REVIEW: All New X-Men #1

STORY BY Dennis Hopeless, ART BY Mark Bagley

Ah, what would Marvel be without their merry band of mayhem causing mutants?  The characters are as recognizable as…..well, apart from Iceman and a Wolverine costume are they recognizable?  With that in mind, are they really “all new”?

First issues should be a jumping on point and writer Dennis Hopeless tries his best to somehow wedge in a starting point into proceedings, even though the cast consists of X-23, Kid Apocalypse and the younger version of the original X-Men brought in from the past.  So as you can see, there is more than a few dangling threads that need tying together.  Normally I like Hopeless’ writing.  Spider-Woman is fun and he is taking risks, with a mini reboot and now the pregnancy.  It’s a shame then, that this reads like any other preachy version of the X-Men you may have read.  I understand that mutants were originally used as a metaphor for -isms, but readers have grown and developed; society has developed and publishers can show actual -isms without the need to resort to metaphor.  As such, as a statement on society, X-men has lost  some of its impact.  This isn’t a fault of Hopeless, of course, but as such the writing of the X-books needs to change accordingly.

Mark Bagley….What can I say? There was once a time when Bagley was a potential king of Marvel.  His Spider-man work, especially the Ultimate version, was seen as a pinnacle of arachnid art.  Let me let you in on a little secret…  I dislike his art, immensely.  His figures seem childlike, faces look the same despite gender or individual faces change panel to panel.  In fact you could argue that the greatest enemy the Justice League ever had to face was, Mark Bagley.

With the end of the Secret Wars, Marvel is getting back to regular programming.  At times, new books like the new Wolverine book, are very good.  But then you have books like this, seemingly just treading water.  I mentioned last week that I Wolverine need to settle into her own book before being present in a team book.  It looks like my concerns are somewhat realised here as there isn’t a lot for her to do and she looks awful!

All new? I guess that Marvel have to say that because they probably wouldn’t sell many books if it was called the “Same Old X-Men”.

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