With the ‘All-New X-Men’ still stuck in the Ultimate Universe, and as the end of both universes draw near, you almost have to wonder if they’ll get back to the 616 continuity before every series that Marvel has goes to Hell in a hand basket.

While some of his other week wasn’t quite on point (I’m looking right at you ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ #23), Brian Michael Bendis proves time and time again that he can deliver a solid story with the ‘All-New X-Men’ and this issue is no different. Mixing his take on the characters from the 616 past and mixing them with his take on the Ultimate version of his characters has found a way to work. Bendis really knows how to write all of these characters as they are his creations and even those who are the same person just from another reality are easy to tell from one another.

With ‘Secret Wars’ about to throw all of these characters together its good to see that some of them may already know each other when the universes collide. Well, some of them at least. I have a feeling not all of the players that we’ve seen in this book are going to make the cut on who makes it to Battleworld.

Art wise, Mahmud Asrar hits a homerun. Not only do we have a slew of amazing action sequences but to add to it we also have different versions of the same X-Men to contend with. He illustrates it all beautifully! The look of the 616 characters and their ultimate counterparts are different but in just a subtle enough way that it isn’t jarring or take you out from the book. You wouldn’t confuse the Ultimate characters here with any of the X-Men we’ve known since their creation. Honestly the pairing of these two has always been good but truly shines this issue.

A quick overview of the issue shows the X-Men coming together in a mostly easy and humorous manner. That is until they have to get Beast away from the clutches of Ultiamte Doom. With a shocking finale that anyone following the books knows doesn’t end in death and some great build up that give multiple paths to see our characters return home, I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Bendis and Asrar are the perfect pairing for the ‘All-New X-Men’ and I’m fearful of what may be happening to the series when ‘Secret Wars’ soon comes into play. For the time being though we’ve had a humorous, action packed ride in this issue that I don’t want to end though I’m dying to see how this universe hopping adventure is resolved. Personally I’m just happy that we’re getting a crossover, even a limited one, that isn’t putting me to sleep by the second issue.


Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mahmud Asrar