Frustrated, confused, and alone, the time-displaced younger Cyclops contemplates skipping town. That is until he encounters the one mutant who could be considered, able all others, the most die-hard of revolutionists: Mystique. And she is about to prove Hank McCoy just may have made the biggest mistake in his life bringing the original five X-Men to the present.
Brian Michael Bendis is doing fantastic things with All New X-Men. After more than eight years shaping the Avengers, he is taking on the challenge of revitalizing a franchise that has fallen deeper into chaotic disarray. Which is the perfect metaphor to also describe the course he is setting the original five on in the series, this issue in particular. One of the things I love is how Bendis is able to develop such awesome tension and drama without needing to fill each page with action sequences. I know a lot of folks knock him for doing too many talking heads scenes, but this is the kind of book that makes them so compelling. The conversation the younger Cyclops has with Mystique is proof of that. Is she speaking from her heart or manipulating his soul?
David Marquez is filling in to illustrate for Stuart Immonen and Wade von Grawbadger, who are on break until issue 9. And he is doing an outstanding job at that. His drawings echo Immonen’s, so that the look would be consistent, yet he has added his own touches here and there. There is a key moment where the younger Cyclops goes though his deposit box at a bank. How Marquez draws him discovering a certain item speaks volumes with its subtlety. Then there is the coloring by Marte Gracia. He is doing everything right to bring the characters to life with definition and depth that it makes me believe they are popping out of the page.
All New X-Men is my favorite title under the Marvel NOW! initiative. With an issue like this that has such compelling writing from Bendis and incredible illustrations from Marquez, it is making a serious push in wanting to be my favorite book currently being published. There is always that concern that the good times won’t last, as has generally been the case with X-Men, and to an extent Bendis, throughout the years. Nevertheless, I am going to enjoy this amazing journey while it lasts. It goes without saying that I highly recommend this book.
Do you think the X-Men from the past will make a difference in the present? Comment below and follow me on Twitter @LordAkiyama.