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All-New X-Men #1

ALL-NEW X-MEN #1

Capsule Review

The X-Men books have been among the most reliable titles in this whole Marvel re-launch, and All-New X-Men is right there with the rest, passing muster with a book that doesn’t change your religion, but delivers a couple dozen pages of entertaining mutant funnybook action. The All-New X-Men in this book are the old guys — or the new/old guys — that Brian Michael Bendis brought into Marvel continuity a couple years ago … the original X-Men, from back in the 60s, zapped forward into our time by the Beast because, well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. This lead to multiple versions of Iceman and Cyclops and the rest of the guys running around at the same time, and it was only natural to assume the originals would be returned to their own time when the gimmick expired, but they didn’t and it hasn’t and so we have the new/old gang together again, starring in their second series (by my count), and they’re just as confusing as ever. You either go with these things, or you don’t. Normally I’m a fuddy-duddy about deep-continuity comics but I read the preceding Bendis run last year, and I almost kinda-sorta knew what was going on here … which is basically the continuing adventures of our time-lost heroes settling into the new timestream, if only because going back would seem to doom them to becoming murders/pariahs/purveyors of interstellar genocide. And when you think about it, that makes sense … given the chance to avoid becoming their parents, what kid wouldn’t do it? All of which says precious little about this particular issue, which only peripherally touches on those issues, concentrating instead on establishing the chemistry of the new cast, with the crew on the lookout for a MIA Cyclops who is taking the matter of a criminal Cyclops cargo cult into his own hands. Artist Mark Bagley is good at drawing attractive, youngish-looking heroes, and Dennis Hopeless keeps the dialogue snappier than you’d expect for a book from the doom-and-gloom X-Men line, although I was a bit confused by the way he juxtaposed his voice-over captions. Overall, it works.

Approachability For New Readers

Basically impossible. You have the young/old X-Men teamed with lady Wolverine treating the as-yet unpublished finale of Marvel’s latest Secret Wars like some kind of third rail, so good luck figuring out what the heck is going on. But there are some familiar characters and X-Men books are always a bit of a jumble, so it’s not so different than jumping into the middle of a series from decades past. Of course, a #1 issue might reasonably be held to a higher standard of clarity … but I’m just pissing in the wind complaining about this stuff at this point.

Read #2?

Sure, sooner or later.

Sales Rank

#14 December

Read more about the X-Men at Longbox Graveyard

Read more capsule reviews of Marvel’s All-New All-Different rolling reboot.

All-New X-Men #1

 

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About Paul O'Connor

Revelations and retro-reviews from a world where it is always 1978, published once a month or so at www.longboxgraveyard.com!

Posted on January 25, 2016, in Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I really don’t get the whole long-term goal or purpose of the time-displaced X-Men. Why have they not just officially replaced their older counterparts? Makes no sense to me, and feels like a What If? story that doesn’t end. That’s not to say these younger versions don’t have their own charm and story-telling possibilities, but again, I fail to see the logic of both versions existing at the same time, especially after the end of Secret Wars when they should’ve either replaced their modern incarnations, or been sent back to their own timeline and world.

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    • As much as I like this book, I must agree.

      Aside from a (short-term) boost to sales, I don’t understand what Secret Wars was all about.

      Aside from collapsing the Ultimate line, it didn’t streamline the Marvel Universe. We still have alternate worlds, multiple timelines, and time-lost heroes running around. I don’t see where the current continuity is any more or less easy to comprehend than the old.

      It didn’t provide a good jumping-on point for new readers … Secret Wars slipped so much that the new line had to get rolling before the reboot event concluded, which made for a confusing transition. Even if they’d hit every monthly target, many (most?) of these new #1s weren’t very welcoming for new readers.

      It also didn’t move the Marvel Universe much closer to something that non-core fans would recognize … the books are scarcely more welcoming to the movie audience than they were before. We still have female Thor, female Wolverine, and genuine confusion about Spider-Man — regardless of the merits of those books and characters, it is a barrier to mainstream audiences to get into those books right now.

      So … Secret Wars didn’t clean up the universe, it didn’t make things better for new readers, it didn’t even really alter the status quo in some fascinating new way. It goosed sales for a short time but may well have served as a better jumping-off point for existing readers than it was a jumping-on point for lapsed readers. Really weird.

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      • Agreed on all your points Paul but that’s nothing new, unfortunately.

        Marvel has been lost in total confusion since Kirby, the real Creative Mind of the so-called Marvel Universe, quit.

        Now, they are still running like a headless duck (which, by the way is a much tastier poultry meat than a mere turkey).

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  2. I only see old characters or gender switched ones… What is new supposed to be new in this title?
    It’s not like there would be a shortage of mutants since, in the past decades, Marvel has already turned most of the planet inhabitants into mutants including some previously established non mutant superheroes.

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    • The winds are blowing against the Mutants, though … now it’s all-Inhumans, all the time. You must have missed the memo!

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      • Back in the seventies, continuity had already become over complicated in many titles but it seemed it had at last reached a paroxysm in the 80s… Until you realize that the worst has yet to come… Memo after memo.

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        • I think continuity was great when it was something Stan Lee and (especially) Roy Thomas could keep in their heads, but when it became enshrined as holy writ, it became more of an encumbrance than it is worth. I’d honestly be happy with tales that maintain a consistent take on the spirt of the characters without all having to fit together into some ridiculous puzzle.

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  3. I believe in effect in Secret Wars really was a true jumping off point for the then current readers, you are absolutely 100% correct there. And you’re not alone in that sentiment, because I saw that common thought being said several times back then and even still now.

    Instead of being a line-wide event that Marvel hijacked or used to put all their eggs in a basket, it should’ve been left to being its own thing, and that is Hickman’s swan song at Marvel for the foreseeable future. But no, they forced into being a way to do…this.
    Why they need a reason or excuse to do this instead of just doing it without a story makes no sense to me other than that it was a unapologetic cash-grab, which as you pointed out, still didn’t make things any easier on new-time fans. It just created another opportunity to flood the market with new titles and finally and mercifully but an end to the Ultimate line.

    Another thing, is that for all the talk of how well-timed and planned it out it all was, it sure wasn’t due to those long delays, even UXM#600 was unusually delayed.

    They should’ve not only taken that in account, but simply waited until Hickman and Bendis were done and the books printed, and then went ahead with the relaunch, but for some reason, they felt pressured into go ahead anyways? Idk….

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    • It was a tremendously complicated plan with too many points of failure.

      The original Secret Wars (in the 1980s) inoculated itself against publication delays by embedding the series in the midst of the monthly rotation. Secret Wars occurred “between” months … suddenly Spider-Man had a black costume and Ben Grimm was missing and etc. and etc. and if you wanted to know why, you had to pick up the year-long Secret Wars series. (It also helped to have steady pros like Jim Shooter and Mike Zeck handling the creative).

      This new Secret Wars, on the other hand, was intended to fill a proscribed gap between the end of existing Marvel continuity, and the beginning of the next — ANY delay instantly sent shockwaves down the line. Additionally, this Secret Wars wasn’t one book, but many, all of which had potential to set up ripples delaying the rest of the line.

      There was no way this was going to come off on time. No way.

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