The Fate of Illyana Rasputin
I think the only reason New X-Men isn't out selling all the other X-Titles is because the roster is probably unknown to the casual fan. No other X-Title has enjoyed the consistent quality for as long as the New X-Men has. The worst issues of New X-Men are still worth picking up, and that can't be said about all comic books. I say this at a time that almost all X-Men comic books are actually good right now, but that's because all the writers have been on the book for over a year. Yost and Kyle have been on New X-Men since the beginning and that is probably the title's biggest strength. While most titles suffer from going back to the status quo at the end of each story arc, New X-Men has more of a 60s, early 70s mentality to it. The story is constantly evolving along with the characters. You never know when someone will die, or in the case of this latest arc, when someone will be changed for the foreseeable future.
This story arc might have suffered a little since it consisted of Belasco basically torturing the kids until Darkchild and the rest of the group showed up. The conclusion of the story makes up for it however. The kids are put in a dire situation by a very powerful villain who is obsessed with finding Illyana Rasputin. Belasco comes across as very desperate to find his goal, and it was great. The fact that this actually ties in something that happened in House of M is great also. If your going to tie in with a major cross over event, you might as well do something with it. Kyle and Yost found a way to incorporate those events in a very unexpected way, and it's great comic book writing. We have at least three characters that are changed by the events in this arc, and the team itself has a change up as well. It also establishes just what's going on with Illyana Rasputin and what kind of situation she's in. Simply put, it's a fun read.
Skottie Young has proven with his first arc that he fits this title perfectly. Although his style is very different compared to previous issues of New X-Men, it still works... and works very well. I'm hoping that he'll be on this book for the long haul as he seems to be having fun with the scripts from Yost and Kyle. The direction of this book is impossible to predict as you never know in which direction the writers will be taking you in the next story arc. All you can be sure of is that each issue will most likely have a perfect blend of action, drama, comedy and actual character development... all this and a good plot.