Review: The Trial of Jean Grey (GotG & All-New X-Men) by Brian Michael Bendis & Stuart Immonen

Guardians of the Galaxy/All-New X-Men: The Trial of Jean GreyGuardians of the Galaxy/All-New X-Men: The Trial of Jean Grey by Brian Michael Bendis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


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***This is the first of the “Green Theme” Buddy Reads with the Shallow Readers, criteria being: Drax and Gamora are both green.***

I might be tempted to almost call this 4.5, but 4 seems like its not an insult.

I’ve been following the All-New X-Men, where the past in the present have to be smacked in the face with who they became, and what they did and are doing. It’s a great idea, especially since Bobby may be about the only one who doesn’t have serious drama to look forward to.
Kitty is the perfect leader of this group, because she was the young teen alongside grown up versions of most of these people, so it’s fair to say she can relate to them, and actually knows them as well.

The GOTG, well if I have to explain them, you’re obviously living under a Rock…in North Korea. (Don’t hack me Kim!)

They’ve added a new female ‘Angela’ to the team, and she seems to be a warrior and a half, who both Gamora and Rocket have crushes on.
Rocket Raccoon is by far the funniest thing to happen to Marvel in a long time. There’s one scene with Tony Stark recording a message to send to them, now that he’s back on Earth, and he decides to erase it and try again, only for Rocket to inform him it’s live. The expression on Tony’s face is priceless, as the Guardians were the one gang where Iron Man/Tony Stark wasn’t the cool guy or the funny one, he was the outsider trying hard to fit in and be loved. I LOVE that Bendis has the gumption to write a major character like Tony as kinda the “hey guys, I’m cool too!” character he is there.

Guardian, (Purple Mohawk Alien head of the Sh’iar Guard) decides that with Jean Grey now alive, she should be put to trial for genocide when the Dark Phoenix destroyed a solar system. To break it down, by the end of the book, that’s about the worst decision he could have made.

The GOTG discover that Jean Grey is alive, and go to investigate, but show up just in time to be too late…in Canada.

Gamora: What is a Canada?
Peter Quill/Star-Lord: It’s cold and distant; you’ll love it.

This leads to the X-Men/GOTG team up. Realize that the X-Men are from the past (1960s) where Neil Armstrong has yet to walk on the moon…and Beast is losing his shit about space travel and aliens. It’s fun to see.
The interactions are great, because Bendis writes both books usually, so he knows the characters very well.

The interplay between Bobby and Rocket is hilarious. Rocket getting mad for being called a raccoon, Bobby being excited to talk to a talking raccoon (like a Disney movie he says…funny and a plug for the parent company lol) and so forth.

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be space and the Shi’ar if a certain band of space pirates didn’t show up…yes you know the ones…

This leads to a well done touching moment between a father and a son, only this time, the father gets the same son back for the second time.

So now we’ve got 3 teams all together going up against Guardian and the Shi’ar, which makes for an awesome throwdown, all the while with Jean in captivity, and being made to see what damage she caused as the Dark Phoenix.

Add to the mixture, J-Son, Peter’s father, showing up and pretending to be caring about Jean and the Phoenix, but having an ulterior motive of course…

So the 3 teams make their way to the Shi’ar homeworld, and shockingly, a battle ensues…

I won’t go into any more specifics, but we see some very new developments, and some major left turns.

But we get some perfect mixture of humour and serious throughout the book, and some gorgeous Stuart Immonen artwork. (I had been very upset when he left All New X-Men, so I’m very happy to see him here again).

There’s also some solid flirtation between Kitty and Peter, who make a decent connection, and of course, some great bits with Groot talking to trees, and making Rocket weirded out…especially back in Canada, when they run into real raccoons.

This is a fantastic, and sensible crossover (for one that involves time travellers stranded, space aliens, talking trees and raccoons, and a gigantic space cosmic entity made of energy…) and I highly recommend it, entertaining, funny, and a good story too, with definite future ramifications.


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Review: Ultimate Comics X-Men: World War X – by Brian Wood

Ultimate Comics X-Men by Brian Wood Volume 3Ultimate Comics X-Men by Brian Wood Volume 3 by Brian Wood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Here’s the main thing: This whole volume is called World War X.

Mutant on Mutant violence. Utopia versus Tian.

What’s cool? Jean Gray is a bigger villain here than Magneto ever was in 616.
Just pure evil looking down on everyone.

Kitty shores up the troops (cue the arrival of Colossus), and realizes she can’t be a pacifist.

Jimmy Hudson betrays someone…or does he? Or he does? Hmm? It costs him…or does it?

Pixie is a hero.
Yes, Pixie.

Iceman and Husk appear on the side of angels.

Jean here written by Brian Wood is a delusional dictator who wants all power and control over the mutant people.

She does horrible things to Utopia in order to defeat them…she REALLY hates Kitty.

Everyone comes together to fight her off (funny enough, there’s not a ton of people who side with Jean…some nobodies…not even a Toad or Pyro to be seen lol.

The other cool part is the reaction of the US Gov’t/human populace to the events.

Kitty goes all out here, for a pacifist, she realizes somethings are bigger than ideals.

The final showdown between Kitty and Jean is pretty awesome. I’m sure it would have been moreso if I’d actually known what happened in vols 2-4…

I think this was the end of this series.

