Review: All-New X-Men #18
Continuity is a beautiful thing. All-New X-Men #18 has that in spades and adds another strong tie -in to the IvX event. All-New X-Men #18 brings the series full circle. The current volume began with the young time-displaced Scott Summers dealing with and living in the shadow of his elder self’s infamy. Issue #18 brings the series back to this inner conflict as the book focuses on the All-New X-Men’s participation in the Siege of Attilan. Ironically the young Scott Summers finds himself in the shoes of his controversial future self. Young Scott who is trying so hard to not be seen as a villain really has a hard time with the necessity of this mission, a conflict that offers up an interesting little journey into the mind of both Summers.
The issue takes place mostly after the siege of Attilan as the X-Men regroup on Muir Island. Scott takes a moment to confide in Warren Worthington, discouraged by the way everyone looks at him. The two friends take a moment to discuss the modern day news, the heroic status of Magneto among other things. Some Inhuman espionage takes place when the memory scanning inhuman Mosaic infiltrates the team and uncovers some startling revelations last seen at the conclusion of Death of X.
The revelation serves to dispel the young Summer’s doubt and reinvigorates him. Given the revelation that Emma Frost telepathically staged Cyclops’ attack on the Terrigen cloud, the young summers now views her as the puppet master, and refocuses all his shame anger and disappointment towards her at the conclusion of the issue. I find this interesting for a number of reasons. First the Cyclops of modern day continuity has experienced a landmark number of physical possessions by malevolent entities, there’s an argument that this has shaped his personality considerably over the years. Lets not forget that it was after his possession of Apocalypse that his marriage to Jean Grey fell apart and he initially ended up in the company of Emma Frost. Also in the aftermath of his possession by the Phoenix, Scott doubled down on his militant and revolutionary rhetoric. Secondly, most of Scott’s most shocking behaviours have taken place under the auspice of reasonably sound argument and in the light of mutantkind’s various dire predicaments. Nobody seemed to be able to rationalize shocking behaviour better than Scott Summers. And here we see his younger self so quick to exonerate his older self and seizing upon on what is in my opinion a very convenient revelation. Frost’s machinations aside the seeming act of pre-emptive inhuman genocide is not entirely out of character with the Cyclops we’ve come to know. Whether he did it or not, Scott still has so much to answer for (Previous possessions notwithstanding,) and I find the fact that young Summers is so eager to brush this aside, says more about him than his older self. In this sense, they appear more alike than the young Summers would like to admit.
All-New X-Men #18 provides a dialogical exploration into the mind of both Summer’s men. And presents some interesting questions on the themes of choice, consequence, fate and character. This issue had some really nice artistic touches exploring the memory-scape of both young Scott and Magneto. Some memories were explored showing vintage moments in the lives of both characters, I really enjoyed this. Additionally, the “crossing-over” of magneto’s memories and the use of his helmet was a real cool as a symbolic flourish. This took me back to the Uncanny X-Men issue where Scott revealed his telepathic Black Box to Emma Frost. Really cool stuff. ANXM 18 Ties in seamlessly to IvX and should be considered required reading for comic events collector.
In Magneto’s Memory-Scape we see him as Xorn which I assume we are led to believe is either first-hand memory or his recalled observation of the event. Given Xorn’s recent resurgence I expect that this will be cleared up soon.
Story: Dennis Hopeless Art: Mark Bagley & Andrew Hennessy
Story 10 Art 8 Overall Recommendation: Buy!
Marvel Provided Graphic Policy with a Free copy for review