Richard Gratton's Fantastic Reads 4 U

All-New X-Men #15
Marvel Comics
Release Date: 11/09/2016

All-New X-Men is arguably the most frustrating comic book series I currently read. This book has a potentially fantastic cast of characters with so many possibilities in front of them, but absolutely none of this potential is being realized. None. The one thing this book does have is a solid art team – both artist and colorist. And All-New X-Men #15 is no exception, the art is eye-popping and the colors are vibrant to the point where I am wanting to take in the art longer than it takes me to read the story itself, which obviously suggests the art is more engaging than the story.

This installment jumps right into the action from the first page, as cyclops is attacked inside the team's mobile headquarters by some demonic creature as Hell seems to be taking over the expanded space Hank has created within the Airstream. Meanwhile, Bobby is still swooning over a boy he met at a club while out with Idie and Evan. The three are quickly attacked by a monstrous demonic creature, which Angel and Wolverine take out of action almost as quickly as it appears.

Nearby, the Goblin Queen is causing mayhem simply because she has nothing better to do with her time. She is unleashing countless demons on the populace just for the fun of it, or so it seems.

At this point, I have to ask: Where is all this going? Is there a point to this? Does writer Dennis Hopeless intend for this to go somewhere or is this a bad dream where we are reliving the 1990's Image explosion of comics with great art and pointless stories?

I honestly want to love this title, but I can't. There are so many characters in this book who are not being used to their full potential or are not being explored in ways that add depth, meaning, and realism to them. Every character in this book could use fleshing out, even pickles; am I the only one who wants to know more about this mini Nightcrawler? But instead we get stories like this current one where a super-cool villainess is causing mayhem just because she can. She has no agenda whatsoever, which seriously diminishes her credibility, leaving her as little more than a powerful nuisance.

As a loyal and dedicated fan of comics, I have been patient with this title because I truly like these characters and the history they have the potential to embody, but I don't know how much more of this I can take before I find myself walking away from this title (assuming it doesn't get restarted, rebooted, or re-titled, as Marvel seems so quick to do lately). Potential exists for this comic, if writer Dennis Hopeless will just grab ahold of the reigns and take us somewhere we aren't left finishing reading each installment and asking ourselves one of two questions: So what? Or Who cares?

Scale of Awesomeness: 2 out of 10