“The Trial of Jean Grey” continues as the Guardians of the Galaxy, Starjammers, and band of time-displaced X-Men make their way to the Shi’ar homeworld as Jean Grey‘s trial for the crimes an older version of herself committed while under the control of the Phoneix Force begins.
No big movement is made in the overall storyline as the heroes only arrive planetside (and the trial begins) as the issue comes to a close. However, Guardians of the Galaxy #12 does have some nice character moments between Cyclops and his father, as well as X-23 comforting the leader of the X-Men after a very long day. We also get Jean Grey finally seeing the evidence of the Phoneix’s destruction for the first time.
With two more issues to the arc it will be interesting to see how the writers resolve the conflict. Will the heroes simply rescue Ms. Grey, will Gladiator be forced to admit the woman he’s judging isn’t the same one who committed the atrocities, or will the intervention of an outside force (Jason? The Phoenix?) tip the scales? Worth a look.
The reunions continue as Nightcrawler talks some sense into an out-of-control Beast and gathers the rest of the team including saving Iceman and Firestar (who between the two of the literally froze and then burned down Hell), and rescues Northstar and Wolverine from the icy wastes (finally bringing Logan and Kurt together again).
Inter-cut with flashbacks of Nightcrawler with his various teammates, the latest issue continues to deliver with fan-friendly scenes while building to the story’s climax. With the reunions finished and team reassembled, Amazing X-Men sets up next month’s conclusion of its opening arc featuring the X-Men vs. a band of demon-mutant pirates with the fate of all creation at stake. Sounds fun, don’t it?
Along with the various reunions writer Jason Aaron reveals the origin of the Bamfs and lays the groundwork for the possible cost of Nightcrawler’s current heroism which may have serious repercussions for the still-dead hero and his teammates very soon. Worth a look.
Dropped off in the middle of nowhere in a bizarre locale by Magik, the young X-Men (Tempus, Fabio, Celeste, Irma, Phoebe, Benjamin Deeds, Triage, Hijack) are put to the test in a field training exercise to determine both their survival instincts and their ability to follow orders and work together to stay alive. Although the entire group makes it back home in one piece, the casual disregard for Cyclops‘ explicit orders means (for now) that one member of the team is no longer an X-Man.
I’ve got to say I’m not altogether happy with the set-up of this issue as Cyclops throws the unprepared recruits into a dangerous situation without the control of a Danger Room scenario. Although they each perform well in surviving the bizarre super-evolutionary town in Montana, they nearly get taken in by S.H.I.E.L.D. thanks to Hijack’s cellphone leading the heroes right to them. And I’m not exactly buying the idea that this is the last we’ve seen of Hijack whose skills are far too valuable not to see him return after he’s “learned his lesson” (if that’s even why he was truly let go). Worth a look.
Continuing the story from Guardians of the Galaxy #11.NOW, the time-displaced original X-Men along with Kitty Pryde, X-23, and the Guardians of the Galaxy head into space after Jean Grey who has been taken by the Shi’ar to be publicly tried for crimes she hasn’t committed yet. The odd circumstances the X-Men find themselves in leads to quite a bit of offbeat humor highlighted by Iceman‘s glee over interacting with a talking raccoon.
Of course, as often happens with the Guardians’ plans, things don’t go as smoothly as possible when they ship comes under attack from a Shi’ar warship. Unexpectedly, the heroes are saved by the arrival of the Starjammers led by Cosair whose relationship with this version of Cyclops is less cordial than his present day counterpart.
Filled with action, suspense, and an awful lot of humor and inside references (such as Kitty Pryde’s mention of her uncomfortable past with space travel), the pairing of the two teams is a lot of fun while the pre-trial moments between Jean Grey and a Shi’ar telepath continue to set the stage for the trial yet to come. Worth a look.
Just when I think Marvel’s numbering system couldn’t get any more ridiculous the company starts releasing .NOW issues. Sigh. Anywho, the latest issue of Guardians of the Galaxy is actually quite fun as it sets up the events of the crossover with All-New X-Men and the abduction of Jean Grey who the Shi’ar plan on putting on trial for the crimes as the Phoenix (despite the fact that this version of the character hasn’t committed them yet).
After being saved by Gamora and Angela, who rescue an unconscious Peter Quill from a Skrull bounty hunter posing as one of his teammates, the murder girls (as Rocket Raccoon likes to call them) and the rest of the team head to Earth after learning of the Shi’ar plot.
