I continue to really love what Bendis is doing with the X-Men titles. Each issue delivers action, drama and interesting character interactions (as well as lots and lots of talking), all masterfully drawn by Stuart Immonen. This particular instalment deals with the fall-out of OG Angel deciding to join Cyclops and his Uncanny X-Men team. This of course leads to a lot of arguing between both sides, but mostly it’s all about Jean Grey’s reaction. She kind of flips out, and tries to stop Warren leaving, and gets involved in a mind-battle with the Stepford Cuckoos.
I think what Bendis is doing with Jean is fascinating. Because she’s dead most of the time, Jean is often put on a pedestal as this perfect, virtuous woman who was everyone’s true love. But by using a young version of the character, we are getting to see the person behind the myth for the first time in years and see that she’s a complex character even without the manipulations of the Phoenix. Jean is very powerful, and because she can’t control it, she is dangerous. This is the most interesting the character has been in a long time, perhaps even in my lifetime. Also interesting was the idea that was raised in Jean and Kitty’s conversation, that the dynamic between the OG X-Men has been completely changed, whereas before they always stuck together, forming X-Factor and all of that stuff, now, they are split. Throughout this series I have been most interested in how the arrival of the original team has effected the modern-day characters (hell, that was Beast’s intent, to have it make Cyclops change his ways), but now we have to think on how it’s effected the original team themselves. These guys aren’t a plot device, Bendis is treating them like real characters.
Of course, there is still plenty of good stuff to be wrung out of present-day reactions, for example, next issue we’ll see the OG team come face to face with the Uncanny Avengers and Cyclops’ brother Havok. Correct me if I’m wrong, but at the point in time that the original team have been plucked from, does Cyclops even know that his brother is still alive? Oh yeah, and Mystique is continuing to stir up trouble, that’s fun stuff, I liked how she’s not just targeting mutant-related stuff, she’s stealing Tony Stark’s money too. This is just a brilliant comic, each issue of both this and Uncanny are momentous occasions for me!