TITLE: All New X-Men #1
AUTHOR: Brian Michael Bendis
PENCILLER: Stuart Immonen
PUBLISHER: Marvel
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASED: November 14, 2012

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

After reading All New X-Men #1, I think I’ve got the new status quo all figured out: Wolverine is the new Charles Xavier, Cyclops is the new Magneto, and Beast is the new Dr. Emmett Brown.

In the aftermath of AvX: Consequences, Cyclops is a free man again. Alongside Magneto, Emma Frost and Magik, he’s traveling the globe recruiting some of the new mutants who gained their powers after the events of Avengers vs. X-Men. Cyclops’ shift from mutant peacekeeper to mutant revolutionary leaves Beast and Iceman baffled. As Beast’s body slowly begins to mutate yet again, he makes a bold move. He travels back in time to recruit the original X-Men (himself, Cyclops, Iceman, Jean Grey and Angel) to help him stop Cyclops and his expanding team.

My favorite part of this issue was a single panel, which you can see on the page at left. As he and the others are rescuing a young mutant being interrogated at a police station, Cyclops looks into a security camera, which he presumably knows will be seen by million of people via the media, and crosses his forearms. I love this moment for two reasons. Firstly, it happens to also be a pose frequently struck by WWE Champion CM Punk, which tickles me as a wrestling fan. This is also a small but important character moment for Cyclops. He’s taken Xavier’s “X” symbol, once a sign of peace and unity between humans and mutants, and used it as a symbol for war. Given that he’s not under any kind of mind control, or any influence by the Phoenix Force, that’s a pretty big deal. But I like how they didn’t blow it out of proportion in terms of how things were laid out. It’s nicely understated.

Outside of what we saw from Cyclops, there isn’t necessarily a lot of great character work in this issue. We’re really just laying the groundwork for what I hope will be an epic collision when the other characters find out what Beast has done. Conspicuous by his absence in this issue is Wolverine. Instead we get scenes with Storm, Iceman and Kitty Pryde. Ice has a line about how he, Beast and Cyclops were in the original X-Men, and that Scott Summers would “slap the holy crap out of the Scott we have now…” That’s a little on the nose for my taste, but oh well.

Bendis teams with his old Ultimate Spider-Man and New Avengers buddy Stuart Immonen here. The only significant issue I have with Immonen’s work here is how he draws Iceman. For some reason the character has large icicles extending backward from his head and shoulders. The look is a bit too much for my taste. Immonen does, however, give us a nice intense opening with Beast suffering as his body attempts to mutate. When we open the issue we see him crouched down and reaching out toward us. Immonen drew his hand reaching beyond the confines of the panelling, giving us the illusion that he’s actually reaching out to the reader for help. It’s a great effect.

The certainly wasn’t the strongest opener I’ve ever seen from Bendis, but the premise is enough to keep me coming back for more. I’m interested to see how they resolve the whole time travel plot. Plucking Cyclops from the past and telling him how he’s eventually going to kill Professor Xavier and form a team with Magneto and Emma Frost could certainly present…problems. And then you have Jean Grey back in the picture, which will complicate things. There’s a lot of great intrigue here. This looks like it’ll be worth sticking around for.

All images courtesy of Marvel.

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