Tuesday, December 4, 2012
All-New X-Men #1
Brian Michael Bendis, Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, Marte Gracia
Comics of the Weak already did a nice little bit of writing on this one, so I'm just gonna throw some thoughts at you on this one:
Cyclops has gotten pretty cool in the last, I dunno, five-ish years? It's been a pretty long road from perpetual stick-in-the-mud-and-cuckold-waiting-to-happen to committing mind-adultery and becoming a radical mutant zionist, and now he's rolling with a group of reformed supervillains in what any ordinary human in the Marvel Universe would have difficulty thinking of as a terrorist group. But I guess we know better since we're on the other side of the comic book. "Mutant terrorist methods" becomes the much more sexy and easy "righteous guerilla tactics" when we have the benefit of knowing that Cyclops actually is doing this for good. Or maybe we don't. Maybe I just want to believe in Cyclops. I don't know, either way Cyclops on the run, helping new mutants, fighting for what he believes in, hunted by humans and X-Men alike, it makes him really cool in that Green Ranger action figure sort of way.
It looks like the other side of the equation in this book comes with Cyclops's buddy Hank McCoy, the Beast, trying to get Cyclops, a man who was recently possessed by a near-omnipotent power, to, you know, just CHILL OUT for two seconds. Things don't look so good for Hank, seeing as how he may be experiencing another mutation that may or may not be slowly killing him, AND that he's gotten desperate enough to travel back in time to recruit the original teenage X-Men to try to talk down Cyclops and his Brotherhood of Guerilla Mutants.
Let's just think about how crazy the conceit of this series is for a bit. The Beast goes back in time to get the teenage versions of himself and his friends to come back to the present with him so that they could talk their buddy down from some really reckless shit. I just don't think I'd listen to a teenage version of myself trying to give me advice about anything. I'm a few years out of my teenage life, and I don't think I've ever looked back except to think about how stupid I used to be when I was a teenager. Sorry teen-me, you wore bad clothes, listened to dumb music for the wrong reasons, and never even TRIED to have sex with anyone, so why would I trust you on ANYTHING? You, like, JUST learned how to drive. I'd think the same might go more than double for Cyclops, a dude who spent his teens obeying orders and pining over a total of 1 (one) girl, and who since getting out of his teens has seen some grade-A shit. I guess the idea is for now-Cyclops to talk to then-Cyclops and realize how far away he's gotten from when the X-Men started out, but man, things have changed drastically since those Doom Patrol knock-offs got together to fight racism.
The conceit of this book works as a sort of meta-commentary about superhero comics too. Whenever a stagnating series is given the chance to get revitalized, the creators behind it are always talking about a "back to basics" approach, or something like "returning to our roots." DC's Geoff Johns-helmed superhero comics being the prime example of this kind of thinking. I don't think All-New X-Men is going to be going down that particular path, and I'm hoping for a subversion of this sort of thing, but you know how superhero comics go. There's not a whole lot of room for anything new.
Anyway, I hope Marvel NOW!-Cyclops spits in teen-Cyclops's face and sends him back to his own time. Adults rule.