Review: All-New X-Men #4

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1355852102_cvrBrian Michael Bendis is officially the king of reinvigorating franchises.  All-New X-Men continues it’s high quality, even if the beginning drags like a snail.

Bendis got me hooked on New Avengers because of his great character work.  Each character had it’s own voice, and contributed to the conversation.  But that became a problem near the end of his run on the title.  But for some reason, that special skill is back, as he weaves every distinct voice perfectly.  The new mutants are the highlight, conveying the loneliness and confusion that comes with being teenager.  With the school having it’s own book, and Cyclops’ team have it’s own book in a few months, the direction for this book should be the little X-Men.  Wherever they end up living, this book would benefit from having the focus be on them.  Seeing them react to the world, provide a commentary on the modern Marvel Universe, would be a hell of a book.  Bendis has always known how to write for an artist, and the big fight scene is perfect for Stuart Immonen.

The beginning of the issue drags like all hell.  Understandably, Scott is trying his hardest to figure out what is going on.  The thread of logic that Bendis uses feels write, and works for the character.  But it’s horribly overwritten.  The thread of logic could have been edited down to a few words.  His brain wouldn’t be staying on an idea long as he discredits it.  The same could be said for seeing Jean.  Yes, Scott will always be in love with her, but he wouldn’t revert to a puppy dog right away.  If he is having so much trouble understanding what is going on, then why does he just accept what is going on so quickly?  All of this leads to a well written scene with Scott hating himself a little bit.  But the end doesn’t justify the means.  It does lead Scott in a new direction, one that Bendis will no doubt investigate in Uncanny X-Men.

Stuart Immonen must have had months and months to get ready for this book.  Much like the writing, the art has barely dipped in quality over the accelerated shipping schedule.  The massive fight scene has a lot of detail, and just feels bombastic.  Cyclops’ (older) optic blast continues to amaze me.  With Chris Bachalo’s wild pencils, I’m interested to see how he conveys this new change in power.  Immonen pencils Emma Frost in an interesting manner, as she doesn’t have that big of a chest.  It’s refreshing to see her without a comically large chest, even though that is a big character trait (pardon the pun).  Marte Gracia’s colors are simply astonishing.  They give the book a classic look.  The massive amounts of spandex suit Gracia’s colors perfectly.  The massive amount of fire gives Wade Von Grawbadger plenty of intricate shadows to ink.

It’s hard to decide book is the flagship title for the X-books.  Wolverine & the X-Men might be the leader for now, but All-New X-Men is giving Wolverine & the X-Men a run for it’s money.

All-New X-Men #4 gets 4/5.

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