X-Men, the all-female X-Men, is easily my favorite X-title out there right now. It's only four issues in, but I love the team makeup and the characters therein. This issue starts to deal with the fallout of the whole Arkea Prime three part arc that introduced this team. And yes, it seems that in the book they are now recognizing themselves as an official team. We are also seeing some Alpha Female personalities emerge, which I like. It seems Storm considers herself the de-facto leader of this team, and Rachel Grey has some issues with her leadership and handling of the Arkea Prime situation. The formidable females have a simple job this issue: one of a plane's engines died, and they must land it safely. Sounds simple enough for a super-hero team. Much easier than saving the world from a technopath who can control unlimited amounts of machines anyway. While this goes on, Jubilee spends the day with Shogo and Wolverine, but I'll get to that later.
So Storm and Rachel have at it in the cockpit of the Blackbird, and Rogue, Shadowcat, and Psylocke go to deal with their airplane debacle. I would assume Rogue would be able to just fly over and lift it, hell in the first issue she stopped a speeding train with her foot, but that would be too easy. No, she borrows Psylocke's telepathic skills and makes a telepath flying support contraption. It's not as complicated as it sounds, but more complicated than it needs to be. This isn't the interesting part of the book though, it is Storm and Rachel's dialogue with one another. You get the sense they will be this team's Cyclops and Wolverine, butting heads and competing for the leadership position.
Jubilee has a much easier day, spending it out near where she grew up in California with Wolverine. Logan drives her about, and they recall moments of her childhood and early days with the X-Men. I felt like this was done for the sake of newer readers, as Jubilee has not been around at all really in recent years and this serves as a bit of an introduction for her character.
Writer Brian Wood really has a grasp of these females personalities, none of them feel pigeonholed or one dimensional. More importantly, they feel like women. They are not male personalities in female bodies. Case in point: Storm may be the hard nosed, veteran "been there done that" type leader, but she is still very emotional and conflicted about her decisions. They all feel more willing to compromise and ask for the others assistance. I may be generalizing, but I am trying to express what I mean here. The best way to understand it, is to read the book.
The art is spot on. The women all look different, no singular body type, and I am digging their costumes. Also, Storm's Mohawk and Rachel's facial markings look pretty awesome. The colors are vibrant and energetic, and I feel they are especially more so with Rogue and her ever-positive personality. The little details are all there too. Two moments in particular I thought were awesome: Rogue fist-bumping a child passenger on the plane through the window, and Shogo's bib having Spider-Man's head. Both moments made me stop and say "man, that's awesome".
This issue does have a few bad points. Firstly, like I said, I felt they overcomplicated this mission. Rogue has had as a standard powerset, for damn over a decade, of super strength, flight, speed, and her parasitic touch. It was even featured in the first three issues of this series, she never needed to touch anyone for those powers, so where the hell did they go? Why not just have her lift and hold the damaged wing? And when she falls off, why does Storm have to save her? If she is back down to JUST her power-stealing, I am ok with that, but it is inconsistent with the first three books in this series. Also, with Battle of the Atom next month, this issue was essentially team-drama setup as that story with all the X-Men teams will be in the forefront. These are acceptable negatives to me though, since like I stated before the main greatness of this book is Storm and Rachel's shared conversation.
If you like X-Men, you should be reading this book. if you like hero teams, read this book. Even if you are only a fan of one or two of the characters (I personally started reading this for Psylocke, Rogue, and Rachel) pick it up. No one character outshines the others, and no one is pushed to the rear. Everyone gets main lighted, and every member of the team is important. X-Men delivers, plain and simple.