All New X-Men #22.NOW The Trial of Jean Grey #1 Review
By Andy Frisk
January 25, 2014 - 00:29
Writer(s): Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller(s): Stuart Immonen
Inker(s): Wade Von Grawbadger
Colourist(s): Marte Gracia
Letterer(s): VC's Cory Petit
Cover Artist(s): Immonen, Grawbadger and Gracia
Anyway, I wouldn't be so put off by the silliness of stretching the typical comic book numbering conventions to asinine lengths to make a single issue (which is not the first of it's series) into a sort of "issue #1" and therefore a little more attractive to the casual X-Men reader, if the story within didn't feel like a story that we've already read countless times before. To be fair though, just about every story involving Jean Grey of The X-Men beyond Uncanny X-Men (1963) #137 feels redundant, so writer Brian Michael Bendis definitely had his work cut out for him when he was told...uh, I mean decided...to write a story involving the X-Men that forced...uh, I mean caused...them to happen to meet up with The Guardians of The Galaxy...who by the way are starring in their own movie later this year (hint, hint). Anyway...
Bendis actually does find a way to make this issue #1 of All New X-Men...I mean issue #22.NOW of All New X-Men The Trial of Jean Grey #1...as engaging as it can possibly be by focusing a large part of the story on the teenage personalities of Cyclops, Jean, Iceman, Angel, and Beast. It's still fun to see the original X-Men written by a contemporary writer in the vein of how Stan Lee wrote their personalities way back in the early issues of X-Men (1963). One can only wonder just how long the fun will last though...having the original X-Men here in the "present" is really making for some wild and crazy confusion. I read X-Titles regularly and sometimes I have to stop for a second to straighten the plot out. Complicated plots are what drive the X-Men franchise though, so honestly I'm not really complaining here.
Again, watching the interactions between Scott (Cyclops) and Jean while they fumble around like teenagers trying to explain their feelings for one another is classic, and masterful, storytelling (something we've come to expect from Bendis at this point). The ensuing battle with the Shi'ar warriors is also classic, but not so masterful, Bendis storytelling though. Just about every good guy/bad guy/confused guy fight convention, including the lateness of the cavalry arriving, is thrown in. Long term superhero comic book artist Stuart Immonen (whom I most fondly remember from his days as the artist on Adventures of Superman in the early 90s), brings Bendis' plot to striking visual life...including the obligatory, full two page spread of The Guardians of The Galaxy at the end of the issue.
Overall, I hope that this crossover between The X-Men and The Guardians of The Galaxy really helps boost interest in the upcoming film, but more importantly gives Bendis a plot convention to help make this latest "Trial of Jean Grey" storyline interesting. Again, putting aside the laughable attempts at making All New X-Men 022.Now The Trial of Jean Grey #1 appealing to speculators, this whole thing feels a little too familiar. Hopefully, Bendis will find a way to surprise us with something new.
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