All-New X-Men #32 Review
If you’ve ever tried to explain the plot of All-New X-Men out loud, it sounds pretty preposterous. The concept of younger, more inexperienced X-Men being brought forward in time shouldn’t work, and yet, each issue manages to dish out just enough intrigue to grapple the reader’s attention. Brian Bendis has shown on numerous occasions he has a clear vision for the series and where it’s heading, and issue 32 continues to offer us a 19-page glimpse of what that full picture really is.
Issue 32 opens with a bewildered Angel staring hopelessly into The Savage Land. Having become displaced following the introduction of a new mutant, the young X-Men find themselves lost in an alternate reality, stranded across different parts of the world.
Jean Grey finds herself in the Ultimate version of New York alongside Spider-Man, Miles Morales. There’s a question introduced by Bendis and answered several times over: without the watch and care of Professor Charles Xavier, how would Jean Grey differ as a person? It’s a question answered once more in issue 32 when Jean needs to quickly know what’s going on, but chooses to take the easy route rather than act in a way non-mutants would – the way in which Xavier would have shown her.
Part of the charm of All-New X-Men comes from the individual personalities bouncing off one another. So when each of the young X-Men are separated, it’s interesting to see how their characters differ. After running into an unfamiliar face, Angel still manages to come off as witty and slightly scared. X-23, likewise, retains her vulnerability and unhinged aggression. Even Beast manages to garner interest when he runs into who he thinks are Turkish people. The only instance where the writing dips is during Iceman’s two pages, where he simply doesn’t have anyone or anything worthwhile to interact with.
On the art front, Mahmud A. Asrar returns for his third issue in the series. Although previously receiving criticism for a lack of energy, Asrar rectifies this through a clever use of silhouettes, an abundance of detail – specifically in the early panels – and a beautiful fragmented one-page spread. There’s still the recurring problem of reusing cells, but this time round it’s handled to showcase humour, which is never a bad thing.