All-New X-Men #1 was a good start to the series, but it faulted when trying to bring the past to the present. #2 shows us that it was all worth it, as #2 is a great read. It’s Brian Michael Bendis at his best.
All-New X-Men #2 take the “little” X-Men and shows why this plot device was such a good idea. The interactions between the two generations of X-Men are very entertaining, but the characterization isn’t sacrificed for the sake of the plot. Bendis balances the humor and drama well, with each coming and going naturally. The only character who is acting slightly off is Jean. She accepts some major revelations about herself rather fast, and quickly gets a hold of all these powers everyone says she has. Yes, she is Jean Grey, and her advanced brain could deal with everything faster. But it just doesn’t work well in the story. The rest of the little X-Men are written brilliantly though. They have the naiveté and gusto of young Mutants, while making the older X-Men really think about themselves.
When All-New X-Men was announced, a lot of people were concerned that Bendis‘ writing wouldn’t be able to handle all the characters. Even big Bendis supporters said that he had a problem differentiating voices when there were a lot of characters on the page. Well, no one can complain about this in All-New. Each character has their unique voice, even the little X-Men. The dialogue is just different enough between old and young Beast to make it compelling. Having the same character and two ages will force each other to think outside the box. The idea of Beast changing again adds is one that I wasn’t sold on after reading #1. But Bendis ups the threat of this rather fast. I’m hoping this isn’t going to be another plot device and then be dropped off from the book. His look has changed enough over the years, he doesn’t need to change again.
When Stuart Immonen’s name appears on a comic book, you must buy it. Bendis doesn’t give him as many splash pages to pencil this time around, but Immonen makes the most of what is given to him. Let’s get the usual Immonen criticism out of the way: a lot of the characters look a like. They have the same strong jaw line. But when the rest of the issue is this beautiful, it doesn’t factor in. His Beast is physically imposing, and very detailed. The two panel joke between the Icemen not only hits the comedic tone that Bendis was going for, but the tiny differences them was what I took away from that page. Wade Von Grawbadger is stellar on inks. Beast’s fur is given a great amount of detail by Immonen, but Grawbadger’s inks help sell the individual hairs on his body. Marte Garcia’s colors make Immonen’s artwork pop off the page. Look at Wolverine’s lunge at Jean to see what I mean.
All-New X-Men had a rough start, but it’s worked out the kinks by the second issue. I assumed this would take a few months. Well, you know what happens when you assume.
All-New X-Men #2 gets 4/5.
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