Guardians of The Galaxy/All-New X-Men: The Trial of Jean Grey
Collection: Guardians of the Galaxy (2013) #11-13 and All-New X-Men #22-24
Publisher: Marvel Comics © 2014-2015
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Guardians of The Galaxy #11-13
Artists: Sara Pichelli with Stuart Immonen (#12) & David Marquez (#13)
Additional Inks, #12: Wade Von Grawbadger
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Art: Sara Pichelli & Justin Ponsor
Editors: Ellie Pyle & Stephen Wacker
All-New X-Men #22-24
Penicler: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Art: Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger & Marte Gracia
Assistant Editor: Xander Jarowey
Associate Editor: Jordan D. White
Editor: Nick Lowe
Right now the original X-Men of teenage Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Angel and Iceman are in our time. Gladiator and the Shi’ar Empire learn of this and quickly fear a future, repeat destructive event from the Phoenix Force that originally took control of this timeline’s currently deceased Jean Grey. The Shi’ar Empire plans to take Jean Grey and hold her accountable for crimes that she will commit in the future. Not unless, the Guardians of the Galaxy have anything to do with it.
This cross-over was a blast for me given as a child I was a die-hard X-Men fan and grew up with the Phoenix stories from Chris Claremont. Now currently I’m a Guardians fan and easily swayed by the All-New X-Men – a series that gives me a taste and feel of the old but in a contemporary setting. It helps here that Bendis is the main writer on both series and this cross-over is contained tightly within this trade, between only two different series unlike other events that cross over more than two series and taking in numerous writers and creative teams. Bendis manages to fit in the Star Jammers in as well. As both teams, wait; make those three teams join together to battle the Imperial Guard, this story does not once feel bloated. Even though there are three issues from Guardians of the Galaxy it seems this cross-over mainly serves and caters to the X-Men, making it feel more like an X-Men centric story, which I had no problems. So far in the All-New X-Men series I have not seen Jean Grey this vulnerable before, along with her complicated relationship with Cyclops. Yet, there are cute moments with Groot & Rocket as always, even Beast adds some. Bendis keeps this story bounded down with deep moments, especially the part between a young Scott Summers and his father, Corsair, which greatly moved me. Bendis steers us into a very emotional and almost conflicting ending with both happiness and some minor discomfort. But that’s life after all, not everything comes with a nice bow.
The art is fantastic as Pichelli continues to turn in great, consistent work. I would argue here work is getting better as the characters feel less and less cartoony and standard and more detailed and real. We bring in Stuart Immonen for X-Men and though they both have distinct styles, their styles are not too distinct to disjoint the book at all. Immonen works shows best in all the panels with Jean with the Shi’ar. It can be difficult for some artists but Immonen can depict Jean consistently panel to panel with a whole slew of emotion and facial expressions. Our colorists really help bring out her vibrant red hair in these darkly inked spots. Though beautiful, you get a teasing vibe that with hair that crimson that the Phoenix is lying dormant in Jean. I dare say these panels outshine everything else Immonen does throughout the book. I like how Immonen decided to make Starlord’s father slightly less dashing. On the other hand I feel he made Corsair appear too dashing and too young looking. Plus, I feel he was too on the nose with the pirate look for Corsair.
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