The first All New X-Men issue had Beast travelling back in time to bring the original X-Men to the present. He was undergoing another transformation – one that could potentially kill him, thus why he was desperate. Today saw the release of Brian Michael Bendis’s second ANXM issue. This issue sees the original five arrive at the present. It’s a chaotic issue with a lot happening, but it’s good.
The instant they arrive in the present, Jean Grey’s telepathy activates. Even without her telepathy though, all five of them are overwhelmed by the massive changes that have happened since their time. Some of their reactions are hilarious, especially when Young Iceman encounters current Iceman. Of the original five, he’s the one who’s changed the least – it’s totally appropriate.
There isn’t much room for deeper character exploration, but that will most likely come later. Considering how much happens in this issue, a lack of deep characterization is probably a good thing. This issue is mostly build up for the rest of the series, but it’s very enjoyable build-up.
The art is great too. Both the original X-mansion and the current school look great, as does every character. Wolverine’s sleeping position looks hilarious in a good way (you’ll see), and there’s a great variety in character expressions. I can’t think about any art related complaints.
This series hasn’t won me over yet. While this issue is very entertaining, there isn’t much indication on how Bendis will characterize the original X-Men, or how they interact with the current X-Men. There is so much potential here, and I’m willing to stick around and see if that potential can be realized. A series about the original five X-Men in the present can be an excellent starting point to the franchise if it’s handled right. If you’re an X-Men fan, or enjoyed Bendis’s writing in the past, this is an easy recommendation. This is also worth reading if you’re simply interested in checking out the X-Men.