comicsthegathering dot com logo

All New X-Men #18

by Tori B. on November 13, 2013

Post Battle of the Atom, Professor Kitty Pryde has taken along her ragtag group of original X-Men to join the New Xavier School. It’s a fresh start for everyone, but boys will be boys it seems.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger, Marte Gracia
Cover: Brandon Peterson
Publisher: Marvel
For everyone thinking that Scott Summers has been on a path towards villainy, this is the clue in that he’s not. He’s finally growing out of his trope and making some tough calls, but he’s still Slim at the heart of it.
A lot of the narrative follows Kitty as she sets herself amongst the Uncanny team and their hidden school, whose location is finally revealed to readers and a rather impressed Kitty Pryde. The integration of the original X-Men into this new school is strung together quite well, with the awkward tension among teens strung in all the right places. It’s clear that Bendis is working towards reinventing certain characters to make them better and more individual. It’s hit and miss with some but it seems to work well in regards to the Stepford Triplets as well as Jean Grey from the past. It’s nice to see the Triplets develop individual personalities while still maintaining some form of a hivemind. Jean states that their powers still are a hivemind (three is stronger than one afterall) and they still stick together as a group but when it comes to personal opinions, it’s not always shared amongst the three of them.
The same can be said for Jean. She’s clearly not the same Jean that long time X-Men fans already know. She is, and she isn’t. She’s powerful and fiery, but there’s also something different about her that she’s picked up from getting a head start on developing her gifts as well as having a glimpse at her future self (both the future self from Battle of the Atom as well as her original future self). She’s wiser and is more insistent on having her individuality and well as independence. Though this point also drags Jean into the middle of a love triangle (of course, when is she not) but instead of it being Wolverine and Cyclops vying for attentions, it’s Cyclops and Beast. They both struggle to try and understand Jean and defend why they’re best for her (when Jean hardly knows what’s even best for herself at this point), and yet as 16-year-old boys are wont to do their mind strays into thinking of other girl potentials, driving Jean into an understandable rage. The character dynamics are brilliant this time around raging from nostalgic, to awkward, to funny, to tense, to sweet, which makes for an entertaining an fulfilling read. We don’t need nonstop action to enjoy a good X-issue.
This issue also debuts new costumes for the original team, designed by Stuart Immonen. They’re not classic in any sense, but are nevertheless refreshing. They still have the classic ‘X’ on the abdomen, but hold up to modern standards with a fresh pop of colour and look fairly functional by superhero standards. It’s definitely an indicator that these aren’t the same kids that Hank pulled from the 60s and as Warren so aptly put it, he feels like “an all new x-man!”
It’s a refreshing issue that’s light enough to let readers regain their footing after Battle of the Atom while not letting itself fall into a lull either.

Our Score:


A Look Inside