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Amadan

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Currently reading

Inherent Vice
Thomas Pynchon, Ron McLarty
The Best Horror of the Year Volume Five
Ellen Datlow, Laird Barron, Conrad Williams, Ramsey Campbell
Locus Solus (Alma Classics)
Raymond Roussel
Blackout (Newsflesh Trilogy, #3)
Mira Grant, Paula Christensen, Michael Goldstrom
All-New X-Men, Vol. 1: Yesterday's X-Men - Stuart Immonen, Brian Michael Bendis I read this out of order, having read Vol. 2 first, but catching up wasn't too hard. The side plots do introduce the three new mutants I didn't care about in Volume 2. This is where Marvel's new split between the All-New X-Men (X-Men, original label) and the Uncanny X-Men (modern team) begins. It's a ridiculous high-concept premise, in which the Beast goes back in time and brings back the teenage versions of himself and his buddies to confront today's Scott Summers/Cyclops and hopefully shame him into being not so crazy.

Those comic book super-geniuses. They can build time travel machines, armies of self-aware robots, floating antigravity cities, and genetically engineered superpowered clones, but they sure come up with stupid ideas.

That said, from a publishing perspective, it's a great move on Marvel's part. The "All-New" X-Men (1960s-era Cyclops, Beast, Marvel Girl, Iceman, and Angel) become the fresh, fun superhero team that requires less investment in the line's history, while the Uncanny X-Men can go on being their grimdark selves with all that historical baggage.

So this volume comprised the first five issues. Beast goes back and grabs his friends, Jean Grey gets prematurely awakened to her telepathic powers (hello, Beast, that's what happens when you mess with time and space) and of course completely freaks out when she finds out that in the future she dies and Scott turns into a psycho, and that men, including X-Men, have really dirty thoughts around pretty teenage girls.

Meanwhile, the modern-day Cyclops, with Magneto and Magick, go bust Emma Frost/the White Queen free from imprisonment from the federal government. I mean, why do the Feds even bother trying to transport dangerous mutant supercriminals in heavily-armed transports? You might as well just start cutting the checks on life insurance policies.

Very good, action-packed volume with a lot of the drama you'd expected from naive teenagers forced to face their grown-up selves. Artwork was pretty good, though young Hank McCoy does not look even remotely twelve years old. Time travel issues are brushed aside, as they always are in comic books, but I notice they still never even bother to address the ethics of using telepathic powers to just erase memories or change people's minds when it's convenient. It's kind of funny how J.K. Rowling's fans have torn her apart for that bit in the Epiloge of Deathly Hallows where Ron uses a Confunding Charm on a Muggle during his driver's license test. It's horrible! It's unethical! It's a gross violation of one's person! And yet the X-Men, including the sainted Charles Xavier, have been doing that shit forever without even blinking.

Anyway, I really liked this alternate cover in the back of the volume, which for once actually made Jean Grey look like the scared, confused teenager she is.

Young Jean Grey