Comic Vine Review

40 Comments

All-New X-Men #40

4

People are talking about this issue but there's plenty of other things going on you won't want to miss.

The Good

It's likely you may have heard a bit about this issue already. First off, it's a great refresher issue for the team. Coming out of the cosmic Black Vortex event, we see the younger members of the X-Men allowed a chance to catch their breath. Throughout the history of the X-Men, it's these sort of issues that help to flesh out the characters some more. Seeing their interactions as teammates and friends makes them feel a little more human. This is something Brian Michael Bendis excels at.

This downtime includes the moment that has everyone talking. As mentioned HERE, a member of the original X-Men has been revealed to be gay. There's been a lot of discussion both on our site and the internet in general. It's not the focal point of the issue and shouldn't be the focal point of this review. Some have argued that this is a total retcon while others have said it's something we've seen coming for the last twenty years. Either way, it shows that despite the original members being pulled from the past, anything is still possible. We're seeing the characters shape up in different ways than they originally did. How this affects the big picture is unknown and could cause headaches. But with alternate timelines and the upcoming Secret Wars event, there's still the chance of anything happening. And while some argue that this doesn't make sense since the character's older/present day self isn't gay, it is totally possible that the character is and is just denying it to everyone.

As mentioned, there are other developments as well. We some follow up on a character that has changed during Black Vortex. There's also the point that after the X-Men left Utopia, no one bother to really check the place out. With mention of the "Utopians" in the issue solicit, that's the bigger part of the issue. What will this group mean for the future of the X-Men and why have these certain individuals decide to hide out there?

Mahmud Asrar's art keeps getting better and better. You can see he easily has the hang of drawing the characters. The moments that bring a smile to my face is seeing the expressions he puts on the characters, especially when they're allowed to interact with each other instead of fighting some huge galactic threat.

The Bad

Obviously that one moment with the one member of the X-Men is going to overshadow the entire issue. People are entitled to their opinion on it but hopefully everyone can remain respectful on the topic. As mentioned, many readers don't feel this is completely out of left field. The important thing is to see how this plays out. Will there be any follow up or is it something that just happened and then will be quietly tucked away?

I love Bendis' humor and the way he sprinkles it in his writing. The part with Maria Hill was funny but almost felt like a little too much for her.

The Verdict

The X-Men have been involved in a big cosmic event with the Guardians of the Galaxy and others. Returning to Earth, they get the chance to unwind a little, Brian Michael Bendis style. Bendis has a knack for allowing the characters to live and breath like humans. It also allows for some growth in the characters as well as a big revelation that has everyone online talking. The revelation of an original X-Men being gay can be a big deal for several reasons. But it's also not the main focus of the issue. While we'll have to wait and see how this character's allowed to progress from here, Bendis also sets up a new thread with the introduction of the Utopians. Mahmud Asrar's art keeps getting better. His take on the team and his depiction of their expressions is gold. Pick up the issue for the reason everyone is talking on and on about but also check out the other developments happening around the characters.

40 Comments

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Rubear

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Edited By Rubear

...it is totally possible that the character is and is just denying it to everyone.

It is not. His sibconciousness tried to rape Mistique and protect other girls. He had numerous relashionships, all of them with girls. Jean mentioned that he is not. So let's face it - Bendis once again created a dogpoop.

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Mutant God

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Edited By Mutant God

I'm not a fan of Iceman's storyline and just leave it at that.

As for the "Utopians", some of these don't make sense, unless they being mind controlled, one is with X-Force, another is in the Wolverines' series, and another has been in the school since Schism before AvX.

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HolySerpent

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Now I know how everyone felt when Alan Scott ( he's still great character and I love how he is being written but still) was made Gay.

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TheBlackHood

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Now I know how everyone felt when Alan Scott ( he's still great character and I love how he is being written but still) was made Gay.

The difference to that being that they actually DID retcon the character. This stuff with Iceman is just out of left field to catch more headlines. Marvel is all about gimmicks now, crossovers and gimmicks.

