With the success of The Avengers, Marvel is riding high in popularity with fresh initiatives like Marvel Now and a renewed fan base craving new, imaginative writing and varying takes on old favorites. This renewed vigor in Marvel was the catalyst that inspired writers such as Brian Michael Bendis to liven up old properties like the X-Men with the brand new titles, namely All-New X-Men.
Though this story arc was launched on a flimsy plot -- with Beast traveling back in time to bring back the original X-Men in hopes of punishing the present day Cyclops -- All-New X-Men has actually grown into a solid story, which at its core brings old readers back to a time when Cyclops wasn’t plotting a Mutant revolution and Iceman was still a comic, playful youth.
In the latest edition of All-New X-Men, readers are in for a treat as Bendis puts Cyclops and his renegades on ice for a better look into the original X-Men cast as they try to cope and adapt to their new settings at the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning, along with all of the various changes in society that have occurred. And from the first to last page, this latest episode of All-New X-Men is definitely a treat for longtime fans of Jean Grey, with much of the book diving into how she is coping with the fact that her older self is not only dead but responsible for tons of heroics, along with a few evil deeds.
Opening on a sleeping Jean Grey, who is expertly drawn by David Marquez, All-New X-Men #6 shifts its tone from a jovial school trying to figure out the appearance of the original X-Men class, to a character driven story that dives into how Cyclops, Angel and Jean Grey are dealing with their future versions, as well as cope with the fact that they will be staying in the present for the immediate future.
As a whole, this latest installment of All-New X-Men isn’t overly rousing, or laden with tons of action, but if you’re a longtime X-Men fan, issue #6 is truly a treat, especially since it mainly centers on Jean Grey. The return of this X-Men staple is both refreshing and moving, because out of all of the Marvel’s icons to die off; it seems like Jean has been in cold storage the longest.
And, when your eyes meet the pages, there is sure to be fireworks even if you’re not a fan of X-Men because Marquez does a splendid job. From a fresh take on a younger Jean Grey to splash action scenes of a teenage Cyclops blasting Wolverine with an optic ray, Marquez illustrates a gorgeous book that make the imagery as pleasant as the writing.
So when you’re browsing the comic shop, looking for that new book to latch on, consider scooping up All-New X-Men #6. Because even though there is little action, this book is a treat to anyone who has missed Jean Grey over the deep gulf since her last regular appearance in comics.