Is "blonding" a thing?
All-New X-Men (vol.2) 012
Writer - Dennis Hopeless
Penciler - Mark Bagley
Inker - Andrew Hennessy
Colorist - Nolan Woodard
Letterer -VC's Cory Petit
Release Date: 08.10.2016
Cover Price: $3.99
I sure hope all three of the X-Books are following the X-Men formula of old wherein their post-crossover issues focus more on quiet character moments. So far, we're two-for-two. Don't let me down, Extraordinary team!
I'm happy to report we have a bit of... continuity here! That's right, in this issue the characters discuss something that happened like two Marvel reboot/launch/imagine-whatevers ago!
We also have... faux hip teenage dialogue that makes me feel like I'm too old to be reading these things!
Let's get right to it!
The Apocalypse Wars are behind us... finally. Now, we get to read a comic that looks like one of those Valentine's Day cards our parents would make us hand out to all our classmates when we were in grade school! I kid, I kid... it's a nice enough cover. We're in for an Angel and New Wolvie story, and that's not a bad thing.
This issue opens with a Laura and Cyclops at the X-Men's mobile headquarters. Cyclops, still injured is confined to his wheelchair... which is quite the sight. It's been a little while since a team of mutants were led by a fella in one of those. He tells Laura, who appears to be suffering something akin to cabin fever that during his time off he's given in to his OCD urges and began compiling a list of solo missions just waiting for a "bad enough dude(tte)" to take care of them.
Before all of this, young Warren heads out dressed to the nines. Ya see, it's Fashion Week in Milan, and he's a blond blonding blond boy who goes to those kinda things.
A frustrated Laura takes Scott up on his offer and takes on a few "contracts". Donning her Wolvie-gear and their bamfy bud Pickles, she is off... however, much to her annoyance... it appears that she's been beaten to the punch at every stop! Somebody has already completed these missions... but who?
It's soon revealed to be our favorite blond buddy Warren Worthington III! Now, we actually reference a story that occurred a little while back called The Black Vortex. It was a team-up between the All-New X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy... sometime around when the GotG had like a half-dozen ongoings... which for all I know, they still may.
Anyhoo... during this story Warren's feathery wings were replaced with these flaming wings of light... which give him these violent urges which need to be satiated. Not too dissimilar to the "real" Warren... but different enough so as to not seem like a total retread.
It's been a little while since I've read a Laura-centric story... and as such, her behavior seems quite a bit different to me than I am accustomed. I'm not sure if this is an on-panel change, or simply part of that... Secret Wars eight-month span of "what the hell happened?" that has affected so many books this year. Either way, I think I like this more mature take on the character. I like that she appears to be concerned and serious in regard to her ability to really "fill the shoes" of the Wolverine we've known and read for the past forty-odd years.
The issue ends with a reveal of potentially our next big bad... who might be Madeline Pryor, the Goblyn Queen... but I'm not entirely sure. Either way, she talks like a dopey teen texts... and I don't much like that.
Overall, this issue was worlds better than the Apocalypse Wars chapters. I still do have that problem with some of Hopeless' dialogue choices. I get that this is the "young" book... but, when I see the Goblyn Queen say "We'll catch'em on the flip" next to a sassy demon who says "Grrrlll!", much of the goodwill I have toward this book takes a hit. See also: blonding. Is that a thing? I feel like I need to spend far more time on social media or watching reality television to get some of these references.
Bits and Pieces:
A nice departure from what has come before. There's never a bad time for a fun one-off adventure with a couple of the X-Kids. Enjoyed the story, however at times the dialogue felt a bit too precious in its attempts to be hip. Bagley's art never fails to impress. It cannot be stated enough, we need more issues like this... and less that are entwined in endless crossover.