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dondave

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Terrible

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theMightyMODOK

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Love Bendis's writing. Huge of Ultimate Spidey and this series.

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RaggedScarecrow

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Good ideas, poor execution; something of a reoccurring problem I've had with Bendis' stint on the X-titles.

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iceslick

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Once again, I think people are misinformed that this Iceman or all the other young X-Men could be from an alternate earth. I think that's why Beast is having difficulty putting this team back in the original timeline. He doesn't know that maybe the time travel machine might have went to a past of an alternate earth that's very similar to 616 but later differences changes their earth as a whole later on like for example, Iceman being gay and Jean Grey has a mysterious power that the previous Jean Grey never had. Also, maybe the characters at the end are from the same earth as these young x-men are from. So, no isn't a recon or anything, I don't think all of us should be jumping into conclusions. How do we know these two Iceman are from the actual same earth? It's never been clarify yet and maybe we will find out in the next issue.

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spacemanspiff85

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If old Iceman was always gay, I'm pretty sure Emma Frost would've picked up on that when she was controlling his body, or then later when she was taunting him about not being in control of his powers. Or maybe anytime when they were both at the school together.

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daredevil21134

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@iceslick said:

Once again, I think people are misinformed that this Iceman or all the other young X-Men could be from an alternate earth. I think that's why Beast is having difficulty putting this team back in the original timeline. He doesn't know that maybe the time travel machine might have went to a past of an alternate earth that's very similar to 616 but later differences changes their earth as a whole later on like for example, Iceman being gay and Jean Grey has a mysterious power that the previous Jean Grey never had. Also, maybe the characters at the end are from the same earth as these young x-men are from. So, no isn't a recon or anything, I don't think all of us should be jumping into conclusions. How do we know these two Iceman are from the actual same earth? It's never been clarify yet and maybe we will find out in the next issue.

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iceman228433

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Thank god that Black Vortex is over that thing went on forever.

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deactivated-5a04a566e9ae3

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@iceslick Beast is having difficulty putting the O5 back because Bendis wants to use them more. He makes this stuff up as he goes.

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GhostPirateX

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Edited By GhostPirateX

Family Guy outed Iceman like 4 years ago.

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illmatic4177

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illmatic4177

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@theblackhood: It's not completely out of left field, other writers have hinted that Bobby could be gay in the past. I didn't recall it myself, but I have since seen other stuff posted from past comics that do hint at it. And In not sure how writing about someone coming out after seeming straight most of their lives is a gimmick considering it has happened plenty of times in real life.

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Kokemabb200

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IDontLikeBirds

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@theblackhood: It's not completely out of left field, other writers have hinted that Bobby could be gay in the past. I didn't recall it myself, but I have since seen other stuff posted from past comics that do hint at it. And In not sure how writing about someone coming out after seeming straight most of their lives is a gimmick considering it has happened plenty of times in real life.

Nerdist has a pretty good article with some of the past stories that hinted at it, as well as comments from past writers.

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Kokemabb200

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Ever since Battle of the Atom all of Bendis' books have been garbage, I used to like him a lot, but his writing and dialogue just seem so off key and it's like he tries too hard to pander to what he thinks kids want.

I'm not worried about the Bobby being gay shenanigans. Secret Wars is coming and the universe is resetting, right now they have an opportunity to write storylines that can be just retconned away in a couple months.

My only opinion on the issue is that if Bendis wanted to write about a gay character he could've brought Northstar back to prominence or created his own character and written them well. This felt poorly executed and lazy on his part.

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TheFizz

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Nope. Not feeling this...

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Thatlyn Yoaeg'ill'rymmin

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The Black Vortex made Bobby Gay! It show him is true and full potential, and that is: BE GAY!

However I'm joking... I hope... O_O

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Stahlflamme

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The important thing is to see how this plays out. Will there be any follow up or is it something that just happened and then will be quietly tucked away?