I’m not really looking forward to title jumping into yet another crossover, but on the other hand the galactic ramifications of Jean Grey’s trial make for an unique situation that fits this team perfectly. We don’t get much from Rocket, Groot, or Drax, but the early stuff with Quill is fun as is the continued female bonding of the murder girls. Worth a look.
After opening up with a fun sequence involving the Beast fighting demonic pirates (which leaves Hank McCoy a very different character at the end of the issue than the man who began it) Amazing X-Men #3 finally begins reuniting Nightcrawler with his former teammates beginning with Storm.
With the fates of the other X-Men not touched on, the main crux of the latest issue deals with McCoy’s unfortunate transformation that certainly suits his moniker and the reunion between Kurt and Ororo that includes a flashback to their time in the mansion and might have brought them both to tears if there weren’t an entire ship full of pirate demons in need of being dispatched.
After two issues of set-up, Amazing X-Men finally starts delivering on the promise of working Nightcrawler back into the group. Although I didn’t expect the level of romantic undertones we get here, I love the reunion between the pair and can’t wait to see where they go from here. Worth a look.
Crossover-free, the latest issue of Uncanny X-Men deals with ongoing theme of Magneto‘s relationship with Cyclops‘ team of X-Men and just how trustworthy the former super-villain truly is. After talking with Dazzler (who isn’t really Dazzler) at a pro-mutant rally, a frustrated Magneto takes her advice in checking out the goings on in Madripoor where mutants have set up a new home.
In the foreign country once ruled by HYDRA, Magneto will find old friends, the temptation of a new home, and learn Mystique‘s secret. Over the first fifteen issues of the series the idea of Magneto betraying Scott Summers and the X-Men has loomed large. However, Magneto’s response to Mystique and her offer is far from expected.
Lost in the various discoveries Magneto makes is an offhand remark Mystique makes to her old friend (while in the role of Dazzler) suggesting the death of Charles Xavier may have damaged Magneto far more than anyone suspects. With the character getting his own series it will be interesting to see how this will be explored in the coming months. Worth a look.
The Inhumanity tie-in (Marvel’s winter event cross-over) offers a look at the female members of the team (Magik, Jean Grey, Celeste, Irma, Phoebe, Tempus, and Kitty Pryde) who Emma Frost leads out for a little shopping in London. Their normal night out is sadly cut short by the presence of an Inhuman cocoon and the birth of a new Inhuman.
The Inhumans have never really interested me as anything but minor supporting characters in larger Marvel events so I’m not too keen on yet another cross-over event I’m less than thrilled about looking to hijack another book I want to read. That said, I really enjoyed this issue for the interactions between the various members of the team before running into the newborn Inhuman.
With the addition of some of the time-displaced X-Men and Kitty Pryde, Cyclops‘ team of X-Men is growing larger (and less reliant on former super-villains). With the teasing of Magneto‘s eventual betrayal it will be interesting to see how much more shake-up we see in the team over the course of 2014. Worth a look.
Although he narrates much of the story seen in the second issue of the new series, Nightcrawler himself is absent from all but the final panel of Amazing X-Men #2. Instead the comic focuses on Iceman, Firestar, and Storm trying to survive Hell and Northstar‘s sheer glee at getting to fight flying pirates in Heaven (where Wolverine runs into an old friend).
The image of Iceman literally freezing Hell over is humorous but I was a bit perplexed why Bobby was able to stave off the heat for so long (as he goes from nearly melting in a puddle to pushing his powers, even in the best conditions, far beyond their limits). Northstar’s joy at the absurdity of the situation he finds himself in is also amusing (even if I’ve never been much of a fan of the character).
Despite his voice commenting on actions and events he couldn’t possibly be witnessing, the comic is missing the character who the entire first arc of the series is named after on. Because of this the second issue isn’t as strong (or as interesting) as the first, but it’s still worth a look.
With Battle for the Atom finally over, thing get back to normal for Cyclops and his students. Realizing Cyclops’ hard-love approach is not working on Benjamin Deeds, Emma Frost decides a more delicate approach is needed to find out the just how much the transmorph can actually do.
As Emma correctly surmises, Deeds not only can transform his own form to closer resemble those nearer to him but he also produces a chemical reaction (when not screwing up) which gives him an unexpected level of trust with those he has just met. A little trip to Atlantic City puts the kid to the test, and when he finally gets the hang of it Summers even sends the blissfully-ignorant young man directly into a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility with what amounts to a declaration of war.
Uncanny X-Men #14 thankfully jumps right back into a new story while not spending too much time on the latest X-Men crossover and it gives us a look at Deeds unique power-set that the comic takes from an odd curiosity to incredibly useful in the span of a single issue. Worth a look.