By Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez and Justin Ponsor
This issue of All-New X-Men is super sized and features possibly the greatest collection of artists for a single book. It’s a landmark issue as well since the book hits 25 issues since the past version of the original five X-Men came to the future. Whatever Bendis has in store should be spectacular to cap off the celebration.
Last month Brian Michael Bendis had Cyclops leave the team to go off into space with his father Corsair. Readers were anxious to see where the book would go from that, because the loss of a main character should have a huge ripple effect on the title going forward. This issue is pretty light on story and mostly serves to show off the talented group of artists who have volunteered to draw a panel of two. Bendis introduces us to a bald figure who is talking to future Hank from the shadows as Beast tries to fall asleep and the rest of the issue showcases the artists as they draw out possible futures that Beast dismissed by bringing the 05 to the future. Bendis writes a couple funny panels, but this is ultimately to celebrate the title reaching its 25th issue. While Bendis does show a few interesting futures, it’s only for a page or two at most and it doesn’t whet the appetite of the reader.
The art this issue was handled by too many people to list, but David Marquez did the main story involving Beast and the shadowy figure. Marquez does an excellent job on his portion of the issue as both Beast and the man in the shadows look great. There are some standouts from the alternate futures that should get a mention, J.G. Jones’ X-Men on Parade looks great and is colored to perfection. There really isn’t anything you can say negatively about Lee Bermejo’s art and he shines in this issue with his one page of Colossus channeling his inner Cable. His work is always a treat due the insane amount of detail, but he really knocks it out of the park in his page. Finally, David Mack draws a gloomy future where Cyclops gets burned at the stake that is both eerie and intriguing.
There really isn’t much meat to this issue; it’s used to mostly showcase the art, which is good for the most part. Bendis did a decent job of creating several alternate futures, but this issue was a bit of a letdown. Next month this series will get back to its roots and continue the great tale that Bendis is weaving.