The time displaced X-Men continue their adventures in the Ultimate Universe in All-New X-Men #35 and in this issue it really feels like Bendis and Asrar have settled into a nice groove…
Bendis writes these kids well and as strong as the “originals” are, Bendis’ command of the Ultimate characters is superb in this comic. He captures the essence of these characters well and the messed up situation of a world where Angel has died, Kitty Pryde is young, and this Jean is even different than the new ANXM Jean we’ve been getting used to for 35 issues. It’s really a smash up of alternate realities…in the best possible way and, I’m not going to lie, on the heels of the Secret Wars announcement this issue gave me a lot of hope. If the All-New X-Men, a team that brings convoluted to a whole new level, can be thrown head first into the Ultimate Universe (where the X-Men are even more screwed up) and it can work this well, why not do it on a larger scale? This story is entertaining, the dialogue is razor sharp and the mix of characters Bendis has chosen is fantastic. This is Bendis doing what Bendis does best.
Mahmud Asrar is a talented artist and he’s making this title his own. He handles a huge cast in this issue, and does a great job with their mannerisms and visual attitudes. His work with Miles is great and both Jeans are dynamic on the page. He pencils action well, specifically the scenes occurring in Latveria and the amount of humour he pours into his artwork surprised me. His work has a lot of heart and the X-Men truly look like a family when drawn by his hand. There is a kinship amongst these characters that is evident in Asrar’s work and it gives this title an extra level of depth. He’s a top flight artist delivering top flight work.
Bendis and Asrar have got a winner on their hands with All-New X-Men #35. This is an entertaining arc that is a great example of how fun smashing two universes together can be, and I find myself somewhat sad that the All-New X-Men will be leaving the Ultimate X-Men behind soon. Who knows, maybe Secret Wars will give me some more banter…here’s hoping, anyway.
The Verdict: 8.5/10