- Written by Brian Michael Bendis
- Art by Sara Pichelli
- Colours by Marte Gracia
- Letters by CV’s Corv Petit
- Cover by Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger and Marte Gracia
Recently I’ve complained that ‘All-New X-Men‘ has lingered too long in the fallout from ‘Battle of the Atom‘ and become a little stagnant but thankfully this issue steps up to the mark visually whilst almost managing to push the story forwards for the first time in several issues.
The quality of this book has never faltered, its just the nature of the story that has held it back from continuing on as my favourite Marvel book each month. This month Stuart Immonen has taken a step back from art duties inside the book to be replaced by Sara Pichelli who does an excellent job of breaking from the Marvel standard to add an almost playful quality to the art. The sequences with Angel and Laura away from the other X-Men play up the romantic nature of the story and bodies become more defined and lifelike in proportion becoming almost sexy to behold.
The X-Men themselves do appear in this issue despite misleadings of the cover and their appearances are also thankfully not tied to any of the time travel drama which has been playing out this year. Facial features are a little inconsistent but thankfully the uniforms are there to always remind you which character is which. Jean Grey suffers the most but mainly due to appearing in almost all of the scenes outside of the Angel/Laura storyline.
The story itself is much smaller in scale, focussing on more of the emotional state of the characters rather than pitting them against an enemy. I find that every-so-often the X-Men need to take a step back from fighting enemies to get their own house in order so I find any issue which brings the focus in house is always welcomed. After thirty issues ‘All-New X-Men‘ has spent a huge amount of time contextualising the appearance of the young X-Men in the present day that it hasn’t perhaps focussed as much on the relationships that the characters are forming between all the different teams. Yes there’s been stories about allegiances and various different factions but little time has been spent on personal relationships aside from perhaps Beast admitting his feelings for Jean and Jean running away with young Scott.
Spending some time focussing on lesser known characters in this series like Laura and Angel breaks up the action nicely and allows the book to broaden its horizons beyond the core characters.
That being said as the story comes to a conclusion it does appear this issue has been written to draw us in to picking up the next issue of ‘Uncanny X-Men’ to pick up on the reading of Xaviers will but if that’s what it took to tone down the action here than I welcome it.
From here ‘All-New X-Men‘ needs to learn that it’s readers love its characters as much as they love its action and some smaller, more emotional stories will help to make this issue really standout from the pack in the Marvel world.