REVIEW: All New X-Men #4

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned over the years as a fan of the X-Men, romance always gets you in trouble. Look at the trail of broken Mutant hearts that litter the landscape. Cyclops and Jean Grey’s love was a victim to the Phoenix force, not to mention the emergence of Scott and Emma Frost later in the series. Kitty Pryde and Colossus’ on again, off again love affair has ended with her in the arms of Starlord, leader of the Guardians of The Galaxy. Rogue and Gambit. Storm and Forge. Psylocke and Archangel. Wolverine and any woman…ever.

Doomed love is the theme of this issue as the relationship between Angel and Wolverine takes center stage. As this new group of X-Men trot around the globe lending a helping hand where they can, it becomes apparent that Warren has an issue with Laura’s attitude and reckless approach to dangerous situations. From watching her get pumped full of lead, to burning off her skin trying to save a fire fighter, her death wish lifestyle is taken a toll on the smitten flyboy.

Things come to a head as the quarreling couple stumble across a rampaging Blob in Paris. It’s Laura’s gun-ho attitude that get her in extreme trouble as the massive Mutant villain pummels her bloody, right before her lover’s eyes. The fall out of this beating is something we will have to wait until next issue to witness.

This title is shaping up to be the strongest of the recent X-book relaunched, as the focus falls on the dynamics between the characters. As a reader you end up caring about what is transpiring from one panel to the next, instead of rushing through mindless battles, Dennis Hopeless has interjected each character with enough personality and heart to keep the book interesting.

Having sat through the rough start of fellow X-title release “Uncanny”, I really enjoyed the breath of fresh air that this book provided. This title falls closer in line with what has made the X-books fan favorites for decades. The X-Men are best serves when the stories center on the incredible characters that wield amazing powers, not the powers themselves.

Mark Bagley, once again, provides a deft touch to the visuals. Giving the book a nice flow and pacing that help move the story along at a decent clip that doesn’t overwhelm.  My only complaint comes from the cover of the issue where it almost appears that it’s Laura’s body with Logan’s head…but that could just be me still adjusting to blue and yellow costume on someone else.

This is a solid read and a story that I want to see continue. Like I said before, this is the strongest offering that has come out of the recent relaunch, and it treats the characters with respect and depth. It’s hard to pass this title up when you can see how much care has been placed into it. A strong recommend for X-Fans.

Story: Dennis Hopeless
Art: Mark Bagley
Inks: Andrew Hennessy
Colors: Nolan Woodard
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel

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