All-New X-Men #26

OOoooh Young Jean Grey showcasing her brand new psionic powers on the front cover.

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That doesn’t happen in the story. Jean Grey is having nightmares of levelling the X-Men with devastating ferocity. She wakes up screaming and is comforted by Scott. Not the young Scott: he’s in space now. But Cyclops: “Old Cyclops” or “Present Day Cyclops” or “the Cyclops that’s supposed to be here.” The two have been thoroughly ignoring each other. Because it’s weird. It’s really weird. The way he looks at her is almost paternal, but they still talk like old friends when he confesses that he’s jealous of all the time that Young Cyclops is spending with his space pirate dad. But Jeannie ramps up the icky with the line, “You’re so much older. I think that’s why I like you more than younger Scott. It’s like instead of hoping you’d grow up to become this man. You’re here. The man I hoped you’d be.” Cyclops puts the kibosh on that, he tells her they can NEVER. And then he tells her she’ll be training with Emma Frost to help stay in control of her new powers. Emma Frost is also his ex, she has a mountain of a grudge against Jean Grey… and yeah, this is going to get weird. “Well.. why should this be different than everything else?” 

Kitty stops by and eavesdrops, she notes that he handled it well but reminds him that being alone in her room is not appropriate. She earns a “Yes, ma’am.” While an apprehensive and lonely Jeannie still can’t sleep.

Angel, out for a morning fly sees Laura leaving school. He tries to stop her, she yells at a bear. No one knew she had feelings for Scott, but she doesn’t open up for just anyone. And Angel, physically incapable of knocking her out and dragging her back heads back for reinforcements. X-23 finds herself being followed… by young Scott. Who stabs her. Holy WTF it’s Mystique (who has been terrorizing Amazing X-Men, posing as Dazzler while draining her of her mutant growth hormone). 

Angel, back at the school riles up KP, who is all “No way, we can’t lose Laura,” while Bobby says “Who’s Laura?” and Angel says “Literally the only girl we know who’s not Jean Grey.” 

They find Laura, worse for the wear and she stammers out that it was a shapeshifter, not only that, the shapeshifter has been interloping for sometime now. And she knows Laura’s personal shit. That’s not going to go over well. But while they are distracted, Molly, Deadpool, Xorna, future Beast are marching in. The Future Brotherhood is back!?

Bendis and his dialogue always floors me, it’s perfect. His writing really helps you get in the mindset of the characters. Little things, like Cyclops saying he worries about Hank not being able to undo his mistake (and now with the Brotherhood back, I wonder if he’s to blame), Iceman being so young/clueless/self absorbed that he’s been calling Laura “Wolverine Clone.” Kitty is being written as a full grown woman with good decision making skills again, which is nice. That lapsed for a bit. Stuart Immonen is just wonderful, pensive facial expressions abound. The first page where Jean Grey envisions herself as the Phoenix is majestic.Backgrounds disappear as KP flies into a rage.

Hey: I just realized that Mystique stole X-23’s backpack! What’s up with that. 

Guardians of the Galaxy #13

The Trial of Jean Grey: part 6 of 6

Jean Grey comes to the conclusion that she will not be able to stop the Phoenix ..but neither will anyone else. She didn’t ask for thisshe was just the host, no one else could stop it and yet she is the only one on trial. But this Jean Grey is not the same as her past/future self. And she develops a wholly different power set. Psionic powers. She redirects everyone’s psychic energy back at them. A fight ensues between Jean Grey and Gladiator while the X-Men, Guardians and Starjammers handle the Imperial Guard. Oracle talks Jeannie through it and ends the fight before any casualties occur. Oracle then tells Gladiator that THIS Jean Grey is different and this time won’t be the same. Cyclops issues badass threats to Gladiator that the fight is over and tells him if he goes anywhere near planet earth again “I will bring a hellstorm of asgardians, mutants, atlanteans and hulk monsters right down on top of you!” It’s bad ass.

And, as most who keep up with comic book news already knew.. Scott announces that he’s leaving for space with his father (Christopher Summers, leader of Starjammers). Greg Rucka is penning that series, I’m definitely going tobe reading. Anyway, Scott tells Jean that maybe this way they can be happy. Everyone is stunned. He doesn’t say a word to Laura. I’m furious. X-23 deserved a few words. They didn’t have a relationship but she let him in in a way that was very vulnerable for her. And it’s obnoxious  to me that she was left hanging. (Hopefully that’s not really it for them. X-23 teams up with Angela and Gamora for space adventures, anyone? Please Please).

KP and Peter flirting was the freaking cutest. “Listen, I’ve travelled the galaxy up and down and met a total of maybe 7 cool people. You seem very cool.” 

