It’s only been a week since issue #21 where I was speculating what route the ‘Trial Of Jean Grey’ was going to take and if it would involve the Shi’ar Empire at all. Seems like I knew exactly what was coming! Now is that a good thing that it’s going the route I suspected or was the issue just far too predictable?
Let’s take a look shall we?
After the last story arc with Scott getting a little interested in X-23 and everything that happened with Jean in the ‘Battle of the Atom’, things have been a little tense between the two. Oh angsty teen drama and love in super powered mutants, you are so adorable! Well, Iceman would have thought so had he been around but as things play out, it’s Angel sitting between the two as they go at it. Scott tries to go for a subtle talk while they are eating but both he and Jean blow things a bit out of proportion. It doesn’t help that Jean knows everything that will happen between the two of them if events played out as they naturally would.
Angel comments that while it was awkward it would have been perfect if Iceman was there (just what I had been thinking!) Where is Bobby? Well he’s outside making snow angels because, hey he’s Iceman! Of course that means he’s outside when a ship suddenly comes crashing down and a group of Shi’ar warriors disembark. Bobby tries to make a stand but is barely able to buy any time as they put him in a bubble.
The All-New X-Men (including Kitty Pride and X-23) jump into the fray to attempt to deal with them but are all quite quickly defeated. Another example of what the modern day X-Men would be able to nearly handle singlehandedly, yet no one here was able to do much about (it was quite interesting to see Kitty being knocked down right off the bat.) Also X-23, for being the killer she can be, pretty much takes a back seat here.
The Empire spirits Jean away, apparently to go on trial for what her future self will do as the Dark Phoenix. Why they never did that when she’s alive is another question we can just overlook. At the very end as the All-New X-Men have been defeated and are trying to figure out what to do, the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ show up with Star-Lord starting to say that they’ve come here to save the day, only realizing half way through his spiel that they are already too late.
While the introduction was pure classic Bendis and really worked, I felt that the entire fight sequence left too little build up for where we are going with the story arc. Yes, it was beautifully illustrated but we don’t know the real reason of what is going on or the consequences that Jean might be facing. I know we’ll be getting most if not all of these details in the next issue, but I felt the lack of proper plot movement in the second half and almost completely ignoring X-23 whose now around really took away from what could have been a great issue.
ALL-NEW X-MEN #22
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Stuart Immonen