All-New X-Men Annual #1 REVIEW: 10/10! Eva Bell’s heartbreaking trip through time

Review by Draven Katayama (loudlysilent)

All-New X-Men Annual #1 is one of the most beautiful issues I’ve ever read. Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo have created something of such artistry, I wish art students would study this in their classes.

Brian Michael Bendis writes a haunting tale of the butterfly effect: how every action causes infinite consequences that alter every person and every possible future. Eva Bell has been severed from her husband and daughter, and this issue is about her reconciling loss and learning the cruel permanence of loss. Bendis welcomes back a villain whom we haven’t seen in a while, and gives a prominent character in Marvel’s current timeline a unique spin on his future.

All-New X-Men Annual #1 panel Morgana

Sorrentino’s wide variety of panel layouts has never looked better. A close-up of Eva’s frightened green eyes is marvelous work by Maiolo. The most impressive page, from both artistic and writing standpoints, shows Eva’s possible futures from the time right before her powers manifested and she joined the X-Men. Bendis drives home the point that characters — and we — can make many different choices and experience many things, but we can’t have it all.

This issue, and its preceding issue, Uncanny X-Men Annual #1, is heartbreaking on a whole other level than even the most heartwrenching of X-Men stories. We feel Eva’s torment as she faces the prospect of never returning to the past future she had. This might be one of the most sobering and thought-provoking comics in a long time, and it’s as arresting in its visuals as it is in its gravity.

RATING: 10 out of 10

Release date: December 24, 2014