After the amazing mini-story that concluded in ‘All-New X-Men’ #14, I knew we’d probably be heading either straight into the ‘X-Men: Battle of the Atom’ prelude story line or a book-ended single issue story.

It looks like we got a single issue story, though I believe the events within will bleed through to upcoming issues.

The main points of the issue opens and closes with Rachel and Jean passing by each other in the hall. They give each other a look in each panel where they clearly don’t know how to react to one another. In another world and another time they are mother and daughter. Here? Rachel is older and more experienced. It’s clearly an uncomfortable situation that they don’t want to dwell on.

On an entertaining side note, we see the young Scott Summers and Bobby take a trip out to blow off some steam. Scott is annoyed over what is going on with Jean and Bobby is freaked out that he’s seeing his older self dating Kitty. It shows a bit of Bobby’s loneliness here that while he’s glad he was able to be seeing someone, it’s just weirding him out. It’s a good interaction between two people who are clearly still becoming friends.

While they are out is when the real interesting points happen.

Jean is helping old Beast clean up after a mess they made while he’s helping to teach her to focus her powers. While cleaning up, though, she starts listening in on his thoughts (as any teenage mind reader is bound to do) and is startled to hear that Hank loves her and has always loved her.

After they are done cleaning up the mess, she goes and confronts the young Hank about this and they share a very close kiss before fading back to Cyclops and Iceman. We watch the two take turns flirting with women and take down a car that is being chased by the police right as Wolverine picks them up.

After Jean passes Rachel in the closing of this book she heads back to her room. While the last scene with her had her kissing Beast, here she takes out a card from under her mattress. It’s the invitation to her and Scott’s wedding and just stares at it.

If I had any negative thoughts on this issue it was the art. While it honestly did work in some scenes (mainly Jean and Rachel passing each other in the hall) and some of Cyclops and Iceman’s little adventure – I really felt that it fell short during the Jean Grey scenes.

While I believe next issue we do enter ‘Battle of the Atom’, I have a feeling this story line will be important as things progress. It’s also curious to see how the young group of X-Men are acting both similar and different from their original timeline selves. Are they acting out since they know what the future will bring or does their situation really dictate how they act?

Speaking of ‘Battle of the Atom’, I’m actually wondering if Beast’s constant mutation changes are going to end up actually being the result of something that is upcoming during this crossover. Maybe in a way this has all happened before? I’m just speculating here but it could be an interest time traveling twist that ended up clearing up confusion on Beast’s every changing mutation.



Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Lafuente