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JEAN GREY JEAN GREY JEAN GREY

JEAN GREY JEAN GREY JEAN GREY

 

All-New X-Men #5

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Pencils by Stuart Immonen

Inks by Wade Von Grawbadger w/ Craig Yeung

Colors by Marte Gracia w/ Jason Keith

Review by Joey Braccino

The first story-arc of Brian Michael Bendis’ All-New X-Men comes to a quasi-close with issue #5! Several storylines are resolved or redefined in this issue, setting up the upcoming three-issue arc that features David Marquez (Ultimate Spider-Man) on art duties rather than Stuart Immonen. With issue #5, Bendis and Immonen fill the book from cover-to-cover with emotional resonance and character development, particularly for the Young Jean Grey.

Last issue left off with Blue Beast in cardiac arrest and Young Beast rushing in to save himself from future death. Bendis provides some closure to the Beast-Beast medical mishaps storyline whilst incorporating some wonderfully confuzzling self-referential humor between the two McCoys. Some will probably argue that the resolution is unnecessary to the overall X-continuity, but the development does authenticate Young Hank McCoy’s brilliance and solidify the “All-New” moniker in the title. Regardless, Immonen’s handling of the reveal is gorgeous, and his artwork is once again the saving grace when the script gets a little wonky.

Case-in-point: The opening two-page spread features Young Jean Grey linking Blue Beast and Young Beast through her burgeoning telepathic powers. Immonen frames the panels with golden decals and creatively places the picturesque, uneven panels on the page. It’s all stunning to look at, and then you realize that Old Blue Beast is totally making eyes at Young Jean Grey and remarking that her Marvel Girl costume (re: short Green mini-dress with plunging V-neckline) is his favorite Jean Grey costume. Even when Jean Grey tries to chastise him for messing with time and space, Old Henry McCoy can’t stop commenting on “how good it is to see [her].” It’s a strange moment, and I can only hope that Beast still somehow ends up the anti-villain of this series akin to Scott’s turn as the anti-villain in Avengers Vs. X-Men. Of course, this time, Beast will deserve it because he’s creepy and bitter.

The other ongoing question about the entire series has been the role of the Young X-Men. Questions about their place in continuity and the consequences of their presence in the future have abounded since All-New X-Men was announced last Summer. Bendis shows his hand in this issue, suggesting that Blue Beast’s original plan was simply to show the Young Scott Summers his future, make him and his older self feel really guilty about everything, and then mutant teens back to the past where Xavier would just mind-wipe their journey. Thankfully, this isn’t what goes down in this issue. What does go down promises some fascinating storylines down the pike. While the mind-wipe option still seems to be the easy way out for this whole series, at least Bendis and Company are serious about using the Young X-Men and their presence in the current timeline to their fullest potential.

Verdict

Check it out. Bendis, Immonen, and the Art Corps have put together one heck of a rapid-release run of one of Marvel NOW!’s flagship titles. Over the last month and a half, Bendis has constructed a new status quo for the X-Universe that is both progressive and respectful of past continuity. Issue #5 provides some excellent closure to the initial storylines and looks ahead to some interesting opportunities in the book’s future. It’s clear that the Young X-Men will be staying with us for a while, which is fortunate considering Bendis’ strong grasp on the Young Jean Grey. And the artwork is brilliant! Keep your eyes out for an absolutely breathtaking double-page spread featuring Jean Grey’s entire comics history that will be my desktop background for months to come.

One Response

  1. The Mad Titan

    I’ve only ever enjoyed the X-Men from a collectors standpoint and the it importance in Marvel history. More of what they represent than the quality of the stories. To me they just haven’t been what I gravitate towards.
    Now though, All New X-Men is another story, pun intended. Bendis has done a really good job bringing the old characters into their future to meet their older selves and still being able to see the difference between them. From what they say and with my perceived intention each of them is quite distinct from one another but they still have the Silver Age feel. I’ve read reviews that say these characters seem to be acting “out of character” for their 60’s selves but I figure they were just hurtled through time and are likely frazzled, freaked out and Po’d to find out what they’ve been up to. Oh, and Jean has died numerous times.
    I love the comic relief of the “2 Bobbies” and am dying to see what Warren does when he finds out what his life has been like after having his wings ripped off and being made into the Horseman of Death. We had a quick panel that alluded to this in this issue.
    The art has been awesome, not a huge shock from Immonen. I especially love the distinct body differences between the Summer’s, Scott. The physical size difference between a 16 year old and. 30(?) year old is done well as is the young persons near slouching stance of OG Cyke.
    I think this is being handled really well and has made the top of my pile 4 times…5 times…we can chill out with the weekly shippings though. Sounded like a great idea at the beginning.

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