This is the second to last issue, isn't it? I have little hope for this revelation being anything other than an attempt to sell more issues. Future writers will have to see what they do with it.

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Viking_Funeral

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Well, on the most talked about topic...

Interesting idea, horribly executed. "You're overcompensating because you're gay," is lazy writing, but it can work. A character forcing someone to confront their sexuality in such a way is in poor taste and sets a poor example, but kinda fits young Jean's personality (and she should be called out on this as not being acceptable).

"Full gay?" No. Just no.

With a bisexual character there could be some very interesting conversations about ranges of sexuality and how it's not all black 'n' white, or how adult Bobby Drake has been somewhat attracted to say Warren but still respected their boundaries as friends and never wanted a relationship despite the slight attraction (like some male / female relationships), but instead we get "Full gay."

Meh. I think this is getting exactly the kind of attention that they wanted to get, so in that way, it's very effective. I just wish it was handled better.

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Timotheus316

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My wife was telling me *********** is gay. I was like, no he's not. She says it's all over the news. I checked it out and it's just like the Alan Scott thing. Everyone's like, Green Lanterns gay. I'm like, no way. Turns out it's the lame Green Lantern that no one cares about. Same with this issue. It's so stupid...I'm over it.

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AndySynn

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I have no problem with Bobby being gay actually. And, although there's lots of outrage flying about the internet about Jean "outing" him (and she's kind of being a dick with all the mind-reading, no?) when you read the issue she actually DOESN'T go around outing him to all and sundry (which is what a lot of the reactions have been implying...).

In fact it reads more simply like any friend (a non-psychic friend) discovering that someone they care about is gay and saying "I know" and trying to talk to them about it... it's just badly handled by Bendis and his quippy "teenspeak".

What I found more annoying was having Angel stay cosmically powered... seriously... COSMIC level power... that just appears to have been forgotten or brushed aside in favour of "cool new wings dude!"

What I found most interesting was... wait, is that Random? I love Random... I don't know why. So I'm looking forward to The Utopians. I just wish the series would focus on them and move away from the O5, whose presence and storylines I've started to find very boring.

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Super_SoldierXII

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Edited By Super_SoldierXII

Gimmicky.

Race, nationality, sexuality ... they all combine to make a character who they are, and thereby relatable (or not so much) to their respective fan base.

Mess with one, and you mess with the ethos of the character.

But hey, you can make Thor a woman, Captain America African American (I like Sam sporting the shield, I just miss Steve too) you can have a long established character, who's professed his romantic love for women many a time, gay I suppose.

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god_spawn

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Edited By god_spawn  Moderator

@kokemabb200:

I'm not worried about the Bobby being gay shenanigans. Secret Wars is coming and the universe is resetting, right now they have an opportunity to write storylines that can be just retconned away in a couple months.

Unless the character is dying in Secret Wars, what is happening will still be in effect. Secret Wars isn't a reset.

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tximinoman

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Edited By tximinoman

Who are the mutants that are living in Utopia? I recognize Boom-Boom, someone who I think is Masque, Karma (since when does Karma have a robotic leg?) but who are the others?

And about the Iceman thing... I have a couple of problems. For starters, I don't agree with it because it kind of sends the message that being gay is something you choose (this issue pretty much implies that our present, older Bobby was at some point gay and then he just decided not to be gay anymore) and I think that's horrible. Also there's this thing Bendis has been doing since he brought the original X-men to the present, where some things do matter and keep settling that these people ARE in fact the younger versions of the characters we know, and then he does lots of things that proove they aren't. I think he (Bendis) should get his s**t toghether.

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Uncanny_XFactor

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Iceman is gay? YES. All my childhood theories are coming true.

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harashkupo

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Didn't Angel just burn a city to the ground a couple of issues ago with Beast and Gamora? Man these stories are just all over the place.

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Janjaman

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Soooo... out of the blue stuffs on this issue: With no history or clues whatsoever Iceman is gay, after one or two dates Angel LOVES X-23, after four or five dates Kitty Pride is getting married. Seems to me that everything is liiiitle bit forced...

