While the previous issue felt like a good jumping in point for new readers, quite a bit was happening in this one that may have been lost on those who haven’t been following the series. However, for those of us that have there are a few great moments on page here! This is one of Bendis’ better installments on the series and actually brings back a plot point left dangling from ‘Battle of the Atom‘ which has me interested to see how it will play out as well as touching on the recent events from ‘The Trial of Jean Grey‘!
We open the book with Jean Grey as the Phoenix once again killing everyone. Hell of a nightmare to have. Her cry of anguish when waking up summons the one man she wants to see here. Scott Summers. Though, it isn’t the young Scott she was hoping for who had just left with his father for adventures in space. No, this is the older Cyclops. The two have a rather close and uncomfortable moment as they talk. Before things could get really awkward, Scott pulls away. How responsible of him. Still he does the right thing and makes her aware that Emma is going to be taking over her training (which is a whole other bag of uncomfortable). When Scott leaves the room, Kitty is waiting for him and lets him know that while she thinks he handled the situation well, under no circumstance is he allowed to be alone in Jean’s room again.
Scott is handled absolutely perfectly in each of these scenes. I love the way Bendis handled Kitty here. This is the mature and demanding of respect woman that Kitty has become which we haven’t been seeing that much of lately as she’s either been in the background or angry. It felt good to see as there hasn’t been much of this exact Kitty since Iceman went a little nuts on the world.
I know I’m usually bad about commenting on art in books so I have to make a point to mention it when it’s good. Immonen really rendered the expressions well on everyone here and the few brief scenes of battle were beautiful to behold. It isn’t an action packed issue but it is a beautiful and well written one.
While young Beast is studying the problems of time travel that they find themselves in, the last set of circumstances that we see is X-23 leaving the building. She is angry and hurt that Scott left for space which is still quite the interesting pairing. Thankfully, Angel sees this and tries to get her to stay but that doesn’t work out too well. He heads back in and lets Kitty know what happened and she insists that they go after her. While she’s alone. though. she does come across a Scott who claims to be there for her before knocking her out.
A shape shifter! Is it Mystique? No, she doesn’t care at all about where either the young X-Men or Cyclops team are as she has her own gameplan. This is another very Mystique-esque character though and the next issue we’re going to see the return of the enemies from the ‘Battle of the Atom’. This could be really interesting to see how it plays out.
ALL-NEW X-MEN #26
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Stuart Immonen