All-New Marvel NOW! Review: All-New X-Men #23 by Brian Bendis and Stuart Immonen


All-New X-Men #23

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Art by Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, and Marte Gracia


The short of it:

Scott has a little dream about Jean and wakes up on a spaceship face to face with a Racoon. The Kid X-Men are hanging out with the Guardians, and everyone chimes in to fill him in on everything save for where Jean is. Whoops. She is elsewhere, and waking up in a bubble and for once she can’t read everyone’s minds. Doesn’t matter, Gladiator and the Imperial Guard are there to tell her what she’s there for. Jean doesn’t respond well, as she shouldn’t given the ridiculous situation, and then they go and dump her bubble into solitary.

The Guardians get towards Shi’ar space while small talk continues on board their ship, Iceman feels like a princess because he’s talking to a raccoon, and Rocket is sick of being called a Raccoon. Beast is intrigued by that, but then things get boomy as the Shi’ar open fire on them with a ship that is massive in comparison. Battle stations are taken, evasive maneuvers are engaged, Rocket trolls them on ship to ship communications, and up until they get hit, they were good and ready to unleash the Angela. Jean, meanwhile, is being questioned by Oracle of the Imperial Guard, who wants to make sure Jean fully understands why she is being punished., and then is surprised to find that Jean truly does have no first hand knowledge of a crime she hasn’t committed. She bails telling her to keep her temper in check.

Back in space, the Angela has been unleashed along with Drax and Groot, Gamorra is ready to go, X wants to go as well, but then another ship comes out of nowhere and saves their asses. The cavalry has arrived in the form of a ship familiar to old school X-Men fans, and a character who should be dead, and Kid Cyclops is about to have his confusing life made so much more confusing.


What I liked:

  • Stuart Immonen and friends are doing such an amazing job on a regular basis, it just needs to be mentioned first. This book is beautiful.

  • Case in point, look at that spread of the Imperial Guard. Awesome.

  • Bobby wants to be a Disney Princess, ha!

  • The best thing about this crossover is that it’s two of Brian’s books, so there’s going to be a level of consistency generally unseen in big two crossovers.

  • I’m going to whine about it later, but Major? Welcome back.

  • The humor. Both of these books have been nonstop funny since they launched, and it keeps going here. The same kind of stuff I used to rag on Bendis for doing with Avengers, but here it works. Like Rocket on the comm system with the Shi’ar attackers, taunting and mocking them. With Rocket, that makes sense. With Iron Man it always felt forced.


What I didn’t like:

  • X-23 has been in this book for less than six issues and she’s already window dressing.

  • Not that I’d expect anything less in The Trial of Jean Grey, but how about an arc where Jean isn’t the main character of this team book?


Final thoughts:

At this point I pretty much just have to accept that Bendis read the cliff notes of cosmic Marvel and didn’t actually go back and read any of it. Nova is dead but Starlord and Thanos aren’t, Drax is back, Hepzibah is still a Starjammer and not LIVING WITH THE X-MEN, and then our big spoil at the end today that I probably either have or will spoil somewhere in this review. All on top of Jean being put on trial for crimes that she has already been put on trial for, I mean, isn’t that why they had the X-Men versus Imperial Guard fight on the Blue Area of the Moon? So he didn’t read Thanos Covenant, didn’t read Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire, most likely skipped over War of Kings, and seems to have skimmed Dark Phoenix.

That said, for the most part….I’m okay with it. I like that Quill is back and, essentially, a fresh character. I like that Drax is back to bring on the Space Kratos. Hepzibah SHOULD be a Starjammer, and her time on Earth was as a pet relationship for Warpath by a writer who quickly exited the book, and then she was wasted. And don’t get me started on the character who should be dead, and the ridiculous amount of wasted story potential that went out the window when the character was supposed to die. Bendis might be retconning freely, but the end results are so much better than previous status quos.

Alright, one more gripe on that, for everything retconned back to being good, why the hell is Korvus still around? He’s awful!

If Vulcan can never be mentioned again, that would be a victory.

Brood, super bullets….Kitty does have very bad luck in space.

A Cyclops ongoing featuring Kid Scott and his dad? By Greg Rucka? Jeez, Bendis, stop with the backdoor pilots! Also, how much longevity will that book have? Is Scott staying in space? Can Laura stay with him?

Can Laura do something?

Overall: 9/10

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