By Brian Michael Bendis, Mahmud Asrar and Marte Gracia
The All-New X-Men continue their trip through the Ultimate Universe and they begin to see double. This of course in reference to the fact that the original X-Men are running into their few remaining Ultimate counter parts. It’s odd seeing two Jean’s have a conversation, but not as awkward as a couple of Icemen.
This book feels like it’s been a while since we last got it. Brian Michael Bendis starts us off with a battle against Doom as the two groups of X-Men take on the tyrant. From there we get thrown back a few hours and see how things got to where they are. The best way to describe his issue is decent. It’s not bad, but we keep waiting for the battle and we still don’t really get it. Bendis writes all of the characters fine, and their interactions are fine, but there is nothing memorable. Angel talking to a younger Kitty is somewhat amusing, but as the issue goes on, you just want the All-New X-Men back in their own time. It’s at the point where we really just want the build up to stop and the battle to begin so this arc can be over. Delays have hurt this book and might also taint your enjoyment.
The artistic duties are handled by Mahmud Asrar with colors by Marte Gracia. Asrar has been showing great improvement on this book in the last few issues, but this time around things seem a bit rushed and muddy. Character faces become non-existent in certain panels and the dark inks bleed into the colors. There are some good panels as well, like when the teams crash Doom’s castle. Asrar draws this panel very nicely as Storm leads the way. Lines are smooth and crisp all the characters look great. This doesn’t look like a book that should have been late.
Delays are something that can kill a book and this story arc is hurting because of it. If when you pick up a book you don’t remember what happened last issue, you have a problem. Bendis has to start getting the ball rolling on this; slow burns are fine, but when a book has a delay like this one has, they tend to get lost. Mahmud Asrar also needs to continue to improve on his art. This month saw a lapse in his progress, but he can easily get back in readers good graces. Hopefully All-New X-Men will get back on schedule and finish this arc before it causes any more problems.