By Brian Michael Bendis, Sara Pichelli and Marte Gracia
When the premise of All-New X-Men first leaked, there were hordes of fans who were displeased with it. As we wrap up issue number 30 of the series, those fans cries have dissipated. This is not only one of Marvel’s top selling books, but it’s also been one of their best overall and Brian Michael Bendis is responsible for that.
This issue Bendis adds a little depth to X-23 and Angel, which is great to see, because Laura has been getting the shaft lately. Bendis shows how their friendship is evolving and it’s nice to see them out of harms way for a minute. Brian also continues to write Bobby very well. His commentary and overall humor were a welcome addition this issue and he didn’t over do it. One of the things Bendis said he was really excited to explore the dynamic of Emma Frost and Jean Grey, and we get a bit of a scuffle this issue, but Bendis is clever about it. He doesn’t give the reader what they expect, and that really works. As it sometimes happens in Bendis books, he over talks on certain pages, which is forgivable this issue due to the quality of the overall book.
The art is taken over by Sara Pichelli this issue, and it’s excellent. Her and Bendis have a good rapport from their work together on Guardians of the Galaxy, and it shows on their collaboration here. Pichelli uses a split panel between Emma and Jean to show their facial expressions, as they get ready for a mental throw down. It’s not only cool to see, it’s also effective. She also does a phenomenal job on the few flashbacks to Grant Morrison’s run where Scott and Emma have their telepathic affair. These are drawn with great style and the colors by Marte Gracia only help the page’s look. Pichelli should be proud of herself for turning in an astounding book, she is a serious talent in this industry.
Even though this was a bit of a relaxed issue, Bendis managed to cram some good characterization into it and make it an enjoyable read. Sara Pichelli is wonderful in everyway this issue. It would be wonderful is she would come over to All-New X-Men for good, but we’ll take what we can get. Bendis and Pichelli deliver another very good issue from a surprisingly good series.