ALL NEW X-MEN #14
Brain over brawn is the theme here, as Jean-grey remains the focal point of the action amongst the X-men as they have it out with Sabretooth, Mystique and Lady Mastermind…
In a battle of the psychics, Lady Mastermind proves to be no match for Jean Grey’s supreme mental abilities after all… This is no more a spoiler than it is a home truth, we all know what Jeannie is capable of after all! Speaking of which; the Phoenix makes a frightening appearance which will leave you on the edge of your seats, and have you questioning whether she will unwillingly affect the fate of the X-men after all. A handful of the Avenger’s also make an intervention, only to find that the X-men have got things under control after a long tiring scrap, even Wolverine starts to feel the pressure!
The art as a whole is effective in it’s aim to involve us in the fight that has erupted in “the present”, the cover-art, to be frank, is detached from the actual contents so don’t let it fool you! The mood is dark, the setting is an old warehouse, over-crowded by mutants both good and evil, it’s an up-close and very personal clash of the world’s out-cast super-humans. If I could describe the over-all feeling this issue musters up in one word, it would be “claustrophobic”… Please don’t get me wrong, Without such an emotion the comic would not give the impression of such intense desperation; a need to succeed in this time of crisis, and be freed from the shackles of evil-forces. The pencilling, ink and colours all blend wonderfully to invoke these powerful feelings and develop a strong bond between us and the X-men, as if we were right there by their side, fighting the good fight!
This is another brilliant plot-line from Bendis, who is one of the pivotal comic-book writer’s of today. Bendis proves once again that he can keep the story interesting by luring the audience deep into the chaotic world they’ve created, and giving each character their own individual voice based on their personal history. The introduction page is a great place to start even if you aren’t a regular reader of the all new x-men series, as it goes into adequate detail regarding the mutant universe and previous events. The lettering is clearly printed and bold where it needs to be adding real and powerful expression to the dialogue; it definitely helps to make the reading experience fluent along side the other elements that make this edition the roller-coaster ride that it is.
Even though the whole comic is based on the battle ground, SFX have been used sparingly to create more effect where they are really needed; however I do feel that maybe they should have been made a bit more earth-shattering to give their competition (the new Avengers comics) a run for their money! There is a funny bit involving Iceman and Thor, where SFX have been used in conjunction with a comedic pause very effectively; Iceman basically throws a projectile snow-ball at Thor’s helmet which ends in the god of thunder making a highly amusing comparison between Iceman and the frost-giants; a humorous finish to a crucial piece of the “all new X-men” puzzle… I have to say, the timing is spot-on throughout the comic, and one thing is for certain; you will not want to put this issue down for a second. Prepare yourselves for more all-out mutant war!
By Dylan Butcher. 😀
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