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Review: Ultimate Comics X-Men, by Brian Wood

Ultimate Comics X-Men by Brian Wood Volume 2Ultimate Comics X-Men by Brian Wood Volume 2 by Brian Wood
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

***I’m way behind, I only read the first Volume by Nick Spencer, so I’m behind about 18 issues or so, and I have no idea where most of this is coming from***

Kitty Pryde is the pacifist leader of the X-Men, living in Utopia (this time a reservation, terraformed, as opposed to an island). She has 2 factions, those that follow her, and those that follow Mach 2, a teen Morlock Mutant.

Those that follow Kitty include Storm (very much the same as Marvel 616 version), James “Jimmy” Hudson (son of Wolverine, very similar); Rogue (very different, sort of Earth Mother type here), and some others.

Mach 2 (Magneto type power over metal) has Warpath (same as 616), Psylocke (a very different version), and some others. Mach 2 is about retribution against human crimes (again similar to Magneto).

Throw into the mix that Jean Gray (who is Karen Grant here) is the mistress of Tian (the land of Zorn and Xorn) is at odds with Kitty, and wants all the mutants to live under her in Tian.

Clear yet?

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Ya.

So meanwhile, the humans don’t like things, so bad humans send General Ross (yes, that one) to kick them off the reservation…except, he’s actually a pretty decent guy here, not the same 616 maniac.

Turns out, someone in Utopia is manipulating events to get Utopia to fall apart…

shock. If you don’t like teams fighting themselves, then this isn’t the book for you.

By the time the end of the volume rolls around, Jean Grey has infiltrated Utopia, they’ve fought off the military (thanks to Rogue and the environment – utopia is like Krakoa, an intelligent ecosystem), and Kitty and Jean have a head to head…which puts things thru to the next volume.

Meanwhile, Hudson has managed to get both factions in Utopia to work together (but only to fight invaders..)

Ya…so that’s what happens.

I don’t think I missed much.

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X-Men: Battle of the Atom; by Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron & Brian Wood

X-Men: Battle of the AtomX-Men: Battle of the Atom by Brian Michael Bendis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

OK All-New X-Men makes a LOT more sense now.

I read all of that and all of Wolverine & the X-Men before this.

Now that I’ve read it, it makes a bit more sense.

But still, as a whole, meh plus?

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Yes that’s me straining to enjoy a bowel movement, much like RDJ.

There’s stuff to like here, as many friends have already mentioned:

It flows very well, you hardly know when you’ve changed books, because it flows man. Like the river. Whoa.

Aaron and Bendis are what’s missing from Wood’s X-Men…ie HUMOUR. Wood’s X-(wo)Men would be a perfect DCU book.

Iceman is awesome. Seeing not 1, not, 2, not 3…oh ya.

Also explains why Kitty leaves the Jean Grey School (and Iceman), and why the All New (PAST) X-Men end up where they are.

Explains why Jean has some serious confusion about things.

There’s also a lot to not like:

SOOO MUCH ANGER!!! INFIGHTING! GARRRGH!

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This is from a documentary of my high school…I actually saw some kid flip a whole cafeteria table over during a MAGIC card game…it was awesome. I was hoping to see some spellcasting or at least a magic wand shoved somewhere dark, but no such luck…

If Hank McCoy is so smart, why has he continually fuct this up? Bringing people forward in time worked so well, why not bring more back in time? That oughta be cool right?

We get 3 versions of Beast, 2 Cyclops, 2 Jean (I mean…no…maybe we don’t? ummm…ya.) 4 Iceman…but only 1 Angel??? I mean seriously, he’s the only one who says “DUDES, WE DON’T BELONG HERE! LET US GO HOME TO THE LAND OF TV DINNERS AND HOTPANTS!”

Shockingly, there’s only 1 Wolverine, and that’s kinda telling, knowing what we know now.

There’s too many monologues and fighting, not enough questioning why, and then Kitty gets mad at the present X-Men (Wolverine’s gang) for trying to get Cyclops and Jean back when they run away (the past ones) and don’t want to go back…umm…isn’t that what you all knew you had to do to start with??? I mean I know letting people decide things for themselves was a good idea, but you can’t seriously think letting the teen X-Originals decide to run off and stay hiding in the present was a good idea?? Ugh. No.

There’s some cool characters we get to see:

Future Icem(e)n; Future Colossus, Magik gets to really let loose, we see how some of the X-kids do in the future (Quentin Quire) and we see what shit goes down (to a certain degree).

I love that Wolverine and Magneto come across as the voices of reason here…that’s too funny.

Iceman from the Future is great. Needs his own series, pronto. If it weren’t for Bobby Drake, I don’t think I’d have laughed once…”So If we’re going to the future, shouldn’t we pick up a sports almanac or something?”

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Yup. THAT is how you do time travel and funny.

This book really hovers into nearly DCU levels of seriousness…not loving it.
I can see how this isn’t really meant to be funny, but see the Iceman? Make-a-the-funny words? MORE OF THIS!

So, it’s OK, there’s a few nifty moments, but it also causes more problems than it solves.

It is what it is, and if you’re not an X-person, stay away. FAR AWAY!

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