I review All New X-Men #14 by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen, with minor spoilers. Published by Marvel Comics.
ALL NEW X-MEN #14
Story: Brian Michael Bendis | Art: Stuart Immonen | Price: $3.99 (US) £3.25 (UK)
Jean Grey vs. Mastermind! Years ago, one run in with this famous Brotherhood of Evil Mutants member was the beginning of the end of Jean Grey. Will history repeat itself?
This was another strong issue from what is easily my favourite series at Marvel Now!. Each issue is continuously excellent, and Bendis deals well with the cliffhanger at the end of the previous issue, and provides some great interaction between the Original X-Men and various other characters that show up. There’s an awesome scene between the young Iceman and Thor, when the Uncanny Avengers show up (again), that even earned a laugh from me. Stuart Immonen’s fantastic artwork really helps bring the series to life, and Bendis’ storytelling has almost redeemed himself from the catastrophic failure that was Age of Ultron.
What worried me was given the recent return of the Phoenix in Avengers vs. X-Men, this would become a long, drawn out epic story arc that we’ve already seen before – but Bendis deals with it pretty well, and it looks like we’re moving onto something different next issue. However, I did have a few problems with #14 – firstly, when Mystique is captured, you’d think that S.H.I.E.L.D would be more experienced when dealing with her particularly given the fact that she’s already broken out of prison before – but it seems like they haven’t learnt from past mistakes.
It seems like these next few issues will be building up to the upcoming Battle of the Atom story arc, but there’s plenty of great issues in #14 that proves that Bendis can add a touch of enjoyable humour to this situation. I loved the fact that despite dealing with a pretty large cast here, Bendis has handled it all pretty well – with some great moments coming when the X-Men work together as a team.
Some comics can have jumping on points for new readers with each issue, but All New X-Men #14 is certainly not one of those, and it’s clearly part of an ongoing story arc. I loved the character development between the original X-Men where it shows them developing their confidence, and experience on the battlefield, and I wonder how/if their newfound experiences will affect the timeline when they head back to their original setting (which they should eventually).
There are so many great, amusing panels in this issue and this book itself was a really strong contender for Pick of the Week. Whilst it may be somewhat annoying that the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D showed up again in an X-Men comic, their appearance was handled nicely by Bendis and I’m looking forward to seeing where he takes the reader over the next few issues, with an interesting cover and solicit for #15, which I personally can’t wait to read.
Jean’s character is probably the most awesome in this issue, she’s got a lot of page-time and is really coming into her own as a character, and with her set to play a pretty key role in #15 judging by the cover, things are no doubt set to be very interesting indeed.
I love this series, and it continues to be a must-read each month (and sometimes, twice a month) for me. One of the most fun X-Books out there that I’m reading, and certainly one of the best. (Although given a few more issues, X-Men looks set to challenge for that spot).