Today’s Super Comic — All-New X-Men #7 (2016)

all-new-x-men-7This may be the strongest issue thus far of the relaunched ­All-New X-Men (among what’s available on Marvel Unlimited).

Old-school villain the Toad has kidnapped young Cyclops with the intent of murdering him, in hopes of erasing the adult Cyclops’s misguided actions from the timeline. Toad doesn’t actually want to kill him, but he’s convinced himself that it must be done for the good of the world. So he gets really drunk to work himself up to the deed. The character has often come across as the stereotypical lackey, so this may be his most human portrayal yet—which makes him all the more monstrous the closer he gets to going through with it (Mark Bagley’s art deserves lots of credit on that front, too).

Dennis Hopeless’s script exploits the limitations of Cyclops’s power to superb dramatic effect, and the result is a riveting, tense issue that compels you to pick up the next one.

It does help to know at least the basics of what’s been going on in recent years’ X-books, though. Otherwise—excellent issue.

Writer: Dennis Hopeless

Penciler: Mark Bagley

Inker: Andrew Hennessy

Publisher: Marvel Comics

How to Read It: recent back issues; Marvel Unlimited; Comixology

Appropriate For: ages 11 and up