Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Penciler: Stuart Immonen Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger Colorist: Marte Gracia
I don’t know who revitalized who in this case: Brian Michael Bendis or the X-Men. In 2003, Brian Bendis blew up Avengers Mansion and for a while there, his New Avengers run was pretty strong. However, it was clear that since the first wave of Marvel NOW! Bendis has found new creative footing in the opposite end of the Marvel Universe.
Now in the second wave of Marvel NOW, we see the landmark X-book crossing over with another major Marvel push, Bendis’ Guardians of the Galaxy in order to tell The Trial of Jean Grey. It’s the inevitable “what-if” scenario, where the forces of the galaxy pull the young, time-displaced Jean Grey to space, holding her accountable for the damaged the Phoenix has caused. It’s a super cool story, one that you can’t see coming like you could, say, Battle of then Atom.
One of Bendis’s strengths is writing teenagers. The kids who grew up reading Ultimate Spider-Man know this. It’s a no-brainer, then, to see Bendis absolutely shine in the fast-paced back-and-forth dialogue which made him so infamous in the first place. Returning to the fray with him is All-New X-Men’s starting penciler Stuart Immonen. His sharp edges and unique style have been missed greatly in the many months in-between his storylines, so it’s a welcome return. Together, the two form a really solid issue of the book.
If you have been hesitating to jump on All-New X-Men, it’s hard to recommend starting here because it’s number twenty-two. For that, I think I’m a little disappointed. But it’s more than worth it to go back and check out the original story and see what lead to this: it’s one of the best X-books since Whedon’s Astonishing run almost a decade ago.