If you read last week's ALL-NEW X-MEN #22, you know that the Shi'ar have targeted Jean Grey. You're likely aware that the original X-Men from the past have been brought to the present and are currently stuck here. Once the Shi'ar got word, they apparently decided Jean Grey must pay for the death and destruction the Phoenix Force committed years ago. Sounds crazy but it's what is giving us the groundwork for an interesting crossover.
With a big "#1" on the cover, it's clear that this is a jumping on point. With Infinity wrapped up and eyes on Thanos, the Guardians have a little respite from Star-Lord's father, the king of Spartax. Without making it feel obvious, this issue does a nice job in introducing the characters to new readers while giving those who've been around with the series a chance to see a little downtime with them. This fleshing out makes them feel more human (despite Star-Lord being the only actual human).
Tying into ALL-NEW X-MEN, this issue actually takes place slightly prior to what we saw in last week's issue. It gives us a flip side view of what led up to the moment the Shi'ar arrived on earth to confront the X-Men. Needless to say, this issue doesn't force you to read that issue of ALL-NEW X-MEN but if you're digging what Brian Bendis is doing here, you're going to want to check that out as well.
How great is Sara Pichelli's art? My goodness. Every single scene makes you stop and stare. The details in the facial expressions and backgrounds are brilliant. You can't help but want to see more of Marvel's space if Pichelli's the one drawing it all.
There's no complaints. The Shi'ar's reasoning seems absurd in my opinion. But what can you say about an alien race? I was skeptical of this crossover but I can't wait to see the next chapter.
Crossing over with last week's ALL-NEW X-MEN (also written by Brian Michael Bendis), this seemed like an odd crossover but you can clearly see how it will work. Brian Bendis and Sara Pichelli are taking these characters to new heights. In an issue that isn't heavy on the action, we get to know them a little better and that gives a connection that makes readers want to come back for more. Pichelli's art is gorgeous and Bendis' combination of storytelling and wit makes the issue a fun read. If you haven't been reading GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY lately, now is definitely the time to start (or should I say "NOW" is the time?).