Cyclops’s X-men are under attack by the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants from the future. Their resident shape-shifter injured X-23 in the last issue, and in this one they begin their telepathic assault. And if that’s not enough for one comic, we also get part of this brotherhood’s backstory.
This comic explores Xavier junior’s past. We find out he’s the offspring of Charles Xavier and Mystique (disguised as someone with the last name of MacTaggert.) Abandoned as a baby, there’s no wonder why he has issues with the X-Men. Later on in the comic, we see his first encounter with the group’s shape-shifter. It’s a sad backstory that’s told quick and efficient, making sure there’s enough room for the fight scene.
The fight itself is just fun. The brotherhood is making great use of their powers by telepathically assaulting the X-Men’s own telepaths, while their shape-shifter, Raze, screws with the rest of them. In some ways it’s difficult to figure out exactly what is happening, and the brotherhood’s manipulative ways could open the door for all sorts of wild twists in the issues to come. While the chaos makes it difficult to focus on this title’s main cast, it’s great to see the All New X-Men work alongside Cyclops’s own team of young mutants. The banter between Emma Frost and young Jean Grey is also fun.
One thing you’ll notice is that both Angel and X-23 are absent from the fight. Seeing how issue 29 and 30 both have Angel on the cover prominently (with him kissing X-23 on 30’s cover), I assume at least one of them will have a major part to play in defeating the Brotherhood. The descriptions for both issues also mention the brotherhood. If this issue is anything to go by, this storyline should be great.
As always, Stuart Immonen’s art is fantastic. The flashback scenes show a good variety of emotion, with a distraught Mystique doubting her ability to raise a child. The bald Xavier as a teenager is the splitting image of his father, and his emotions are clear during the tragedy that occurs when his powers first activate. During the fight scene, even with the red emergency power lights are on, it’s easy to see what’s going on and to tell the different characters apart.
While there isn’t nearly as much character drama as usual in this issue, it’s still a great X-men comic. Not everyone will enjoy Bendis’s style of writing, but if you’re an X-men fan who hasn’t given this title a chance yet, you should.