All New X-Men is the last of my post-Secret Wars series that I wanted to give my thoughts on for you. It covers the adventures of the young X-Men pulled out of time by Beast, minus Jean Grey. Added to the team is Wolverine, Idie (a.k.a. Oya), and Evan (Genesis), and the first appearance of Pickles (the adorable bampf). Written by Dennis Hopeless, with art by Mark Bagley this volume picks up after the events of Secret Wars, and follows the young X-Men as they travel in an old camper, often teleporting by way of the bampf that’s tagging along for all the free food. They’ve decided that they need to make their own way in the world, without being overshadowed by the older, more experienced X-Men.
The book feels like a young and fresh story, sometimes like reading issues of X-Men twenty or more years ago. I think it would be a great jumping-in point for new readers, without the baggage of decades of past story. All of these characters are quite new as far as the Marvel universe goes and it would be easy for anyone to jump right in and get to know them.
Despite the serious nature of the story, beginning with the Ghosts of Cyclops wannabe terrorist group, Hopeless incorporates enough light-hearted humor to keep the book from becoming too dark. Coupled with Bagley’s clean style and Nolan Woodard’s bright colors it’s a fun book that has all the feel of what X-Men readers of years past would be familiar with. Even down to the opening it feels like an old-school book when you see Laura and Warren enjoying a day on the slopes, then the others doing their best to enjoy some normalcy. It reminded me of scenes of the X-Men playing baseball behind the school.
The dialogue is good, sometimes clever and heartfelt. Watching Laura and Warren’s relationship develop, Hank try to assimilate into a world whose technology is beyond his wildest dreams and Bobby come to terms with living with the truth of his sexuality all make a good foundation for new adventures. So far Hopeless is doing a good job of keeping them new and exciting.
Like I said above, the art in the books is great. The lines are clean and detailed, and the new uniforms are each unique but reminiscent of classic designs which pay homage to the X-Men’s past. The art team brings out the bright colors that have usually been a part of X-Men books in the past, which I like a lot. It reminds me of the X-Titles of the early 90s; a time when X-Men books were putting out some of the most memorable and eye-catching issues.
So far, several issues in, this is one of the better X-Titles I’m picking up now. It may be because the characters are essentially new, and the team is using that to deliver new and interesting stories, and new dynamics between the members. Since there is no baggage with the members of this team there’s no feeling of “oh this again” when they come across villains we’re all familiar with. Seeing them up against Blob or Toad is new because they really haven’t faced off before. Back to that feeling like it’s all new again, which I am liking a lot.
If you like classic X-Men, or looking for a good jump off point into some new adventure, give the book a try. I know the review is late and we’re a few issues into this run now, but back issues should be easy enough to find. It’s a fun read, with some great art.