The Ultimate Universe arc comes to a close and multiverse shenanigans entertain and delight in the newest issue of All-New X-Men.
Brian Michael Bendis has built quite a run with these displaced X-Men and as their personalities grow I found myself drawn to them more and more. In this issue, in particular, we see a new Hank McCoy, one who could prove to be a very interesting take on the furball we know from the 616 as this series moves forward. The Ultimate Doom has sparked something in the young McCoy that will be very intriguing to read, and Bendis’ take on Jean Grey continues to impress. Naturally, he handles the Ultimate Universe characters very well and their interactions with these X-Men are excellent. The very nature of the new mutant and her powers brings about an entertaining sequence looking into the multiverse and this arc, like the events of Spider-Verse, has me pretty jazzed for Secret Wars. There is a treasure trove of stories to be told here and Bendis mines this particular interaction well, planting some seeds that may actually have me thinking the implosion of the Ultimate U might be a bad thing….well, maybe I shouldn’t go so far as to say that. Anyway, these characters make this issue soar and Bendis has crafted a really entertaining arc here. Keeping these X-Men on their toes by throwing them into situations they aren’t ready for is enriching their characters and giving them a lot of strength while tightening the bond and making them really feel like a family. I like the dynamic with X-23 in the mix instead of Scott Summers, and when I think “X-Men” these characters are at the forefront of my mind.
Mahmud Asrar’s work is getting stronger the more time he spends working with these characters and he handles this massive cast very well. The characters in this comic look and interact like teens, which is crucial. They aren’t penciled like adults with chiseled features and we’re supposed to believe they are teens, they look and interact like teens with their attitudes and uncertainties evident in the artwork. Asrar’s style suits this title perfectly and his pacing and layouts make this issue flow very nicely. He can kill a double page spread and smoke a single panel filled with the emotion of a parent reuniting with their child…and everything in between. There’s a reason why this guy is one of the young guns, and he’s showing it in All-New X-Men. Colourist Marte Gracia takes Asrar’s art and gives it that perfect punch to really make it leap from the page, especially where telekineses is in play. Whenever Jean does her magic it leaps from the page and his work in this issue is excellent, as always.
All-New X-Men #36 is an entertaining issue in what has been a solid arc. Bendis and Asrar are a great team and these kids are growing on my more by the page. The Ultimate U is well represented in this one and the ominous last page has me wondering what is coming next. Well written characters, some solid action and great artwork equals a winner, and that’s what we’ve got with All-New X-Men #36.
The Verdict: 9.0/10