There was little to no marketing for this three part crossover of the All-New X-Men with Superior Spider-Man and Indestructible Hulk, but here it is, randomly in my box at the PCC when I came in last Wednesday.
What's even weirder is that this three part crossover is taking place simultaneously with Battle of the Atom still going on throughout the X-Men titles, including All-New.
I imagine that there are numerous reasons people may have passed on picking this up, it's $4.99, it wasn't written by Brian Bendis or drawn by any of the All-New X-Men series artists and it's a crossover that requires you to also pick up special issues of Superior Spider-Man and Indestructible Hulk this month, and likely at $4.99 each.
Well, it's understandable that this is a tough sell off the rack, but I'm happy to say that this was an excellent read, and the premise of this crossover is extremely interesting!
The time-displaced X-Men are out in NYC in this issue for a little relaxation, but of course, things are never that easy for Marvel's Merry Mutants, not even the ones who don't belong in our timestream.
To condense this story down (it's an oversize issue), the young X-Men end up fighting a gamma irradiated Doctor Octopus at Empire State University, and during the course of the fight, the Superior Spider-Man shows up. If you read comics, and haven't been living under a rock, you recognize how significant this development is.
After the "young" Doctor Octopus (in old costume and everything) is subdued, Spider-Man proceeds to remove this octopus arms, and discovers that they are almost exact replicas of the arms he himself designed in his former life as Otto Octavius, before he switched bodies with Peter Parker back in Amazing Spider-Man #700 last year. Throughout the course of these proceedings, young Beast reveals that these X-Men that were fighting the young Doctor Octopus are actually the original X-Men, now displaced in the timestream (as we the readers already knew).
What the young Hank McCoy and Spider-Man/Octavius can't figure out though, is what all of the gamma radiation on the young Doctor Octopus means. Knowing that he must find out what is going on, Spider-Man uses his Avengers status to contact S.H.I.E.L.D. and call in...the Hulk!
This crossover is going to be continued in Indestructible Hulk Special #1 in two weeks, and I can't wait. For a crossover I didn't even know was happening, I was pleasantly surprised by this. If you've been reading All-New X-Men, this isn't just a throw-away story written as an excuse for a crossover, the events that took place here build on the characters, develop their time-displaced story line and introduce new elements to their narrative that will likely affect how they interact with other aspects of the greater Marvel Universe in the current timeline.
Really, this is how you do a special issue. Quality content, great art and a nice setup for future story lines with a group of characters that is currently one of the most popular around.
Well handled crossover so far, I hope it continues with Hulk and Spidey up next!