All New X-Men #5 © Marvel Comics

WRITTEN BY: Brian Michael Bendis
ART BY: Stuart Immonen
COLOURS: Wade Von Grawbadger and Craig Yeung
COVER BY: Stuart Immonen
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics

When I hit the comic shop today I was pretty sure that my first comic of the week was going to be a first issue which would have gone nicely. New Avengers and Morbius were up there on my list of hopefuls and whilst Morbius was enjoyable New Avengers couldn’t have been further from gaining the accolade of Comic of the Week.

I shouldn’t really be surprised that All New X-Men #5 stood out as the top comic this week. I was quite surprised and even left it to last and it occurred to me that Bendis is like that best friend you can rely on – when you’ve missed the bus he’s there to give you a lift or when your girl friends dumped you Bendis is there to get you drunk and that’s how I felt this week surrounded by the potentially great comics and the journey home I was so excited to get in and crack open those comics and with each issue I felt let down and wondered how the hell am I going to pick a comic of the week? Then I got to my last comic and bang!

If you’ve not picked this up yet then this is the fifth issue of the All New X-Men, the title has been dealing with the fallout of Cyclops going crazy due to the Phoenix entity in Avengers Vs. X-Men. In issue one Beast went back in time and brought the original X-Men to the present to shock younger Cyclops so that he can change the future.

Let’s start with the Jean Grey centred cover illustrated by Stuart Immonen, different costumes of Jean Grey and the marriage to Scott Summers on the front cover all beautifully illustrated. Back in November when Geeks Unleashed previewed this comic I fell in love with the cover and have eagerly awaited this issue.

There are many things I love about Bendis:

  1. His writing style – a real conversation happens across the page.
  2. He’s a writing machine – always delivers many comics for a variety of titles with some being more than once a month
  3. Not only does he look at the bigger picture and probably has issue 70 plotted he thinks of the small detail.

This is what is happening in All New X-Men, there are many plot threads but it’s not overwhelming and for characters that he’s never written before you can see he gets these characters, he truly understands them. It’s like Bendis came home. There’s been arguments over the years about decompression (taking a two part story and making it six parts), well Bendis can do that all day long if it means making the best possible story. We could have had the original five X-Men at this point by the end of issue two and skips out lots but instead Bendis has been building on the existing X-Men part of the Marvel Universe. I’ve enjoyed the character interaction between the younger and the older versions of the X-Men.

Although I personally would love to see a resurrected Jean Grey back rather than this time travel story line I trust Bendis enough that I know we’ve not been told everything yet. I’m sure there are things around the corner. The book was mainly centred on Jean Grey and I loved every moment of seeing her back amongst living especially the moment she starts to come into her own, she stands up to Wolverine and all of the X-Men as she wants to stay Kitty Pride backs her. This is a great moment for comics.

The art team of Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger and Craig Yeung have done an amazing job on this title. Starting with many different versions of the Beast in this book from the young human Beast to 90’s Beast and ending the title with brand new look for Beast and it looks like the cat era of the Beast has come to end thanks to the next step in his mutation. I’ve recently come to really appreciate the work of the colourist recently, although I love the Black and White of Think Tank and Walking Dead both are noticeable for their lack of colour, the scene where older Scott Summers is leaning against a tree in the shade comes together nicely. The double page spread with Jean Grey learning all about her future could quite easily be framed and sit nicely next to my other lithographs.

If you’ve been sitting on the fence on this one, I couldn’t recommend this one strongly enough as required reading. This is clearly the central book for the X-Men and like Scott Snyder‘s Batman which in two major story lines (Night of the Owl and Death of the Family) has had ripples across the rest of the Bat related titles, this title is sure to be one of those books that will make ripples if not tidal waves across the X-Men line and quite possibly the rest of the Marvel Universe.

Published by Mark Brassington

Father and Husband. Works in Corporate Banking. Loves Books, Comics, Cycling, Music, Games, going to the Gym and Writing.

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