The All-New X-Men on a road trip and Scott Summers versus… the Ghosts of Cyclops?

ALL-NEW X-MEN (2015) #1 by Dennis Hopeless and Mark Bagley

(Spoiler warning!)

Here we go. ALL-NEW X-MEN is a new chapter in the lives of our time-displaced original X-Men (minus Jean, whose adventures we can read more about in EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN) and their friends Evan, Idie and Laura. The issue opens with Angel and Wolverine skiing in Colorado, Beast, Genesis and Oya wrestling with alligators in Florida and Iceman building ice statues in Austin – all while Scott, who hasn’t used his optic blasts in a while, is investigating a gang of mutants praising his older self and claiming to be mutant activists…

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During the issue’s first few pages, a monologue by Scott explains a bit of the time-displaced character’s backstory from the previous run. This is really nice for readers who just gave the All-New X-Men a chance for the very first time. Speaking of the Brian Bendis book, I think it’s important to realize that this book will have a totally different function amongst the X-books than the previous run did. Where Volume 1 of ALL-NEW X-MEN was a flagship title for the line-up of X-books at that time, this book is anything but.

Something I loved about this first issue is that it leaves the impression of a more playful, youthful, colorful X-Men book. While EXTRAORDINARY is epic and UNCANNY will be grim, ALL-NEW X-MEN seems like it’s going to be the “fun” X-Men book we do not only deserve, but need right now. The stakes aren’t as high as in most other Marvel books on the market right now, and they don’t need to be. Instead of being the franchise’s flagship title, it feels like a relief from all the drama and death happening in its sister books. This is a comic about young and free teenagers who enjoy being adventurous, and that’s why it’s fascinating in its very own way – also due to all the fun little gimmicks Hopeless implemented, such as Pickles, Beast’s new pet Bamf, or the Tardis-esque camper.

READ: Our review of EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #1!

Also, Hopeless just has a knack for writing these characters, as he already proved in X-MEN: SEASON ONE or AVENGERS ACADEMY. He just knows how to get into the minds of young people without making the book seem immature. The relationship between Laura and Warren is portrayed in a way that not only makes sense given their history during the Bendis run, but also fits the way Tom Taylor handles them in his ALL-NEW WOLVERINE book.

CHECK OUT: More about Laura and Warren in Tom Taylor’s ALL-NEW WOLVERINE – here’s our review of #1!

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After the previous run’s fan-favorite character Jean left the team, Hopeless decided to focus on the character of Cyclops during this issue – and the book definitely benefits from that. Cyclops is once again being confronted with what his presumed dead older self did, and he’s trying to avoid becoming the same person to a point where he hates the Cyclops alter ego. The gang of Cyclops thugs as the first antagonists is a fascinating choice, since it addresses a social issue by criticizing violent political activism. I don’t want to put something in the writer’s mouth he did not intend to say with this comic, but I see some parallels to the Baltimore lootings following the death of Freddie Gray in April this year. On the other hand, it’s not something that hasn’t been done before in similar ways. Yet it’s effective and suitable.

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The work Mark Bagley is doing on the title is equally effective. As a huge fan of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, this issue’s art seriously got my nostalgia sense tingling. The man’s art is just perfect for teenage drama and teenage adventure – and apparently, I’m one of the only people who actually enjoys the costume designs! They’re just as colorful and cheerful as the book itself.

CLICK: Why we knew ALL-NEW X-MEN was going to be good!

ALL-NEW X-MEN (2015) #1 is a great first issue of a “fun” book that will probably be less high-staked, but more adventurous and light-hearted that its sister titles. And it definitely proofs that both the artist and the writer are perfectly suited for the title.

CLICK: More articles about the X-MEN!

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