After a big event in comics, it's always a great feeling being able to ease back and see the characters adjust to the changes. We did see some in last week's ALL-NEW X-MEN #18 but with this issue, Brian Michael Bendis shifts the focus on one of the newer X-Men, Benjamin Deeds.
When a title has a mix of new and familiar characters, it's easy for a character like Benjamin to fall into the background. If we're being honest, he didn't appear to have a power that would make him stand out and he didn't even have a codename. But this issue, Bendis gives him the spotlight in a way only he can. He may be sharing it a bit with Emma Frost but that only adds to the glorious nature of the story. This issue shows us that Bendis has a reason for introducing him to us. The issue may not exactly be a gamechanger like recent issues but it's a great change of pace and another reason why I'm digging his run on both X-titles.
Adding to the fun nature of the story we get some more Chris Bachalo art. Personally, I can't get enough of it. Bachalo also does the color. I could just keep going back and looking over the pages again and again.
As mentioned above, this may not necessarily be the biggest issue in the series. There are definitely some tiny threads being woven here that could come into play later. But this isn't a completely bad thing, as after a big event, having a more down to earth issue is good.
I decided to try the Marvel AR app again (it's been a while). I sat there fighting with it again with no luck until the final page. Not sure why I bother when it always seems like it's a gamble whether or not this will work. And this, in no way, impacts the rating on this specific issue.
Remember all those new X-Men Brian Michael Bendis introduced in this series? They may have been shoved into the background slightly during Battle of the Atom but one character in particular gets the spotlight. The action slows down a little for readers (and the X-Men) to catch their breath and we get a fun look at what this character can do and the potential he has. Chris Bachalo's art and colors are always a plus and adds to feel of the story. If you were worried about the original X-Men jumping onto Cyclops' side this issue shows that Bendis will not forget those that have already been introduced. Seeing the next stage begin is off to a great start.