Variant covers will forever be the biggest gamble anyone can buy. Some Variant covers wind up being extremely valuable, while others you find in the dollar bin at your local comic shop. I really struggle with understanding why anyone would want Variant covers for All-New X-Men because the “regular” ones are simply put: gorgeous. I am not one to praise Stuart Immonen on being a top notch artist. I think he is talented enough to survive, but definitely far from being one of the greats, yet his covers are outstanding. Speaking of incredibly talented, Marte Gracia needs to be on more colors for titles. His colors mesh delicately with the story at hand. Playful, yet inquiring. My point is who would shell out the extra cash for a different cover when these are already magnificent? But enough of my love for Marte Gracia, let’s talk about All-New X-Men #11
All-New X-Men #10 ended on a cliffhanger that begged the question, which X-Man joined Scott Summers and his Revolution Team of X-Men? The answer was obvious plus it was already answered in Uncanny X-Men, but this was a much more drawn out discussion. Each X-Man is going through something we like to call “a mid-life crisis”. Five teenagers who thought they would grow up to change the world for the better not only found out that they have failed miserably, they have all been through some seriously traumatic shit. Young Jean Grey seems to be the one who Brian Michael Bendis is really pushing to be having the hardest time dealing with everything. Why not? She is the only one who isn’t currently alive, but let’s take a real hard look at everyone else. Iceman has evolved to become a teacher at the school, and he just hasn’t really changed much. For some reason Young Iceman hasn’t come out of Snow form yet. I know current Iceman is hooking up with Kitty Pryde so that is pretty much the best life you could ask for. So Iceman gets a pass as he really hasn’t been through THAT much trauma (that Young Iceman could possibly know about). Now we move on to Beast who has evolved multiple times and nearly died before they found a cure for him. Young Beast is a pretty normal human compared to the freak that he becomes. That has to bother Young Beast knowing he will become a monster in the future, especially a monster who is willing to sacrifice the time/space continuum to stop Cyclops. Young Cyclops has been through more trauma than anyone could imagine. He knows he grows up to become the man who killed Professor Xavier. He knows he marries Jean Grey and that she will one day die. He doesn’t even know about Emma Frost, the scum bag he will become, merging with Apocalypse, and then every other step Scott Summers took on his path towards becoming a mutant terrorist. Now Young Angel still to this day has no idea what has happened to him. All he knows is that he now has the ability to heal and something really bad happened to him. Can you imagine his reaction once he finds out what actually does happen to him!? THAT is traumatic. THAT is when Young Angel will really show his true colors. Joining Scott Summers is just the beginning.
This issue touched upon all sorts of things. The Uncanny Avengers are now after the X-Men for what happened at Stark Resiliant. Angel likes who Scott Summers grows up to be. The original X-Men have lost the first member, they can no longer return with just four. Brian ensures he touches base with every character on the team, except Rachel who hasn’t been seen or heard from since issue one or two. I want to know her thoughts on Young Cyclops and Young Jean Grey. That is her family for crying out loud. Her mother and father! As Uncanny X-Men continues to straddle the line between good and average, All-New X-Men continues to make each issue hit where it counts. This issue was full of talking. Nothing else really happened. And it sets the bar for another remarkable issue by Bendis and his team. All-New X-Men is the perfect blend of character, story, and commentary. It doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon.