You can really feel the emotions of the characters, such as Cyclops’ anguish, from the looks on their faces. The whole scene where Cyclops loses control of his power causing major explosions and damage had a sense of scale on par with an action movie. It made me realize the power of these characters. It’s all beautiful stuff, and helps make this a high profile book.
BOTTOM LINE: I’M HOOKED
Bendis and Immonen (and everyone involved with the book) have now made me a reader of X-Men. This title appeals to a new reader like me, and is not bogged down by years of history and characters. I’m hooked and really can’t wait to see more interactions between past and current X-Men. This issue provides a little more drama than the previous ones and promises what looks to be a big payoff at the end. It’s a high profile book and should be the go to read for new and old X-Men fans alike. That’s if you can deal with the wonky time periods. All New X-Men #3 gets 4 out of 5 stars.
DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!