All-New X-Men #41

ANXM cvr 41

Release Date:  June 3, 2015

Magik2

That’s right, folks!  I’m not just sticking to Battleworld issues!  Granted, I’m 41 issues late to the party, but as they said in Ghostbusters II when the ghost of the Titanic finally arrived:  “Better late than never.”

Of course I think this is the last issue so…um…  guess I waited too long.

Oh well.

In the immortal words of Magik:  “To me, my X-Men!”

X-Men

SYNOPSIS

As the story starts, Jean, Beast, and Iceman of the O5 (the original five, but it’s easier to abbreviate it) are lying on some grass, looking straight up.  Cyclops of the O5 sits on a rock nearby, just enjoying the view.  Some banter ensues (it’s really hard to give a synopsis for Bendis’ books because a lot of his writing uses dialogue) until a shadow falls over them and a SHIELD (right?  still SHIELD?) Helicarrier comes up over the mountains.  The four youngster jump to their feet just as Magik teleports in front of them.

Maria Hill lowers down in front of them (she’s got jet boots), declaring that she is there to ask for help, not to fight or arrest anybody (which is good because didn’t she give everybody a pardon after Uncanny #599?).  She announces that there is a problem at Utopia (for those of you more recent to the X-Men’s world, that was the X-Men’s base off the coast of San Francisco for a few years – it became abandoned after AvX).  Some SHIELD agents went missing.  Mutants were involved (it happened at the end of last issue…sucks coming into the middle of these, right?).  Magik agrees to take the O5 (Angel included) as well as X-23.

Once on Utopia, the mutants from the end of the last issue, greet Magik and her X-Men.  Random, Masque, Elixir, Boom Boom, Karma, and Madison Jeffries are all there.  I’m not entirely sure where they’ve been lately.  Of course it becomes a “he said” “she said” fight with the mutants claiming that SHIELD actually attacked them.  Some of the more volatile (i.e. Random) start getting agitated.  So what does Jean do?

Yep.  our resident telepath/telekinetic, puts all the mutants on Utopia to sleep.  Of course, not all of the Utopians are as vulnerable to psychic attacks (hint, hint!).  Suddenly, Cyclops turns and blasts Jean.  Then he takes out Magik.  He takes aim at Iceman who raises a shield just in time.  Beast knocks Cyclops out just in time.  Suddenly, X-23 attacks the X-Men.  As the X-Men scatter, Magik announces that it’s Karma making Cyclops and X attack them.  Even as Iceman pulls up shield after shield to deflect X-23, Jean takes “aim” at Karma and explodes the ground around her with telekinesis.

Free of the control, X-23 hastily apologizes to her teammates.  Even as they try to regroup, several glowing orbs appear all around.  Angel quickly grabs X-23 and Beast and goes airborne before the bombs explode (hey, her name is Boom-Boom, remember?).  Jean once again sends out a telepathic “stop” to everyone and suddenly enters Karma’s mind.  There, she shares a telepathic bond, sharing memories, going through everything that Karma has been through (voluntarily which is pretty much a first for this young Jean).

A short while later, the X-Men inform Maria Hill that the Utopians had vanished.  The X-Men leave, leaving Maria Hill and the missing SHIELD agents (now found).  Back at the X-Men’s camp, the Utopians watch as Magik reappears with the O5.  the X-Men then invite the Utopians to stay in the New Xavier School.

To be continued in Uncanny X-Men #600…

In a few months or so…

Because they want to finish with Secret Wars.

Argh!

Karma

REVIEWS/THOUGHTS/SNIDE COMMENTS

Okay, so I know a lot of people don’t care for Bendis’ writing.  But honestly, I think he’s one of the best writers to tackle the X-Men since Kyle and Yost.  He sometimes uses a bit too much talking, but I really do feel that he makes an effort to remind people that the X-Men have a history.  But no matter how much I love Bendis’ writing, I’m not going to include him in the “Pro” comments because he’s been writing this book for 41 issues.  Bendis isn’t what makes this issue stand out from issue #40.

As for the art, it was decent.  not great, but not the best out there either.  Did a reasonable job, but not enough for me to rave about.

PROS:

  • Karma.  I absolutely love Karma (honestly, outside of Cannonball, she’s probably my favorite of the original New Mutants).  The scene where she just starts possessing people is great.  The image of Jean going through her memories (which has actually been used before in ANXM with Jean and memories) is great, including seeing all of the stuff that happened years ago, like the Shadow King possession, the morbidly obese Karma, and her alongside the original New Mutants.  It was just really enjoyable to see her.
  • Magik.  Seriously…  when she utters “To me, my X-Men” I loved it.  I know it’s a recurring line that Bendis loves using, but it’s still great.
  • Differences.  One of the last panels of the book (and it’s one I included in the quotes below) Angel and X-23 spell out perfectly what’s wrong with the world and I look at it as a dig against the bigotry inherent in the MU when we get the Avengers and X-Men and something that so many seem to forget about.

CONS:

  • Karma’s Powers.  Okay…so this is me being nitpicky, but when Karma possesses somebody, they are completely unconscious.  So to have Cyclops yell to the others to knock him out shouldn’t have happened.
  • End of a series?  I get that All-New and Uncanny are going to collide in Uncanny #600, but it would have been nice if the issue had been a little more epic.
  • Anti-climactic.  Okay, so at the end of the last issue, the SHIELD members seemed to get taken down by some seriously pissed off mutants.  They looked ready for one hell of a battle and yet in this one, they pretty much don’t do much.  Karma possesses a couple and Boom-Boom drops some bombs…but that’s it.  I get the feeling that Bendis was planning on more but that Secret Wars created problems with the timing, but I don’t know.  It was just a bit of a let down.  They could have easily stretched this into two issues.

Don’t get me wrong.  This was actually an enjoyable issue.  I just think it was missing that spark to make it great.  It doesn’t seem like much of a lead-in to Uncanny #600 and considering Uncanny will mark the end of the current era, I would have liked a little more of a build-up to it.

Karma2

FAVORITE QUOTES

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Magik:  “To me, my X-Men.”

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Boom-Boom:  “Are you insane?  Oh, I forgot.  You kind of actually are.”

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X-23:  “Which one?  Which one am I going to carve my initials into?!”

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Angel:  “How come the Avengers can set up shop anywhere they want and everyone is cool with it?”

X-23:  “But mutants…  with mutants it’s always hit first, ask questions later.”

Iceman:  “It’s enough to make people a little paranoid, yeah?”

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