Back in 2012, writer Brian Michael Bendis kicked off a brilliant concept—plucking the original teenage X-Men from their relatively innocent youth, sending them forward in time, and dropping them in the middle of the convoluted present-day continuity.
I would have thought Bendis and/or other writers would have resolved this tale of time-displaced X-Men by now. But I’m glad they haven’t. They haven’t nearly exhausted the creative possibilities yet, as evidenced by the relaunched All-New X-Men title, written by Dennis Hopeless and drawn by Mark Bagley.
I picked up the first trade paperback, and while the whole thing is solid the strongest issue within is the fourth, which kicks off the second storyline. By this point, the mission statement of the series comes into focus—this series will follow a group of seven young mutants trying to figure out their crazy lives and seize their own destinies after the adult Cyclops has totally made a mess of things.
The cast consists of the time-displaced younger versions of Cyclops, Beast, Iceman, and Angel (Jean Grey is hanging out with the adults in Extraordinary X-Men), the young female clone of Wolverine, and Idie and Kid Apocalypse from Wolverine and the X-Men. Too many X-titles over the past twenty-some years have juggled too many characters, so narrowing the focus to just these seven is a wise move.
Angel and the new Wolverine’s relationship gets the most attention in this particular issue, but every character is grappling with some personal problem or another. Cyclops’s is the most interesting—he’s seen that he’ll grow up to become basically a villain, so how does he avoid a future that has already played out?
Also, Angel and Wolverine run into the Blob, who’s a bit more formidable than he was in the good ol’ days.
Fun stuff so far, and I suspect the best is yet to come.
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Penciler: Mark Bagley
Publisher: Marvel Comics
How to Read It: recent back issues; Comixology; included in All-New X-Men: Ghosts of Cyclops (TPB)
Appropriate For: ages 11 and up