johnkmccubbin91's All-New X-Men #14 review

Nothing's as it Seems

This has been one of my favourite Marvel NOW! series, as although it's often been inconsistent, having some really high moments followed by poor ones, it has generally been a very fun, and exciting series. Also with the announcement of Battle of the Mutants I'm even more excited about this series, as I am about the other X-Men series.

Plot

The battle between the X-Men, and Mystique's gang comes to a head, but is the young Jean Grey in control of her powers, or will she turn into the Dark Phoenix?

Review

This was a great issue, but it wasn't quite as good as last issue, and the big cliffhanger from last issue wasn't continued as well as it could have. None the less Brian Michael Bendis did a good job of this issue, and there were some really clever development points throughout. The character interaction was also handled brilliantly, with some being very amusing. The action was also handled very well, with some interesting points throughout, with both sides having their moments. I also loved how there was a bit of mystery to this issue, as it kept me questioning points. There were however some points that felt a little weird, and disappointing, but nothing to drop the quality much.

Stuart Immonen once again produced some amazing art on this issue, with brilliant detail that was for the most part perfect, having very few imperfections. The layout was probably one of the best things about his art this time round, as like usual it was very dynamic, adding depth to the issue, as well as more drama, and at times suspense. The action sequences best showed this, as they were very explosive, and exciting, with the layout adding to that. The facial expressions were also handled perfectly, as you could easily tell what the character's were feeling, and I especially loved the young Iceman's reaction to a certain event, with Immonen's art being the main reason for this.

WARNING: SPOILER AHEAD!

Now I don't like giving away spoilers, but this was a subject that I felt strongly about in this issue, and it was revealed near the start. I'm talking about whether young Jean had truly turned into the Phoenix. It was quickly revealed that she hadn't, and that she'd projected that into the enemies brains to get them off guard, accidentally doing the same to her own team. I found this very clever, but at the same time it kind of spoiled the cliffhanger from last issue, as I was expecting to see Jean as the Phoenix properly. As I said though it was clever, and unique, and the way Jean showed progression in her new found powers also interested me a lot.

The fight between the X-Men, and Mystique's gang was the other main feature of this issue, with the battle between the two coming to an end (at least for now). The fight itself was very explosive, and exciting, and I extremely enjoyed it. It also had a lot of drama, and some interesting turning points, which really stood out. It also had some interesting dialogue, that added humour, as well as atmosphere to the fight, also adding depth. There was also some very clever points during this fight as well, and although it wasn't necessarily the best way to end the problems between the X-Men, and Mystique, it wasn't bad. I did however also feel that HYDRA wasn't involved as much as they could have.

Lady Mastermind tried to stand out in this issue, using her powers in an attempt to manipulate they young Jean, as well as the other members of the X-Men. Now this probably could have been handled better as well, but to be honest it was done justice, and it would have probably been harder to do better without dropping in quality somewhere else. The illusions from Lady Mastermind were however very interesting, with one in particular being very interesting.

Final Verdict

This was a tremendous issue, and although it wasn't as good as last issue, with some disappointing points, it was still very entertaining, and fun. It also had some amazing action, and brilliant dialogue, with real depth, and emotion. I'd still highly recommend this issue, as despite the disappointments it was still a very interesting, and exciting issue.

Rating: 4/5

8 Comments
Posted by Raw_Material

Nice review!

Edited by johnkmccubbin91
Edited by Cyclops4President

Hey John, I still recommended this review even though you used the word disappointing too many times. :-)

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@cyclops4president: I only used the word twice, one in the main part of my review and again in the summary verdict (as there were a couple of things that disappointed me). Thanks for recommending though : )

Posted by lykopis

I am not exactly a Bendis fan and I have a lot of problems with this title (and Uncanny) but it is getting better (or my tolerance level has risen). Bendis is great at getting characters to speak of hypocritical stances (as in, acknowledging them) but fails at explaining them. So while it's an easy out for supposedly quieting the fans who see the holes, I am still waiting for sense to make it's way to the forefront.

While Kitty's speech in this issue sounded nice, it completely disregarded the character's previously famous speech way back when in regards to the "N" word. I think it was a poor attempt to force readers into seeing things the way Bendis wants them to but without an organic environment which makes her sentiment makes sense.

Sense. I keep using the word, lol. I am picking up the book and I am perhaps overly critical but if a writer like Bendis is going to take over two books which pretty much control the X-Men world, he should put in due diligence and have older fans like myself understand why things are as they are and people are behaving as they are, rather than just present them in easy dialogue bubbles and think that's enough character focus and then push his story-line through.

I am really enjoying your reviews by the way, thank you! :)

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@lykopis: Overall I've been enjoying Bendis run, and have felt that it's the breath of fresh air that the team has needed.

I don't recall this speech you talk about, could you refresh my memory, or allow me to learn something new.

I agree that he should factor in older fans, as I am disliking Superior Spider-Man due to the change in direction (though it's getting better now) though others love it.

Thanks for the nice comments as well.

Posted by lykopis

I was referring to the eulogy she had made way back when -- New Mutants #45 - about labels after a student committed suicide. She was against labels then -- mentioned wanting to be called by her name -- much like what Havok was advocating in Uncanny Avengers.

Edited by johnkmccubbin91

@lykopis: I haven't read that issue so didn't know about that speech. Fair point, and it should have been thought off, as although I understand she may have changed her mind it should have been mentioned, or incorporated in some way.

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    COVER ART: 5/5 The artistic team of STUART IMMONEN (pencils), WADE VON GRAWBADGER (inks), & MARTE GRACIA (colors) blow me away with this issues cover. The quality is just superb. I love the intricate background detail, making some of the shapes look like they are rusting, and the very gaelic designs are soothing to the eye. Jean Grey's far off look is very well done, showing she is under the influence of Mastermind. I love the detail in Masterminds neckerchief and suit vest. The colors and ...

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