The battle for comic book supremacy continues between Marvel and DC. Following in DC’s footsteps, Marvel does a little reboot of its own, but leaves its continuity in place. After some title and team shuffling, the new lines are drawn and we now have Marvel NOW! I am only reading a few titles regularly but trying to get as many of the number ones as I can afford each week.
Following up on the Avengers vs X-Men event, All New X-Men #1 picks up as Scott Summers, Emma Frost and Magneto are traveling the world contacting some of the thousands of new mutants created by the dispersion of the Phoenix Force. Scott is a wanted fugitive, shunned by most of his former friends and teammates. He again appears to be working the premise that the ends justify the means. Storm and the X-Men don’t see it that way and they prepare to go after Scott with the intentions of shutting him down.
This is where the story takes an interesting twist. There are no lengths that Marvel won’t go to these days to sell a comic and they prove it by throwing in time travel into this issue. Beast (Hank McCoy) travels back in time to recruit a younger, more idealistic Scott Summers to help him stop the present day Scott Summers. Got a headache yet?
Although the cliché of time travel threw me off of what is otherwise a pretty entertaining book, I sort of had a feeling that traveling back in time was nearly their only option to try to talk any sense into Scott. His corruption by the Phoenix seems to have taught him nothing. And even though he feels he is atoning for his crimes, most of his fellow mutants don’t see it that way.
So what could be said here? Did Marvel need to shake up the status quo? I’d say probably so since they have slipped a bit since DC’s New 52 took effect last year. But as much as I hate to admit it, it seems this is yet another thing that Marvel is doing better than DC. Just by leaving their continuity in place, they haven’t appeared to have alienated the fans as much as DC did. All the names and events are still around (those who survived AxV that is) and the only real issue here is trying to figure out which new titles to pick up after many were cancelled.
All New X-Men is one of the titles I have personally transitioned to after Uncanny X-Men finished its run. As of the first issue, this will be a title I am going to keep picking up for the foreseeable future. In spite of the obvious storyline clichés, I really enjoyed this book. The ramifications of AxV are still being felt in the Marvel universe and since many relationships were made and broken over the course of that arc, it was probably necessary to redraw the borders so to speak.
“When we were young we were always worried about a mutant apocalyptic nightmare! I’m telling you, if the young us saw what was going on today it would feel worse than the mutant apocalyptic nightmare we used to worry about!”
Brian Michael Bendis does his regular good job with the writing for this first issue, but personally for me it was the art by Stuart Immonen that really stood out. The cover especially is a masterpiece by its own right; a collaboration of Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger and Martie Gracia.
So if you are confused by the many X titles out there and aren’t sure which one you’d want to start reading, I would definitely suggest All New X-Men which gives a good jumping on point for new readers. You’ve done good Marvel…keep it up.