Written by Brian Bendis
Art by Stuart Immonen
Beware of spoilers!
I’ve been saying this in a lot of comic review recently but starting at issue #1 despite satisfying any compulsive needs for completion is just not an achievable goal for just one reviewer. With that in mind here we jump in to All New X-Men at issue #14.
For the uninitiated All New X-Men brings the original X-Men team from the past to the present day in order to confront their present selves in the wake of a devastating event caused by the Phoenix force entering Cyclops.
The story features three factions of X-Men: Present day Cyclops and his team; Wolverine and his team and the original five X-Men members all with their own separate motivations and goals. Not to forget there’s a whole troop of Hydra soldiers involved here.
The story by Brian Bendis has been pretty gripping and continues to be so throughout this issue. There’s a strong moral fibre beneath all the action that rings true to the original premise of the X-Men but doesn’t overpower the massive fun-factor that this seres contains.
This series features a massive ensemble cast on a monthly basis and Bendis has a proven track record at handling these large group characters well. The individual characters voices are well defined by this point in the series and although there are visual cues to differentiate between the past and present characters their voices portray the innocence of youth against the beleaguered present day cast.
After this arc is complete we hand over to the X-Men: Battle of the Atom arc which will introduce a further X-Men team from the future who must convince the original X-Men to return to the past. It’s all very Whovian and I’m sure will prove to be a great warm up to the ‘Days of Future Past’ film coming next year.
Stuart Immonen provides some great visuals for this issue. He captures the characters expressions in a way which perfectly accentuates the dialogue. The teenagers appear like teenagers and adults come off like distraught parents. It all adds to the fun of the book but when the story requires Immonen can turn up the drama dial all the way up.
The Phoenix visuals here are unique and distinctive to the style of this book and have definitely whet my appetite for further Phoenix developments in the future should they be required by the story.
Next month Immonen hands over the pencil to David Lafuente so, for the time being, this is his chance to make a big impact on the book and thanks to the story unfolding here he does so with impressive ease.
As I have said this arc completes itself shortly (in issue #15) so if you are looking for a jumping off point for All New X-Men either jump back in time to issue #13 or step in with the Battle of Atom mark which hits this title in issue #16 on 4th September.