All-New X-Men Vol. 1 #41 — comic book review

Written by Brian Michael Bendis.

With these things, I should probably explain how my comic book reading system works again. There are two “series” that I follow: the first is the latest issue of whatever adaptation is being released next, such as Ant-Man. The second is a regular series that I follow with every issue.

That series is All-New X-Men. Marvel Comics have announced that Vol. 1 #41 is to be the last issue of All-New X-Men, and that’s followed-through here with the announcement that the story arc will be concluded in Uncanny X-Men Vol. 1 #600.

Uncanny X-Men is the rebranded name of the original run of X-Men comics. In 2011, that issue went into hiatus so Marvel could focus on this new series. Now, they’ve decided it’s time to take the X-Men back to their source by making Uncanny X-Men the flagship X-Men series, which means ending All-New X-Men.

Which is a shame, because I’ve really come to like this series after one two issues. I started with #40 last month, and my review of that at the time was glowing, particularly for the way it focused on the characters and their intimate relationships with each other were so accurately portrayed in such a small way. Also at the time, I said that the Utopian mystery had me intrigued and that the characters of All-New X-Men were so appealing that it would make finding out worthwhile, as the journey to it would likely be more interesting than arriving.

This issue continued that. It’s written by the same person, so that’s to be expected. I’m told he wrote the whole series and even conceived it, which makes sense, because the love of it shines through these characters and their insecurities.

It’s only when the All-New X-Men meet the Utopians that it suddenly grinds to a halt because the action starts to distort the characters. That final battle is a bit of a slugfest and there’s no personality to it in the way that, say, Joss Whedon brought personality to the final battle of Marvel’s the Avengers. There are so many characters that it all becomes a bit much when it happens at once, and some of the them looking so similar doesn’t help, especially when they wear the same uniforms. What powers are being used are, at times, implied by what’s happening around another character somewhere else. For a final issue, it would’ve made much more sense to show them using their mutant abilities before they can’t anymore.

But when that’s not happening, it’s the character stuff that really works. I chose X-Men to be my regular series because it’s the most popular and well-known team and has the most diverse range of characters. Which is why I’ll be moving with the All-New X-Men to be with the Uncanny X-Men, since I still enjoying spending seven minutes a month with them.

It might not be as good as last month’s, but that’s the only other one I’ve read.

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