Friday, November 8, 2013

All-New X-Men Special #1 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

I wasn't originally going to blog about this issue, but I was moved to do so because it's damn near perfect.  Costa has one of the best ears for dialogue that I've possibly ever read, perfectly delivering Hank's combination of tech babble and nerdy awkwardness as well as Otto's haughtiness.  Moreover, Costa has a luxury that Bendis doesn't have.  While Bendis was forced to use the kids almost immediately as pawns in the larger war between the Brotherhood and the X-Men, Costa has the space to take the kids on a walk.  He shows how disoriented they feel not only by the revelation that present Cyclops kills Xavier and Jean dies (repeatedly), but also just by the present-day Times Square.  It really gave me more insight into the characters, making the purchase of this Special Edition worth the money (a rare feat).

Costa also mixes these narratives with well paced action.  In doing so, he avoids the problem that I had with Boomerang's monologue in "Superior Foes of Spider-Man" #3.  Moreover, the action isn't just Hank stopping a mugging to impress a girl.  By the end of the issue, it brings us into conflict with original Dr. Octopus, raising larger questions about the ramifications of present Hank's decision to bring the original X-Men into the future.  In so doing, it expands the craziness of that incident to include Otto-Spidey confronting his original self.  Whereas the appearance of the original X-Men has forced the present X-Men to confront their loss of innocence, Otto is forced to contemplate the villainous self that he's (allegedly) trying to forget.  In a sense, this issue really delivers a meditation on the issues surrounding current events in both the Spider-Man and X-Men titles that neither group of books has had a chance to fully explore, focused as they are in advancing specific plots.  Plus, it's entertaining and beautifully drawn to boot.  If you couldn't tell, I highly recommend it.

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