ALL-NEW X-MEN is easily my favorite book in Marvel’s current X-lineup. Things started off great in the first arc (check out my review HERE), continued to be strong in the big crossover event BATTLE OF THE ATOM, and we are now introduced to a new “jumping-on” point in the form of issue #22.NOW which also serves as Part 1 of the “The Trial of Jean Grey” story arc. For the uninitiated, basically all you need to know is that the original X-Men have been brought to the future (for too many reasons to explain here) where they are now stuck and they must deal with the consequences. Don’t ask. Just go with it. it’s fun. While issue #22.NOW is a great time to get a hold of this book, I would highly recommend reading issues #1-21 to get the full effect here.
After we are treated to a quick re-introduction to the main characters (X-23, Kitty Pryde, Beast, Iceman, Angel, Cyclops, and Jean Grey), things heat up real quick as the young X-Men get attacked from some unidentified soldiers that came shooting down from the stars. Writer Brian Michael Bendis does a great job getting straight to the action and really focuses on just showing us the original X-Men students. The pacing is fast and frantic, with a lot of subtle humor thrown in for good measure. I especially enjoyed the bickering between young Cyclops and Jean Grey who are still coming to terms with the fact that Jean can read Scott’s mind, and the fact that Jean knows that her future self died…twice. It’s really an enjoyable read and I can see this as a comfortable issue to get in on the fun if you just aren’t interested in catching up proper. The main art by penciler Stuart Immonen is nothing to scoff at either. Interesting panels, quick flowing scenes, and page-turning images are the order of the day. I really enjoy all the small touches and facial expressions he adds to bring these iconic characters to life. Well done.
As a big X-Men fan (and even bigger Cyclops fan), I may have a bit of a bias here, but I think it’s safe to say that this issue is well worth picking up. An interesting premise starring some of comics most beloved characters complimented by some stellar art is hard to argue with. A great cast of characters, an interesting story with a few hooks, and some fun art all get married here to create a book well worth your hard earned $3.99. Can’t wait to see where they go from here.
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10
It’s also worth mentioning that “The Trail of Jean Grey” story arc starts here and continues as a tie-in with Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY book. So those interested should pick up GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #11.NOW as well and check the back of this issue for a release checklist for future stories in this arc.
In the San Francisco area looking for your next X-MEN comic book fix? If so, Check out MISSION: COMICS & ART. They’ve got you covered!