All-New X-Men #12

by Héctor A on August 14, 2016

Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Penciler: Mark Bagley
Inker: Andrew Hennessy
Colorist: Nolan Woodard
Letterer: Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel


I always find myself thinking I might be too critical of All-New X-Men, there's a lot of good things in this series. It has an interesting team, I do like Bagley way more than either Land or Ramos, and they did have a lovely character moment for Idie (one of my faves) that harkened back to her arc in Generation Hope. But that was back in issue #3 or #4. We now have about a year worth of this series and none of the issues have really blown me away. Hopeless splits up his team a lot so we have mostly seen issues dealing with one or two characters lately, and there are no remarkable relationships on this team. I don't think All-New X-Men has been bad but unless you are already invested in these characters, there's no reason to buy this book.


This month we see Wolverine (helped by Pickles) go on a string of solo missions while she tries to clear her mind, she finds most of the times someone has beaten her to the punch until she finds some goblins doing something nefarious and proceeds to beat them up. This issue has some action but at its core it is a character piece about Wolverine, it tries to exlain her attitude in the past few issue of this series but truth be told, Laura's musings about violence in this issue are not new. It's a bit of a retread for her character and it pales when compared to Marjorie Liu's X-23.


The book swerves in a completely different direction once Angel crashes into the pile of goblins that Wolverine is fighting, even the color palette of the book completely changes to mostly reds as everything is engulfed by the fire from um.. “that stupid Black Vortex” thing, as Angel calls it. Laura and Warren bicker while they fight the goblins and then Laura kind of relents and kisses Warren. The sequence does give their relationship more depth but it is a very hasty conclusion and there's no real resolution to their conflict. The fight feels kind of shallow because neither of their motivations are as elaborated as they could be here.


I don't think Bagley was the right artist for an issue as focused on character as this one. His faces have always been very unique but I don't think they are great at conveying the characters' emotions. But this is still the best drawn X-team book. Hennessy's heavy inks mesh well with Bagley's lines and Woodard gives most of the book a diverse color palette, which really makes the book for me. If you are going to have panels that are as loaded as the ones in this issue, you might as well make them as distinctive as the ones here. Bagley's layouts also allows the reader to really take every shot in, very few pages in this issue more than 5 panels.


All-New X-Men #12 is on par with the rest of the series, it's an OK book if you already like the characters here. But at the same time Hopeless is taking a lot of time building up the team, as a reader figuring out who gets featured on each issue is basically a wild guess.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


I would say anyone who actually likes the characters should STEER CLEAR of this book. Especially the X-23 fans. Hopeless's characterization has been AWFUL, and while trying to explain her behavior he's only managed to make it WORSE. The only way anything Laura says in this issue works is if one were to pretend that the Liu series NEVER HAPPENED, because all of it was addressed there.

Hopeless's attempt to equate Vortex!Warren with Laura's circumstances is just appalling. He only pays lipservice to the fact Warren CHOSE the Vortex, while completely disregarding how Laura was NEVER GIVEN A CHOICE in what the Facility made her; it was beaten and tortured into her over YEARS of abuse by the Facility. Never mind that her entire journey has been one of deciding who SHE is, yet suddenly she's trying to pretend to be something else for the sake of her boyfriend? And let's not even touch on the clear emotional abuse she's kotowing to.

The issue is also a pretty harsh reminder of just how much more chemistry she and Cyclops have. They were more interesting to read — and it was clear that Scott understood her FAR better than Warren does — in their six panels of interaction that Laura and Warren have been in TWELVE ISSUES.

Seriously, if anyone reading this review is a fan, drop this book immediately and pick up Taylor's IMMINENTLY superior All-New Wolverine.

Kalem Lalonde's picture
Tom Taylor's work on ANW is phenomenal!