All New X-Men has been on a pretty notable winning streak lately. Clearly Brian Bendis is starting to really get a handle on his characters as this book’s purpose starts to really take shape. So, now, after a pretty entertaining “date night” issue, the Originals get back to work.
This week, the Original X-Men are left unsupervised while most of the adults are off to have the most awkward family reunion EVER and hear Charles Xavier’s will and testament. So, obviously, they stay idle for about five seconds before they decided to get some fresh air and defend mutantkind. Seriously, whose idea was it to leave these kids COMPLETELY unattended? I mean, they get into trouble every single time they’re left alone. It’s like the Rugrats (God, I’m old) all grown up. Meanwhile, we also get small look at the Ultimate Universe via an exchange between Ultimate Iron Man and Amadeus Cho The GAWD. Bendis does a good job playing around with his characters and allowing them to make very organic seeming evolutions from the archetypes for which we know them. Jean Grey gets to not seem so distraught all the time. X-23 gets to not be emo. If Cyclops’ solo book weren’t so fantastic, I’d say that I miss him not being in the cast.
Mahmud Asrar takes over on pencils for this story arc and while he does a perfectly serviceable job of staying true to the aesthetic laid out by Stuart Immonen and Sara Pichelli, the hard truth is that He Is Not Stuart Immonen Or Sara Pichelli. He doesn’t do a bad job, per se, but it just doesn’t quite have the same flare of issues past. Hopefully, it comes to some kind of middle ground later on.
Bottom Line: While the visuals have slightly less luster than the previous Gold Standard artwork, Bendis still manages to bring a fresh voice to the X-franchise. 8 out of 10