Writer Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler Stuart Immonen
Inker Wade Von Grawbadger
Colorist Marte Gracia
Letterer VC’s Cory Petit
Okay, this is now my favorite issue of the year. It has everything you want in a comic. People talk about how they miss the down time issues. This issue is all about recovering from Battle of the Atom, and stating steps to move forward.
The entire creative team really brought it this issue.
This issue takes place, seconds after the epilogue where Kitty and the Original Five leave the Jean Grey School.
Also, Lockheed is there! I have been worried that he was going to be forgotten about. This is all I needed to see, one panel with him in the new place. Would it be cool to have two panels? Yes, but that is what the future is for. Lockheed says, murp. Say it aloud, it is an odd sound.
I like how Kitty is the only one with a duffel bag, also that she is holding it with one arm. That is one strong lady.
Magik explains that the New Xavier School is a reappropriated Weapon X facility. Hank is quick to ask what is Weapon X.
That first splash page, where you see Cyclops’ team. Never notice before how lack of color his team his. He is practically all in red, but everyone else is in black or white.
Feel bad for Hank, bare foot in that Canadian snow.
I really like Kitty and Cyclops’ interaction. She punches his shoulder, she gets why he choose this location.
Cyclops explains to the Original Five, what the Weapon X program was about.
We get the two teams meeting. Which is nice to see teams meeting for once with handshakes instead of kicks to the face.
Nice moment with Bobby and Tempus. He likes her accent, she says all Americans do. He then unloads all of his thoughts on the previous crossover. She left a while ago, which is a great sight gag. Earlier in her history with Cyclops, she was the only approachable gal, so she was flirted with and now she has no time for it.
We also get the Cuckoos showing Jean to her room. Irma is the brunette, Phoebe is thinking of going red, which I am all for, let the three of them have their own look, then they can have their own voice.
Celeste really lays into Jean. Jean tries to be nice but it escalates.
Celeste was always the closest to Emma. Jean makes a reference to their origins, which I still hate that they were not just five gals with a hive mind, they were the successful test tube clones of Emma. Such a horrible origin. I am now back in the process of forgetting that is their origin.
Poor Benjamin, still just standing around, watching. I like how big Immonen draws Hank. He is suppose to have big hands and feet, and that really comes across when he is standing around actual items.
Magneto shows up, Hank doesn’t quite know how to handle him. Magneto created the communication system and Hank finds the setup cute. Not a word Magneto associates with his actions. Gets a great line regarding the unspoken subtext, I like this Maagneto.
We don’t get it this issue, but I have always been a fan of Kitty and Magneto’s relationship. She can thank him for returning her to Earth. It took a lot out of both of them, but we never got her saying thanks.
We finally get Hank talking to Jean about the kiss. It gets heated fast.
Scott shows up, clearly having heard the tail end of that conversation, stating Professor K wants them. I sort of love that title for her.
Kitty called a meeting, only Scott shows up for it. He is the only one there, as Bobby and Warren are sleeping off the crossover. She dismisses him, he doesn’t like being called Slim anymore.
This is the heart of the issue, from this point on. It is so fantastic to see Kitty and Illyana together again. Their costumes are so different! I sort of want to see Kitty talj to Illyana about it, as it is such a radical change.
Illyana starts to talk about Kitty’s recent break up, Kitty rathet not. He was just another poor boyfriend choice. There is this great beat when Kitty realizes she has only had three boyfriends, and one of them’s sister is right there. So awkward.
Kitty says she hasn’t spoken with Piotr, which is true, she only wrote him a letter and gave him some painting supplies in Cable & X-Force 6.
We finally see that Illyana does feel horrible about how she and her brother ended things. He was going crazy, and she could have turned it off at anytime. It was rather harsh, but I was cool with it.
Illyana really commits to a hug, but Kitty apparently is always in phase mode around Illyana (or was in phase mode to cut down on the cold) and Illyana goes right through Kitty. Another wonderful sight gag of Illyana falling head first into the snow.
Great with Kitty holding Illyana while both are sitting in the snow. Illyana must be so cold in the snow, in that outfit. I know she is Russian and Queen of Limbo, but it has to be cold.
41 hours later, the team is reunited. I really want Magik to be the seventh member of the team.
Kitty talks to Bobby about his defense mechanism. It is neither cute or funny. What is funny is she compares him with Hank, and how Hank is a good listener. Of course, he wasn’t listening.
Kitty gives Illyana the go ahead. Illyana magically changes the Original Five into their new uniforms. Which the cover is super misleading, a great cover for three months ago when the future was uncertain. Now, it looks like she is sad because she liked those original costumes. Which she obviously does, as her current costume is just a modified version of the basic training uniform. Kitty is due for a costume change.
These new uniforms, Jean is in green, a good color for her. I wish that Scott and Bobby were not both shades of blue. Angel is in red. Poor Hank, stilk bootless in the snow. Hank is in orange, which is nice as there are not many orange theme heroes.
I guess the implication is that either or both Kitty and Illyana created the new look. Hank only asks how the new uniforms manifested, Illyana tells him via magic. She also gives him a one sentence recap of her own origin and powers.
“I am a trained sorcerer working under the tutelage of Doctor Stange after being raised as a child in the Limbo dimension by the demon Belasco.”
I keep reading that Magik is being train by Dr. Strange, but has that ever really been shown?
Kitty gives one of her classic speeches about what their new mission statement is, pretty much the same as before, but now they know how important it is, as they have seen the future.
I like that it keeps getting brought up that Kitty was the one who ended the relationship.
Immonen uses the technique that I really like on the next page. He copies the previous page’s top panel, but under it, we get Jean hearing both Scott and Hank’s thoughts. Both are thinking about Jean. What I really enjoy is that both, towards the end of the page, both seem to be getting over Jean, rather quickly. Once she isn’t the only available girl in two blocks, she really loses the thing that made her so attractive.
Jean is overcome and levitates herself, for the very time. She cannot control it. Luckily Angel flies up and catches her. He did confess loving her, in a throw away line during the first part of Battle of the Atom Issue Two. He can have her, as far as I can care. You know, if Jean is okay with that. I am at that point, where I don’t really need to see characters in a couple situation. Though it is nice for those characters, at first, most comic relationships end horribly, one way or the other.
An alarm goes off and the team is heading to Florida.
Such a great issue, deals with the previous storyline and transitions to the next. Looks like, from the next issue image, that Magik is along for the ride. Probably due to her being the ride.