Writer: Brian Michael Bendis / Art:Mike Del Mundo / Marvel

So, a week or two ago, I found myself complaining about Jean Grey’s de facto leadership position in All New X-Men. With Cyclops off having father/son time in space, if the next most qualified person for leadership is the girl who grows up to swallow galaxies, shit might look kinda rough for your squad’s life expectancy. This month’s issue sees one of the chaperones of the team stepping in to round off those edges.

This week, Emma Frost takes Jean on an impromptu field trip to Madripoor (think Hamsterdam from The Wire…but for mutants) for some on-the-job training. The awkward dynamic between these two hasn’t gotten much spotlight previously throughout Bendis’ tenure on the book previously, but this issue more than makes up for lost time. It’s nice to see a character that was previously coddled and tiptoed around for years getting some hard lessons from the Emma Frost School of Hard Knocks.

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Mike Del Mundo’s artwork seems like a weird choice at first, but the X-books have become known for their more stylized choices for artists to break up the monotony and set certain issues apart from all the others. In this case, it’s a successful attempt. The best part of the payoff is how gorgeous the big square off between Jean and the Blob looks. Hopefully, we get a few more of these entertaining little tidbits before Bendis says goodbye to this run for good.

Bottom Line: A really good looking, well scripted attempt to address some long overdue team bonding. 8 out of 10.

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