All-New X-Men #12
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, and Rain Beredo
The short of it:
Imagine what life must be like if your name is Alex Summers. You just got your own Avengers team to lead in response to your brother going super terrorist, your super terrorist brother is on TV making an X with his hands and talking about his fight for freedom, and Captain America has to tell you that there’s a teenage version of your brother running around. I mean, the fact that Cap thinks the Kid X-Men are going around the country killing people and stealing millions isn’t even that big of a deal, because for the first time in his life…Alex is older than his brother! Actually, that’s not the big deal, but Alex wants to relish having an irreplaceable moment with his brother despite Cap wanting all the mutants chained up and jailed until they can be proven innocent. Alex really doesn’t care, he just wants time to talk to his brother.
The rest of the team is busy looking at Scarlet Witch and wondering why one of Magneto’s Brotherhood is there, but then Jean takes a glimpse into her head…and she sees the Decimation. She witnesses the Disassembling and No More Mutants, and she sees that this upstanding Avenger destroyed their entire people, depowering MILLIONS of mutants, killing so many of them that nobody at Marvel has ever felt the urge to put up a total. So Jean does what any good hero would do and tries to rip her in half with her mind while Wanda screams about how she deserves privacy, and everyone on the Avengers tries to defend this unrepentant monster from getting what she has coming to her. When Jean can see through all of their eyes just what mutantkind had become before the selfish crazy person rewrote reality, the sheer amount that her species has lost. Wanda does not apologize, she just says that Jean doesn’t get it, that she doesn’t understand, that she (Wanda) is “doing the best she can”.
Which, to Captain America, puts her in better standing than the obviously guilty X-Men. Remember Mystique and friends? Just knocked over another bank. So Cap shows the Kid X-Men the news footage of people saying how guilty they are, and he doesn’t care that Wolverine (a fellow Avenger) is saying that they didn’t do it. He KNOWS that they did! At least until Wolverine says that Mystique must be doing it. Then Cap shuts the hell up and acts like he wasn’t being an accusing dick all issue. At least until he tells them to go home so that they can have witnesses from now on to prove they aren’t robbing the world blind.
The Kid X-Men want to handle it, it is, after all, a mutant problem. So the Uncanny Avengers go on about how they’re a team put together to do right by Xavier and work together. Jean is not impressed. But whatever, Havok gets to hug his brother, seeing him when he was innocent again, and now Wolverine can take the kids to hunt down some evil mutants!
What I liked:
Scott and Alex interacting just made this issue so much more awesome. Bendis completely nails the moment, with Alex seeing a younger and innocent version of his brother, while in Scott’s case this is his first time seeing his younger brother in years…and he’s leading an Avengers team. Everything between the two made for a great moment, from the conversations to the subtle artistic bits like Alex using the hand on the shoulder to calm his brother. Great dynamic that I want to see more of.
Jean’s assault on Wanda was well handled, well deserved, and something that should happen in more books when characters see Wanda pretending she’s a good guy. The woman attempted genocide, any mutant worth their weight in salt should want to stab her in the throat.
I do like how Bendis handles Wolverine in this book. “We have an understanding. I do whatever I want and he understands.”
Great use of FIN FANG FOOM!
The art in this book is so pretty. The colors looked different, which is how I noticed the deception in the book. Marte Gracia getting cover credit while Rain Beredo gets credit inside. Regardless, this book remains to the usual Immonen level of awesome. Everything just looks so freaking good! Especially Jean’s expressions and emotions.
What I didn’t like:
I don’t like this “hate the mutants” mandate that Marvel has stuck Captain America with. Between his appearances here, in Uncanny X-Men, Uncanny Avengers, and even Cable & X-Force this week…Cap is pretty adamantly anti-mutant. They’re all guilty of something, or need to be treated like lesser people, or need to be reminded that Wanda’s contributions to the Avengers are more important than her attempted genocide against mutants.
Wanda’s complete and total lack of remorse. House of M happened, she neutered the mutants because she’s a selfish crazy bitch with too much power that was upset with her dad and brother. Since she’s returned it’s been a free pass across the board. She’s trying to make it better, she didn’t mean to do it, mutants are dangerous, and my personal favorite….Dr. Doom did it! You know how you redeem Wanda as a character? Have her turn into the skid, instead of trying to turn out of it.
Really, save for Havok and Thor, the entire Avengers lineup is portrayed as tools. Even Rogue takes pointless potshots at Jean Grey being an immature sixteen year old girl.
Captain America is such an anti-mutant racist.
Jean Grey said what every X-Fan should have been thinking since Marvel NOW! kicked in. Why in the blue hell is Wanda allowed to be an Avenger after all the shit she pulled? She wiped her ass with the entire point behind X-Men for forty years, and she’s not apologizing, just diverting blame away from herself. She IS a murderer, she IS a monster, and the Avengers may not have ‘allowed’ her to do it at the time, but they definitely have granted her silent approval by letting her play good guy again like nothing happened.
If I ever wrote an X-Men book I’d use Lady Mastermind too. I don’t know why I love the character so much, but the Brotherhood segments are that much better because she’s a part of them.
FIN FANG FOOM PUT YOU IN HIS PANTS! Sure, it’s not a quote from this issue, but Warren Ellis has forever made me mark for appearances by the giant dragon in his purple pants.
Bank managers know the difference between X-Men and original X-Men.
Better yet, the reports are that Wolverine is showing up with the original five, but none of them are showing up on camera, and his first thought is “The X-Men must be cloaked”. Not “maybe it’s someone else doing it”. Like, the evidence is clearly pointing towards Mystique and friends, but Cap is just desperate to blame the X-Men and the mutant menace.
I absolutely love the way Brian writes the X-Men. After all of these years of reading so much of his work, it’s so nice to just be happy with his work. Even the Wanda stuff doesn’t detract from my enjoyment, it just gives me something to hate on in an otherwise fantastic book.
Tags: All-New X-Men, Brian Michael Bendis, Captain America, Cyclops, Havok, Jean Grey, Marvel Comics, Marvel NOW! (All-New Marvel Now!), Reviews, scarlet witch, Stuart Immonen, X-Men