As much as this features the Guardians of the Galaxy, this is more of an X-Men comic. Character-wise, the focus is mostly on Cyclops and Jean Grey. Cyclops is reacting to meeting the father he believed to be dead while Jean Grey’s trial begins. As an X-Men fan, I’m ok with this. That said, this isn’t the greatest “Guardians of the Galaxy” comic. As such, I’ll be reviewing it as if it’s an issue of “All New X-Men”.
Jean Grey’s traumatic experience with the Shi’ar continues. Being locked away in a solitary sphere hasn’t done her emotions very well. That said, she does seem to be getting along with Oracle well enough. Meanwhile, Gladiator continues to be ignorant as he always is, and it’s entertaining to see the members of the imperial guard questioning him.
This comic’s main focus is on Cyclops though. What a whirlwind of emotions he must be going through, and the writing here is very good. There’s a brief flashback showing the plane crash that separated the Summers brothers and their parents. His emotions are intense enough that he needs some alone time. This is where Laura comes in; to show her newly developed empathy that most of her recent writers have forgotten about. Apart from her teen-like dialogue in her first few ANXM issues, Bendis is doing a great job at writing her and selling their potential as a couple.
The only real Guardians moments comes from the ending as they plan their attack, a brief conversation between Kitty Pryde and Starlord and a glimpse at Starlord’s father. Each of these scenes work in their own way, whether they develop the story further or bring a bit of comic relief. Star Lord and Rocket Racoon’s comments on father/son relationships are also funny.
The art is simply fantastic. The opening pages help tell Cyclops’s backstory in as little space as possible. The group spreads again show all the characters from both teams, showing hints of their personalities. This time they’re also joined by the Starjammers, yet it never feels overcrowded. Despite their age difference you can see resemblance between Cyclops and his father. Character expression are very well drawn, especially Cyclops despite his eyes being covered. The 2-page spread with the opening of the trial is simply grand, with all sorts of species in attendance in a giant auditorium. The only oddity (not necessarily a problem) is that Kitty Pryde looks a little too attracted to Starlord in one panel.
I was worried that this crossover would interrupt All New X-Men’s storytelling and character development, but it actually seems to be doing those wonders. And considering there hasn’t been much character focus on the Guardians, it doesn’t seem a huge loss that they don’t have much focus in this issue either. If you’ve been enjoying All New X-Men so far, you should be picking up this crossover. If you like Bendis’s Guardians series this is still worth reading, just keep in mind that this is pretty much an X-Men comic right now.
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This issue’s great. Some really good work with Scott and Jean. I love how genre savvy the Imperial Guard are – of course the X-Men will show up, it’s what they do. Everyone knows that. I’m worried that the Cyclops solo title will disrupt the budding relationship between Scott and Laura; that’d be a shame.
The art is gorgeous. Pichelli and Immonen are both great artists, and they outdid themselves. Their work looks even better than it usually does, and considering how talented they are, that’s an accomplishment.
X-23 and young Cyclops. Man I want to give both of them a big hug. They’re so stinking cute. Bendis is doing a great job at adding necessary recapping. This crossover is obviously to get more people exposed to Guardians of the Galaxy, and the new jumping point is supposed to appeal to new readers. And I think it’s well done without bogging down the story. But yeah, the X-Men are hogging this book for sure. No complaints, though
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