Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils by Stuart Immonen
I know I am not the first to say that I am skeptical of this Marvel Now! era of Marvel comics. It comes right after the DC New 52 reboot. While Marvel consistently hammers in the idea that this is not a reboot, once all of the issues are released we shall be the judge of that.
When I heard about the premise of All New X-Men, I really became skeptical. How can you have All New X-Men with the original cast of the X-Men in the story? After the events of AVX and AVX: Consequences, Scott Summers (Cyclops) and many of the X-Men who are on the run are saving and recruiting all the new mutants that are popping up all over the globe. Wolverine and his X-Men decide to hunt him down. Meanwhile, the Beast has the idea of going back in time and bringing back the original X-Men team. I really thought this would not work. I must point out that I am a huge fan of Brian Michael Bendis. I was very sad to see the end of his run on most of the Avengers titles and his run on Ultimate Spider Man is probably one of the best series out there across the board. I still had my doubts.
Issue one of All New X-Men is so far the best of the Marvel Now! era. Uncanny Avengers is at a close second. Bendis does not disappoint. Stuart Immonen, like Leinil Yiu, is one of Marvel's best kept secrets when it comes to breakdowns. While Marvel's Siege left much to be desired, Immonen's pencils really stood out. I felt that his pencils were wasted on a lackluster story. Immonen does a wonderful job of portraying the chaos that is the post AVX world. Cyclops has return in full force and he stays getting on everyone's nerves.
The Beast goes back just in the nick of time. He shows up the moment before his past self is about the quit the X-Men. At first, the X-Men are wary and are ready to refuse jumping into the future especially after Beast admits that the technology he used is based off of Dr. Doom's inventions. Once he tells them that the future Cyclops is the complete opposite of his former self, the original X-Men decide to go with him.
In Issue #2, Beast returns to the Jean Grey School which is headed by Wolverine. When the current X-Men find out about Beast's idea, they immediately sequester their past selves. It's important to note that Beast picks up the past Jean Grey before she even knew she had telepathic powers. Once she learns that she will soon manifest these powers, they slowly come on line. Issue #2 is better than the first issue since we see how the current X-Men treat their old selves forgetting who they once were. This is were Bendis really shines.
Imagine your 19 year old self pops up at your door. I can remember my crazy 19 year old self and quite honestly, I wouldn't keep my eyes off of him. Now tell your 19 year old self that the man you considered a father and mentor is killed by one of the people you would consider like a brother. You couldn't expect your 19 year old self to sit still now would you? That's the mistake the current X-Men make.
Issue #3 shows how Cyclops was able to convince the other fugitive X-Men to join his side after the events of AVX. While it gets muddled here and Bendis doesn't really explain how Emma Frost returns to fight with Cyclops as his right hand, I am sure he will answer that later on.
I am really impressed with this new series and I came into it with many doubts. My only gripe is that if you are coming into in now without reading previous story lines and cross overs such as X-Men Schism and AVX, then you will be lost. I explained the premise to many people and they are all confused. Not to mention the fact that I have to fill them in on what happened to several X-Men who are no longer on the roster such as Jubilee and Professor Xavier. So if you are looking for a jumping off point back into the X-Men, I don't recommend this title until you've read previous story lines.