Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

ALL-NEW X-MEN: HERE TO STAY by Brian Michael Bendis, Dave Marquez, and Stuart Immonen

All-New X-Men Volume 02 cover

After reading the first volume in this new series, I couldn’t help downloading and blazing through the second volume. If you haven’t read the first review I’ve done for this series, take a minute and do so.

In this book things really come to a head. Young Scott is trying to figure out what he’s supposed to do, trying to deal with knowing Professor X is dead (killed by his future self – although he still doesn’t know how that can be possible) and that the love of his life (Jean Grey) is also dead. He can’t think inside the revamped X-Men Academy so he decides to leave – and steals Wolverine’s motorcycle to do it. That, of course, sets up a hilarious sequence of events that actually turns out to be more touching than I would have supposed. Bendis is just awesome like that.

All-New X-Men Volume 02 01

Jean Grey goes through a lot of turmoil as well, trying to make sense of everything that’s going on. I really like what Bendis is doing with her, giving her the approach that if she just works hard enough at everything, she’ll be able to fix it. That’s the Jean of old, and I like her as much now as I did back then.

The old X-Man character that really steals the show in this graphic novel, to me anyway, is Angel. When Warren Worthington III discovers that the high-flying Angel is still around, he expects him to be changed. What he doesn’t expect is that while Angel is still here, Warren isn’t. This is another change that I missed while being away from the X-books. This new Angel is just really freaking weird.

All-New X-Men Volume 02 02

There are plenty of plot twists in this one too. Mystique is out doing her own thing, freeing bad guys and setting up missions. Bendis does like to stir the pot when he’s putting things in motion.

The most hilarious part of the book, and you can be amazed at how Bendis pulls that together while beating his readers over the head with sadness and melancholy – and even freaking them out a little, is when the Avengers discover that the past X-Men are hanging around with the present-day X-Men. The discussion between Captain America and Hank McCoy, as recounted by present-day Iceman and Kitty Pryde, has to be seen to be believed!

All-New X-Men Volume 02 03

This book ends on quite the cliffhanger too. Present-day Cyclops confronts the Academy and his past self, and lays out the reasoning behind his course of action. Then he invites them to join him. And one of them evidently does, but we have to wait till the next graphic novel to find out who.

There is a lot to enjoy in this book as well as this series. Bendis does a lot with characterization, including the relationship between present-day Cyclops and present-day Magneto (though I’m thinking it would be interesting if past Magneto joined the party at some point). The layers Bendis builds up with the different characters, pushing them in different directions that you might ordinarily think, is really cool.

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