The X-men face another catastrophe from the future. Building more layers onto an already complex time travel story, however, creates confusion. All New X-men #28 offers:
- Artwork filled with detail
- Time Travel exploration
- Exploration of Psychic powers and their effects
- Collected into a graphic novel, All New X-men would tell a sweeping time travel story
Capturing fine details, the comic sets effective scenes, and employs good character body language. Both quiet scenes and loud scenes have a sense of silence and volume respectively. Colour choices are strong here.
In the distant future, Dr. Hank McCoy ruffles his blue fur. He hangs from the ceiling of his quiet laboratory, scrawling chalk notes across a blackboard. The attention to detail here is strong. Easter eggs from X-men history are dotted within the complex notes.
The artwork establishes McCoy’s impossible puzzle. He brought young X-men from the past into the present day. Now, in an alternate future he created after those events, he cannot solve the problem. The young X-men were not returned to the moment in time they left, and reality broke as a result.
In a powerful flash forward to the future, The X-men and the brotherhood featured in Battle of the Atom clash. In two pages, a large scale artwork depicts older, wiser X-men facing off against an upstart brotherhood. Pale blue and purple energies glow, while swords shine through the air.
Dialogue centres around two brothers: Xavier junior, and Raze. Xavier’s struggle to make the X-men understand how badly his father, Charles Xavier, was treated forms the key conflict of the comic book.
There are some hilarious comments in the dialogue featured across the opening scenes. Old Beast, in the far future, meets young Xavier Junior and Raze – founders of the new, upstart brotherhood. These young men are in fact brothers. Their mother is the blue, shape-shifting Mystique. Their fathers are Charles Xavier and Wolverine respectively.
Xavier meeting with young Jean Grey presents a chance to bring out his backstory. It’s a major point of conflict. His father died fostering the X-men despite all the efforts Charles Xavier delivered in growing, expanding, and safeguarding the X-men. He references the events of Avengers Vs. X-men. His rage grows when he outlines to Jean exactly how frustrated he is that his father’s legacy, house, and fortune where not retained or cared for by the X-men.
His Brother Raze is plainly a terrible person. It comes across in the artworks depiction of his body language, and the word choice that creates his character voice.
Exploring layers upon layers of time travel, the question this raises is how far can space, time, and the history of the Marvel Universe be pushed?
The comic overflows with time travel mechanics. And layering more time travel atop the already teetering stack of time travel events in All New X-men creates confusion. There are not many deep themes here. Moreover, the comic explores the effects of psychic powers, and time travel.
The artwork is rich in colour and detail. Character’s speak in their own unique voices. Threats from an alternate future are interesting. The time travel mechanics however, are confusing.
Xavier Junior and Raze decide to travel back in time to initially confront the X-men: if they fail to reach their goal, they will send a message to themselves moments before they left, which allows them to build a new plan, and try again.
This causes a paradox: how can they travel back and try a different approach if they now no longer went into the past initially, failed to reach their goal, and sent a message to their future selves?
The paradox that emerges pushes an already strained timeline. Is this pushing too hard on space and time in the Marvel Universe?
Two popular culture references appear. When asked who his father is, Raze states it is “Batman”. When examining his timeline for gaps, Dr.McCoy mentions the Age of Apocalypse, and the Age of Ultron in.
All New X-men #21 is published by Marvel Comics. ($3.99 USD). Brian Michael Bendis (W.) Stuart Immonen (A.) Wade Von Grawbadger (I.) Marte Gracia (C.) VC’s Cory Petit (L.) Cover Artwork by Immonen, Grawbadger, and Gracia.