Marvel NOW! Review: All-New X-Men #5 by Brian Bendis and Stuart Immonen

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All-New X-Men #5
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger, and Marte Garcia

The short of it:

In the mind of the modern Hank McCoy, he is the ape-like Beast that many of us grew up with, and he can see Jean only in her Marvel Girl outfit. His favorite costume. Jean is picking around in his head while his younger self tries to fix him, she wires the two together so that the tag team of Hank can save The Beast. They make a hell of a team, unlike our new mutant Ben from Texas, you remember him, the shape shifter that caused the Cyclops and Magneto versus O5 fight? Well, he got booted from school for a being a mutant, and his friends are all tools, so he listens to a sales pitch from Scott.

Kitty tries to bond with Little Hank, but he’s all business. Not like Old Hank, who is busy trying to talk Jean up before letting her into his head to see her entire story. Probably not his smartest move ever as she completely freaks out, but hey, she did get the memories of all of her deaths out of it. Cut to Logan telling Little Scott why the world would be a better place if he just up and killed him right now, total dick move. But hey look, here comes Hank and…Hank? What the hell did they do to Hank? Will the X-Men opt to stay or to go? And did Angel finally get non-generic speaking lines? Time to get Professor K in to help before Jean gets too angry!

What I liked:

  • “How did I die?” “Which time?” Absolutely brilliant.
  • I really liked how what saving Hank all boiled down to was getting a fresher version of his mind to look at his work and equations and be like “This is wrong”.
  • Holy crap, did Warren actually say something that couldn’t have been said by anybody?
  • The end result of Ben the shape changer made me laugh. When I saw the pro-mutant protest my first thought was that we were looking at a group of people protesting because it was ‘cool’, but who wouldn’t lift a finger to help an actual person. Let alone a mutant. It’s good to know I was right.
  • The art was awesome. Not really news by this point, but it was. Especially the splash where Immonen picked all kinds of Jean Grey moments out to put his own personal spin on.

What I didn’t like:

  • Jean is just way too convenient for her own good. She’s at almost full power, has all of her memories, and may or may not be heading down a darker path from knowing her entire story. She’s the most prominent of the O5 in the series, sure, she should be, but she needs to be more than a plot device.
  • Is Little Hank even a doctor yet? Or is he just saying so because he grows up to be one?
  • Wow, Wolverine is one hell of a head master. He wants his students to vote on whether or not he executes an innocent person in front of them because things don’t end up awesomely a good ten years into that person’s future.

Final thoughts:

I don’t know how I feel about Beast’s new look. On one hand, I grew up with Ape Beast, and this is steps back towards that look. On the other, I grew to like Cat Beast. I wouldn’t mind seeing him go back to human at some point, but this new look is an interesting one. You maintain the blue and furry, but give up animal characteristics in exchange for just make him hulkingly massive. He looks like a Beast.

The book is funny, and I have to give Bendis some credit for that. There are nice one liners, lots of little jokes for the long term fans, and hey, there’s a crack about if Wolverine wiped out Young Scott that Charles Xavier would be standing right next to them and all Young Scott can say is “Standing?”. It’s the little things.

Young Hank grows on me more and more by the issue, but jean is just…she’s getting worse. She’s moving further and further into the range of her form uber powered self, and while it’s obviously be design, it’s moving along too fast. Jean had to walk before she could run, but right now she’s in the middle of a marathon without learning how to tie her shoelaces.

The issues in Hank’s mutation coming directly from his own self created mutation? Brilliant. I would love to see what would have happened to Hank if he hadn’t done it.

Poor Scott. Everyone blames him for his future self, but he’s not his future self at all. He’s innocent and Wolverine should get optic blasted across campus every time he tries to act like the bigger man.

Overall: 8.5/10

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