Comic Reviews: All-New X-Men, and Saga!
Marvel’s time-displaced merry mutants continue on in All-New X-Men #9, an issue that serves as more of a set up for things to come than a “things getting done” issue. After the events of last issue, the team is on edge whenever they are around Jean Grey. Messing around in a teammate’s head and making him okay with staying in the future will do that to a team I guess. With their loyalty with one another on shaky ground, Kitty Pryde decides to send them into the Danger Room to get some valuable combat experience, while Mystique and Sabretooth start their mysterious plans elsewhere.
Brian Michael Bendis, as with his other X-book, nails the characters and dialogue here. Teen Cyclops’ reaction to modern day Times Square really puts things in perspective of how prevalent the media is in our lives, and seeing this team that we know can work together struggle to take down a few Sentinels adds to the weight of just how far out of their league these young X-Men are. Bendis is starting to seed doubt into whether or not Beast was right in sending these teenagers into the future, and you have to wonder what the long term effects could be from having them wandering around modern day New York City (assuming they’re not mind-wiped by series’ end).
Stuart Immonen returns this issue, and my god, it’s good to have him back. All-New X-Men has done a phenomenal job of finding appropriate fill-in artists that match Immonen’s style, but at the same time, there’s really no replacing him. His double page splash of the Sentinels arriving in Times Square is a sight to behold, and once again showcases his mastery of the comics medium.
All-New X-Men was a title that I was originally going to trade wait, until I crunched the numbers and realized that it would be cheaper to get the monthly issues instead of the hardcover (thanks Marvel). However, I’m really glad I’ve caught up with this series. Month in and month out it’s proven to be a fantastic read, and has gotten me head first back into the X-Men, something that hasn’t happened since the 90’s cartoon was on the air. There’s a unity between the X-Books that hasn’t been there for quite a long time, and if the ending of this issue is any indication, that’s not going to go away any time soon (I should probably throw it out there that if you’re reading this series, you should definitely be getting Uncanny X-Men as well). Easily one of the best of the Marvel NOW! titles, All-New X-Men is worth your hard earned $3.99.
Sure, Brian K. Vaughan may be currently exploding the world of comics by offering a brand new, “pay what you feel like” digital series with Marcos Martin, but he’s also still got regular paper funny books too. Continuing our tale of two star-crossed lovers (and parents), Saga #11 clears up a major cliffhanger from last issue, and features some of the funniest dialogue of the month, which I won’t repeat here (this is a PG-13ish review of course).
Picking up from last issue, Marko, Alana and their daughter Hazel are still cruising through space in their strange tree rocket ship, with Marko’s parents tagging along for the ride. After almost being destroyed by a giant “black space fetus” (you’ll get it when you read it), they’re continuing their on the lam escapades from The Will, who conveniently misses them thanks to said space fetus. There’s more background on Marko’s relationship with his father, and more pre-Hazel scenes with Marko and Alana (which earns the issue’s “M” rating for the month), all of which creates an even richer tapestry weaved by Vaughan. With Fiona Staples’ fantastic art, Saga continues to be one of the best indie titles available, and with the series taking another hiatus with issue 12, you still have time to catch up and tell your friends all about it.