|All-New X-Men Annual cover|
by Andrea Sorrentino
The Uncanny X-Men Annual was a great story, as we followed the adventure of the young time-displaced X-Man Eva Bell. The art from Andrea Sorretino and Marcelo Maiolo was fantastic. We were tempted, by the end, with a delicious cliffhanger ending, to be picked up in writer Brian Michael Bendis' other X-Men flagship title.
When we left the trail of Eva Bell, the young mutant had just landed in prehistoric times, a charging triceratops bearing down on her. Eva had traversed multiple time periods, established a young family in the future and witnessed the demise of her mentor, the Sorcerer Supreme Ilyana Rasputin. Bendis continues the journey in the All-New X-Men Annual.
Bendis makes his readers feel the emotional weight of Eva's personal anguish as she attempts to find her family in the year 2099. An early surprise in this issue is the appearance of Morgana Le Fey, who had been banished to the prehistory during the Dark Reign storyline from Marvel. Le Fey tries to manipulate Eva to help both of them escape the past.
Following Eva's escape through a picturesque time-scape, she winds up back in 2099, yet due to the butterfly effect and an accessible explanation about the impact of time travel from a new Sorceror Supreme, it is a different one from the time passage she left. It is during this passage that Bendis shows wider audiences just how broken the time spectrum is for Marvel, which could be a speculative lead in to upcoming events in the Marvel calendar this year.
|Eva Bell jumps back to prehistoric times|
Sorrentino's art is just as good as it was in the previous part of this story. As with most Bendis-written stories, there is a lot of panel work, but this is pulled off superbly by Sorrentino. The panel arrangements are mostly conventional, but mixed up every 4–5 pages by some some original Sorrentino flair. There is a great feel and tone emanating from the artwork, brought to life by the colors of Maiolo. The dreary future in dark yellow and brown hues is a nice contrast to the prehistoric greens. Of special mention for both artists are the double-page spreads of Eva's epic time travel journey back to the year 2099 and the butterfly effect explanation pages. These both have a lot of time and effort in the spreads and are truly magnificent to take in, each requiring some extra time to appreciate the extent of the art involved.
|Eva Bell traverses time|
While this may have ticked the boxes for us, let us know what you think about the All-New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men annuals. What do you think of the art? Did the story live up to your expectations? Leave your thoughts below or post a comment on Facebook or Twitter.