Before I get into the nitty-gritty of this review, can I just say how stupid it is for Marvel to release all 4 of the major X-Men titles in one day. Yes, they are all very good reads, but it would be a lot better (and easier on my weekly budgeting) if they spread things out a little.
Aaaaanyways, as for this comic, it was another very enjoyable issue of All-New X-Men, with the usual mix of Immonen’s fantastic art, fun dialogue and fresh new eyes on the X-Men world from Bendis. The focus of this issue is on the X-Men hunting down Mystique and The Brotherhood, and we get that, with an exciting fight scene at the end. But as usual with Bendis, it’s the dialogue-heavy stuff that’s most interesting.
First off, we find out just why exactly Mystique has been stealing so much money, she wants to buy Madripoor from Hydra. This is a very cool reveal, and it’s cool to see a villain thinking about the bigger picture for once. I loved how Mystique admitted she could have used her powers to infiltrate Hydra and get Madripoor that way, but she’d rather do it straight up. She may be a mega-thief, but Mystique has a code.
Hot on the Brotherhood’s trail, the X-Men not only find time to make fun of Iron Man’s stupid secret identity, but also to react to Alex Summers’ infamous ‘Call Me Alex’ speech from Uncanny Avengers. I thought this was an interesting scene, certainly better than the way Remender himself reacted to it in last week’s Uncanny. Because this is a different writer, it doesn’t feel like caving into pressure from fan complaints, it feels like just another perspective. I do think it’s a bit ridiculous for everyone to be taking Havok’s speech so seriously in the real world, it’s a metaphor! But I do appreciate seeing it have ramifications for the characters inside the story. Plus, Bendis knew just how to undercut it by having Iceman crack a joke. I seriously love Bendis’ Iceman, both here and in the Ultimate Universe. He’s just hilarious.
Of course, the big deal finish to this issue is the return of the fucking Phoenix! As the X-Men bust in on the Brotherhood and Hydra, Lady Mastermind spots Jean Grey, and seeks revenge for her dad. I doubt this is the ‘real’ Phoenix, it’s probably just a part of Wyngarde’s illusions, but you never know, this series is constantly surprising me.