Monday, January 21, 2013

Comic Book of the Week: New Year Edition

I’ll start by saying yes, this is a bit late, but I still wanted to share my Comic Book of the Week for the first week of 2013. I only picked up a handful of books that week, so there wasn’t much in the way of competition. But it probably wouldn’t have mattered much with All-New X-Men on the shelf. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve no doubt come across my praise for the time traveling mutant book by Brian Michael Bendis, Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, Marte Gracia and Cory Petit. It’s a great book and easily one of my favorite Marvel NOW! books. All-New X-Men #5 keeps that trend going.

This fifth issue introduces a few more elements to an already good story. One of those is Beast’s health issue resulting in a new physical mutation. Another is the manifestation of Jean Grey’s telepathy much sooner than it originally had. We also see the chasm developing between her and Scott. Present-day Scott continues in his role which is something akin to an NCAA football coach recruiting talent around the country. In the place of top talent are young mutants who’ve just discovered their powers. There’s some interaction between young Scott and Logan that’ll make you think about their relationship over the years and from here on out.

The young X-Men have voted and decided to stay in the future to solve the situation. The Icemen have a moment that’ll leave you saying “yeah, that’s Iceman.” Left in the dust is poor Angel who, unlike the rest of the team, has yet to encounter his future self. If you’re curious about that conversation, look no further than issue #6, which is available as of this writing.

I think Stuart Immonen is doing the best work of his career on this title. With Wade Von Grawbadger and Marte Gracia doing the inking and coloring, respectively, they’ve been publishing a beautiful comic. Two artists assist in this issue: Craig Yeung on inks and Jason Keith on colors. The best visual is a two-page spread with young Jean Grey in the center of images she pulls from Beast’s mind showing some of her finest and not so finest, moments with the team. The art team makes the effort to distinguish between the two time periods in the borders as well as in a lighter shade of colors. Good touches on both counts.

All-New X-Men is a great book. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, as an X-fan who questioned this book in the beginning, I’m fully on board with what Bendis is doing. His writing is on point. Combine that with Immonen’s pencils and you have one of the best Marvel NOW! books on the shelf.