writer: Brian Michael Bendis / artist: Kris Anka / Marvel Comics
As Brian Bendis’ run on the X-books comes to a close, the issues seem to be getting more intimate and character based, quite the opposite of what you expect at the end of a long run. Cyclops finally facing the idea of getting his shit together, making peace with Emma Frost. Young Cyclops reuniting with the All New Xs and dealing with the fallout of leaving on his impromptu father/son trip. Jean Grey and Emma having a play date. Now, it’s time for yet another girls night out.
This week, just as Cyclops is in the middle of walking away from everything to face his nervous breakdown, Kitty Pryde and Magik take a little trip to Monster Island to rekindle their long time friendship. With Kitty’s head still spinning from previous events and Illyanna still cranky from Cyclops’ little tantrum and needing something to beat on, they need the adventure therapy as well as the reminder of what being an X-Man is all about. If you’re looking for some long, winding endgame from the final issues of Bendis’ tenure, this probably isn’t your moment.
If you’re looking for a really strong standalone adventure that’s equal parts funny, kind and exciting, you’re in for a real treat with this one. Bendis’ penchant for character development is hugely charming with these two gal pals as well as the new mutant introduced. Visually, Kris Anka was a weird choice for an issue that takes place on Monster Island when you have Chris Bachalo at your disposal, but never a bad one. His clean, gorgeous panels are second to none. His characters are appropriately expressive and really add gravitas to Bendis’ script.
Bottom Line: A really fun one shot-esque issue of Bendis’ final installments. 8.5 out of 10.