One week after AVX Consequences ended, Brian Michael Bendis makes his X-Men debut with All New X-Men 1. The original five X-Men are arriving from the past, via current Beast’s request, to stop current Cyclops from “committing mutant genocide.”
I was a little nervous when I learned that Bendis was taking over the X-men – still am. That being said, this issue is very good. There isn’t all that much to spoil since the preview pages are actually the last few pages, and everything else in this comic is setting up the title’s premise (which has already been widely discussed in interviews). Cyclops is using extreme methods to protecting new mutants, who are being heavily discriminated against by legal authorities. It feels like a natural continuation of Scott Summers’s development since M-Day.
Unfortunately, Cyclops may spark a devastating war between humans and mutants, but directly confronting Cyclops’s new team may prove even more devastating. So sure, Beast was exaggerating when he claimed Cyclops would commit mutant genocide, but the end result could be similar anyway. This book actually gives a very good reason to bring the original five X-Men to the present, which is a pleasant surprise.
The art is good too. The book has a very clean look to it, with a good amount of lighting effects. Character expressions are good as well. There are plenty of nice little touches, like current Iceman creating an ice umbrella after Storm’s anger starts affecting the weather.
This book has just as much potential to succeed as it does to fail. When Bendis is good, he’s very good. He’s skillful when it comes to writing teenagers, and his story ideas are more often than not good. His Avengers run started out very well, and there were touches of brilliance throughout. However it continued downhill over the years and Avengers: Disassembled was guilty of serious character assassination. Not to mention that all of his event comics were disappointing, including his issues for AVX. It’s too early to say whether his full run will be good or not, but this issue is an easy recommendation for X-Men fans or Bendis fans.