all-new-x-men-20In the last issue we saw the All-New X-Men now hanging out in Cyclops’ camp doing their won them doing just that as they went at it against the mutant-hating religious group known as the Purifiers who had a mutant they had been hunting down. That mutant? X-23!

Yes the Wolverine’s female clone is now in the mix and not only that but she seemed to be without any of her memories! Not a good thing with a special ops trained mutant assassin is at it. I didn’t recall her losing her memory at the end of ‘Avengers Arena’ but at least that doesn’t last for long. We open the issue with Laura not believing who they are and being at Cyclops’ place means it’s a Weapon-X facility which she isn’t all too thrilled about.

She gets out and young Cyclops goes after her which jean is quite annoyed from reading that his interest in her is a bit more than just friendly. Yup, young Scott has a crush on Laura which is twice as entertaining as older Scott and Wolverine quite hate each other right now. Honestly the idea of bringing X-23 into the book and possibly the team seems like a great way to ‘evolve’ the dynamic. It fits for adding a Wolverine character into their lives who isn’t Logan. Once Scott is able to calm her down enough to talk her into believing they are who they say they are he’s also able promise her something to stab she’d want they agree on revenge against the religious fanatics.

While the kiss on the cover makes these two look rather close it’s one of the few entertaining moments in the book. Young Scott goes to hug Laura thinking she looks like “she needed a hug” and she tenses up and rather coldly tells him that she’s not the hugging type. Yes it’s a big fail on Cyclops’ smoothness right there and a double embarrassment as the All-New X-Men had all just come out and witnessed this firsthand, Jean included.

My problem is they immediately left and went back to track down The Purifiers who have no right to be the threat that they constantly are. Legion or some iteration of X-Force or another should have wiped them and their tech all out by now. These are villains that have no right to still be of any threat to anyone. Moving on…

So they have a good plan but revenge doesn’t work out quite that well and we’re left on a cliffhanger that if you felt there was a threat here could be pretty good. Sadly, I’m not buying it.

What this boils down to is my second favorite X-Men title has fallen to at least third place if not further. I’m not sure what it is about this story line that isn’t doing it for me. Maybe it’s just The Purifiers that aren’t working for me but as this story line is only another issue or two I’m not too worried. I still like the concept and Bendis you’ve been doing so well keeping me interested in this concept, don’t fail me now!

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ALL-NEW X-MEN #20
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Brandon Peterson