I was surprised with All New X-Men issue 2. The whole “time-travel inconsistency” thing was largely brushed aside, leaving us with the beautiful tension created by having the original X-Men confront the current roster. Depressingly, issue 3 by Brian Bendis and Stuart Immonen proved to be an awkward return to the first issue’s problems, a dragging plot and a predictable ending.
We open on present-day Cyclops, accompanied by Magneto, in an attempt to rescue Emma Frost from some crazy traveling prison. I’ve been a fan of comics for a long time, and it’s painful to see Cyclops as SUCH a cock. True, ever since the original Phoenix Saga, Scott Summers has been less than a stand up guy. There’s something appealing, however, in having an immovable moral compass in a super hero story. True, it’s interesting to have watched Cyclops slowly turn into a villan and yes, it will make for a fantastic series of conflicts through out All New X-men, but I don’t feel like it’s something that’s handled well in this issue.
As Cyclops and Magneto make their attack on the traveling prison, they find that their powers have been altered. Emma Frost explains that this is due in part to the influence of the Phoenix force. This is, to put it bluntly, poor writing. Magneto was never possessed by the Phoenix, and is inclusion in it’s effects seems completely nonsensical. I understand that last sentence will sound like total nerd rage to most of you, but try to hear me out. Issue 3 doesn’t explain how their powers are different, only that Magneto’s are less affective and Cyclops’ lazer is more lazery? For such drawn out writing, very little is explained.
Stuart Immonen does his best to save a poorly written comic. He creates some very energetic art. His transitions are well tuned, and page movement is extremely fluid. I appreciate the age he puts into Magneto, and the distinction he draws between the physique of young and old Cyclops.While his style is not my particular cup of tea, I can appreciate the talent displayed in issue 3.
That said, the FUCK Bendis? Issue 3’s predictable ending should have been it’s surprising middle, and you know better than this. You are better than this. Don’t worry, I enjoyed issue 2 SO MUCH that I’m still excited for issue 4. Besides, who knows, maybe the back and forth in quality is some metaphor for the inconsistencies of time travel? I hope? Either way, fingers crossed that Bendis’ next attempt is a move in the right direction.