Spoilers for All New X-Men #20
So as you would expect, when X-23 wakes up in a Weapon X facility she goes immediately into freakout mode, and it’s a wonder she didn’t kill anybody on her way out. How’d she get there again though? Last issue left her and Kitty in the sewers, and now we cut to her asleep on the table? I guess we don’t need to see exactly how she got there, and you can easily assume Magik just came in to ‘port them, but when did she fall asleep? It’s all a bit jarring, but I guess ultimately not that important. Young Cyclops goes outside to calm her down, and she eventually accepts the weirdness of her situation. As this is going on Jean takes a full trip through her mind (you’ve gotta love this very aggressive Jean Grey) and also exposes young Scott’s lust for this female Wolverine. Fan/slash-fic comes to life folks! I think it’s also worth pointing out that initially X-23 can’t believe that all this is real, because when it comes to this title, sometimes I can’t either. Anyway X-23 doesn’t have much else going on post Avengers Arena, so hunting down these Purifiers that were hunting her makes as good a mission as any. Now it’s very believable that she doesn’t want to talk about what happened there, but also very convenient that she’s sticking to the same code of silence she wasn’t around to agree on. X-23 follows the scent to a Purifier stronghold, and once we get there it gets very tactical. Kitty lays out exactly how it’s going to go down, and as much as I love well depicted comic book action visually, I love it even more when you get these tactical descriptions of the battle plan and how to coordinate your powers. It all goes well until we see that the apparent son of Stryker who is running these Purifiers has super powers, and unleashes them. This cliffhanger means a lot more than just the fate of our team. All throughout this issue I had a feeling that the humor belied this issue’s intentions, and yeah, there are some pretty serious things at stake here.
Thumbs up – for giving the original X-Men their biggest threat yet. Even worse than running across the Purifiers, is running across Purifiers who know who they are and what they can accomplish by wiping them out.
Buy it – the cover is a lie, there is no kiss, but that hug might mean even more in the long run than a random kiss.