All-New X-Men #1
By Dennis Hopeless, Mark Bagely, Andrew Hennessy & Nolan Woodard
All-New X-Men #1 sees the first relaunch of the series that was primarily written by Brian Michael Bendis over the course of its initialrun. In his place, Dennis Hopeless is now helming the scripts. In this issue, Hopeless explores a new, slightly revamped team line-up that continues to follow the original young X-Men who are stuck in the present. And they’re not alone, they’re joined with Laura Kinney, who has inherited the Wolverine mantle from the deceased Logan, Idie Okonkwo, and Kid Apocalypse to write their own futures. It’s an interesting start to a new series that has loads of potential, but more importantly, the characters are great fun to read about again as Hopeless re-introduces them effectively to the reader.
This reviewer was unfortunately unable to keep up with all of Bendis’s All-New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men series, but Hopeless handles them well. The book explores the new-found relationships of these characters. In particular, he explores Laura and Angel’s relationship. Hopeless touches on this very well. We get to catch up with the rest of the X-Men and what they’re up to as well. Hank and Evan are in Florida, whilst Scott is on his own in Chicago tracing mutant gangs who have been inspired by Cyclops, appropriately called “The Ghosts of Cyclops.” It is refreshing to be reintroduced to these characters again and Hopeless handles them well, with nobody really feeling out of their element. Time will tell. The loss of Jean Grey to Extraodinary X-Men also allows the rest of the cast to step into the forefront, as is evident by the good character focus on Scott that we get in the first chapter.
The artwork from Mark Bagely is solid, especially as he has to split the action across various scenes around the United States. The character focus of Hopeless’s script allows the artist to handle them well, with some realistic portrayals of the teen characters in the book. Both Inker Andrew Hennessy and colorist Nolan Woodard keep the feel of the bright, enthusiastic, and almost optimistic tone of All-New X-Men throughout the book, capturing a lighter feel that really works.
Dennis Hopeless really gets teen characters and has handled them well in the past on both Avengers Arena and Avengers Undercover, with the more angst involved the better. However, it’ll be interesting to see where he takes them moving forward and there’s plenty of stuff going on for the reader to explore. Hopefully this book will avoid crossing over with the upcoming relaunch of Uncanny X-Men too much, and continue to stand on its own for future issues. So far, it’s off to a very impressive start.