Same Old Brand New X-Men!

Comic Review: All New X-Men TPB #1

Couldn’t put this book down! Haven't had this much fun with an X-story in a while!

To me, my X-Men(s)!

The X-Men used to be a childhood favorite, especially because of the 90’s animated series, The Uncanny X-Men and games like Marvel VS. Capcom. But it faded. And the live action movies or animated incarnations didn’t do much to help either. They keep side-lining Cyclops in favor of a much more well received (in Hollywood anyway) X-Man, Wolverine. So needless to say, I find myself disinterested in the happenings in the X-verse.

I will never forget that entrance tune.

But every once in a while, I chance upon news about the state of the X-team. Like, oh, Emma Frost and Magneto are X-Men now. Oh, Professor X isn’t the wise elderly figure anymore and he's gone now. Oh, there’s a gazillion new X-teams and X-peeps. Oh, and Cyclops has a country now and Wolverine runs his own school. Through the years, X-Men has mutated into something so foreign to me. But when All New X-Men came out, I thought, maybe this is where I can start reading X-Men without needing to know the entire complicated back story. A fresh start, so to speak.

This isn’t one of those books that has a modern cover, but inside it’s really just a collection of old stories with matching 60s art and non-glossy paper. It’s the real deal. The original X-Men are back in the X-verse! Granted the reason for their return was a bit flimsy, they’re still back!


But it turns out, this isn’t a story ABOUT the original X-Men. Volume 1 is still very much about the present day X-Men. Which was a good surprise. I thought it would be a story told from the perspective of the original X-Men, but instead it was Beast and present day, mutant radical, Cyclops who were the real stars of the story. And it’s largely about how they’ve went from how they were back in the day to where they are now. And this is the reason why I love this book so much! It’s very premise is a reflection of how I currently feel about the X-verse, that it’s become too convoluted and sometimes, too dark.

allnewxmen3e past meets present
When Cyclops met Cyclops.

No other X-Man can personify this perceived transformation more than Cyclops. And, in a sense, the original X-Men are the solution to both the story's dilemma and mine. They give me a team of X-Men I’m familiar with, and a story that starts here, unblemished by all the politics and agendas that have been somewhat of a guiding force to the current X-stories. The original X-Men are just determined to be what they were always meant to be at their core – mutant heroes, protecting even those who would hate them.

This was gonna happen sooner or later.

Although, in the first volume, the original X-Men have yet to really make their mark, as the story strongly still revolves around the current X-Men. This was a set up book for both All New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men (both written by Bendis). I’ve yet to see how the presence of Jean Grey significantly complicates the lives of both Scott and Logan. Especially considering Jean was probably one of the biggest reasons why Cyclops’ path went the way it did.

If you’re like me and you want your TPBs to have a total/conclusive story, then this book isn’t for you. If you’re not in it for the long run, I’d advise against buying it. But if you are, and you're looking for a book that's accessible that you can jump on to, this is the perfect book! You’ll need SOME background, but nothing you haven’t heard yet if you frequent IGN, and nothing you can’t get through context clues.

All-New_X-Men_Vol_1_1_Rivera_Variant 2731445-all_new_x_men_2_0001b__2013___pasqual_ferry_variant___scandog_
Icemen and Angels

Brian Michael Bendis, long time Marvel author, delivers an engrossing story that has plenty of emotional weight and cool time travel spectacle. I loved the first meeting between present day Cyclops and the original X-Men. And I’m glad that even though future Cyclops is almost painted a villain, you still sympathize with him through the mutant oppression scenes Bendis thought to include. And unlike other alternate universe stories, Bendis’ style here was fresh. It’s usually the central character jumping into the past or future, but here, the central characters are the ones being visited. And I also enjoyed seeing Stuart Immonen’s explosive art. Future Cyclops’ eye blast was electrifying! The characters were also very detailed. Past and future characters could be told apart, not just because of their costume, but because of their built, their hair, etc.

Optic Blasts!!

Speaking of Cyke, I just want to include here that Cyclops is one of the most under appreciated Marvel characters. Especially in the movies! He is such a complex character. He’s a great tactical leader who would do anything to protect his team and his people. And people always underestimate just how powerful he is! (See pic below) And through the years he’s struggled with the toughest decisions often walking the fine line between being a hero or villain, a protector or a dictator, a man of integrity or a rebel. Kinda reminds me of Rick Grimes of the Walking Dead. Leaders don’t necessarily mean they make the moral choices. Bottom line is: Cyclops is a total bad ass!


Well that's it, I guess. Sorry for the long article. I just really enjoyed this book! And I seriously can't wait for the next one to be available in TPB! In the meantime, I'll read AVX, the story before this whole Marvel NOW thing started and see just what happened with Cyclops that turned him like this. 'Til next time!

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