SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses events from Avengers vs. X-Men #11
After the events of Avengers vs. X-Men, which is concluding in October, we will be seeing a brand new landscape in the Marvel Universe, known as Marvel NOW! This company wide change will be bringing down the walls between the X-Men and the rest of the Marvel U., as well as changing the status quo for various titles and releasing a bunch of new #1’s. But it’s not a reboot.
There are some really exciting and interesting developments to come out of the Marvel NOW! movement, the least of which is what will be happening to the new flagship X-Men title. Gone are Uncanny X-Men and all adjective-less X-Men as well. X-Men Legacy will be sticking around, but also getting a new structure and storyline to fit in with the ‘not a reboot’ reboot. So while the X-Men will be seeded into various Avenger’s roles and titles (Like Avengers and Uncanny Avengers) the main story will be carried on in the brand new flagship title; All New X-Men.
It’s a blast from the past as the original five students of Professor X – Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Angel and Beast – are plucked from the past and brought to the present. But what they find, the state that their future selves are in and the state of Xavier’s dream, is far from the future they dreamed of. And how will the X-Men of the present deal with their past coming crashing forward?
If the summary doesn’t do it for you, here are 5 reasons to pick up All New X-Men:
Brian Michael Bendis & Stuart Immonen
Do I really need to say anymore here? Bendis will be taking over the X-Men in his next step as the Marvel move-maker. He revolutionized Spider-Man over in the Ultimate Universe, he Disassembled and then assembled the New Avengers, and has been on the forefront of every major Marvel event for years. Who better to take over the X-Men in the new Marvel Universe? And to team him up with past collaborator Stuart Immonen, who has such a unique style. His crisp line art, fantastic character models and a penchant for storytelling unmatched by some of his peers all bode well for Marvel’s new X-Men flagship. Just check out some of this preview art.
The Marvel U. Isn’t Big Enough for 2 Cyclops
Yes, I am a fan of Cyclops. I know there are some haters out there, but for me it’s always been about Cyke. More than anyone on the X-Men, Cyclops has always been at the forefront of the mutant population as a leader and possibly the true messiah of his race. Recently he has accepted that role to the point where he will do anything to protect his people, things he would never have been able to contemplate in his youth. This proves his character has gone through the most growth out of any of the X-Men. So what happens when a younger, more idealistic Scott Summers arrives from the past to see the world their beginning struggle has wrought in the future? How will he react to his future self and the decision’s he’s made? How will the rest of the present X-Men react to having another Cyclops around? Will present day Cyclops try and take younger Cyke under his wing? Will Wolverine? The questions are endless. One thing I’m looking forward to is young Cyke’s reaction to old Cyke’s buddy Magneto, who in young Cyke’s time period would be his greatest enemy.
Jean Grey Is Back. Again.
Yes she’s back, but this time it’s not a rebirth, resurrection, or retcon. It’s just good old Marvel Girl back in action. We return to a Jean Grey whose power is undeveloped, has no connection to the Phoenix Force, and is untainted by the legacy of, well, Jean Grey. How can the present day X-Men possibly wrap their heads around her return? Cyclops is not going to handle it well, and Wolverine is going to be thrown for a loop. And Jean’s reaction to what the man she loves has become? Not to mention her death, the naming of Logan’s school after her, and the destiny for her in the modern Marvel U. given the Phoenix shenanigans lately. All of these points equal one hell of a good read. Seriously, though. Jean’s back! How can you not pick it up?
The End of the Age of Xavier
Boom. The bomb, it is dropped. As of AvX #11, Professor Xavier was killed by none other than the Phoenix-powered Cyclops. The ramifications of this action are going to be huge. Cyclops will be the first to blame himself of course, but so will the rest of the entire mutant population. We’ve seen what happens in alternate realities where Xavier is dead/missing, and it never ends well. While Xavier hasn’t been in the leader role for a while, he has always been a mentor and the progenitor of the dream of the mutant race. That’s not an easy loss to overcome. Magneto loses his best friend at the hands of his adopted leader, which has to affect his loyalties. And the young team of time displaced X-Men? How will they deal with the death of their leader at the hands of one of their own? They’ve lost a man who finally gave this team of outcasts a purpose and a family. And if this is the end of the Age of Xavier, just what is coming next?
The Ultimate Introspection of the Marvel Universe
What better point of view to take a look at this new direction in the marvel U. than the original X-Men from the beginning of it all? No knowledge of anything past a small and select time period. No Secret War, Days of Future Past, Civil War, or even AvX. Teenage dreamers confronted with their own futures, most of which have taken many tragic turns. The original team of X-Men were the ultimate outsiders, which has always been the strength of the series. Now that the first class of Xavier have arrived in this time period, we will get to see the Marvel U. in a new and very critical way. And I can’t get the image of the first class listening to an Oral History of the Avengers out of my head. With so many big changes happening with Marvel NOW, one of the best places to watch it unfold might be with the young X-Men who are in the same situation.
I have one last reason to pick up All-New X-Men #1. A recent quote from Brian Michael Bendis in an interview with Newsarama:
“I decimated the mutants, gave Wolverine his memories back, and killed Charles Xavier, and I haven’t even started the X-Men yet,” Bendis said, with a laugh. “That’s just nuts.”