Hey, David LaFuente’s back from the dead! After loving his artwork on Ultimate Spider-Man, he kind of disappeared, but now he’s drawing this issue of All-New X-Men, and it’s a given that it looks great. His style is perfect for a book about teenagers, and heck, this is the most teenagery issue of this title so far.
Bendis largely takes a break from the action this issue, and instead focuses on the characters of the OG X-Men and how they are holding up with the stress of time-travel, and it’s a lot of fun. The best thing about this series is seeing the characters react and freak out, and we get plenty of that here. The issue opens and closes with Jean Grey running into Rachel Grey, who is, I dunno, her daughter? Right? I don’t know, it’s confusing, but those silent scenes were awesome and hold a lot of promise for the future.
Iceman is freaked out by seeing his future-self make out with Kitty Pryde, so he drags Cyclops out to go get something to eat, to just be normal for a bit. But of course, they can’t really be normal. Scott is recognised by some local teenagers, and they end up stopping a police chase. I thought these scenes were really well-done. Iceman’s reaction to seeing himself make out with someone was hilarious, I just love Bendis’ dumb-ass take on that character, and hey, seeing Scott and Bobby flirt with some present-day teenagers was a bit of much-needed levity. But of course, Dazzler: Agent of SHIELD (or perhaps Mystique) was lurking in the background.
The most interesting stuff in this issue however revolved around the Beast and Jean Grey. Present-day Beast is helping Jean develop her telekinetic powers, by having her levitate Wolverine’s motorbike, but she accidentally disassembles it. Whilst trying to rebuild it, Beast starts thinking about how much the young him fancied young Jean back in the day, and stuff along the lines of ‘what if I had told her how I felt?’, the standard unrequited stuff. But of course, with time-travel, it doesn’t have to be a what if. Jean goes to confront OG Beast, and tell him that she knows he loves her and… dun dun dun! They totally kiss! OMG! I loved this development, back in the day, Stan Lee had all of the X-Men lusting after Jean (even Professor X, ewww), but when she got together with Cyclops, that was kind of forgotten about. But now it’s back, and it’s shocking to see Jean lock lips with someone who isn’t Cyclops or Wolverine. I can’t wait to see the ramifications of this kiss, which is odd for me, in other teen superhero titles I roll my eyes at the soap opera nonsense, but here, it has me gripped. Maybe it’s because these are characters that aren’t normally teenagers, or maybe it’s because Bendis is using the time-travel aspects to do the unexpected, but yeah, I’m into it.
This was a great little ‘rest issue’ before the big ‘Battle Of The Atom’ crossover begins, it developed the characters a lot more, just in time for serious shit to go down. I’m just loving the X-Books right now, Bendis is kicking ass.