I like the X-Men. A lot. I've been reading the comics for a long time. If you think back to everything that has happened, especially since GIANT-SIZE X-MEN, we've seen plenty of crazy stories. Time travel, alternate realities and different versions of characters is nothing new for the mutants. The idea of the original X-Men from the past being brought to the future seems like just another typical X-Men plotline. Yet with each issue crafted by Brian Michael Bendis, I become more and more in love with the idea.
Seeing the innocence of the younger X-Men is a harsh contrast to the current scene in X-Men comics. It's a wonder they all didn't immediately start crying and beg older Beast to send them back to their time. That's part of the fun of the series, seeing the young mutants experience today's events for the first time. Seeing how they react to discovering their fates is exciting and heartbreaking at the same time.
Which leads us to Jean Grey. I won't deny being a big Jean Grey fan. This may not be the Jean Grey we were looking for but there is something the innocence of her younger self. We've seen her grow into a powerful mutant. With these stories, that evolution has jumpstarted a bit. She's taking her place as a stronger character at a younger age now. It was her decision to push for staying in this time.
The other great aspect (for me) is having Kitty Pryde step forward to work with these kids. I'm also a big Kitty fan. She is another example of a character that has come a long way. Too often what she's about is overlooked (like the fact that she's a trained ninja). It's going to be great to see how her involvement with the squad plays out.
You'll probably notice that we have some different art here. With the twice-monthly shipping schedule, it makes sense that Stuart Immonen will take some issues off to accomodate this schedule. David Marquez is a great choice to do the next three issues. If you've seen his art on ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN, you know what he's capable of. He captures the innocence of the younger characters and makes them distinctly different from their current day counterparts. Adding to this (and also ushering in some consistency) is Marte Gracia's colors. And I know reviewers don't often mention the letterers but Cory Petit really should be commended for the lettering he had to do in this issue. When you see a certain scene with Jean and Kitty, you'll know what I'm talking about.
This series uses a lot of double page spreads. The panels tend to go across the pages. It's a common thing in many Bendis books. There was a couple times I missed the fact that this was happening as the crease between pages hid the fact. Not a huge deal but it lead to re-reading a couple panels over again in the correct order once I realized.
It's funny to think back that some people had concerns over Brian Michael Bendis taking over some X-Men books. This has become one of my favorite Marvel NOW! titles. I have no idea how long the concept of the X-Men fro the past being in the present will last but I am sure going to enjoy the hell out of it while it lasts. In many ways it's like seeing the characters experience things all over again for the first time. The fact that the Marvel Universe and the X-Men's corner of it has changed so much makes it all that much more fascinating. David Marquez jumps on the series for the next three issues and it's a welcomed sight to see his art here. Along with Marte Gracia's colors, we get great visuals with the suspense of the story. Even though the series is still setting things up for the young mutants, this is what I want to see. The interaction with others and seeing their reactions is what is selling me on this. We don't have any of the present day Cyclops story but that is totally fine with me. This is a series I'm glad comes out twice a month. Having to wait a full month until the next issue would be too much.