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All New X-Men #19

by Tori B. on November 28, 2013

Now that the All New X-Men have their new costumes it looks like they’re maturing into their roles a little more. Although some things will never change.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Brandon Peterson & Israel Silva
Cover: Brandon Peterson
Publisher: Marvel
It’s their first battle as the newly re-invented All New X-Men and while due to recent events they’ve grown into their roles a tad more, it’s quaint to see that not everything changes. Bendis makes some nice nods to the original X-Men issues in their battle style, using iconic phrases like, “Angel, take to the sky!” or the group referring to Kitty as ‘Professor’ and talking to her much like they talked to Professor X back in the day, or even Beast waxing a little bit of poetic as he fights his way through the baddies. At the same time, it’s made clear that it’s not a rehashing of the old stuff, and putting them in modern times. We’re dealing with the same characters, sure, but they’re different all the same. Jean’s powers are manifesting faster, and stronger than previous, and it’s almost like they’re self-aware (not on like Deadpool levels of awareness but sometimes their retorts against some of the more classic stuff is definitely a decent jab at humour). Admittedly it’s really nice to see the old team back together just like old times.
It’s a simple enough story, the X-Men are brought to try and protect a mysterious young girl against a group of Purifiers. The purifiers don’t seem to play a significant role in the story, only to shake the group up, for they’ve never encountered Purifiers before; Jean especially, who managed to get a look into their minds is shocked at how deep their hatred is, and serves as a reminder that perhaps they’re a bit out of place being in the future, the threats seem a lot more dangerous now than they did in the past. The only moving part of the story spurs from the girl they swooped in to protect who turns out to be a familiar face to Kitty—the story probably could have moved a little bit faster if a lot of it wasn’t spent with just Kitty chasing the girl and while the girl’s confused, it’s hard to believe that her instincts would let her be chased and let the same fight repeat itself more than once. What’ll be interesting to see is how she plays into the dynamics of the team in future issues. (Bendis does seem to like his characters bald though, as a total side note). It’s also nice to see Magik in the fold and that Kitty isn’t going to be the only present X-Men character to help whip the past X-Men into shape. And she certainly won’t be a pushover teacher either.
We’re also taking a break from Immonen’s work for a few issues, this being the first of Peterson’s minute run on the All New title. It’s not bad art; in fact technically speaking it’s quite good. There’s a lot of detail put into it and even in the more busy panels, there’s no shortcuts taken, but despite the overall talent within the art, it doesn’t fit into the flow of the All New atmosphere. A lot of it is mostly from the change in colourist as well, Marte Gracia’s colours are usually much more vibrant, and this issue seems much darker. It fails to compliment the light witty humour that the X-Men bring. The issue feels a lot darker and a lot more serious, but when reading the dialogue it doesn’t feel that way at all. It feels like a completely different All New X-Men issue that we’re used to.

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