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All New X-Men #4

by Tori B. on December 20, 2012

It’s official, the original five X-Men have made their presence known, and Scott Summers has had to face himself. The events that are about to turn out are all a result of everything that has happened and feelings that may have been pent up all this time.

 

 

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis | Artist: Stuart Immonen

Cover: Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger, & Marte Gracia | Publisher: Marvel

 

 

To start off, I’d like to say that this review is going to be written a little differently than most of my other reviews. Normally I try to stay a little more objective or keep most of my bias out and not get too heated with my opinion just to keep it accessible to any sort of reader. Given the nature of this series and my persistent X-Men fangirl tendencies, this is one title that’s going to be totally reviewed on an extremely personal level and probably reads more like a personal essay on the X-Men as opposed to a review.

 

It’s about time that it finally felt like this series was going somewhere. I’ve been apprehensive since the start and the third issue felt like a dead filler, I couldn’t find myself to believe that Bendis actually knew what he was doing. I’m still on the fence whether he actually does know what he’s doing; his writing is a little shaky at times (see Emma’s dialogue from the previous issue) and while I know he can punt out a decent story (House of M still gets me every time), he’s gotten cocky and probably thinks he can get away with a lot. And I’m nervous to see just how much he thinks he can get away with.

 

That being said, I didn’t have many expectations for this issue, after the first three, but I was mildly impressed. Scott’s turmoil upon seeing the X-Men of the past was nicely done, his initial confusion, but he managed to deduce exactly what he was dealing with, which is true to Scott’s core. He’s a born leader because of his tactical skills; he can assess a situation and know exactly what he’s up against. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean he’s completely prepared to face the love of his life exactly as she was when they were at their prime. And she’s certainly not prepared for his onslaught of emotions. Scott’s dealing with a lot right now, and as he later discusses with Emma, it’s his punishment. Emma states exactly what’s going on, and for me, that’s what made this issue. It was all about Scott’s reaction to what she said, and it hurt. He’s so far from redemption right now, and I think this was the turning point for the series. Scott’s at a low and it finally clicks that somehow, it’s about him trying to redeem himself but it’s going to be one of the biggest challenges he faces. And it was all captured in one single panel, done with the great pencil of Immonen. It’s so expressive that it told the rest of the story.

 

Immonen’s work this issue was great. There was a couple of moments in earlier issues where I was iffy on the art, it seemed blocky and vague-ish, but this was superior. Here is my bias in so much that I was mostly noticing how much better Emma Frost looked this issue. Definitely impressed with the art this time around, which added fuel to my growing fire, finally giving me hope for this series.

 

I want so badly to enjoy every issue that comes out, because it’s my bread and butter—all the X-Men that I’ve loved for a very big portion of my life, but it’s all still very thin ice here. I’m trying hard to enjoy it (and this issue was a great one for me) but there still remain small issues that I have, most (or all) are totally personal. I’ve never been overly fond of Jean Grey and I’m tired of her constant return into the Marvel universe (this makes me a hypocrite because I would die to bring Charles Xavier back—these are all things I won’t get into detail with lest I write some serious X-Men essays and I doubt anyone wants that). I had the chance to hear Chris Claremont speak a few months ago, and he discussed how X-Men needed new ideas, not a hashing out of things that have already been done. Which is kind of what this feels like. We’re dealing with characters of the past, so things that we’ve seen before are likely to pop up again. We’ve just recently dealt with the Phoenix for the how ever many time, and it’s time for something new. I believe it can be done, and based on how this issue ended there’s a bigger focus on Hank rather than Jean, and I can only hope that Bendis actually does pull through to focus on other characters and not bring up a slew of the past just to try and write a cool and ‘edgy’ story.

 

As stated earlier, this issue does give me some hope. There are personally emotional parts, and the artwork was stunning, and despite my hesitation to continue reading due to my lack of fondness towards a certain red-head, there’s a seamless weaving of narrative that does focus on other characters and is nicely giving us a glimpse of new characters that may come in with the sudden surge of new mutants appearing. There’s clearly going to be some huge developments of character occurring (especially with Beast and Cyclops) and I certainly wouldn’t stop anyone from picking up this issue or the next couple.

Our Score:

8/10

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