Review: All New X-Men 1 by Brian Bendis and Stuart Immonen

Forgot to mention this. I had the chance to read All New X-Men #1 at NYCC. Sorry, should have said.

It is one of those books where you know the core concept going in, and then you get that core concept revealed at the end as some kind of cliffhanger. Except of course you knew it going in, they’re on the cover, this was the solicitation, the promotion, the PR, this is why you bought the comic. It’s not a surprise when it happens.

What is a surprise that they actually use the end of the comic as a preview for the comic. To be fair, it’s where most of the “stuff” happens, but even so. Expect a lot of people experiencing deja vu when they read this on Wednesday.

There are lots of terribly interesting things in and around the comic. 2013 is the year where the future of Dayd Of Future Past was meant to be said, and the current Marvel Universe is the horrific future seen by the past. Although on Marvel’s sliding timescale, that means these funky teenagers are from 2005, maybe 2004, at a push 2003 even as they are all doing their best Mad Men impression. Immonen is an expert here at creating different moods, different times, different experiences without clashing and making the differences obvious

The problem is that a lot of it isn’t in the first issue. There’s plenty of talk about the new position of the X-Men, much discussion of legacy and history, and unease about Cyclops and especially the death of the Professor. Again. And it’s the old team, now the grandees of the X-Men who are doing the talking. The Beast it seems is the one who seems to be doing something about it, even though it goes against his grain. So he takes all the subtext of current X-Men stories, clashing the old with the new, and makes it text, courtesy of some time travel device or other. Unlike Uncanny Avengers #1, there just not as much to get your teeth into in the first issue.

Maybe it’s just one of those comics that has been over teased, over previewed, over analysed before the first issue has come out. But then I have to remember that not everyone reads these previews to death. Not everyone even knows what All-New X-Men is about  Not everyone reads Bleeding Cool. I know, shocking.

Many of Bendis’ strengths come out over an extended story, a first issue probably isn’t the best way to judge th book, the first trade paperback will be better. But offs are that’s exactly what many people wil new. People new to the comic may be entertained far more than those who have been reading about this for months. Expect an outpouring of “is that it” in comic shops. It may well be more your fault than that of the comic.

It just seems ironic that “All-New X-Men” will feel like “Been-There-Done-That X-Men” to many.

All-New X-Men #1 by Brian Bendis and Stuart Immonen is published by Marvel Comics on Wednesday.

 

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