In the last issue I felt that Bendis was on an up having just written one of the better issues in the series. Did that feeling carry through as we watched the All-New X-Men battle against the Brotherhood from the future? Well yes and no. What I can happily report is that we’ve found out quite a few details about the mysterious mutants from the future as we get cut scenes from the recent past to the present to multiple areas of the future. All of this was handled in such a way that was not confusing in the slightest. Most importantly, Bendis ended up telling us a little about the origins of both Raze and Charlie Xavier. We don’t have a full story but he’s started to paint us a picture which would have been painful if it had been drawn out any longer.

The story gives us the present, where we see the Brotherhood having somehow found Cyclops’ base and is attacking both groups of X-Men. We deal with a moment in the recent past where we find out who Charlie’s mother is. Honestly when we see who the mother is it goes from oh to OH?! in just a few panels. It is quite the surprise on how it plays out and also makes the meeting between Charlie and Raze that much more interesting. Another fun part, if you were skimming through Charlie’s section, is when they showed him as a young man right before his powers developed, checkng out the poster on the wall. It makes everything going on here to possibly have another level of meaning we haven’t been made aware of yet.

We deal with a moment in the future where we find out who Raze’s parents were and how he and Charlie met. We also deal with another moment of the present where we see the new Brotherhood actually taking out all of the X-Men.

The art? Amazingly well done. You could have a sense of what time period it was from the scenes and not just the subtitles. The battles were, of course, gloriously done and the attention to minor details in the background was a pure win.

So why isn’t this as good as the previous issue? While the Older Cyclops and Jean moment was nice last issue, the fact that we have the All-New X-Men, the New Brotherhood, AND the Uncanny X-Men all sharing the same space means no one is given enough page time as I would like. I actually feel that the Uncanny X-Men had the better lines in this one for the most part. If this was a declared event that would make sense but this is the ‘All-New X-Men’ book and it felt a little disjointed from that. Otherwise? Still a great issue!

I’m really wondering here if any of the events we’ve learned from this issue will play into the ‘Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier’ story line that will be the X-Men’s ‘Original Sin’ tie in? I could see what we’ve learned being used or being completely ignored as I’m sure Cyclops will have the most to gain or lose with what plays out on page.

Two things I’m curious about are how in the same issue we apparently have seen a couple members of the future Brotherhood alive that should be dead and that the current healer of the Uncanny X-Men was able to bring himself back to life after suffering what should have been a mortal wound. Is there another member of the Brotherhood that we haven’t seen yet? Could an older version of our young healer have switched sides?




Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Stuart Immonen