The All New X Men series definitely got a lot of praise when it came out. People just seemed to really like the concept of having the classic X Men interact with the modern world and it made headlines for quite a while. It certainly seems like a fun series and I can see why it was liked. It sure does make you take a step back and remember how different everything used to be back then.
The comic starts off rapidly as the original X Men are face to face with Cyclop’s new group. The classic Angel wants to head off with this extreme mutant group and Wolverine’s team is trying to stop him. Tensions fly and we get a brief scuffle, but Angel is eventually allowed to leave. Unfortunately, the heroes don’t get much of a breather because Mystique, Sabertooth, and Lady Mastermind are framing them around the world. The Uncanny Avengers quickly show up to demand that the X Men hide out at their school, but Wolverine decides that they have to clear their names the old fashioned way. The rookies are going to get some real battle experience now!
One of the perks of the series is probably the casual pacing. It’s certainly not slow paced as many things happen, but it’s also not just running full speed to the goal. The issues simply transition well into the next one so the plot is constantly changing and adapting as the heroes learn more about what’s going on. All of the issues are fun except for the last one, which was essentially filler and had some pretty bad art as well.
In terms of the art, I do have to deduct a few points. It is rather inconsistent through the issues. Typically, the faces are the most noticeable as someone may squint their eyes so much that they become black slits or the character models will just be off. It’s too bad because the art is really good for the action scenes. The energy lines look very streamlined and make the battles feel more intense. There is certainly not a ton of action to be found here, but enough action scenes to certainly satisfy you.
As for the original X Men, they seem to essentially be in character for the most part aside from one member. Iceman still cracks a lot of jokes while Cyclops is still a commanding leader, even if he seems to be a little too naive. In the original comics, he certainly wouldn’t back off as much as he does now. He was sure of himself from the start, here the writers seem to want to portray the X Men as being incredibly young and inexperienced so that none of them have a lot of confidence. The Beast is still fairly unlikable and the final comic didn’t help matters. Angel seemed like himself although his role was small. Jean Grey is the main character who’s changed a lot.
It also makes a lot of sense that she would change the most since she is constantly figuring out dark secrets from the other characters thanks to her telepathy. Still, her corruption happened very quickly as she is already trying to force people to do things against their will through her mind. Luckily, there were enough heroes present to stop this, but it still does not help her case. While you can’t root for her, you will still be disappointed that none of her teammates try to assist her. Emma Frost had the three sisters attack Jean’s mind and none of the heroes helped out while she was getting pulverized. Wolverine talked tough, but he did nothing to back it up. Jean Grey shouldn’t have started the fight, but the X Men should have ended it. Storm was talking about how mutant should not fight mutant right now, but the important thing is always to win. If a mild skirmish happened here, so be it right? The Avengers could just arrest everyone later.
Speaking of the Avengers, they really do not look very good. This is still during that point in time where the heroes seem to really dislike mutants. The Avengers grabbed Havok so that he could badmouth the term mutant and Rogue so that they could seem to be unified, but it hasn’t really worked at all. The Avengers brought down the X Men’s plane just so they could threaten the team and send them back home. That was really out of character, but not if you’ve been reading AVX. It just makes the Avengers look rather petty and scared.
Then, we have the Scarlet Witch part of course. Jean found out that she basically destroyed over 95% of the mutant race and became an Avenger after that. It certainly makes you wonder how she got off so easy while fighters like the Hulk and Cyclops were dismissed as evil so quickly. It’s certainly late to attack Scarlet Witch now as the deed has been done, but it makes the Avengers look even more dicey than usual. They don’t even try to defend their action as Cap basically says that it doesn’t matter what she did since the X Men are fugitives. The line may make you chuckle or quickly look away. Either way, this was not Cap’s best appearance.
As for the villains, Mystique’s goals seem to be rather small at the moment. Owning a villainous island wouldn’t be so bad I suppose, but I just wonder what it has to do with anything. This is Mystique though so I’m expecting quite a few more twists with her plan. That being said, she’ll need better teammates if she wants to take down the X Men. Mastermind and Silver Samurai simply aren’t going to cut it when the X Men have a Jean Grey who is not afraid to use her telepathy at their disposal. I’m a little surprised that the illusions worked so well at tricking most of the superheroes, but I suppose that Iron Man and Mr Fantastic were too busy to look into this at the time. Without them, the X Men and Avengers are lacking in genius members.
It’s going to be interesting to see what happens to the team once this is all over though. They’ve already had many new experiences so how can they go back in time and keep reality from being altered? Unfortunately, it’s likely going to need their minds to be rebooted to that point. Jean Grey is the likely candidate for that at the moment. There is no way that they can keep their memories unless they are sent to an alternate timeline or something. Perhaps they won’t have to worry about that with the Secret Wars coming up anyway. Still, the ending to this series will be intriguing as it will test the morals of the heroes. If they really do decide to wipe the minds of the young heroes, that will be pretty disappointing and I’ll need to lecture them again through my reviews!
Overall, This was a fun collection of comics. All New X Men certainly is a lot of fun and has a great amount of potential. I do think that the X Men should be portrayed as being a little more confident and powerful though. Their abilities are shown to be very weak, which is odd since they were weaker, but still very potent back in the day. The team certainly needs to find a way to put a handle on Jean Grey since she is quickly succumbing to the dark side. Towards the end, Wolverine was allowing her to mess with the villain’s minds, but that’s just as unethical as using it against fellow heroes. He should have told her to stop from the beginning instead of encouraging it with Sabretooth. Putting the villains to sleep is all right, but not humiliating them through their mind. While the Avengers did not look great, it was still fun to see them jump in and remind us of the expanded universe. Nowadays, guest stars are common place and I think that’s a good thing. Solo adventures are still a lot of fun, but with hundreds or even thousands of heroes running around on Earth, it really doesn’t make sense to not see another hero very often. There’s only so much space on Earth right now after all. I recommend checking this volume out. All New X Men is a title that’s easy to jump into and makes for a fun read. You can expect another review for this series in the near future.