All-New X-Men is kind of brilliant

I normally would do a Doomino Effect this time of week (if by “normally” you’ll accept “once every couple of years after previously doing it every week”), but this past week I only bought four comics — two issues of the new Ted McKeever book (my shop only had #2 and #4, because I only just realized there was a new Ted McKeever book, and since I only have #2 and #4, I didn’t read it yet), something I don’t remember, and All-New X-Men #15.

I’m not going to carry out my gimmick so I can write one segue between two issues, so instead I’ll share with you why I think All-New X-Men is such a genius idea.

I was looking at the cover of issue #15, with Beast kissing Jean Grey, and thinking about what this series actually is. It’s Brian Michael Bendis writing adventures of the original X-Men. Let’s say one day Bendis woke up and was like “I want to write some adventures of the original X-Men.” He would have several obvious options, and I probably wouldn’t have read any of them!

1. It’s a series of “lost” adventures, taking place within continuity back in the old days.
The stories might have been fun, but if they took place within continuity, then we’d know that there were really no lasting implications. Therefore the stories are ultimately inconsequential. I would skip it.

2. It’s a series of “What if?” adventures that takes place outside of continuity.
These stories too might have been fun, and they may have lasting implications for the characters, but being outside of continuity, these stories too would be ultimately inconsequential. I would skip this too!

So what has the guy done? He’s figured out a way to write what are probably going to end up being fairly inconsequential stories anyway, but he’s come up with a pretty unconventional way to do it. By yanking the X-Men out of the past and putting them in the present, but establishing from the get-go that they’ll eventually be put back in their normal time with their memories of these events wiped from their minds, Bendis can have all sorts of interpersonal fun with the original X-Men, as long as they remain not-killed, but there can be lasting implications for present continuity without damaging the playthings from the past.

Aside from the fact that this is one of my favorite ongoing series and one of the main reasons I’m enjoying comics as much as I am this past year or so, I’m really impressed by the way he built this playground for himself!