I review All New X-Men #15 by Brian Michael Bendis and guest artist David Lafuente, published by Marvel Comics.
ALL NEW X-MEN #15
Story: Brian Michael Bendis | Art: David Lafuente | Colours: Jim Campbell | Letters: Cory Petit | Cover: Stuart Immonen | Publisher: Marvel Comics | Price: $3.99
• Love is in the air!
• Cyclops heart and future start to fade before his eyes.
Well, that was different. I went into this issue unaware that Stuart Immonen wasn’t doing the main artistic duties and I was pleasantly surprised. Whilst David Lafuente’s artwork has its moments, particularly during the encounters between the original Jean Grey and Rachel Grey in a strong scene in the beginning of this issue, it doesn’t really fit in that well when it comes to action sequences, coming off as a bit cartoonish in places.
This issue doesn’t advance the plot towards the upcoming Battle of the Atom Crossover, but instead takes time to explore the crush that the young Hank McCoy had for Jean Grey. This is handled pretty well by Bendis, who splits this focus between Hank and Jean, and young Scott and Iceman, who take off from the JGS to have a break when Iceman spots his older self in a relationship with Kitty. This is a relationship-focused book, and manages to perform pretty well with some strong character development, but ultimately doesn’t progress the storyline further other than this one approach.
The issue itself has a heavy focus on the original X-Men, minus Angel, who is currently with older Cyclops and Magneto in Uncanny X-Men, and only features brief appearances from the present day cast. This allows a lot of scenes in where the original five – or now, four, with Angel out of the picture – get to shine, and the results are very interesting indeed.
All New X-Men #15 however feels like a comic that’s starting to drag itself out. After the interesting start that propelled it into my Top 5 favourite Marvel series, with this being my favourite X-Book, it’s starting to be on the verge of being replaced by Brian Wood’s X-Men. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a good book – but I wonder how long Bendis can keep this going on for, as it isn’t really going anywhere fast – maybe we will see the X-Men return to their original timeline with Battle for the Atom?
I’ll stick with this series for that event, even if it may be another Bendis-led event (with input from Jason Aaron and Brian Wood in their respective titles), I’m going to give the writer a chance, and hopefully he can deal with another event effectively before it makes it three out of three that I didn’t like. (The Bendis events that I’ve read before are Avengers vs. X-Men and Age of Ultron, with Battle for the Atom looking set to be the third).
The highlights of this book are the awkward scenes between Jean Grey and Rachel Grey at the beginning and the end of the issue, the fact that people steal Wolverine’s jeep once more, and the way that Jean was written. Weaker aspects of the book are the fact that it’s not going anywhere fast, and I wasn’t a big fan of the whole Jean/Beast pairing nor the art when it came to action. However, the book itself remained a solid entry nonetheless.