By Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Del Mundo
All-New X-Men #37 has finally hit the shelves, issue #38 dropped a few weeks back, which put the series out of order for a while. The reason for this had to deal with the crossover with several other titles in the Black Vortex. As we finally get our chance to read this stand-alone tale, we have to wonder if it has been worth the wait.
It’s no secret that Brian Michael Bendis loves pairing teen Jean and Emma Frost up. This issue, Bendis has Emma take Jean out in the field for some real world training. Emma’s character has taken a back seat for a while and her personality hasn’t been the snarky ice-queen that made her a fan favorite, but Bendis brings her back from the dead this issue. As far as characterization goes, it was great to see the old Emma back and written well. Her interaction with Jean was actually very honest and sweet as she trains Jean to be the best version of herself. Bendis also allows Jean to shine this issue as she develops a backbone and begins to not second guess herself. There was some good character development for the characters involved, and Bendis really did write a nice little issue. This is a stand-alone issue that has some depth and isn’t just a filler story.
The art this issue was handled by Mike Del Mundo, who also did the colors with some help from Marco D’Alphonso. This is definitely a different style then Chris Bachalo’s art, but it works well for this issue. There are a few off panels that involve odd-looking faces or body parts, but it shouldn’t take you out of the issue. Del Mundo’s Blob looks great and seems like a throwback to the way the character looked in the old days. The fight scene between Blob and Jean Grey is well done too. Cool panels like Jean trying to use her telekinesis to shoot Blob are littered throughout the book. Del Mundo also gives us a Matrix-like panel as Jean dodges gunfire from some low-level chumps. His art and colors are a nice breath of fresh air to All-New X-Men.
For a stand alone issue, this was pretty good. Brian Michael Bendis didn’t phone anything in and actually gave us a book that has some substance. The colors and pencils by Mike Del Mundo work well with the story and are a welcome addition. This issue was a little late, but had enough good character moments and art to let it slide.