There are funny moments. This was a very good finish to the crossover. Great way for newer comic readers to get accustomed to the Guardians (and the Starjammers). Bendis was teasing us with a possible X-23 young Cyclops hook up, but created a wholly original path for THIS Jean Grey. Sara Pichelli’s art is gorgeous, I was totally digging the reactions/expressions and representation of Jean’s new powers. Her art has been compared to Immonen’s and I think Pichelli’s is better: the fight scenes were much more comprehensible.

Guardians of the Galaxy #12

Or: Trial of Jean Grey part 4 of 6

Honestly, this issue didn’t really get anywhere plot wise. Somehow Brian Michael Bendis makes that work.

In the last issue of All-New X-Men, Kitty Pryde and her team met up with Guardians of the Galaxy and they blasted off. She’s crushing on Quill, too, which is very cute. In their travels, they were attacked by a Shi’ar ship and then saved… my Starjammer leader …Christopher Summers. Scott hasn’t seen his father since his mother saved him from certain death my tossing him out of a plane. His father figured that both Scott and his brother died, by the time he got back to Earth, Scott was old and lived around it. For Young Scott, back from the past and in a spaceship with a talking tree and raccoon after his girlfriend got kidnapped by aliens for crimes she will commit in the future… It’s all too much.

Quill’s father, the King of Spartax, finds out that the Guardians have inserted themselves into the Jean Grey situation. Oracle tells the Shi’ar that they may as well have declared war on the X-Men. They kidnapped a founding member, the mutant population of Earth isn’t going to take this lying down. 

Just outside of the Shi’ar empire, Young Scott summers starts losing it. Everyone watches as he falls apart. he’s comforted by X-23. X-23 who is confused by hugging checks on him and lets him cry on her shoulder. I like them together. If they go ‘friends forever’, I’ll still like that too. But I’m thinking of all the interesting timeline disruptions that could happen if a less cocky version of Cyclops and Wolverine’s genetic clone fell in love.

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Look! a picture I took with my phone in my den with bad lighting! But I wanted you to see this part that made me have so many feelings.

 

And no one is there for Jean Grey, Oracle will be her council. But Jeannie can’t control her temper, The tribunal begins, and Jean Grey sees the final broadcast from a battle cruiser and she finally sees what she will do/has done. And she’s horrified. Will she sacrifice herself for the fate of the universe? Even if she could, would it do anything? She can’t go home but the timeline is intact.

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Pichelli’s art is magnificent. The facial expressions are just perfect, raw angst, concern, sadness, the body language just multiplies the emotion involved. It’s beautiful. 

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All-New X-Men 22.NOW

or The Trial of Jean Grey #1:

After an anticlimactic previous issue this story arc *promises* to be much more. And will also con me into reading Guardians of the Galaxy… ergh CROSSOVERS.

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The original X-Men +KP +X-23 are back at the New Xavier School. X-23 is working on her combat skills, Beast is doing some heavy duty theoretical mathematics, Iceman’s making snow angels… and Angel’s just trying to eat a burger when Jean Grey comes and starts a shouting match with Scott (who’s mind she’s reading without permission… again. And she keeps doing it. But in all fairness, he’s not really giving her a chance and is judging her for being herself after all the incredibly weird shit she’s been through, including; knowing how she dies, seeing her future self has joined the Brotherhood, watching her future self die, knowing Scott ends up with Emma Frost etc.) While she gets in touch she freaks out and levitates Angel’s burger. Control is not what she is in. 

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For the record: Iceman and Angel would totally eat these

Outside: some explosions from the sky, Bobby tries to build an ice wall but there’s Shi’ar, in fact. The Shi’ar have been mingling with the X-Men since 1977! They are an alien humanoid/avian race that has hyper-advanced technology. Their homeworld was put in SERIOUS peril by Jean Grey during her the Phoenix heyday and they killed her family in case the Phoenix was attracted to her genetics… yeah: They figured out she’s back in some version. 

X-Men rush into action to protect the school. Kitty tries to disable their tech while X-23 gets wicked pissed. Jean Grey tries to throw off their attacks using telekinesis and everyone goes full force… to no avail. They get trapped in bubbles. Bobby tries last minute heroics, but they take Jean Grey. 

But then… it looks as if the Shi’ar are coming back… but they aren’t… it was the Guardians. It was actually pretty damn funny. But as a whole this issue didn’t do it for me. It’s definitely the art. Stuart Immonen: I cannot understand what was happening in those fight sequences. Maybe it was BMB’s fault, he seems great at writing dialogue and angst… but not much else. I know that it was just the set up but if you want me interested in a 6 issue crossover with a book I don’t read and a team I don’t care about (I don’t bandwagon jump because there’s a movie, kids) you’re going to have to give me more… Bobby’s action hero antics were awesome but they couldn’t carry the issue.

