Continuing the surprise ending that left readers eagerly waiting the next issue, All-New X-Men #11 shows what happens when one of the original X-Men decides to join team Cyclops.
Even with his teammates totally against his decision, Warren Worthington III chooses to change the future he fears by taking matters into his own hands. The situation escalates when Jean Grey decides, again, to impose her will on him, but the misguided attempt sets off a heated battle of wills that further proves the original X-Men are way out of their league here in the present. It also proves Cyclops’ team is built for battle, and the new additions to his team make it even stronger at the Jean Grey School’s expense.
That leaves the two Hank McCoys in a bind — if the original X-Men don’t return to the past intact, it could destroy the present because of the butterfly effect — a change in the past, even if significant, can alter the future completely.
How will they get Angel to rejoin the team and willingly return to the past now that he knows what’s in store?
Brian Michael Bendis keeps things interesting by pushing the envelope. With new situations — more questions and problems. The situation is escalating further out of the control of the McCoys, and the complications could have meaningful impacts on the current X-Men as the present developments influence the past. Bendis, with this current run, can rewrite X-Men history with every page of each issue in this ongoing series.
Jean Grey dying, Angel turning into Archangel, Wolverine losing his adamantium for a time — these things could be written out of continuity, becoming replaced with alternate versions of the stories. They could even get written out completely — it’s actually not so farfetched. Now that they know the future, it’s possible the original X-Men could navigate what’s been written as history, adding and subtracting. Controversial storylines like Scott Summers marrying Madelyne Pryor could get a do-over.
So what does that say about the current issue? It’s another success with a new round of compliments for the creative team. The art and writing are great — and I’m sounding like a broken record. Immonen’s art would look great even in black and white, but Marvel keeps putting inks and colors over them. That doesn’t mean Wade Von Grawbadger and Marte Gracia are riding on Immonen’s coattails — they attack each page adding dimension and layers through tones, shades, and line thicknesses. There’s atmosphere and cinematics — the art ramps up when Bendis’ script needs it to, and the creative team excels at what they do. The last page has its flaws, but looking at the book as a whole — issue #11 is an achievement that delivers on action and storytelling.
Issue #11 ends with another cliffhanger, but if things continue the way they’ve been, issue #11 will have great plotting that keeps the story thick and filled with drama, tension, and action.
All-New X-Men feels new, fresh, and relevant. It’s the X-Men we know and love, deconstructed and disheveled It’s the same team your parents grew up with, given over to the present reader. It’s a changing of the baton that doesn’t destroy decades of progress.
It’s a refocusing that shows why the X-Men have continued being one of Marvel’s hottest properties. They’re Marvel’s strangest heroes, and it’s a good thing.
All-New X-Men #11 (2012)
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Words: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Stuart Immonen
Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger
Colors: Marte Gracia
Letters: Cory Petit