Welcome back X-lovahs to another round of X-Piles! With another X-Men movie just mere days away, now is the time to catch up on the wonderful world of mutants! Thanks to our resident mutant sympathizers, you get to know which books are X-cellent and which ones should be X-tinct.
All-New X-Men #27
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Stuart Immonen
If you are looking for one X-Men book to read, this is most definitely the one. Bendis and Immonen have proven to be a superior team, handling every issue with quality stories and terrific art. This issue is no different, but it comes with a bit of a surprise.
The opening scene shows Moira MacTaggart having a baby in the past. She delivers the baby then immediately rejects it. Eagle-eyed X-Men fans will know that Moira’s been dead for quite some time, so it’s not a huge surprise to see that Mystique is secretly the mother. The surprise comes when she implies that the child is Charles Xavier’s.
We jump into the future, and discover that the child ends up being Xavier, who is the leader of the evil Brotherhood that showed up in Battle of the Atom. We already know that Mystique and Wolverine end up having a child as well, the feral shape-shifter Raze. So it appears that Mystique is single-handedly attempting to populate the mutant race with her own children perhaps.
This reveal seems pretty shocking, but knowing that Mystique is a shape-shifter herself, there’s no telling how Charles might have been tricked into knocking her up. I do hope this mystery is revealed soon, though.
It seems a bit odd that this Brotherhood would show up again so soon, but it appears that they are trying every way they can to change the past. This makes me think that perhaps the threat of the original X-Men in the present is something to be worried about.
Bendis continues to layer this excellent storyline, yet allow each character the opportunity to breathe. The action here is also intense, as Raze stabs Triage, yet Triage heals himself. I always love a story where the main characters are trapped with an impending force bearing down on them. This issue reminded me of the Phalanx Covenant, where Banshee, Emma, Sabretooth, and Jubilee discover they are the only X-Men in the mansion with nothing but techno-organic impostors. There is a sense of urgency as the X-Men are being hunted by the Brotherhood on their own turf.
Immonen is proving to be one of the best X-Men artists ever. I’ve exclaimed over his art before, but it’s quickly becoming a signature of this era. He can do it all – paint anguish and disappointment on Mystique’s face after giving birth, illustrate the young Xavier’s anguish over manifesting his powers, or display the intensity of the battle between the young students and Raze. He is a marvel of sequential storytelling.
This book continues to surprise, delight, and intrigue. I’m thoroughly enjoying the ride. –JJ
If you’ve been reading this title since the first issue and are still enjoying it then I’m truly happy for you. I’ve been trying to enjoy Marvel’s “new” direction with Wolverine and with each issue it gets a bit harder to do so. It just seems as if just when things are getting good we get to a point of “been there done that” with this character. Which really isn’t fair to Cornell who seems to really enjoy writing this title but certain events for the character are already set in stone.
Which I’m pretty sure dictates what he can and can’t do in this series and the direction of the story.
Now there are a few things this issue does right and one is effectively bringing back Wolverine’s ‘Patch’ identity for this particular mission in Madripor. With that comes a bit of humor along with some help from MI-13 to help Logan pull off this ruse of his. He’s also on a collision course with Sabretooth which isn’t the best idea in his current state.
However, there are some story elements that just drop the ball as you go along. The first is Logan stating to his teammate that he’s wearing armor though we clearly see that underneath his shirt there’s nothing there! There’s also the supporting cast which isn’t too interesting and seem to be filler characters just playing to their tropes. Then there’s the crime boss Sabretooth, who for now, just seems to be a little less interesting than what we’ve normally seen.
Sandoval’s artwork gives the eye candy needed to at least make looking at the issue fun at times. Even when he seems to invoke his inner Joe Mad in the panels. Colorist David Curiel helps give the artwork a nice kick from time to time though that first page along with the last are the two stand out pieces by the artists.
Again, this direction for Wolverine is one that’s already been done as we’ve been shown that Logan is more than capable of proving he’s more than just a healing factor by other writers. So what “new” or just “enjoyable” twist can Cornell put on this theme? We’ve yet to find out because for now he’s (Wolverine) doing the same old song and dance just with a new partner. – IS
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