Warbird is escorting Kid Gladiator off-planet to avoid the Phoenix’s arrival, but this Kid can’t stay out of a fight and ejects to return to Earth.  Across the planet, the two biggest and most powerful super teams are slugging it out over the fate of Hope, the mutant messiah everyone suspects is the Phoenix’s target.  No one realizes she is with Wolverine and they are on their way to the moon to intercept the Phoenix.  Logan flashes back to his battle with Jean Grey after she’d become possessed by the force.  In a brief moment of clarity, she begged him to kill her to prevent her from commiting any more harm, but he waivered and she overcame him.

Suddenly, their ship is blasted apart by the Shi’Ar agents sent to kill Hope.  She must duplicate Wolverine’s abilities to heal himself and to sprout bone claws in order to take on their attackers.

Elsewhere, it’s the battle fans have been clamoring for, Iceman versus Red Hulk!  (Wait, what?!)  Meanwhile, Magneto takes on Dr. Strange, while The Angel dodges Hawkeye’s arrows.  In yet another location, Iron Fist tries to  reason with Rachel Grey.


Logan and Hope fare well against the Shi’Ar… until one of them gores Hope through the torso!  Logan is attacked by a swarm of space bugs and is unable to aid her.  She lies bleeding and dying on the ground, until she errupts with the power of the Phoenix, healing herself and dispatching their opponents.  Her face seems euphoric.  Logan, free of the beetles, realizes that he can’t kill her any more than he could Jean and makes a fateful decision to turn her guardianship over to someone else.

Kid Gladiator leaps into the fray, kicking Red Hulk in the face. Back at the school, Gladiator arrives looking for his son.

The only complaint I can think of with this issue, is that it picks up from “Avengers Vs. X-Men,” so if you don’t read the miniseries, then it isn’t clear exactly what’s going on or how Wolverine and Hope got paired up.  Also, as part of a crossover event, it interrupts the flow of the regular series for random fisticuffs and the development of an outside storyline.  On the bright side, Rachel, Angel, Iceman, and some of the other “regulars” of this title get a bigger share of dialogue than outsiders like Magneto.

Otherwise, writer Jason Aaron and penciller Nick Bradshaw offer up another fun issue of the most entertaining X-Book on stands.  They might have had to accomodate an outside crossover, but they do it the right way.

Verdict: Buy

Written by Jason Aaron
Pencils and Cover by Nick Bradshaw