ALL NEW X-MEN #014 - teamwork,action,comedy...BMB is bringing his "A game" on this issue
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 inks are flawless. This isn't a "POP" color but when you look at this cover, you will see the time and talent invested into it and appreciate it as a sophisticated work of art.
STORY ARC: 5/5 BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS has definitely proven he is top notch, and this issue is just another example of it. The last issue we see Lady Mastermind attempting to take control over Jean Grey with her powerful illusions and the start of this issue makes us believe she accomplished her task. The first page jumps out at me like a firework and the fun never stops this entire issue. The first page is a full splash page and we see Jean Grey becoming the Dark Phoenix and about to lose control. It is a very powerful image, both to us as readers, and also to Wolverine, who immediately recognize what is about to happen, pop his claws, and jump into action to end Jean Grey like he wanted to and should have the first time she became the Phoenix. Before he can do that, Jean Grey comes right out of it and we see that Jean was just projecting the image into everyones mind. She was trying to just project it into the bad guys' mind, but her telepathy affected everyone. She states she has only been a telepath for 5 minutes. Pretty good for just 5 minutes!
Then the fun continues. The original X-Men (minus Angel), Wolverine, & Shadowcat go into battle against Sabertooth, Mystique, Silver-Samurai, Madame Hydra, & a bunch of Hydra henchmen. Everyone excels in this issue, well except Wolverine who gets shot in the belly by Mystique, getting their licks in without taking any in return. The teamwork of the original X-Men was written and drawn in a way that takes me back to reading the actual original X-Men comics, but with much better art and dialogue. I have always loved Beast and I love his as an active battling X-Men versus the smart guy always in the lab. Jean Grey makes Mystique and Sabertooth look like a fool and made me actually LOL multiple times. Shadowcat and Jean Grey are real bad$$ chicks in this issue with both delivering awesome kicks to the faces of Mystique and Hydra henchmen.
After the X-Men subdue their opponents, the real Avengers show up and there are a couple of great moments when Iceman throws a snowball at Thor and then calls him "Mr. Thor" LOL, and a touching moment when Havok gives his big, um, littler brother little Cyclops a bro high five. Cyclops asks him if this is something they do now, and Havok says "NO". This was such a simple yet impactful and touching moment for me being such a huge Cyclops fan.
At the end, Mystique escapes S.H.I.E.L.D lock up which is what she is great at, and Jean Grey goes emo by herself on the basketball court, contemplating that image of the Phoenix she placed in everyones head during the battle.
STORY ART: 5/5 I have included some of my favorite images of some of the action and teamwork represented in this issue by the artistic creative team. As a Cyclops fan, you know I have to include some of his awesome blasts that we rarely get to see.
FiINAL VERDICT: 5/5 BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS just solidified this book into the number one spot on my pull list and favorite Marvel Now comic list. I have been juggling back and forth between this title and Uncanny X-Men (as I am an avid Cyclops fan), and until now I have had this tittle in the #2 spot. BMB has now changed that, ANXM is now in the top spot for me because of this issue.