By Steve Morris

Having already exhausted teasers, interviews, black and white images, coloured images, unlettered previews and just about every other form of pre-release promotion you’d care to imagine, Marvel have now taken to advertising All New X-Men #1 by releasing sections of Brian Michael Bendis’ scripts to various sites. If you went down to Comic Book Resources, Newsarama, iFanboy, or Comics Alliance this past week, you’ll have seen these. One snippet of script at a time, Marvel have been showing off preview art pages coupled with the script which goes with them.

It’s an intriguing way to advertise the comic, because it offers us a chance to see one of only two things fans have no access to: the scripts, and the summits. And while it’s unlikely we’ll ever be allowed to watch via webcam as Axel Alonso tries to handle a roomful of hyper-caffeinated writers, seeing the script does seem like a step towards Marvel simply handing us the text and telling us to imagine what’s going on. This is the reduction of interpretation, in a sense, as Marvel come closer to simply telling readers what is happening in each page. No longer do readers pick up a comic blindly — now we’ve been given solicitations, previews, advance interviews and even been given vague ideas as to what will happen in the next three issues as well. And now we’re getting the script, too. Interesting, isn’t it?

The script sections from ANXM #1 tend to be focused around two sequences, from what’s been made available so far. The first sees several of the older X-Men bickering amongst themselves, and trying to understand what’s happened to Cyclops. The second seems to show the slow unravelling of another Grant Morrison storyline, as Beast appears to be regressing back to his ape form. Possibly.

Stuart Immonen’s artwork is, as ever, absolutely lovely.

We’ve now seen somewhere around the region of 13 pages released from this comic, in some form, with the total count expected to be 20. Does that make you more likely to pick up the issue, or less? I’d be interested to know what people thing about this all-access approach Marvel are trying. The sales will be massive no matter what happens, but do you want to see so much of a comic before it comes out?