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All New X-Men #36

by Tori B. on February 11, 2015

Thus the conclusion of the so-called battle of the Ultimates vs. the All-New X-Men comes to pass, but it’s less of a battle when really what everyone wants to do is go home. All they have to do is defeat Doctor Doom, simple, right.

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mahmud Asrar
Colourist: Marte Gracia
Lettering: Cory Petit
Cover:  Asrar & Gracia
Publisher: Marvel

The All-New X-Men have been running around with the Ultimates long enough now, it was soon to come to a heartfelt end. Almost too heartfelt at times? Perhaps not, this is a Bendis X-Men story after all and there can never be too much hugs, kisses, and happy resolutions. So if one was to be looking for a little more action and conflict, this isn’t the place for it I’m afraid.

Both the Ultimate and All-New teams do start off challenging Doctor Doom though, and they do hit a point where they’re pretty defeated, but against TWO Jean Greys is a lot to take on. Not to say that Doom got his butt whooped completely; it seems he has his eye on Miles now and it will certainly play out eventually in some series to come, but I digress.

As it seems to be playing out fairly often in the series whenever the team meets a new group there are always heartfelt goodbyes. This is absolutely no exception, the plus side is, after all the drama of every other series it’s kind of nice to see that these kids who have been finding themselves in nothing but trouble since being displaced from their own time actually make the best from it— making new friends and knowing that despite how terrible their future could be, this group in particular are leaving something special behind, something good.

It’s an interesting notion, and one that’s played around a little in this issue. As the All-New team try and find the correct dimension home they stumble across other dimensions that show what become of the X-Men (one that looked House of M-ish and the other Age of Apocalypse-y), neither looking very bright for the future of mutants. So despite all the good this All-New team seem to be spreading, it always ends up looking rather bleak. It’s a fascinating dichotomy to give to not only the readers but clearly the characters as well, and seems to carry on in the story that this clearly isn’t over for the journey of this team, and despite how desperate they are to go back home, their real home, their work isn’t quite done yet.

To be honest All-New X-Men is comforting to come back to, to see the original team again (minus Scott) and see them genuinely work hard for the principles that the X-Men were founded on. There are moments in this issue that hit original Angel, Iceman, and Marvel Girl on the mark so well it’s almost nostalgic, plus there’s an addition of a new mutant Carmen Cruise who may turn to be a very interesting character given her mutant ability— or just an excellent plot device anytime they want to put the X-Men into another universe, which seems to be often, so we’ll have to wait and see.

And like every All-New X-Men issue ever, the art is on point. The layouts are to die for, I even found myself drooling over the presentation and composition of the panels. Asrar has beautiful character designs and clean lines, and in addition to Gracia’s colouring, every page is a work of art.

Overall there’s not much of a story this issue and it’s main purpose is to swiftly wrap up the arc with the Ultimates. It’s a rather self-contained, feel good kind of story with some very gorgeous art and minor action that may lead to bigger implications down the line and as far endings go for arcs within the series it isn’t all too cheesy so. As previously mentioned, it feels very much like a comfort issue almost after seeing the different X-Universes and having the Original 5 (or 4 at the moment), plus the sweet ending. Worth a good read.

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