All New X-Men #4 Writer: Dennis Hopeless Pencils: Mark Bagley Colors: Nolan Woodard Letters: Corry Petit Publisher: Marvel
The out of their timeline X-Men are back along with Laura Kinney(Wolverine), Kid Apocalypse, Idie Okonkwo, and Pickles in Hopeless’ second story arc of the series, “Flesh Wounds”. The previous story arc brought the team together through coming to the aid of Cyclops in taking down a mutant gang in Chicago. Now the team is on a forward path to find their place in the All New All Different Marvel Universe.
This series seems to be going in the direction of Nunzio Defilppis and Christina Weir’s New X-Men Academy X(2004). Where instead of complex story telling through numerous tie in series, the book is very character driven. Its focus is on the development of these characters, their interactions with one another, and the relationships being built or broken. Dennis Hopeless has done a terrific job so far in the series in the characterization and the interactions between them.
The stand out relationship in this issue is between Angel and Wolverine, who are now dating. The two are very different from one another as Angel isn’t the violent type and is very calculating whenever action needs to be enforced. Where as Laura was born and bred to be a killer and her plan of attack is….. well, attack. She holds the philosophy of the best defense is a good offense. This fortunately doesn’t drag and causes tension in a way that feels very naturally paced.
It’s also refreshing to read a X-Men book that isn’t so grim and gritty but instead embraces the fact that being a mutant and having superpowers can be fun. Also thanks due to Cyclops’ heroic actions against the mutant gang in the Windy City, this X-Men team is very fondly thought of. We get a great scene where a group of Japanese girls are goggling over Scott, all to his everlasting confusion.
Bagley’s pencils and Woodard’s colors are consistently competent throughout the panels and if fits the tone that Hopeless is going for. Nothing in particular stands out however but their really isn’t anything to complain about art wise.
Overall, All New X-Men #4 is an enjoyable and fun read. The characterization and interactions of these memorable characters is more then enough for me to give this issue a recommendation.
Score: 3.5 out of 5
Review by Eric Bradach