ALL NEW X-MEN #13
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Penciler: Mark Bagley
Colorist: Nolan Woodard
Inker: Andrew Hennessy
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Release Date: September 14, 2016
Plot: Bobby, Idie and Evan try to get some time off from their job as heroes but their fun night out eventually turns south. The young X-Men have to quickly spring into action and get past their personal problems to step up and handle the threat in front of them.
Story: All New X-Men has been a great book so far because of the decision to bring some of the characters younger selves into the future. It ties in very nicely with the new mutants that have been given the spotlight and creates a great blend of familiarity with some of the most famous Marvel characters while also creating natural ways to incorporate the new heroes. All New X-Men has been a great coming of age book and really tackles some fantastic and important modern topics. Issue 13 focuses on the trio of Bobby, Evan and Idie going out to a club that primarily caters to men seeking men in hopes that they can help Bobby become more comfortable with flirting and seeking a partner.
The issue immediately jumps into the uncomfortable situations people run into when searching for a partner or hook up; the awkwardness of flirting, dealing with rejection and coming to terms with the fact that romance is no calculated science. Hopeless really nails writing the discomfort that comes with modern dating and he highlights the key moments that lead up to finding someone compatible in this issue. The greatest aspect about X-Men has been their uniqueness and that each individual has their own personal problem which opens up the door for readers to really relate to the characters. Everyone can find similarities with at least one X-Men character, and a lot of their problems are what people deal with in their everyday lives. Issue 13 really walks readers through what it’s like to be a single young adult trying to date, which is a relaxed topic that still has meaning.
After multiple tries, Bobby happens to, literally, run into a guy named Romeo who he quickly hits it off with. Now, for anyone that follows Marvel comic events, it should have become clear pretty quickly where this was headed. If giving this character the name Romeo wasn’t enough, yes, it turns out he’s an Inhuman. Bobby ends up finding a forbidden love a little before the X-Men vs. Inhumans event is about to kick off. Despite the cliche name, I think that this is a great plot to include in this event because it all returns to the concept that love is love and we can’t help who we fall for, but no matter what, it shouldn’t matter. Younger X-Men characters are the perfect vessel to tell coming of age stories with, and going forward this seems like a great choice for a side story. It gives Bobby the ability to express his feelings while also displaying the trouble anyone can run into with dating.
More importantly, the book displays how friendship rules over everything. One of the reasons this issue was so great is because Hopeless covers the fact that, at the end of the day, Idie and Evan couldn’t care less that Bobby takes interest in an Inhuman. They are just happy to see their friend feel comfortable and find someone he likes, which is what matters the most to them. I’m really expecting Hopeless to develop this story into something interesting that adds a lot to Bobby’s character as well as his friendship with the other X-Men. This book should continue to grow on this and provide a great build up to the future event.
Art: The art within All New X-Men looks really nice for the book and adds a lot of great detail to the story. While this issue seems a lot more tame on the art side of things compared to some other books, Bagley, Woodard and Hennessy do a wonderful job creating colorful scenes and providing great character detail.
The pencil work from Bagley adds lots of great detail to close ups of characters that really shows their emotion well. The scene above reveals Bobby’s confusion, Evan’s awkwardness and Idie’s discomfort with the conversation. All New X-Men #13 focuses primarily on character interactions and emotional topics, so it is key to have the illustrations communicate what the writing is expressing.
In other scenes, Woodard and Hennessy’s work really shines with the colorfulness and tone added to the issue. The story takes place in Miami, which is known for being bright and colorful, especially at night. There are lots of great scenes that feature nice colorful backgrounds with dark tones that blend together really well. Then on the other hand, there are scenes that are drawn very loud and fun, like when Evan is consumed by the dance floor. The colors and shading are all perfect for a Miami club scene but don’t abandon the darkness present in a club either.
Overall, the art team for this book seems to really pool their strengths together as individuals to create a great end product. All New X-Men is tackling relationships an emotional topics a lot, which requires focus and attention to detail and Bagley, Woodard and Hennessy have been doing a great job so far.
Verdict: All New X-Men #13 is definitely a transitional issue in the series, but Hopeless really utilizes the characters at his disposal to make the issue just as meaningful as any other in the series. The X-Men can be used for all types of stories, and Issue #13 is a great look at modern dating and personal struggle while also setting up for the future X-Men vs. Inhumans event.