With the events of AXIS clouding up the Marvel universe, it’s hard to remember on occasion that the All-New X-Men aren’t just stuck out of time but out of space as well. No, not Cyclops who is actually out in space but that of our core team from the past is there.
First there is a bit of catch up as we see Ultimate Wolverine’s son meeting Angel and X-23, Dr. Doom talking to Beast, Iceman stuck in the middle of New York, and Jean Grey and Ultimate Spider-Man meeting up with the X-Men of the Ultimate Universe, including the Jean of this world.
Yes, the ‘All-New X-Men’ haven’t had issues with Jeans meeting up with one another but at least this Jean gets along with ours much better than her future self did.
Honestly I used to be a huge fan of Marvel’s Ultimate Universe but in recent years I feel that the continuity has gotten a little muddled and the stories haven’t been put together as well. That being said, Bendis is giving us a great tale set here with characters who feel right for the first time in a couple of years. Honestly these interactions feel so natural after the recent story lines in the Ultimate books that they alone made me pretty happy to be reading the issue. It wasn’t all fun and games though as the X-23 and Hudson subplot where Angel was pretty much standing around really felt shorhorned in.
Clearly they want to use it for something down the line but it just isn’t there yet. While Bendis can play loose and fast with continuity in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ I am happy to see how well he has handled a mash up of two books that are his own.
Mahmud Asrar really does great with all of the characters on page. From the casual lounging of the Ultimate X-Men and Spidey while the two Jeans talk, to the Iceman fight and everything inbetween, this really was a fun issue. Honestly, my favorite portion was how he used the young Bobby Drake’s ability to manipulate ice and how poorly that was working out for him in a New York that was just too hot for his powers to matter much.
We don’t push too much forward in either plot or character development this issue but it was still a fun read. There is a cliffhanger at the end that makes me wonder what was just saw but until the bomb drops next issue there wasn’t much leading up to us being ready for a surprise, so it was a bit anti-climactic. While Bendis can on occasion get wordy with his characters, this wasn’t a time where the huge amount of time dedicated towards conversation or setup felt hallow and this was an amazingly enjoyable issue.
ALL-NEW X-MEN #34′
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mahmud A. Asrar