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Mutant God

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Who are the mutants that are living in Utopia? I recognize Boom-Boom, someone who I think is Masque, Karma (since when does Karma have a robotic leg?) but who are the others?

I think the members are: Boom Boom, Karma, Masque, Box (Madison Jefferies, Random, and Elixir or Cypher

Karma get her torn apart in Second Coming.

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primebonnick

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So I guess this proves that the original x men from the past are separate characters now since present time line bobby is confirmed as not gay. Still don't like it but as I said different characters.

Wow x23 deserves a good love interest and she scored a cosmic bf now it seems. Thank god the black vortex is over at least. So are they staying at the base or going back to the jean gray school?

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Mark_Stephen

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Just a thought here, Rogue has absorbed Bobby's powers before and therefor part of his persona, wouldn't she have clued into his sexual identity?

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Mark_Stephen

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wowlock

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Just a thought here, Rogue has absorbed Bobby's powers before and therefor part of his persona, wouldn't she have clued into his sexual identity?

There was nothing to get a clue on since Bendis was not involved. Thats why it feels out of nowhere. And it is kind of an insult to the sincerity of Bobby's past relations since if Bobby has always been 'FULL GAY ' , not even Bisexual but FULL as Bendis put it , that means he toyed with all those women or all his feelings were lies ? When you think about it , the rabbit whole goes deeper and more disturbing if this becomes confirmed.

About the Alternate past theory, if they were from alternate past, why did our Cyke disappeared when the young one got almost killed ? That explaination would also cause more retcon and headaches.

There better be a resolution to this before the Secret Wars or it will be just as I suspect it is, a public stunt before the event. A needless, badly implemented one.

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Teerack

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Edited By Teerack

Maybe the Black Vortex made him gay?

I don't like Warren's new look but I am holding out for this maybe leading to adult Warren being fixed because he was the best.

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webheadcomics

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Solid article. First and foremost I have nothing against the gay community and hope they can be prosperous in our society. However, why does the younger version of Iceman need to be gay? Why not create a new x-men protagonist that is gay from the get go? The present time Iceman has been proven to be straight but his younger version is gay? This doesn't make much sense and makes Homosexuality a choice and not something you are born with. I feel that this is a lazy way to deal with an issue. Iceman has been a long time favorite but to see his character traits change so drastically is like changing a gay character to be straight right? What if Northstar was actually straight? What if Batman was actually a queer and no one really knew and he was suppressing it? Why not create new and interesting characters instead of creating publicity stunts and gimmicks?

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kai200995

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Edited By kai200995

I read the issue.

1. The Utopians seem a little "unhinged" no? The Second Coming battle did have a lot of permanent changes and amputations, and I think Utopia is where that battle took place.

2. The dialogue between Iceman and Jean was horrid. Jean's a dick too; apparently you have to be gay to not like Jean, and straight to recognize a pretty girl. Not to mention the nosiness. Bad Writing.

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mickeymayhew

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I didn't much care for the 'Angel can't be gay because he's so pretty' comment; I've seen plenty of pretty gay men, and plenty of damn ugly straight ones, so...

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PhoenixoftheTides

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@iceslick said:

Once again, I think people are misinformed that this Iceman or all the other young X-Men could be from an alternate earth. I think that's why Beast is having difficulty putting this team back in the original timeline. He doesn't know that maybe the time travel machine might have went to a past of an alternate earth that's very similar to 616 but later differences changes their earth as a whole later on like for example, Iceman being gay and Jean Grey has a mysterious power that the previous Jean Grey never had. Also, maybe the characters at the end are from the same earth as these young x-men are from. So, no isn't a recon or anything, I don't think all of us should be jumping into conclusions. How do we know these two Iceman are from the actual same earth? It's never been clarify yet and maybe we will find out in the next issue.

I think this is a possibility to be honest.