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Marvel Now: All-New X-Men #s 2-5

allnewxmen002Of all of the Marvel Now books, All-New X-Men has been by far my favorite. I enjoyed the first issue quite a bit, and from the second issue on, the ride’s kept moving at a nice pace–other than the $3.99 price point, I’m actually quite enjoying the double-shipping.

The issue by issue pacing has been a little quick…I’m glad to get into the story more, but I do wish the single issues had a bit more content to them.

The preview that so thoroughly hooked me for the first issue had turned out to be the final several pages of the issue–a little disappointing, but it left me eager for #2. Getting into the second issue was a real treat–the writing is a definite “hit” for me from Bendis, and the art’s been thoroughly enjoyable. allnewxmen003Seeing the younger X-Men in the present and the reactions–theirs as well as the adults–worked very well…especially Wolverine’s reaction to Jean (and vice versa).

The third issue almost seems likely to be a backdoor pilot for Uncanny X-Men; though I have no complaint about the issue having a good look at Cyclops, Magneto, and their group…except it seemed a bit out of place after the first two issues–almost like it should’ve been something else. As a single issue, it sticks out; but the inevitable “graphic novel” collected edition will probably read just fine with the pacing.

allnewxmen004The fourth issue finally sees the intended consequence of the original X-Men being brought forward in time as Cyclops is stunned by their presence and tries to figure out what happened. And of course, the fifth issue seems to bring the first arc to a loose close, while solidifying the status quo.

And as has been all over the place, the fifth issue sees the Beast’s Next Mutation, which–after something like 11 years of getting used to “feline-Beast” is rather jarring and not much to my liking.

As said above–I’m really digging Immonen‘s art, and the rest of the art team is doing a superb job with giving a great-looking issue each time out. allnewxmen005I’ve yet to sit down and re-read the whole arc, but everything’s fit pretty well together visually.

The very concept of this title should leave me disliking it, but this is the original X-Men I read at the start of my freshman year of college in an Essential volume, meeting up with the present-day X-Men after 20 years I’ve followed them to some degree or another. And while the high concept shouldn’t seem to be sustainable–I once said that Lost, Prison Break, and Castle didn’t seem like [tv] series that should go beyond one season, so I’m open to seeing what’s done with this.

And with Bendis on the book, hopefully we get to see at least a couple years of this title, if not a good long run in general with something old bringing something new to the contemporary Marvel Universe.

My Failure to Avoid Marvel Now

allnewxmen005Considering I had planned to simply finish out AvX last year and call it quits for a time with Marvel, they’ve done a great job of keeping me despite that, with this whole Marvel Now initiative.

In fact, at least as far as its impact on me–I’d say the thing’s a huge success.

I didn’t want to buy anything Marvel Now. I didn’t want to be interested. I WANTED the jumping-off point. I was truly looking forward to the excuse to pare back to simply Valiant and TMNT for a few months.

thunderbolts(now)002But I read that darned preview of All-New X-Men, and it hooked me. And I decided to read that first issue of A+X. And the two titles proved a slippery slope into a chunk of Marvel Now for me.

At the beginning of December, I thought Cable and X-Force was due out that week. As I was visiting a friend in Alabama, the only comic shop I had access to was one we found via the Comic Shop Locator Service, and Cable and X-Force was not with the new issues. So, in part due to it being only $2.99, I picked up Thunderbolts #1.

xmenlegacy(now)002A couple weeks ago, my local comic shop put a bunch of Marvel Now issues out on the rack for $1/apiece as “overstock,” so I picked up X-Men Legacy #s 1-2, Avengers Arena #1, and FF #1 to try. For $1 (or 99-cents) I’ll give most any full-size issue a try (I even have a standing order alongside my pull list for $1-and-under specials to be pulled).

While hunting for Avenging Spider-Man #15.1 a couple weeks back, I wound up buying Avengers #s 1-2 to more than meet a $5 minimum purchase for paying with a card at one shop, and then with a slow week last week went ahead and bought New Avengers #1 and X-Men Legacy #3.

avengers(now)002I’m looking forward to trying Uncanny X-Force #1 for the writing–I’ve enjoyed HumphriesHigher Earth, and with that ending figure I’ll give his UXF a shot. I’m also looking forward to an Uncanny X-Men focused on Cyclops and Magneto. Despite myself, I even enjoyed FF enough that–as a $2.99 book–I may look for other issues soon.

The trouble, unfortunately, is that most of these books are $3.99; as are upcoming ones.

