Review: All-New X-Men # 27: The Brotherhood Is Back, Brah
Of the two monthly X-Men books written by Brian Michael Bendis, I’ve gravitated towards All-New X-Men because I like Bendis’ take on the younger, original X-Men from the past and because Stuart Immonen is just an amazing comic artist. With Immonen’s pencils and Wade Von Grawbadger’s inks, All-New X-Men is one of the most consistently great comics when it comes to art.
The story is another matter.
It’s almost pointless to recap this issue because so little happens in it. Essentially, the future Brotherhood (from X-Men: Battle of The Atom) is attacking the home of adult Cyclops’ Uncanny X-Men team and the original X-Men team from the past with Kitty Pryde and X-23. Along the way, we see flash forwards and one flashback that explain how Charles Xavier had a son that no one knew about.
There’s no way to discuss this part of the issue without giving away the identity of Xavier’s mother, so consider this your SPOILER WARNING.
In the opening pages, we see Moira MacTaggert giving birth to Charles Xavier’s son while the events of Avengers vs. X-Men play out and Xavier is killed by a Phoenix-possessed Cyclops. Moira could have been a plausible choice for Xavier’s mother… if she hadn’t been killed off years ago.
But rather than going with a stealthy and unexplained resurrection, Bendis goes on to reveal that it isn’t Moria who gave birth to Charles’ son, it’s Mystique. That’s right, Mystique is the mother of Xavier and Raze, whose father will apparently be Wolverine.
Can I just point out how little sense that this makes? I’m sure that Bendis will cobble together an explanation as to how and when the original Charles Xavier slept with Mystique. But Mystique killed Moria, the real love of Xavier’s life. Are we expected to believe that one of the world’s greatest telepaths was fooled by Mystique’s disguise before she seduced him? Or should we believe that Mystique somehow reformed herself enough that Charles came to love her? In Mystique’s single scene in this issue, she actually has an emotional breakdown when thinking about Charles and giving up their child. That alone seems wildly out of character for her.
The flash forwards are an attempt to flesh out the younger Xavier and make the reader care about him as a character. It didn’t really work for me and one of the most distracting things about younger Xavier is that he looks just like his father, even when he’s supposed to be in his teens. The younger Xavier’s story just isn’t very emotionally engaging and it doesn’t seem to be worth the pages that it was given here.
The present day sequences were more entertaining and it’s fun to see the All-New X-Men cast interact with the Uncanny team. The unlikely trio of adult Cyclops, Emma Frost and teen Jean Grey was also a highlight. But a few enjoyable moments can’t hide how slight this issue feels as a single issue experience. As part of the eventual trade paperback, this wouldn’t be a problem. However, this issue was not worth the price of a full comic book and the issue was over so quickly that I just wasn’t satisfied with it. It doesn’t help that the cliffhanger is so forced and abrupt.
I still maintain that this is one of the better X-Men comics being published, but it makes a strong argument for reading All-New X-Men as a trade paperback instead picking up the monthly series.