Thursday, March 13, 2014

All-New X-Men #24

   It's somewhat encouraging to note that even a superior writer like Brian Michael Bendis occasionally has an off day.

   Barring a fantastic finale in the next issue of Guardians of the Galaxy (which will feature the final chapter in the "Trial of Jean Grey" story), this story has, frankly, plodded along without doing much more than bringing together a small army of characters and moving them to a new locale (temporarily).

   For this issue of All-New X-Men, the Guardians and the original, time-shifted X-Men join the Starjammers in opposing the attempts by the alien Shi'ar to put Jean on trial for the crime of being the Phoenix and destroying worlds.

   Of course, the flaw in their logic is that this time-traveling Jean Grey has not yet merged with the Phoenix, so she hasn't killed anyone - yet.

   While she's facing trial, her friends have teamed up and hatched a plan to invade the Shi'ar homeworld and rescue her. It's breezy, it's fun, it's improbable, but it doesn't really advance the story.

   The art by Stuart Immonen and Wade Von Grawbadger is excellent, as they manage to keep each character distinct and unique, while keeping the story ripping right along.

   Any story that involves a trip to the Shi'ar homeworld has to be compared to the original '70s adventure by Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum and John Byrne, and this story is mighty pale in comparison.

   Perhaps Bendis will "stick" the ending, but hope is fading fast. This isn't a bad story - it's just not a great one.

Grade: B+


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