All-New X-Men #24
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, and Marte Gracia
The short of it:
Kangaroo Court in session, the dishonorable Judge Kallark of Strontia presiding; and he wants to know how Young Jean Grey pleads to his declaration that she is a mass murderer. When she doesn’t immediately respond, he prepares to declare her silence as an admission of guilt when, thankfully, King J’Son the Jackass of Spartax shows up to shame the crap out of the Shi’ar Magestor. He points out that she has no idea why she’s on trial, that she isn’t the Phoenix, and that the Shi’ar were hardly the only race affected by the Phoenix during it’s rampage. That all Gladiator has done is kidnap an innocent girl and throw her on trial for the sake of posturing. That it wasn’t that long ago that the Shi’ar sent a kill crew to Earth to wipe out the ENTIRE Grey bloodline (save for Rachel and Nate), that they’ve already dealt swift and painful punishment to the Grey lineage for her perceived crimes. And that, if this Jean were truly the Phoenix, does Gladiator truly believe that she would not have slaughtered him yet?
In space, a Shi’ar ship comes across Angela’s body and brings her onboard for study. She wakes up and lays waste to all of them, taking the ship by force, which just serves to make Gamora hot. That’s their Trojan Horse to get to Chandilar. Speaking of, King J’Son argues with Gladiator, not stopping the shaming just because they’re in private, as the Imperial Guard has the exact same debate elsewhere. Some stand with Gladiator without questions, others just want to know if the King of Spartax is wrong. Same thing he wants to know, same thing Gladiator can’t deny. This is entirely an ego related event, but whatever, Jean gets herself free, and Gladiator is warned by Oracle to stop thinking about ways to assassinate the girl that can obviously read his crazy thoughts.
The Trojan Horse lands, but their surprise isn’t much of a surprise. The Imperial Guard is waiting and a fight breaks out. Gladiator wants to know how this is possible, how they got involved, how they got X-Men out to Shi’ar space….but come on, that answer is obvious. He took Jean Grey, and Kid Cyke or Real Cyke, doesn’t matter, if you take Jean Grey away from him, he will blast you with optic beams until something gives.
What I liked:
King J’Son putting Gladiator on blast for the ridiculousness of this Kangaroo Court. In front of EVERYONE! And by busting out that Gladiator already had Jean’s entire family massacred as punishment for her being the Phoenix. Given how Gladiator has acted thus far in this arc, having him shamed in front of the masses was a great way to start the issue.
Stuart Immonen is the new Mark Bagley. Need him weekly? He can do that, and the books will look just as good as if they were monthly. He remains the perfect pick for this book.
Corsair actually tries to be a father for a moment. I mean, it’s a weak effort, and you can tell he’s not fully serious, but hey, he’s never dealt with teenagers before. He’s allowed awkward moments.
Scott is awesome, as usual. He carries this book, even with Jean as the focus, and it’s going to be rough losing him for a time.
Angela had a pretty great moment, especially when you consider that I forgot she was on the Guardians until I cracked open this book.
What I didn’t like:
When did Gladiator become full on incompetent?
Why does Angel always get taken down first in fights?
There only seems to be one, maybe two people on the entire Imperial Guard that are waving their WTF flags. Most of them have had their asses saved at one time or another by the X-Men, including Jean Grey. More of them should have problems.
Well, at least this time I know that I’m reading an issue of All-New X-Men.
Nice usage of continuity by Bendis here, for all the various “Shi’ar punish because of the Phoenix” plots, he went with the over the top brutality of the Shi’ar Kill Crews wiping out Jean’s entire family and leaving Rachel with a giant tattoo.
Gladiator is the worst judge ever. He’s the judge, the prosecution, the jury, and wants to be the executioner. And I mean, what did he really expect? His ‘tribunal’ is in front of aliens of all varieties, so why would he not expect the Spartax King to show up and wave his authority around?
How do you justify this trial once it’s been made public knowledge that the Shi’ar already slaughtered Jean’s entire family years ago?
Why are the X-Men here? Why do you think the X-Men are here? You captured Jean Grey, and Scott Summers is still breathing. If anything, Gladiator should be surprised he’s only facing one Scott and not both of them blowing his face off with eye beams.
I would not complain if Drax started looking more like Bootista.
I also would not complain if X-23 decided to go hang out with Scott and Corsair in his solo book.
If this crossover ends with Jean getting any sort of Phoenix Power, then I’m calling shenanigans on AVX again.
Tags: All-New X-Men, Brian Michael Bendis, Cyclops, Guardians of the Galaxy, Jean Grey, Reviews, Stuart Immonen, X-Men