All-New X-Men #11
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, Marte Gracia
The short of it:
Double, triple, ultra, FINAL GASP! AN ORIGINAL X-MAN IS GOING TO JOIN SCOTT! WHOEVER COULD IT BE?!?!?!?!
Well, it’s Angel, and if you’ve read either of the last two (TWO!) issues of Uncanny X-Men then you already know that, but if not, well, I JUST SPOILED YOU! Everyone tries to talk him down and out of it, but Angel doesn’t feel like he belongs at Wolverine’s school, or that any of them belong in the future to start with, and he does not like what he becomes and they have yet to care at all that he is NOT happy being in the future, so when X-Mask Cyclops shows up with a better offer, he’s happy to take it. Because his team of X-Men actually wants to do something. Everyone, on the other hand, wants to fight about it. The original X-Men want to tell Warren he can’t go, the adult X-Men want private discussions and Scott off their property, and Scott’s team? They want the kid to be allowed to do what he wants. Jean, on the other hand, starts flexing her mind muscles. Knocking people over, telling Warren what he has to do, and how he has to live up to a deal he didn’t even agree with, so she just reaches into his head and makes him do what she wants. In front of everyone.
So the Cuckoo’s decide to show her what a real psychic can do and just reach in and psychically kick her ass. The X-Men don’t see this as stopping a power mad psychic, of course, they see it as the bad guys attacking the poor defenseless girl that just tried to dominate somebodies mind for selfish reasons. Wolverine takes a swing, gets Magneto’d, Jean tries to fight everyone off, but she can’t get the Stepford Sisters out of her brain. Logan starts making demands, but you know what? Emma is right. He should appreciate how valuable the lesson they’re teaching is, that you don’t go into peoples heads and screw with them or else you deserve to have it happen to you. Wolverine’s entire schtick is people playing Jenga with his brain. So Scott takes his recruits and goes home and the old X-Men start passing around the blame.
Meanwhile, in Seattle, Pepper Potts acts suspicious, Stark Resilient gets bombed, Pepper winds up being Mystique (because that’s her deal lately, impersonate people and then let her team make things go boom). Wolverine and the All-New X-Men are attacking, just like the past few times. Sabretooth and Lasty Mastermind, right? We’re given no evidence of other members!
Then you’ve got Jean crying about how she’s such a total mind-rapey bitch, so Kitty gives her a talk about Spider-Man. Sure, why not? Jean needs to know about power and responsibility, and then Kitty needs to get hugs from her. Jean also has to understand that not everything gets to go the way she think that it should, but again, hugs.
Then later on they all go for a flight, things go wrong, and that’s when you remember “Oh yeah, Mystique and company do all of their crimes as Wolverine and the All-New X-Men”.
So now we’ve got the UNCANNY AVENGERS!
What I liked:
“You know, Scott, honestly you should take this as a personal compliment.” “How is this a compliment?” “I’m the only one here who likes who you grow up to be.”
The Cuckoo’s schooling Jean in what happens when you try to be the dominant telepath in a room with actual dominant telepaths.
This art team is like an A list rock group. Immonen on guitar, Von Grawbadger on drums, and Gracia being the underappreciated bass player.
Angel’s reasons for leaving are spot on and perfect. He did not want to come to the future, was out voted and forced to. He did not want to stay in the future, he was out voted and had his mind forcibly changed by Jean. He does not like that he has no real freaking clue what happens to him, why he has metal wings, or why he does not seem to have any memories. Every time he has a complaint he’s told to shut up, every time he expresses his feelings he is ignored, and here comes Scott offering up a better deal without fear of an angry teenage telepath making his decisions for him.
Cyclops and Magneto have the greatest understanding of what Professor Xavier would have wanted out of people. The irony is delicious.
What I didn’t like:
They keep bringing up that the X-Men are forgetting what Xavier has taught them, and I agree, and I do not mind this, I’m just confused at how Wolverine, Beast, Kitty, and Storm think that you can teach accountability for your actions with hugs and blaming Cyclops.
Wolverine had access to five psychics, and just lost three of them and he’s cool with that because they’re creepy. Yes, because if twenty years of reading X-Men has taught me nothing, it’s that you REALLY want to be the guy who doesn’t have mind readers on your side.
Jean’s domination of mind and will and all of that. I get what Bendis is going for, that her powers are new and she isn’t quite sure what to do all of the time, but at any point in her career was Jean ever a mind-rapey bitch? Her entire M.O. in this book is to get her way or to make someone else do what she wants. She has no shame in doing this, is corrected regularly, and keeps doing it.
Wolverine’s X-Men are terrible at assigning blame properly. It’s not Jean’s fault that she’s a very easily corrupted telepath with anger and control issues, it’s Cyclops’s fault for being a bad guy now!
I don’t get it. How can Age of Ultron be everything wrong with time travel while this is everything right? This book saved my Marvel pull list this week after the disappointments that were AoU and Superior Spider-Man. Bendis has never done that before, I mean, yes, he has made me debate never reading comics again, but he’s never talked me off the ledge! This book is literally everything I love about my favorite Marvel property, and it was exactly what I needed this week.
I’ve got a dollar says Jean makes a heel turn before it’s all said and done. Obviously no Dark Phoenix, but Maddy Pryor was proof that you can do evil Jean without the Phoenix. Then again, Limbo Demons….oooh, Illyana is in Uncanny…
Magneto can toss Wolverine aside in this issue, and he’s been doing that kind of stuff for a bit, so I don’t actually get how his powers are broken? Nothing too big? Nothing too prolonged?
How could anybody want to support Jean Grey for anything after watching her scream and yell at someone and then blatantly reach into their head and make up their find for them? Like, Wolverine gets mad at Emma and Scott for the Stepford’s shutting her down, but nobody gets mad that she blatantly just reached into her teammates head and made him do what she wanted. Emma was right, sacred cow.
Speaking of Emma, I want to call shenanigans. At one point we get to see all the thoughts Jean is reading, and not a single one of them is about Emma’s ridiculous outfit. I’m sorry, tons of teenage boys, and her girls are on full display.
This issue would have been infinitely more effective had it come out before the last two issues of Uncanny X-Men, especially with the cover posing a question that was answered weeks ago.
Still waiting for new costumes.
Speaking of, I can’t tell if they gave Magneto sleeves or not in this issue, because it looks like they do but they never too clearly show his arms when there isn’t an excuse for funky coloring. If he has sleeves, then I greatly approve, as the bare arm look just doesn’t work with him.
I do love the way Immonen draws Scott’s new mask. The way his eyes sit behind the material you really do get this feeling about a blind leader.
You know what would be cool? If they left the old X-Men around past the upcoming crossover and just split them up. Angel with the Uncanny X-Men, maybe Cyclops with the Uncanny Avengers, leave Iceman and Beast with the All-New X-Men, then go ahead and give Jean a heel turn. That’s a year and a half of stories right there.