Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

ALL-NEW X-MEN: YESTERDAY’S X-MEN by Brian Michael Bendis & Stuart Immonen

All-New X-Men Volume 01 cover

Mixing the old X-Men with the new X-Men? You’d think that had been done before, and if memory serves, it has been done before. But never like Brian Michael Bendis is now doing it in All-New X-Men, which seems like a weird choice for comic books that feature the “old” X-Men.

When I’d first heard about the concept, I thought it would be a flash in the pan. A one-off that might be fun, might be a nice trip down memory lane, but Bendis is going way beyond any expectations I had. The two groups matter and interact in ways that I hadn’t foreseen. Therefore, there is a LOT of surprises for readers in All-New X-Men.

All-New X-Men Volume 01 01

The plot device that brings it all together is present-day Hank McCoy’s sickness, which is another evolution of his mutation, only this time it looks like it’s going to kill him. So, unable to figure things out on his own, he hops a Doctor Doom and Mr. Fantastic time cube and goes back in time to get a young Scott Summers to talk to his future self, who has gone off the deep end.

I’d been away from X-Men for a while. The series became too much of a soap opera and there were too many characters that ended up crossing over into each other’s series (too many series to keep up with, all of them continued from month to month with no end in sight) that I couldn’t deal with it all.

All-New X-Men Volume 01 02

As it turns out, present-day Scott (Cyclops) killed Professor X at some point (what?) and has turned vigilante. Okay. Deep breath. Because with all of that in play, things just get weirder. But somehow Bendis pulls it all off because I kept up with all the old history while he made new history with what I thought was history.

The book is really not as confusing as that last sentence sounds. There’s a lot going on, but somehow it’s all digestible. And fun. And exciting. And purely addictive. While in their future, Scott can’t imagine how his future self turned out the way he has, and Jean Gray has to face the fact that she turned evil and ended up getting killed. A couple times.

All-New X-Men Volume 01 03

Bobby Drake (Iceman) is the only character that really adapts quickly, but that’s just how he’s always been, a roll-with-the-punches kind of guy. Angel seems lost and more innocent than he ever has.

The Hank problem gets worked out, but Bendis takes advantage of the mental communication to zip readers through many of the Marvel Girl costumes that Jean wore in the past, and to touch on all the emotional things that made the original run on the X-Men so good.

I don’t know how long Bendis can keep up this series because it seems like things would get old after a while, or the time continuum would get so screwed up that things will never be able to be put back to rights. I don’t know. Right now I’m still wowed by everything going on with these characters.

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