How do you go from having stellar issue after issue to putting out a very mediocre one? The Phoenix Force tease was simply a tease, a ruse by Jean Grey to fool all of their enemies. Freak them out with showing the most powerful entity any of them have ever faced. My big problem with that is these are all people that have been around the Hellfire Club, some are even related to members or have worked for them in the past yet they are scared of the Phoenix Force? Are we just dropping the entire story where the Hellfire Club was highly trained to handle the Phoenix? Kills me to think that Bendis wouldn’t remember that but you can’t just forget something like that. That was such a huge part of the Hellfire Club wasn’t it? These complaints are not why this issue was mediocre, I will explain further below.
Keep in mind I said this issue was mediocre, which shouldn’t mean bad, because it wasn’t it just wasn’t great either. Bendis was great about remembering Mastermind was defeated by Jean Grey on an epic level so of course his daughter would want revenge. Crushing blow when I realized how quickly the battle between them lasted. That fight should have been brilliant. Lady Mastermind has been training her whole life for a moment like this, she put blood sweat and tears into training with revenge being her main influence and her driving force. And then Jean Grey who has telepathy can destroy her mentally? Keep in mind Jean Grey has only been able to do this for about a week or so I believe. Then we have the whole Sabretooth and Mystique being these incredibly seasoned villains and these villains also include Silver Samurai another incredibly veteran villain, yet they are completely schooled by Wolverine and Kitty Pryde and the original X-Men who are highly untrained? After they win they talk about how the kids obviously need more training. Excuse me Professor Logan, but those kids just took out three of the toughest villains you have ever faced. And with ease. And no one got hurt. What do you mean they need more training? Maybe I am belittling the situation at hand but I feel my opinion is justified.
This issue had tremendously stupid dialog yet some great artwork for the rising talent of Stuart Immonen. Enough of patting Stuart on the back let’s talk about Bendis writing like a child. Before anyone jumps down my throat, I know there are a tremendous amount of Brian Michael Bendis haters out there. He has a sort of Grant Morrison type hate club. People that hate Bendis really hate Bendis. They just think everything he does is garbage. I am not one of those people. Usually I love everything Bendis does. This is not one of those times. He really struggles with dialogue for all characters. Iceman has had some pretty funny one-liners but this issue lacked that. And then the horribly unfunny one liner where Beast called Sabretooth his daddy was so bad it made me cringe. I felt vomit build up in my throat. Only redeeming quality was the dialogue between Havok and Scott. Such a change-up having Scott Summers looking up to his brother and not vice versa. And no arguing brother fights, just two guys who know in the future they will not be friends, but they have to make the most of what they have here and now. It was sweet and kindhearted until Havok responded with “No.” The no was one of the most chilling “no”s I have ever read. After reading that line I forgave the Beast comments.
That’ll do pig. That’ll do.