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.

All-New X-Men #20

The Original X-Men and Kitty Pryde, now teamed up with Cyclops try to make nice with X-23 (Laura Kinney) who freaks the heck out -partially because the Charles Xavier School is housed in the Weapon X facility but even more so since she almost died in the Arena and then was hunted by a religious mutant-hater cult called the Purifiers.. As Wolverine’s genetic clone, it rightfully gives her the creeps. 

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And this series in particular has a track record of putting things on their covers that have little to do with actual events. X-23, with her long flowing hair making out with young Scott Summers. Oh that did not happen. But X-23’s hair did grow considerably since her last appearance and Scott had a crush for sure. 

KP tries to get X-23 through her recent trauma, while Jeannie pulls a Sookie Stackhouse and allows Laura absolutely no privacy within her own. Professor K knocks her down a notch and says that she can’t be intruding on Laura (or anyone) like that. After a heart to heart with young Cyclops, X-23 decides that she wants to take on the Purifiers  So she tracks them.

William Stryker’s son is holding a meeting, speaking to his fellow zealots. Getting everyone all riled up.

But, it should be noted that Scott Summers + Co. have proved themselves varying degrees of dangerous. And the Original X-Men are breaking the laws of time and space.

The sneak in, KP sabotages the electricity, Jean takes over the Purifiers small minds and then everyone attacks. It goes well and good for our mutant friends until Stryker makes some sonic telekinetic emanation and everyone falls flat.

So he’s one of those self-loathing mutants? 

Hmm…

Unlike in other issues, I very much enjoyed the teenage antics. Fickle Scott Summers, jokes from Angel and Bobby about why someone would want to MAKE Wolverines, Jeannie playing pranks on the Purifiers. 

What I didn’t really understand: It was just KP, X-23 and the young ‘uns. Admittedly, the Purifiers came across as a weak threat and they’re all capable. But no Magik? no Stepford Cuckoos? 

And KP’s orders to follow X-23 but answer to Scott (the young Scott who at the beginning of Battle of the Atom almost died apprehending Animax which threatened current timeline Scott as well) were perplexing. X-23’s role I understood because it was her fight… but putting the inexperienced version of Scott in the leadership role made little sense.

Major cliff hanger. 

All-New X-Men #19

I’m still subscribed to a few more than I bargained for X-Men books… But at least in this one, Kitty Pryde gets some respect. 

The Original X-Men are still around and have now defected, along with Professor K to Cyclops’s Charles Xavier school, which is housed in the former Weapon X facility. 

In the streets of Miami, a woman is confronted by a group of armed mercenaries who tell her “Mutant is the abomination of the Devil.” and “God doesn’t want Mutants.” Which, of course, are rip offs of derogatory slogans used currently to oppress LGBT people by WBC and the like. There are huge issues with using real oppression to sensationalize fictional oppressed groups, among these issues, the fact that mutants are actually dangerous. 

The woman screams “I am not a mutant!” and then all the armed men explode.

This is exactly the plot of last week’s Agents of SHIELD actually. Way to recycle, Marvel.

Oh wait, but she didn’t make them explode, it was Kitty Pryde, Magik, Young Jean GreyBeastIcemanAngel+Cyclops.  

The mercenaries think they speak for God and are REALLY excited about the prospect of killing Scott Summers. They also take particular offense to Angel. To defend her team, Jeannie shiows her strength. 

The girl escapes the melee and makes a run for it, however she is followed but one of the cult/mercenaries/wackos and she still insists that she is not a mutant. Kitty finds her, saves her and… recognizes her. The girl’s name is Laura. She does not, however, recognize KP and makes a break for it AGAIN. 

While Scott pummels a man for intel, Jeannie reads his thoughts. These men truly believe that Jean Grey is the Devil. (BTW… Dynamite has the lockdown on THE redhaired She-Devil) 

Scott Summers attempts to give the police a statement. Not realizing STILL how much people hate mutants. Remember why the future Brotherhood came back and tried to force them in the time cube? No?

Kitty tackles Laura and they engage in a chick fight while officers think it’s just some bar brawl spilled onto the streets. Kitty Pryde tries to talk her way out of it, too; “I’m an associate of Captain America, not to name drop. Then she tackles Laura through a building and having her captive, Laura lashes out with some adamantium claws.

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Laura is, Laura Kinney, X-23: Last seen facing off with Hazmat in Avengers Arena. She’s a clone made from Wolverine’s genetic sample in which the Y chromosome was damaged.

I wasn’t thrilled by this issue. The best part was Angel facing off with the Purifiers. I like the idea of X-23 joining forces with KP and Illyana, so we will see how that goes. Next Issue:

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