The ‘Battle of the Atom’ is over so we now return you to your regularly scheduled program. That is, with Kitty Pryde and the All-New X-Men having left the Jean Grey School and are now firmly sitting in Scott Summer’s “Xavier School” for new mutants. Just one thing, they were brought to the present to show Scott the error of his ways and are now not only stuck in the NOW! (see what I did there?) but are learning from the man who murdered their professor. These are some big red flags that have me doubting how this decision was made. Even with them in place though the entire thing, it was a fun read.
Even though this is a continuation from a giant crossover event in the X-Titles, this is a great jumping in point for new readers if you have someone itching to read about mutants. It’s an introduction to all of the characters and each are accurately portrayed with their own voice.
However as much as I enjoyed it, some parts of this story line just aren’t adding up for me. Such as, how is Kitty going to deal with having switched camps? Why do we need both the ‘All-New X-Men’ AND ‘Uncanny X-Men’ sitting in Cyclops’ camp? Well, surely that means something is going to come up and tear the students away from one another. That doesn’t quite happen this issue but we do get some great interactions watching the two camps get introduced to one another.
While there is no action here, there is a lot going on and every moment will read true to long time followers of the series. Kitty and Illyana share a meaningful and uncomfortable reunion. This ends up to the All-New X-Men getting new uniforms so that they don’t look like a bunch of rejects from the golden age (though I really have to admit they were doing a good job at illustrating the outfits.) The interesting thing about the new uniforms is that I felt it really was a mash up of the matching view of their original outfits with the individual uniforms that they would later adopt.
Kitty and young Bobby share a moment reflecting on his future breakup with her. Angel welcomes everyone to his team of choice in style. The Stepford Cuckoos and Jean have a moment that starts off rather tersely but quickly ends up with the sisters starting to respect the young Jean. Speaking of Jean, she is having issues of her own as young Scott walks in on her talking to Hank about the kiss that they shared in issue #15 and the two men are both stuck with her on their minds, something she can’t help but read.
After the let down of ‘Battle of the Atom’ this issue was refreshingly enjoyable. It wasn’t perfect and I still have issues with some of the decisions that were made without any clear explanations quite yet, but it was a fun read. We’re clearly not done with the ‘All-New X-Men’ quite yet and won’t be for awhile, but if the stories can remain this enjoyable, that’s fine!
ALL-NEW X-MEN #18
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Stuart Immonen