Two new Avengers books and they don’t even seem to be set in the same continuity, let alone in the same continuity as what I think I’ve observed with the Captain America book.

aplusx003As of present, I’ve tried at least the first issue of 9 titles, with Uncanny X-Force and Superior Spider-Man #1s both forthcoming yet, which will put me up to 11. Toss in the pending Uncanny X-Men and apparently a Wolverine title (not Savage Wolverine), and across a few months Marvel‘s got me at about half the number of books I tried with DC‘s New 52 relaunch. Spread out like this, though…it feels like there’s more room to “breathe” and actually try different titles without being overwhelmed.

Which, in the end seems to be what they were going for, “learning” from DC‘s putting out 52 new titles in one month.

All-New X-Men #1 [Review]

Full review posted to cxPulp.com

Story: 4/5
Art: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

Talking Myself Into All-New X-Men

allnewxmenpostcardfrontthird002I intentionally did not buy Uncanny Avengers. I’m giving AvX: Consequences a pass because it began the week right after AvX 12, is only 5 issues, and is weekly. But I have no desire whatsoever to “support” Marvel Now for a number of reasons, PRIMARILY that I am so incredibly sick and tired of renumbering, tons of variant covers, and the $3.99 price point.

Some of the premises for Marvel Now titles interest me–I’m so totally torn over whether or not to try A+X as a preview showing what looks like the Maestro Hulk and Days of Future Past Logan caught my attention, and having just read Avengers: X-Sanction I’m interested in the Cap/Cable thing, see where they stand. Even though that may put me at risk of interest in Cable and X-Force.

allnewxmenpostcardfrontthird001But the biggest problem-title for me is the All-New X-Men. I hate all the retconning of the past decade, and loose/basic time-travel rules tell us all 5 X-Men will eventually return, in order to age into the present without changing history, and they’ll have no memory of stuff after.

But in general, time-travel stories, alternate timelines, etc. often interest me; my favorite for X-Men is certainly the original (mid-1990s) Age of Apocalypse (I care very little for anything done with AoA from 2005-present). So a time-travel X-Men story…ok.

allnewxmenpostcardfrontthird003Often we see time-travel stories from the point of view of having the focal character(s) and traveling “with” them into a “possible future.” You have the characters at current status quo, and the future is some possibility, taking outlandish concepts and seeing what events might twist the current characters into vastly different people by the time the future rolls around.

Here with this title, it’s kinda the other way around–we have our “present” that IS “the future” to these characters–we’ve seen the events as they’ve unfolded all these years that brought the characters from their teenage-original-X-Men-years to present. We’ve seen Fatal Attractions, The Shattering, The Twelve, Dream’s End, the Morrison run, Whedon‘s Astonishing X-Men run, House of M, Messiah Complex, Second Coming, AvX, and everything in-between.

greenlanternemeraldknightstpbGranted, this isn’t an entirely new concept….but to me it’s an intriguing “twist” of sorts. The closest comparison I can think of offhand would be Green Lantern: Emerald Knights when Kyle accidentally brought a young Hal Jordan to the then-present DCU and Hal got to learn of his own future, the Parallax corruption and so on.

I haven’t cared for all of Bendis‘ work…and certainly been “poisoned” a bit on his stuff due to marketing/hype. I avoided New Avengers on principle–Variant covers, as well as renumbering Avengers to #500 just to end at #503 and “relaunch” with New Avengers #1; having variant covers for EVERY ISSUE for the first 6-8 issues, I opted out. newavengers(2004)001Then with the Heroic Age relaunching of Avengers, New Avengers, Secret Avengers, etc. I was all set to dive in…but was unwilling to actually do so at $3.99/issue.

I loved early Ultimate Spider-Man…quick though the issues are to read, the first 60-70 some issues are probably my favorite Spider-Man comics, period. So I already “know” contemporary Marvel and X-Men, and given his run on Ultimate Spider-Man, trust Bendis to write the young X-Men enjoyably.

Apparently the first 6 issues will be bi-weekly, so…yeah, 6 $4 issues means $24 in only 3 months…but I’m assuming that’s a full 6-issue arc, ultimatespiderman013presumably withOUT having to wait a whole 6 months. So I can give the title at least a couple issues, maybe the whole first arc, to win me over long-term…and re-evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

So maybe in that regard, Marvel Now will be a success. And I guess I shouldn’t wish failure on it. I’m just not the primary target audience. But if I can find something to enjoy–great, that’s one more thing TO enjoy. And if I don’t enjoy it, or lose interest…I’ll still be able to fall back on the Valiant titles and IDW‘s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles books.



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