writer: Brian Bendis / artist: Andrea Sorrentino, Marcelo Maiolo / Marvel Comics
So, Brian Bendis is coming off a rather sluggish story arc in All New X-Men that… don’t get me wrong… we’re ALL glad happened (because you can never really have enough Miles Morales in a Bendis book), but we just wish would have gotten to the point a little quicker. But now, the X-Men have been tapped for yet another crossover (since there’s been no evidence they’ll be involved in Secret Wars) with their old friends, the Guardians of the Galaxy. The X-events have been hit or miss lately, but hey… let’s see if this one proves to be any different.
So, this issue of All New X-Men is actually the fourth installment of the “Black Vortex” saga. There are two things you absolutely need to know at this point about the Black Vortex.
1) It’s about a mirror that makes you an uber-powerful version of yourself. Starlord’s dad wants it. It’s already transformed Gamora, Beast and Young Angel. Starlord and Kitty might break up over this.
2) You can probably jump into this book without having read the necessary issues of Guardians of the Galaxy and Legendary Starlord… but it would be a hard book to follow.
Right there, the accessibility factor of this issue isn’t very high. I mean, even if the X-Men returned from the Ultimate Universe and happened to stumble into this conflict… granted, most of us would’ve complained it was a shoehorn move, but at least we would have been more prepared than the obligatory “previously in…” page at the beginning. Other than that, this is a pretty good book. We get a few pages where we drop in on the gang chasing after their ‘roided-up friends, but a lot of it is focused on what Beast, Gamora and Angel are going to do now that they’re self-styled gods (but not really because they don’t seem THAT powerful, to be honest). The only real problem is that this seems like it would be a bit more believable if they were imbued with the Phoenix, but we know that’s not going to happen. The real upside here, however, is Andrea Sorrentino’s artwork. Although it’s the most drastically different style of the crossover so far, it’s also the best looking. It’s very appropriate for a book about superheroes who’ve ascended to gods (except not really).
Bottom Line: If you feel like shelling out money for the other books to catch up, it’s totally worth a look.
Score: 8 out of 10