Comic Book Storytelling: All New X-Men

Marvel Comics All New X-Men series has been coming out for almost a year now.  I was a bit reluctant to give it a try at first.  The whole concept of the original past team of teenage X-Men coming forward in time sounded like an odd sort of gimmick to go for.  Recently I decided to check it out for other reasons.

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The series started with modern day blue furry Beast Hank McCoy going back in time to visit the original X-Men and bringing them forward in time to meet their future selves.  The idea was to remind the current X-Men where they came from and how far they have strayed, especially Cyclops.  Then for reasons to do with bigger long term events at Marvel the X-Men of the past end up stuck in the future.

In the wrong hands this concept could have been another Heroes Reborn.  Luckily it is turning out pretty good so far.  It is interesting to see a young Cyclops and Jean Grey who are friends but not sure if they are ready to be more than that yet and it only gets more complicated when they learn that not only did their future versions get married but that marriage eventually fell apart, and that Jean went crazy and died a few times.  As much as Scott and Jean are the ones who really shine in this series it is also great to see young Beast, Angel, and Iceman back before they got bogged down by adult angst.  I enjoy all of this but none of it is what made me finally start reading this series.  The reason I finally picked it up was X-23.

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Yes X-23 the cross sex teenage clone of Wolverine.  I have to admit I have had a complicated fan relationship with X-23 over the years.  I have always really wanted to like this character.  So please excuse me a moment because to get my point across I am going to have to report to profanity.  I have always tried to avoid that and keep this column professional but a few well placed cuss words are the only way to properly express how I feel about X-23.

X-23 was first introduced in the X-Men: Evolution animated series.  She proved to be popular so Marvel decided to introduce her to the regular Marvel U comics.  They did and they totally fucked it up.  And then they kept fucking it up over and over again.  Long story short, they took a potentially empowering character for young female readers and turned her into a mute sex object with no personality or facial expression.  I could write a whole other article about all the ways Marvel has failed to use X-23 to her potential.

Okay back to the subject at hand.  The reason I decided to try All New X-Men was because X-23 was going to be in it and I held out hope that maybe this time Marvel would do something decent with her.  It turns out they did.  This is the first time I have read a comic featuring X-23 where she comes off as an actual character instead of a prop.  So for that reason alone I will keep reading All New X-Men plus the current Trial of Jean Grey crossover with the Guardians of the Galaxy might be okay.  I will report back later to let everyone know.

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