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All New X-Men vol 3: Out Of Their Depth s/c (UK Ed'n)

All New X-Men vol 3: Out Of Their Depth s/c (UK Ed'n) back

Brian Michael Bendis & Stuart Immonen


Page 45 Review by Stephen

Previously in ALL NEW X-MEN VOL 1 and ALL-NEW X-MEN VOL 2:

Dr Henry McCoy AKA The Beast has brought the original X-Men forward through time in order to shock Scott Summers AKA Cyclops out of declaring a mutant revolution and so risk a civil war and its potential, genocidal backlash. The first confrontation between Uncanny teams old and new was explosive and the time-rush has triggered young Jean Grey’s latent telepathic powers way too early. She’s discovered how they lived and how she died. She has determined that they will stay, and she is not above using her new-found, mind-bending abilities to ensure that this happens.


One of the original X-Men leaves the school in disgust for Cyclops’ renegade UNCANNY X-MEN team just as everyone starts to discuss whether the younger incarnation should even be in the present. That argument only escalates in the next book when time-travelers from the future arrive.

Here, however, we concentrate of Jean Grey herself, who simply won’t learn her lesson and is imposing her will on others and bursting through her telepathic and telekinetic upgrades with temper tantrums like nobody’s business – and nobody likes that business. Too much power too soon is what turned her into DARK PHOENIX, don’t forget.

Kitty Pryde is possibly the kindest X-Man ever, but as both school headmistress and its conscience / unwavering moral compass she will not brook such mind-control and gives Jean the most unflinching ultimatum during a private pep talk. And Jean takes it exactly the right way, understands, concedes and even agrees. She tentatively reaches out.

“I think I’m going to hug you now.”

This one of the many reasons why I adore artist Stuart Immonen: Jean is offering the hug, but it is subtly clear from the body language of that hug that it is Kitty who retakes the initiative, is in command of that hug, so relieved to have been offered it and determined to reaffirm her affection. And this is one of the many reasons I adore writer Brian Michael Bendis: he lets Stuart handle this solo. There is no verbal sign-posting. He leaves it for you to infer.

One of the many reasons I adore Stuart Immonen part II: there are four hilarious panels later on in which Bobby Drake AKA the ever-immature Iceman (Jr, as it were) fails to listen to Kitty Pryde and he lobs a snowball at a Thor he believes to be fake. Let me repeat that: he aces the Norse god Thor on the kisser. The expressions on Thor and Captain America’s speechless, incredulous faces are to die for. I laughed and I laughed then I laughed once more. Bobby Drake’s expression – on realising his error – is a pantomime of repentant horror / contrition.

There is also a thoroughly moving speech by Kitty Pryde about being proud of your heritage in the wake of bigoted adversity which, in the self-indulgent old days of my Bendis reviews, I would have typed up at length and in full. Suffice to say, it is about her being Jewish but not having a “quote unquote Jewish sounding same” nor looking or sounding Jewish “whatever that looks or sounds like” and having had the most enormous crush on a boy who then makes an anti-Semitic remark so appalling she cannot and will not repeat it. And it broke her heart.

“I realised I was… maybe for the first time ever…. I was really proud of myself.
“I am Jewish.
“I am a mutant.
“And I want people to know who and what I am.
“I tell people because, hey, if we’re going to have a problem with it… I’d like to know.”

Hello, my name is Stephen. I’m both very stoopid and I am gay. I do act stoopid but I don’t act gay – largely because I don’t act. But if we’re going to have a problem with either of those things, I would like to know now.