Comics… All-New X-Men 25… stop moaning about it, enjoy the art….
(Cover by Stuart Immonen)
Now, I’m hardly what you’d describe as au fait with the X-Men nowadays. I hold a lot of nostalgic sentiment for them though, and there’s definitely a little part of me (something 14-years old and still discovering comics by Claremont and Smith) that wonders what I’m missing. So, when the news of All-New X-Men #25 came my way it seemed a nice way to rediscover my love, even if only temporarily. The idea isn’t to dive back into X-Men at all, merely using this special issue, written by Brian Michael Bendis and with art by David Marquez and Justin Ponsor, to revisit and enjoy it for a while.
What makes the special issue special is the sheer number of guest artists involved… (deep breath) Bruce Timm & Laura Martin, Art Adams & Justin Ponsor, David Mack, Skottie Young & Jason Keith, Robbi Rodriguez & Justin Ponsor, Lee Bermejo & Marte Gracia, Kent Williams, JG Jones, Ronnie Del Carmen, J. Scott Campbell & Nei Ruffino, Maris Wicks, Jason Shiga, Dan Hipp, Max Witter, Jake Parker & Matthew Wilson, Jill Thompson, Paul Smith & Bob Wiacek & Jordie Bellaire. (And exhale).
Yep, a guest list that’s very, very impressive.
Essentially the summary runs something like this…. Hank McCoy/Beast has (I know not why) brought the original 1960s X-Men to the present day(except not 1960s in Marvel time, because Marvel characters don’t age that way if you get what I mean). According to the first page he did it to save Mutantkind from (yet another) bit of genocide. McCoy is feeling a bit demoralised by the mess he’s made of things, up to and including the fact that he can’t return them to the past. It’s late one night and a bald headed bloke turns up in his bedroom….
(Art by David Marquez, colours by Justin Ponsor)
Over the course of the next twenty odd pages, McCoy gets lectured at by the bald bloke (you might think it’s Charles Xavier, I couldn’t possibly comment), and shown the various futures, good and bad that he may well have screwed up forever.
Essentially it’s a fill-in issue of monumental proportions, a wacky idea from Bendis, a stunt issue, nothing really important happens here, it’s just Beast having a bit of a wobbly. But that’s not the point. It’s a great issue BECAUSE of all those things, and especially because of all the guest artists.
If you do want a laugh, just go and look at some of the online reviews of this issue, where every one seems to be incensed that NOTHING HAPPENS, that all the dreams are a bit weird, and Bendis is just playing with stuff. They so miss the point.
I really enjoyed toe-dipping in the world of the X-Men once more. If I had more time I could almost imagine myself venturing further. But until someone invents a 30-hour day, that’s not going to happen. Instead, lets just hope there’s occasional moments like this we can all, old fans, present fans, potential new fans, enjoy for the fun of something wonderfully inconsequential.
Now, certain of the artists have put their work online, and certain pages have gotten out into the wild so I figured we’d share a little of it with you….
Bruce Tim opens with a fabulous Jean Grey montage….
Skottie Young’s Iceman….
Max Wittert, who’s already featured here for his Jean & Scott comic…. now Bendis re imagines Wittert drawing Jean and Logan…
Maris Wicks (author of Primates from First Second): I had the pleasure of contributing to issue #25 of ALL-NEW X-MEN! And I got to do a Kitty-Peter-themed 2 pages…SO. AWESOME. This was so much fun to work on, and I’m beside some of my favorite people in comics. A big thanks to Brian Michael Bendis and the folks at Marvel for letting me jump on this band wagon!
And finally from me, Paul Smith, Bob Wiacek and Jordie Bellaire with a wonderful nostalgic moment, where I get to remember just how great Paul Smith’s run on the Uncanny X-Men was….
All-New X-Men 25 was released on Wednesday. Hit your local comic shop for a copy.