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Comic Review: All-New X-Men #10

Stuart Immonen cover for All-New X-Men #10 Marvel NOW!

“To me, my X-Men.”

That about says it all for All-New X-Men #10, the much-awaited first confrontation between the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning and the Charles Xavier School for the Gifted.

Or in other words, Wolverine’s crew versus Cyclops’ crew.

Despite the explosive potential of the situation, Brian Michael Bendis keeps a tight leash on both sides and, rather than going for fireworks, he goes for the hearts and minds of the characters instead.

No one gets carried away here – not even Logan, who you expect is dying to bury his claws in Scott’s heart. Instead he holds back – to the disbelief of his students – because the situation is more complicated than that.

These two teams were one not so long ago, and despite the bad blood over Xavier’s death, the relationships between the two sides remain too close to turn into outright war at first sight.

Instead, Brian Michael Bendis writes a heavily character-centric issue that tugs at the fresh stitches binding the young X-Men to their new adopted home.

Cyclops visits the school not to pick a fight, but to recruit for his side. He delivers what is becoming his typical mutant rights speech, then offers to take in anyone willing to fight for his cause. He also gives his side of the Phoenix story, which raises many questions among the All-New X-Men – especially for young Scott Summers.

All the while Mystique’s new team is running rampant, robbing banks and using the newly acquired Mastermind’s illusion powers to pin the blame on the X-Men.

Speaking of which, Mastermind’s best illusion is a full page spread of the All-New X-Men that looks very similar to the cover. It’s a spectacular action shot drawn by the unparalleled Stuart Immonen, who not only continues to make this book look amazing, but who also manages to make the Uncanny X-Men costumes look very much in the spirit of Chris Bachalo’s work on Uncanny X-Men.

It’d be easy to say this issue is about young Scott’s struggle to deal with his increasingly awkward situation. It’d be just as easy to say this is about Beast trying to keep the young X-Men in line and on his side, or about the straight up clash in ideologies between the two teams. But it’s not just one of those things; it’s all of them, and so much more.

Wolverine gets more play here than we’ve seen in past issues, and Ice Man – old and young – is a key source of levity to keep the book fun when it threatens to get too intense.

Bendis’ dialogue is snappy and fun, especially when put in a big team setting like this. He always has great dialo

Bendis always writes great dialogue, but in an issue with this many characters it only seems to get better. He juggles everyone perfectly and plays them off one another to generate dialogue that really drives the story along.

All-New X-Men #10 is a dense character issue that will leave you doubting and guessing all the way to the end as everyone mulls over Scott’s offer.

Someone big joins Cyclops.

But who?

9 out of 10

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