All-New X-Men has subtly shown us that our chrono-displaced X-Men are at their strongest when they're working as a team. This is true for the comic itself, as well. Unfortunately, after last month's chapter, none of our heroes are together, anymore. They're all over the damn placeā€¦ even other dimensions. (Spoilers below.)

So here's the drawback to having an ensemble cast thrown off in five different directions at once: You have to divvy up 22 pages of comic space to cover them all. This puts a pinch on how much action, character, or story development you'll see for any given character. Issue #32 is essentially 22 pages of "What the heck just happened? Where am I?" Five times over.

(Oh, and ignore the cover, by the way. It's a cute homage to past comics, but it doesn't really apply. Ya can't join the X-Men if none of them are in the same place.)

Angel pops into the Savage Land, facing a blonde young man I don't recognize, who is probably the son of Wolverine. (The claws are a dead giveaway.) Is Angel in the future? It's a possibility, but we're not gonna learn any more than that, because Angel gets literally two pages. That's it.


Hank materializes under water, and surfaces on what he thinks is the Mediterranean coast. He gives his best Spock eyebrow and sets off.

Laura (or X-23) pops in on a football field. She pops claws after a quarterback touches her. A coach cries "Mutant!" and she's off and running.


Poor Bobby pops in underground, in the clutches of the Mole Man and hisā€¦ Mold Men. (Yes. Mold Men.) Here's the kickā€” I don't think he's in the 616 universe, anymore. Based on this Mole Man's outfit, I'd say he's squarely in the Ultimate Universe. Heck, maybe ALL the transported X-Men are in the Ultimate universe. It stands to reasonā€¦

After all, Jean is face-to-mask with Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man. They're both confused as heckā€” Spidey's met a Jean Grey before, and he's not the webslinger our Jean remembers, either.


A little awkward mental digging later, they understand what's happened, and Miles jumps at the chance to be helpful.

This one scene lasts 6 pages, which is a veritable Stairway to Heaven guitar solo compared to some of Jean's colleagues. Granted, the focus on Jean and Spidey makes sense, as they're the two figures best-equipped to actually sort out a solution. (At least, at present.)

Laura continues fleeing. Wherever she is, Mutants are despised enough to warrant immediate police pursuit. (Stealing that motorcycle probably didn't help.)


Hank's doing no better. In fact, our fellow's in Latveria. (Ultimate Latveria, if the make and model of those Doombots is anything to go by.)

So yeah! The X-Men are kinda screwed. The cherry on the sugar-free sundae? Spider-Man and Jean find Dr. Cho's lab, which is still empty. A bitter, tired Dr. Cho is less than enthusiastic about getting Ms. Grey back where she belongs. Basically, she (and her teammates) are screwed.


My hat is off to Brian Michael Bendis, on this. The "You're stranded in a strange land for decades" is a hell of a cliffhanger, one I'm not about to immediately discount. I mean, c'mon: All-New X-Men is all about the Fish Out Of Water scenario. Young!Cyclops left the planet, and has shown no sign of coming back anytime soon. When Dr. Cho says they're stranded, they might actually be stranded.

The comic's only real weakness was that we got to spend so little time with anyone that wasn't a redhead or, y'know, Spider-Man. It's as scattershot as the characters themselves.

The artwork is gorgeous as ever. Mahmud Asrar and Marte Gracia are delivering knock-out work. (I suspect they enjoy illustrating Jean Grey.)


Anyway. It's an interesting way to raise the stakes, one that might legitimately stick for a while. It's too early to say. Still! Good work on all fronts.

Whattya think?


Casey Jones is a voiceover artist and the author of All Fall Down. You can check out his work on his site,