Spoilers for All-New X-Men #22.NOW
Nothing like a big obnoxious and kind of fake-ish #1 on your cover! Yes it is the first issue of “The Trial of Jean Grey” story arc, but we all know damn well what they hope your brains see when you look at it. I have no intention of focusing my whole review on marketing voodoo, but I wasn’t going to just brush it off either.
Putting the gimmicks aside, as we open the issue X-23 is training, Beast is doing time travel math, and Iceman is singing Run–D.M.C. out in the snow. I’ll freely admit to having practiced the lyrics to “It’s Tricky” hoping that I’ll someday be presented with the perfect time to put them to use, and pretend I might actually look cool doing it. Angel tries to enjoy a massively tasty looking sandwich, but gets caught in the middle of a sometimes verbal/sometimes mental shouting match between Cyclops and Jean Grey. At this point Jean couldn’t really turn off her telepathy even if she wanted to, she just has too much power and not enough experience, but trust me – this Jean doesn’t really want to. Scott’s show of concern for how much she’s had to deal with doesn’t have the desired effect, and sadly for her she’s about to have to deal with a whole lot more. The Shi’ar attack and abduct her, intent on putting her on trial for everything and anything ever Jean Grey or Phoenix related. The also Bendis-written Guardians of the Galaxy show up at the end, too late to prevent this, but right on time for a crossover event between the two titles. Here’s the checklist if you want to play along:
My favorite parts of this issue relate to Iceman, whether it’s his enjoyment of drama, or an epic solo stand against a Shi’ar spaceship. I also can’t wait to someday see Wolverine shove present day Scott Summers’ face in the fact that he let Jean Grey get abducted from his school on his watch. All-New X-Men continues to say “why reboot when you can literally bring your past back into your present,” and while I especially enjoyed last issue, I probably could’ve left this issue on the stands. “The Trial of Jean Grey” has collected edition written all over it.
My rating: 3.9/5