Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Mahmud Asrar
It was announced recently that writer Brian Michael Bendis was ending both of his X-Men series. It seems shocking that it’s ending now due to the excessive lifespan of his comic runs. It doesn’t seem like much of a surprise as it seems he’s stretching for ideas by having the heroes go to space or other dimensions. There’s an odd sense of randomness to the plots of the All-New X-Men, but, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
All-New X-Men #36 places us in the center of a battle with Dr. Doom of the Ultimate universe. It’s not just the villain they have to worry about. They must locate the mutant who sent our heroes to the alternate dimension in order to return home.
Bendis never goes in a direction you would expect the series to go in. He leaves it unpredictable. The plot goes like rapid-fire, which keeps the reader wondering what’s going to happen. But this comes at the consequence of not letting us settle and digest the worrying nature of their current predicament. This issue also suffers from being too streamlined. Everything is wrapped up way too simply.
One of Bendis’ strength is definitely his characters. Their dynamic is always fun and witty. He truly understands the characters and always finds a way to make them humorous, given the situation. He brings more dimension to the original X-Men. By taking them out of their care-free and harmless environment to the present, they get a little twinge of darkness in them. It shows a constantly developing teen maturation of the protagonists.
Mahmud Asrar’s art captures the fun of Bendis’ script. The characters are bright and expressive while his splash pages are gorgeous and impactful. Moments where we get to see windows in other universes are unique and leave the reader with so much curiosity as to how it has played out.
On the other hand, Asrar’s art suffers from a large amount of inconsistency. It seems rather evident that his work was rushed. Almost every page suffers from a character looking awkward. He appears to have a lot of difficulty drawing faces. The character’s emotions are clear but the level of detail varies from page to page.
All-New X-Men #36 is an entertaining issue, albeit with a fizzle of a conclusion. The quickly resolved plot is greatly improved by funny and light character dynamic. The art, though inconsistent, does have its moments of greatness. It may not be of the same quality that the series begun with, but it’s still a fun read.