As a kid I was introduced to Marvel comics through X-Factor. One of my most prized childhood issues is X-Factor #1 which brings back together the original X-Men of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Angel and Ice Man (ironically none of these five are my favorite X-Man). So when Agent Ben told me about All New X-Men in which the teenaged versions of the original five time travel to the present day he had my attention.
All New X-Men: Here to Stay by Brian Michael Bendis is the second collection of this Marvel NOW! series. As the story begins, the young versions of the original five struggle with what to do next after deciding to stay in our time to help resolve the issue of a modern Cyclops who has been transformed into a Mutant Rights radical. Struggles take up much of the action for the remainder of the issue. Cyclops struggles with what he has become and the tension between himself and the X-Men’s leader Wolverine. Jean Grey struggles with becoming the effective leader of the team. Angel struggles with seeing a future version of himself who appears childlike. And The Avengers struggle with the fact that Beast has played with the timeline yet again bringing himself and his teammates forward from their teen years. The story ends with a cliffhanger as the modern Cyclops recruits students from the Jean Grey School for his new movement and we are lead to believe that one of the original five teens choose to join him.
Level Seven Analysis
Do not get me wrong. There is action in this book. The Angels stand against HYDRA as they attack Avengers Tower. But really the core of this book is character development and drama, not hitting. The tension is low hanging fruit for Bendis as the situation and character histories are ripe for development. This is not a hitting book. This is a thinking book. And it is an excellent book that most comic fans will enjoy.
S.H.I.E.L.D. hits the pages of All New X-Men as the administrators and guards of The Raft, the super villain prison. And of course S.H.I.E.L.D. does not prove effective as a small two person team of Mystique and Sabertooth are able to break out a villain. So, the appearance of our favorite law enforcement organization in this X book, well makes them seem pretty ineffective. And sadly that’s not the first time for their failures on the page.
All New X-Men is a great series, and All New X-Men: Here to Stay lives up to my expectation of a high quality story. The book balances drama and action successfully. I highly recommend All New X-Men, just like Agent Ben did, despite the limited S.H.I.E.L.D. influence.
Agent Barton/Hawkeye (mention), Agent Hill, Agent Banner/The Hulk
Ororo Munroe/Storm, Hank McCoy/Beast, Steve Rodgers/Captain America, Thor Odinson/Thor, Logan/Wolverine, Jessica Drew/Spider-Woman, Tony Stark/Iron Man (mention)