All-New X-Men #23
By Brian Michael Bendis, Stuart Immonen & Wade Von Grawbadger
We’re about halfway through this mini-crossover and the first two issues essentially showed how the Guardians of the Galaxy and the All-New X-Men got involved with the Shi’ar. This is the issue where both teams finally get the chance to work together.
This issue is actually pretty funny. Bobby and Angel give the reader a few laughs and Rocket Raccoon is usually the comic relief on the Guardians side. Bendis does a solid job of making it easy to catch up if readers are not buying both titles. One of the things that works this issue is the way Bendis is writing Scott. His mood is somber and worried. While all the other All-New X-Men are joking and laughing, Scott is thinking and taking in the gravity of the situation. Bendis also does a nice job of acknowledging that neither of these groups know each other very well, so they have to take things slow with one another. This is a pretty well written issue and Bendis definitely knows both sets of characters, but he leaves us with a cliffhanger that makes the wait for the next part a little harder.
Stuart Immonen has some really nice panels in this issue. The scene where Jean talks to the Shi’ar telepath and the background shows her as the Phoenix is an awesome page. From the first panel, we get some images of Jean in Scott’s mind that are drawn well and are interesting to look at. While Immonen excels in those panels, there are a couple of muddy and less detailed images that are a bit off putting, but it happens when artists are on a tight schedule. Overall Stuart draws a really good issue with battle scenes that are very detailed and cool to look at.
This is the third part of a five part crossover and things are starting to heat up. Bendis is using all of his creative juices and Stuart Immonen is doing good work in the art department. Although this is just a small crossover, it actually has been better than some line wide crossovers. Here’s hoping Bendis can deliver with two more intriguing issues.