Late in the original run of All-New X-Men, we get a quiet, talky issue, which provides a good opportunity to check in with how extended time-displacement is affecting some of the teenaged original X-Men trapped in the present. The experience is changing some of them, and others are trying to change as a result of what they’ve learned about their futures.
A good chunk of issue #40 focuses on Iceman during a revelatory heart-to-heart with Jean Grey, and also on Angel as he shares a moment with X-23, the young female Wolverine clone. The issue comes after a big cosmic storyline, so pacing-wise, it’s an excellent way to bring us back down to Earth.
Writer Brian Michael Bendis also works in several comedic beats that keep everything fun, while artist Mahmud Asrar deftly handles the shifting facial expressions—which is essential in making a talking-heads issue work in a visual medium.
Remarkably, this time-travel premise was not running out of gas 40 issues in.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mahmud Asrar
Cover: Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo
Publisher: Marvel Comics
How to Read It: back issues; Marvel Unlimited; Comixology; included in All-New X-Men vol. 7: The Utopians (TPB)
Appropriate For: ages 12 and up