All-New X-Men #21

Stryker had knocked out our heroes last issue and we pick back up… wayy before that, with Stryker’s father holding a rally, anti-mutant sympathizers hold signs that say things like “Adam NOT Atom” and stuff like that… then we jump back to the present timeline and the younger Stryker is read to kill off the Original X-Men + KP + X-23. But one of Stryker’s men stops him.. he thinks that since the X-Men are from the past that it will disrupt space and time creating a Butterfly Effect and destroying their lives. They decide to defer the decision..

X-23 is chained and the men holding her show her images of herself in the arena. In Avenger’s Arena she went berserker… barely escaped, too. But Stryker threatens to show the other X-Men what a monster she is. Stryker asks a similarly strung up Young Scott Summers why he is here… both THERE and IN THIS TIME. (If you don’t remember- Beast pulled the original X-Men to the present to try to avoid in-fight and issues that X-Men were facing, the death of Xavier and Scott making his own school. Summers tried to go back to his own time during BotA… but the cube failed) 

Dr. Monica Rappacchini of AIM is there to settle what should become of them. She marvels at the 17 year old Jean Grey. Then she tells Stryker to release them, burn the building to the ground and move far away. Jean regains consciousness and hear’s Monica tell Stryker that AIM supplies the Purifiers with weapons… then she tries to telepathically communicate with anyone but only Laura is alert and she kicks Jean out of her mind- meanwhile Monica is preparing to take DNA samples to use in her research on how to eliminate the mutant gene. 

Then Monica tells Stryker that he can kill Kitty Pryde without disrupting the continuum. 

Monica goes in for the kill, but KP goes transparent and the knife goes through her. Stryker freaks but the X-Men fight back. Jeannie gets in his head well by posing as his father telling him what a failure he is. She vanquishes him (rather anticlimactically) and then they try to gather everyone. Scott finds Laura huddled in a corner and goes to comfort her, she embraces him while Jeannie looks on and KP calls SHIELD so they can wrangle up the bad guys.

Sadly not a great issue. But not bad either. The next one is titled “The trial of Jean Grey” so we’ll see what comes of it. I like the young Jean Grey who gets in people’s heads and destroys them with jokes and their own deep seeded issues as opposed to the “I can eat planets” Jean Grey. I’m not sure I live the idea of setting up X-23 and Jean Grey to be rivals, that shit’s pretty tired but I’ll see where they go with it.

2 thoughts on “All-New X-Men #21

  1. So far, this is the weakest arc in the series. This issue would have benefited if it spent less time on Stryker Jr. and focused more on the X-Men characters. Splitting this into two issues and expanded on both wouldn’t have hurt either. It introduced a potentially great new villain and brought one of my favourite characters onto the team, but otherwise it was just filler between “Battle of the Atom” and “The trial of Jean Grey.”

    What little teenage drama did happen was well done though. I’m not sure where the X-23/Jean Grey thing is going, but I’d be more forgiving of it becoming a rivalry than with most cases. That’s only because it would mean X has the opposite feelings toward Jean that Wolverine does. She’s already starting to like Wolverine’s greatest rival, so why have her dislike Wolverine’s greatest crush? But your right, the whole rival love interest has been played out way too much.

    • The one aspect that I like about the potential romance is that usually Jean had both Wolverine and Scott fighting over her then young Jean had Beast and Scott… so X-23 adds a whole dynamic that takes away from that eventuality. I like that aspect.

      I usually like All New X – Men …The last one was a HUGE cliff hanger …this one stretched itself too thin.

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