All-New X-Men #22.NOW
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, and Marte Gracia
The short of it:
It’s just an average day at the New Xavier School. Kitty is watching X-23 work out frustration in the Danger Room, Beast is working on the most epic timeline ever, Iceman is playing in the snow, and Warren? Warren just wants to eat his lunch. But then he gets sandwiched in between Scott and Jean, and while he can tell things are instantly awkward, it’s not a secret after Jean bursts out yelling at Scott. She can’t stay out of his mind, so she keeps attacking him for anything and everything that goes through it. So she wants him to talk to her, so he tries to talk to her, and she doesn’t want to talk, so she keeps yelling at him for thinking thoughts. It’s a full conversation of her reading his thoughts and attacking him for them, and we see none of them. Warren is sufficiently awkward and confused, sitting literally in between them as Scott points out that Jean knows everything about the past, present, and future, and she keeps going through their heads, and he doesn’t know more than bits and pieces and she’s mad at him for things he doesn’t know about and she won’t tell him about. She finally tells him a little, storms off, and then Scott leaves.
Warren laments that Bobby would have loved it.
Speaking of Bobby, he’s still playing in the snow when commandos fall from the sky with giant guns and start blasting stuff. Kitty identifies them as Shiar, thinking that the knowledge will help her, but it just gets her knocked out first. Relatively short work is made of the entire group before everyone starts getting put into bubbles. The thing is, they only take Jean, and everyone else gets dumped back where they were found. So many questions, so little answers, but then the sky lights up again….and I guess if you want some answers, the Guardians of the Galaxy are good place to start.
What I liked:
That awkward moment when you’re eating lunch and Scott and Jean decide to let you be the body in between them as they fight.
Seriously, that sequence was fantastic, and as much as I’m firmly Team Scott in the matter (she can’t get mad at him for things he hasn’t done or even know about doing, nor can she get mad at him for having the thoughts of a teenage boy), the whole exchange worked. Jean has her angst, and Scott has his “Stop reading my mind and talk to me already”. It works, it made me laugh.
Beast working on the ever expanding timeline was great. I want a full sized version to read and study, because, I mean, it’s fantastic. It even mentions Cyclopalypse!
Brandon Peterson did a fine job the last few issues, but there’s no replacing Stuart, Wade, and Marte. This book is their book, and it’s always better with them on board. They capture everything going on in the title perfectly, and the characters all look like teenagers. I know I say that a lot, but I can’t say it enough. So often you pick up a book with teenage characters and everyone looks twenty, but here the only person that looks over the age of eighteen is Kitty…who should look over eighteen.
Bendis really gets the character of Cyclops. I didn’t think I’d say that after AVX and some other stuff, but he has made me a believer. He gets old Scott, he gets young Scott, now all we need is AoA Scott with the one eye and the ponytail.
What I didn’t like:
I know that Bendis is playing up that Jean is still learning how to use her telepathy, but she’s the only telepath out of all of the X-people that seems to be utterly incapable of not eavesdropping on every single person that she meets. Even Quentin Quire can have a conversation without reading someones mind, and he tries to be an asshole.
Why would Kitty think the Shiar are still their friends? Even before Vulcan took them over and threw them into the current state of nobody cares, they had sent kill crews to wipe out Rachel’s entire family, and that’s one of Kitty’s best friends.
You know what’s better than 22.NOW? 23.
You know what’s going to be confusing to new readers? Putting a giant number one an issue already numbered twenty-two DOT NOW. Why isn’t this issue twenty-three? Why do we need these pointless added numbers that are only going to confuse people that don’t see them coming? And how many poor schmucks bought this book because of the giant #1 on the cover only to find out that they had no idea what was going on?
So we have the answer to Iceman’s costume, and how it’s a full body suit like everyone else has, so why does he have toes in ice form?
There’s this great moment of Warren trying to stop the ship and save Jean, and the art gets across how devastated he is that he couldn’t do it, and it’s a nice moment. But he pushes himself as hard as he can to catch this ship, and he doesn’t even come close before it warps away. How could he have expected a different outcome?
So, I already know the point of this story, it’s not news or spoilery, Marvel let the cat out of the bag months ago. Jean gets put on trial crimes that she has NOT committed yet due to time travel, and the X-Men team up with the Guardians to save her. Now, again, Jean is NOT guilty, she has done nothing wrong. I mean, she’s an intrusive bitch who can’t stop spying on people and their brains, but she’s done nothing wrong. And, I mean, they want to punish her for being the Phoenix? Wasn’t that punishment when they had the X-Men fight for her life in the Blue Area of the Moon, and then she killed herself after admitted she deserved punishment?
Does the universe not have double jeopardy laws?
For the love of god, I really want the next issue to open up with Iceman making a crack about Angela’s near nakedness.
Tags: All-New X-Men, Brian Michael Bendis, Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel NOW! (All-New Marvel Now!), Reviews, Stuart Immonen, X-Men