So, when we last left All New X-Men, our time displaced heroes put the smackdown on the All New Brotherhood and we said goodbye to Stuart Immonen’s pencils. It was certainly a bittersweet week in those regards. And now, Brian Bendis gets to jump back into tying this book in with the ongoing storyline in Uncanny. But is his approach to doing so for everybody?
Much like the beginning of Uncanny’s new arc, this issue is mainly devoted to the fallout of previous events. The X-Men are mainly recovering and savoring what little downtime superheroes are given. Young Angel and X-23 have an impromptu night on the town that, for the most part, ends up being entertaining. Meanwhile, Professor Shadowcat has an exchange with her new (maybe) space boyfriend, Peter Quill. I guess being in a summer blockbuster that holds at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes affords you some quality perks. This is one of those issues that highlights a trademark Bendis movie. He does these “calm before the storm” issues well enough, but they’re not for everyone. There are almost certainly going to be detractors that whine about the lack of action.
If you buy comics for superheroes beating the shit out of each other, this might not be your week. If you buy comics for a building story, your ship has probably come in. Sara Pichelli has stepped up to the plate in place of Immonen and has maintained (if not upgraded) the aesthetic here. The “date night” scenes are absolutely beautiful and silently tell the story with ease. Pretty much every panel with Angel in it was basically Pichelli just plain showing off. The final page or so is made a bit awkward, story-wise by Bendis having to tie it to Uncanny’s “Will and Testament of Charles Xavier” arc, but it doesn’t do much to stop a mainly awesome issue of character development.
Bottom Line: Depending on how you like your comic experience, this issue might rub you the wrong way, but this was mostly a great, well-drawn demonstration of character development. 8.5 out of 10.