“The first story of a new era comes to its conclusion. One of the original X-Men will be forever changed!” according to Marvel’s hype machine. Is this issue as epic as they would have you believe? Major Spoilers has your review!
ALL NEW X-MEN #5
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger w/Craig Yeung
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Colorist: Marte Gracia w/Jason Keith
Editor: Nick Lowe
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in All New X-Men: Cyclops is on the loose recruiting new mutants for a revolution. In an attempt to stop him, Beast brings the original X-Men to the present. The only problem is he is dying from a further mutation. Now young Beast must try and save his future self.
Using Jean Grey’s newly acquired telepathy, young Beast, old Beast and Jean all meet in old Beast’s mind to try and figure out a way to stop Beast from dying. While young Beast works, old Beast allows Jean Grey to look in his mind in order to see her future. It does not go well. Beast ends up mutating into a new form and the original X-Men decide to stay in present.
Some of that may sound confusing but Bendis handles it well, providing dialogue between characters that makes it all easy to understand. Beast and Jean discuss the dangers of messing with time and space and it’s something I’m glad he touched on. Jean’s powers are starting to progress sooner than they should. It’s obvious this is a consequence of Beast’s meddling and I’m interested in how this will affect Jean in the future. Bendis provides some of his trademark humor involving Jean’s old green costume and its ridiculousness. Marvel claims a character “will be forever changed” and that change is Beast’s appearance. Again. Not exactly as exciting as it sounds is it? This is his fourth appearance change if I’m recalling correctly, so we’ve seen this before. The response it got from me was “Wow, that’s it huh?” and honestly, it’s not that great of a new design. He looks like a giant blue monkey (Or ape. I can’t remember the correct distinction.), making this even more disappointing.
More interesting is the fact that the original X-Men decide to stay in the present. As the end of the arc, it would have been a let down to send them back so soon as they barely did anything. The fact that Xavier will just mind wipe them upon their return is addressed, which was good to see. I’m sure this is Bendis’ out, providing a reason for events to unfold the way they should. Hopefully it’s all leading to the much-needed confrontation between the old and new characters. This does bring up some problems as having them running around in the present might change things about the past, the present and future. It could cause quite a bit of confusion, something the X-Men don’t need anymore of. This book is still new reader friendly and I hope it doesn’t become a turn off. It’s a good ending to the first story, if not a little underwhelming. The first few issues had energy and excitement that has been lost. Hopefully Bendis is providing a pause before something huge takes place.
WHAT MORE NEEDS TO BE SAID?
I reviewed the last two issues and gushed about Stuart Immonen’s art. I won’t gush much more as it continues to be wonderful. The scenes in Beast’s head have decorative panels matching the period that is taking place. The characters look just like they did at that time in the X-Men’s lives. The two-page spread of Jean Grey seeing her future is something that should be framed and hung on a wall. Fantastic work. The artist taking over this book for the next few issues has a lot to live up to.
BOTTOM LINE: GOOD START
As an end to the first arc, this issue is satisfying but a little underwhelming. The energy from the first issues seems to have decreased and the major change to Beast is something we’ve seen before. I enjoyed this arc and everything is set up for what could be a truly awesome story. The art continues to be fantastic helping an average story be a satisfying read. It’s still worth buying, and one of the best Marvel books on the stands. I’m hoping for something huge though. All New X-Men gets 3 out of 5 stars.
DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!