THE HERO WITHIN
COVER ART: 4/5
This is a great cover artistically. I love the classic feel of the longing look between the two characters (Beast and Jean Grey) with a golden age styled advertisement of "Jean Grey and the BEAST?" It is very demure and the characters seem very charming. There is a great element of drama as well with Cyclops in the background reaching out to try and stop the kiss. The only reason I mark this a 4/5 is because it is Beast about to kiss Jean Grey and being a huge Cyclops fan, that just doesn't seem right to me.
STORY ART: 3/5
What I liked: We are introduced to a new artist in this issue in the form of DAVID LAFUENTE, and what I really liked about his art in this book is how he drew the original X-Men. We are told by Brian Michael Bendis that these are 12-13 year-old kids, but looking at some of the previous issues, they seem more like 15-17. David Does a fantastic job making the young Jean, Hank, Bobby, and Scott look very much like 12-13 years old kids. They are kinda skinny, not developed in terms of muscles; in fact, Beast is a little chubby with these huge hands and feet. Very well proportioned in comparison to the other characters. Bobby and Scott have these youthful looking, almost soft faces with Bobby looking like a real trouble maker jokester in his eyes with Scott more collected, almost a little nerdy, a little brooding or anxious, which is in his nature. He made the other kids who they hang out with look very time appropriate and age/weight appropriate.
What I didn't like: The first few pages through me off as I was not expecting an artist change, and these are some critical pages with a very critical interaction between Jean Grey and Rachel Grey. This interaction was left to David Lafuente to create artistically as there are no words in these panels. David did not pull it off. Visually, the characters seemed cartoonish, and the interaction was not well executed. This was a highly pivotal moment, a great opportunity for Rachel Grey, who seems to be around 20 or so based on the depiction of her in this, and Jean Grey, the 12-13 year old who is her MOTHER to have this super powered super dramatic interaction. That was not the case. The expectation was fireworks, but what we got was sparklers at best. This could be a combo fail from BMB and David as I am sure they had to collaborate on this scene, but I would have done it so much bigger, so much more dramatic. I also didn't like they way he drew Beast (this timeline) and Wolverine, and there were a lot of scenes with no background. Overall, I did like the art that surrounded the adventure Bobby and Scott took out in the world but that is about it. Everything else should have been redone.
STORY REVIEW: 3/5
What I liked: I am a big fan of this series, and thus far I have been very generous with my review ratings. 4/5 or 5/5 mostly. The best parts of this issue revolve around Bobby and Scott and their adventure out into the world. I am not saying this because Cyclops is my favorite all-time character, I am saying this because it is actually the truth. There is some great character development and teamwork between Scott and Bobby, and I am not just talking about the action scene. Scott plays Bobby's "wing-man" with some teenage girls that Bobby is hamming it up with and Scott "takes one for the team" as it were with a hipster ginger chick wearing some sort of lower lip stud ring. Great teamwork Scott. We really get to see Bobby at his finest as well. He is really showing his fun personality with his new "friends" being a typical show-off with his powers while Scott is obviously more "reserved" with his. The best gets better when the two young X-Men hear a car being chased by the cops. Scott and Bobby hit em' with the classic "ol one-two" punch with Cyke blasting the car into the air and Bobby catching and freezing it to the ground. The two young heroes walk back like a couple young BOSSES to a groupie-like fan-base. Yeah, they get the digits!
What I did NOT like: I was hoping the little kiss cliffhanger on the front cover was going to be some sort of "switcharoo". It was not. Young Hank and Jean kiss, actually, Jean lunges at Hank and kisses HIM! Gross. That started because current timeline Beast was "training" young Jean to use her telekinesis powers while unable to keep his own mind concentrating on the task at hand. First of all, his "thoughts" seemed totally inappropriate given he is roughly 35-40 and Jean is supposedly 12-13. Beast goes back and forth between thinking about the motorcycle, and hum-drumming about missed opportunities to kiss Jean back when he was younger. GIVE ME A BREAK! He is totally creeping me out pervin on Jean like that. Secondly, Beast is one of the foremost scientific minds in the world. He knows Jean is a new telepath that doesn't mind prying in minds when she shouldn't. This is a new power to her and she just can't help herself. Beast is too well in control of his own mind to allow himself to go to that place of longing for this person he never had and can't have now. He would not allow himself to become the pervy teacher lusting for the student, when he KNOWS she can read his every thought! I think BMB wanted to shake things up a bit and he did, but in a creepy pervy way. When Jean kisses young Hank, it just didn't work for me, I am sure it didn't work for anyone else either. It felt like a pitty kiss to me than a start of a new budding romance. I am not saying this because I desperately want Scott and Jean to be together, I am just saying this from a reader who felt creepy after reading the story. When Jean runs back to her room after smooching with Hank, she immediately lifts her mattress to view the original invitation to her and Scott's wedding. Why would she do that? BMB was trying to create drama, the whole execution was flawed though. He is mishandling young Jean Grey in these last few issues in my opinion. My last gripe deals with Dazzler. She somehow is there to witness the adventure of young Bobby and Scott. The young duo took Wolverines Jeep, which we know is not tagged by S.H.I.E.L.D. because Wolverine just likes his privacy too much to let that happen. So how the hell did Dazzler know where to find the young Scott and Bobby, and why was she just sidelining?
FINAL VERDICT: 3/5
This story was just too confusing to me with only a few highlights, that being the cool adventure time between Scott and Bobby. The rest of the story had too many mistakes in my opinion, from all the interactions that Jean Grey participated in, the poor art in many of the pages and panels and the inclusion of Dazzler in this issue. It all just didn't fit together, and it feels like a filler story right before a big event, oh it is, the "BATTLE OF THE ATOM" is starting in the next book. If you just LOVE this series like I do, I recommend this issue. If you are new to this series or pick it up here and there, wait until next issue when the "big event" starts.
***hey johnkmccubbin91, LOOK NO PICTURES, just for you buddy!***