Review: All-New X-Men #18 by Brian Bendis and Stuart Immonen

All-New_X-Men_18

All-New X-Men #18

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Art by Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, and Marte Gracia

 

The short of it:

A little teleportation and an oh-so-brief hike up a snowy hill and Professor K and the All-New X-Men are at their brand new home…the New Xavier School based in the original Weapon X facility. Kitty is immediately impressed, noting the same thing that Scott and company did. Wolverine would NEVER look for them there. The X-Kids do a little meet and greet with their contemporary counterparts, and Bobby manages to talk Eva right out of a room. The Stepford’s confront Jean, and their contempt for the OG of telepaths has become more contained, and now it’s clearly just a Celeste problem. Henry meets Ben, who stands out about as much as ever, and has to point out to Magneto that him being a good guy is still a difficult adjustment.

Jean comes to talk to him and they get into it because Jean made a move on Henry, then ran off with Scott. She can explain it, I mean, she told him something was up with those future people but he just wouldn’t listen. Scott would. Big fight, but hey, Scott comes on in to tell them that Kitty wants to see them, and Benjamin is all “What the hell am I kibitzing in on?”. Kitty and Yana are outside waiting, but only Scott shows up so they tell him to go take a nap and they’ll meet up later. Because we needed an excuse to get some Kitty/Yana as Kitty puts her foot in her mouth whining about her love life before having to clarify that Piotr is not on her list of awful ex’s. I mean, he probably is, but have you seen the size of Yana’s sword? They both are missing the big metal Russian, and Kitty phases when Yana goes to hug her because…it’s Yana. Yana doesn’t hug. So the two old friends get to hug in the snow and remind themselves at how close things are to the way they were.

About two days later they finally get the X-Kids up and around and Kitty starts to lecture, but then they say screw it and Yana waves her magic sword and everyone gets new costumes! She’s like a crazy Russian mutant Oprah! Beast wants an explanation, she says magic, he tries to think of a way to explain it, she explains magic, and he has to accept that she’s a Witch. Kitty gives them a ‘this is what we do now’ speech, while Jean ignores her in favor of getting frustrated with her mental eavesdropping on Scott and Henry and their thinking way too much about her. Scott thinks about the future that they were supposed to have together, the one that he has learned about, the one that he wants to experience. Henry, on the other hand, thinks about how big of a bitch she’s been and how he should go find someone else since he isn’t blue and furry yet. Frustrated Jean flies for the first time, disrupting Kitty’s speech, but she gets caught and finds herself making eyes at someone totally different. Scott and Henry want to be bitter, but the alarms go off, and it’s time for the X-Men to go out into the field!

 

What I liked:

  • Yana and Kitty completely bail their hug because Kitty didn’t think her BFF was a hugger. Loved it.

  • Kitty is extra hard on Bobby because she dumped his older self, but he deserves it. The kid is such a twit and he rambles on more than Ultimate Spider-Man.

  • Beat and Yana discussing magic, with him questioning it every step of the way, and her providing complete ‘you can’t argue with me’ answers to everything. Great exchange.

  • THE NEW COSTUMES! Are they perfect? No, but they’re a LOT better than what we had before. The classics belong in the past. These are modern and kinda awesome and a much needed, and welcomed, upgrade.

  • Eva rejects Bobby because he talks too much about himself. Point, Eva!

  • The evolution of the Stepford’s made their two page face off with Jean into greatness. The new dynamic between the five-that-are-now-three comes across as so much more natural than the old ‘finish each others thought word balloons’ schtick.

  • “We get married!! We have kids. Well, a kid. I think we have a kid. I think we have one kid. The internet said we–“

  • “I can meet a girl. I’m not blue and furry…yet.”

  • The Uncanny X-Men as drawn by Stuart, Wade, and Marte? Yes please! It almost feels redundant to talk about how great this book looks on an issue-to-issue basis, but it would be a travesty to not give proper credit to the art team and their kick-ass efforts.

 

What I didn’t like:

  • Why couldn’t Kitty rock a new costume too?

  • Jean playing the field is….no sir, I don’t like it. I’m not saying she has to commit to Scott, but in the last six issues she’s played will-they-or-won’t-they with three of her four teammates, and if you open it up a bit, you can add in Quentin Quire trying to make a move too. She’s getting around a bit too much for my tastes.

 

Final thoughts:

I’ve been a Kitty Pryde fan since I was a kid watching “Pryde of the X-Men”. I love Kitty, she’s near the top of my favorite X characters of all time list, and I gladly scope out any book she’s a part of. I gave Joss Whedon props for his Kitty Pryde love during Astonishing, and I didn’t vilify Chris Claremont for trying to recapture his earlier magic with her, because, at the end of the day, she’s Kitty Pryde and I’m just happy to see her in a book regularly. All of that said, Brian Bendis is the best thing to happen to her since that first year of Joss Whedon’s Astonishing. Brian understands her character, and he knows how to provide her voice. I am VERY happy.

Kitty speaking Yiddish makes a lot more sense than Peter Parker doing it.

Hey look, it’s Warren! Get that girl, Warren!

Bobby was always pretty clearly barefoot in ice form, and now I’m wondering how he’ll ice up around this new look. Any chance the costume look sticks through his ice form? I have something in mind, I can’t really verbalize it, but this current costume done icy would look great.

So if everyone is pairing up, and Scott gets X-23, can Hank have a Stepford or two? I’d say Eva, but I like Eva and wouldn’t want to see her get buried by needing her depth built around another character. She’s a superstar in the making.

I’ve been waiting for the Kitty/Yana interaction for ages, and I mean, really, ages. How long was Illyana dead for? Fifteen years? And now we finally have the two in a book together, and the result is just immediate good times. Yana finally has someone around to humanize her, something that had no chance of happening with just Scott, Emma, and Magneto. Then you’ve got Kitty who finally has someone that is her friend first and foremost, not a boyfriend, not a former mentor, a FRIEND. It’s an incredibly different dynamic than she had at the Jean Grey School where the closest thing she had to a friend was Rachel, and Rachel didn’t even show up until the issue before Battle of the Atom started.

Now, maybe Kitty will ask her what’s up with her giant horn things.

Beast’s knee and elbow pads are kinda weird. I mean, I get why he of all people would have them, but in the debut splash his knee pads are bigger than the other X-Men’s heads.

Jean enjoys eavesdropping wayyyy too much. It’s like she’s utterly incapable of not reading any mind that so much as thinks of her.

Jealous Scott and Hank are great.

BRING ON X-23!

Overall: 9.5/10

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