Previously in the world of the X-Men there was a world changing event where a few of the X-Men (including Cyclops) received the power of the Phoenix Force and went a little nuts. After these events ended, Beast decided that the only way to make things right was to change the past. To do this he brought the original 5 X-Men to modern day times so they could find a way to change Scott Summer’s actions before they could lead to him using the Phoenix to kill Professor X.

A retcon in the works? Possibly, though I have a feeling they will all be sent back into the past at the story’s end in a way that keeps things happening exactly how they have. Regardless if this entire thing is going to turn into a retcon or be irrelevant – it gives us Jean Grey back for a little while. Not many fans of the X-Men shall complain about her being back in a way that doesn’t nullify the true impact of her (last) death.

It’s an interesting take having Kitty Pryde be in charge of the original X-Men. It feels like an absolute role reversal for the character as when she came into the X-Men the first class was fully trained, in control of their powers and all had been through enough to be considered grown up while she was a child barely coming into her own. Talk about a complete flip with Kitty being the one who is now doing the training.

I like the flip of roles and it feels like Kitty is both comfortable with herself as she’s been in charge of the school for quite some time now but isn’t fully sure how to handle the people who initially trained her at the same time. The cover of the comic really gives a great feel on how to feel about Kitty on the pages within.

In this issue we don’t get a lot of real conflict and the focus is instead on character development. It’s more of Jean Grey learning to control her powers which have exploded in potential ahead of schedule as well as having to come to term with the fact that she is in charge. On the flip side we have Cyclops deciding to throw a temper tantrum and go off campus to see what the world is like right now. Wolverine happens to notice he left though and this causes a scuffle between the two. Angel meets his future self and all in all its a setup issue of things to come.

The main setup though appears on the last panel as a certain past villain is made aware of the young X-Men having come to present day and decides that a conversation needs to be had with them. Bendis has really put together an amazingly strong concept and if it keeps going as strong as the first few issues it’ll be on my must buy list for some time to come. It’s a great setup issue and worth the read for that but still needs a bit more to fully pull off the issue.

My main problem would have to be the layout of panels in this one. I felt that not all of the two page spreads were clearly defined that it was actually spread across both pages. Usually it’s very obvious but I found myself in two separate sections having to re-read the pages from thinking it was in standard format and not spreading across. Having to do that really broke me out of the story. Other than that the characters were well drawn and the interaction between Jean and Kitty, Scott and Logan, and Angel and himself on page were all brilliantly rendered.

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Inker: David Marquez
Inker (cover): Wade von Grawbadger
Editor: Nick Lowe
Penciler (cover): Stuart Immonen