All New X-Men #9

by Tori B. on March 21, 2013

(Mild spoilers, I suppose) With the multitude of X-Men titles occurring right now it gets overwhelming to pick through it all to find the ones of substance—good (interesting) story and great art. All New X-Men is one of the titles that has all that, and continues to pick up in story (after a couple of slower paced issues) and tension only continues to escalate.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis | Artists: Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger & Marte Gracia
Cover: Immonen, von Grawbadger & Gracia | Publisher: Marvel
I’ve been wavering on the fence for a while on just how much I was going to like All New X-Men and if it was going to at the very least decently meet expectations. With this issue, I think I’ve finally been sold on the idea that big things are going to happen here. It goes beyond just the first handful of Xavier’s students running around in the present timeline without feeling repetitive*. Tensions are increasing as well with each issue, and I commend Bendis for his attempts to keep readers intrigued while also (trying to) hold characters true to their element. There’s still a lot of misplaced hostility towards the younger Scott Summers that leaves me slightly bitter but it’s been decreasing as the plot continues to unfold, and it’s refreshing to see Jean with more complexities (not always in the good light) and having Kitty be increasingly wary of her despite their camaraderie that they once(will) had(have). To balance out, there’s still Bobby being Bobby and Hank being Hank giving a reader that chance to continue to be unwavering about certain characters.
In this issue, Kitty puts the young X-Men to the test in the Danger Room, which is where we get to truly appreciate the art put into this series. There’s great action that covers the first handful of pages entrancingly, not to mention the vibrant colours that greatly compliments everything that’s going on. There are truly some fantastic pages and spreads throughout the entire issue though. The brilliant chunk in the beginning, but about three quarters in there’s another one, and finally the last page—which could probably make a great poster unlettered.
There’s only a distinct issue that hasn’t been addressed before that finds an opportune moment to be brought up during the course of the issue and that’s simply on costuming. While this more falls into Uncanny X-Men territory, and Chris Bachalo’s redesigns, seeing as the both Uncanny and All New tend to overlap, it’s not too far off to mention. With the arrival of Lady Mastermind (the jab taken at her name is much appreciated) you can’t miss the fact her costume is nearly identical to Emma Frost’s new one. New reader’s unfamiliar with Lady Mastermind may be temporarily confused as to differentiating between the two attractive blondes with black outfits that leave their entire midsection exposed. (Let me: Regan’s outfit has pants, while Emma’s doesn’t but has shoulders covered). Aside from costuming, a team up with Mystique and Lady Mastermind is going to be diabolical (it has to be) and I am very much looking forward to it and what’s in store for all the X-Men (as Uncanny also make their appearance).
*On Brian Michael Bendis’ Tumblr on 03/20/13 he posted a preview of the cover for the 13th issue and there are mixed emotions happening.

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