Thursday, August 21, 2014
Review: Guardians of the Galaxy/ All New X-Men: The Trial of Jean Grey
The trial of Jean Grey is a story running through the Guardians of the Galaxy and All New X-Men titles. I am enjoying both titles so I was looking forward to this one, curious to see where they would go with it. Did it pass muster? Yes- big time. This is quite simply the best comic story I've read in a long time.
The story starts off with Peter Quill (aka Star Lord) in a bar having a drink, and Gamora shows up- or someone who looks like Gamora. Turns out she's a shapeshifting bounty hunter and Star Lord is captured- looks like he's in trouble but lucky for him the bounty hunter encounters the real Gamora before she can get him off world. Gamora and fellow Guardian Angela make short work of the bounty hunter, and they regroup with the rest of the team. It is then that they discover that the Shi'Ar have decided to grab Jean grey from Earth and put her on trial for the actions of her future self. Turns out that in the past (Jean's future) she did certain things that earned her the enmity of the Shi'ar empire.
However in All New X Men, the young original X Men have come forward in time to the present day- and the Shi'ar catch wind of it. The Shi'ar want to put the young Jean on trial for something her later self will do (make sense?).
The Guardians hear of this and show up to help- too late. Jean is gone. They and the X Men join forces and set off for the Shi'ar to rescue Jean. Meanwhile Jean is being counseled by a Shi'ar telepath named Oracle. It becomes clear to Oracle that this Jean has no memory of the events she is on trial for, and while she is loyal to the Shi'ar, Oracle has serious questions about what they are doing. The Guardians and X Men of course show up, but they have some unexpected allies as well. The Starjammers appear- a band of interstellar pirates with an interesting link to Earth.
There is a lot to like in this graphic novel. The teams mesh well, and the writer seems to be having fun with all the banter between the two groups. Brian Bendis' strength is his dialogue, and it's on full display here. There's a very cinematic quality to the story. When the Shi'ar are after the Guardians at one point Angela asks if they can get closer to the Shi'ar ship so she can engage them, and one of the X Men asks "closer?"
This is a rollicking space adventure with colorful characters and a lots of humor. Star Lord here is a little, more serious than the movie version, but he has his snarky moments too. I really liked his interaction with Kitty PRyde of the X Men- they didn't really flirt per se, but there was a little something there. Those two would make an interesting couple! They address this a little at the end , and I thought it was nicely done. Hope those two get to meet again soon.
If you're into the Guardians or X Men at all, or just want a fun adventure, check this out. Good stuff.