One of the teasers that emerged long before an actual teaser was the possibility of an All New X-men/Guardians of the Galaxy crossover. Hell, Bleeding Cool announced that this was in the works back in February this year when I was still chipping ice off my car and pissing my name in snow. Then a few weeks ago, Marvel released a couple of teasers with some fairly familiar imagery in the background.
|Reminds me of my last arrest.|
|Reminds me of my ex-girlfriend.|
Maybe this is a bad example because Marvel has already set the precedent. After Avengers vs. X-men, everyone in the Marvel universe passed judgement on Cyclops for the shit he did with the Phoenix Force. But there's one key difference. Cyclops didn't kill 5 billion aliens while he was the Phoenix. Hell, he tried to create a global utopia and bring about peace on Earth. Yet for reasons that no amount of bong hits can help me understand, that shit is still a crime. And if he's still a fugitive for that reason, then I don't see any hope for anyone in the Marvel universe judging Jean Grey.
And that's exactly what the O5 X-men will have to deal with after X-men Battle of the Atom is over. I guess this counts as a bit of a spoiler in that it means the All New X-men will not be sent back to the past and the future X-men fail miserably. But if a drunk like me could see that coming, then nobody else with a functioning brain has any excuse. So now it appears that once word gets out that Jean Grey is alive in some form, a bunch of pissed off aliens are going to try to hold her accountable for crimes she hasn't even done yet. It's like Minority Report, but hopefully it doesn't suck. And Marvel made it official at NYCC with an announcement and an interview with Brian Michael Bendis.
And not only did he give some tantalizing details about what we can expect from this trial, we even get to see the brand spanking new uniforms that we've been promised. And while I know as much about fashion as I do about the brain chemistry of a eel, I think I can say without reservation that these costumes are pretty fucking awesome.
If you thought Battle of the Atom and INFINITY put Marvel's most misunderstood heroes through their paces, just wait until you see what writer Brian Michael Bendis has in store for ALL-NEW X-MEN and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY next.
There's no time for the time-displaced mutants to catch their breath following the status quo-shifting final moments of Battle of the Atom, especially now that the entire Marvel Universe has been alerted that Jean Grey, the former and most terrifying host of the Phoenix in the eyes of many, seems to be alive and well. On the other side of the cosmos, the band of space pirates known as the Guardians of the Galaxy will be forced to get involved with one trouble-making species they've managed to steer clear from: mutants!
Joining Bendis for this storyline on art will be ALL-NEW X-MEN’s Stuart Immonen and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY’s Sara Pichelli. "The Trial of Jean Grey" will put the fear of the Phoenix into this teen team for the very first time.
We spoke to Bendis about the two series as they head into All-New Marvel NOW!
Marvel.com: Without spoiling the end of Battle of the Atom, what can you tell us about the teen X-Men's status quo in All-New Marvel NOW!? How shaken up are they?
Brian Michael Bendis: Without spoiling the end of one of the biggest X-Men events of all time, I will say that a lot has changed. Not everyone is where or when they were when the event began. But, it is safe to say that Jean Grey is still here, and now a lot of people know about it. Once the word gets out that Jean Grey, who was once host to one of the most formidable and destructive cosmic forces in the entire galaxy, [is back], there are people—major players—[that] will want to hold her accountable for some of that destruction.
Marvel.com: The Guardians of the Galaxy just had the Marvel Universe playing in their backyard in INFINITY. Can you give us a hint as to what state the team is in following the event?
Brian Michael Bendis: They are pretty much intact except for the fact that there is something from the outcome of INFINITY that the Guardians are very uncomfortable with. While the members deal with that—and each other—they receive word that Jean Grey is a target. They rush to help.
Marvel.com: The teaser word "Trial" carries a lot of Phoenix baggage with it. Is it safe to say that Jean Grey is at the forefront of this crossover?
Brian Michael Bendis: This storyline is called “The Trial of Jean Grey,” so yes!
Marvel.com: The X-Men and Guardians have rarely interacted before, if ever. What's been the most interesting thing about writing them together? Do any of the characters clash or get along surprisingly well?
Brian Michael Bendis: Well, let's remember that the All-New X-Men are still some of the youngest, most naïve heroes in the entire Marvel Universe. They still have only been X-Men for a few weeks, so everything is a new experience—especially finding out that one of you was the host of a destructive force that took out entire planets, or that there are spaceships, or that raccoons have rockets and laser guns. There is a great deal of fun to be had and a great deal of serious life-changing drama.
And not all of the Guardians are going to have the same feeling about Jean Grey and the Phoenix. She is and will always be a very polarizing figure in the Marvel Universe. This “trial” will put the spotlight right on that.
Marvel.com: Will having knowledge of adult Jean's trials help teen Jean navigate these circumstances?
Brian Michael Bendis: I think it's part of her puzzle that she can't even deal with yet so, yes, this story is going to make her focus on this, a confusing and upsetting part of her history and what her responsibility to all of it really is.
Marvel.com: The Guardians usually find themselves on the other side of the law, yet their teaser word is "Judgment." Are they passing judgment on the X-Men or helping the teens escape judgment?
Brian Michael Bendis: Right there, that is the reason to tell the story. Everyone has a judgment, but whose is right? Should Jean be held accountable for things that she has not done yet? Should she be stopped before it happens again? Is a crime a crime if the person who committed the crime hasn't committed it yet?
Marvel.com: These young X-Men have already had to deal with time travel, and now they've been thrown into space for the first time. How will they handle that?
Brian Michael Bendis: For those who know their X-Men, some of you may already be thinking about the fact that one of the original X-Men's fathers already has a very important place in the Marvel galaxy. The X-Men may be shocked to find themselves dealing with space for the very first time, but some of them may be surprised how personal the story will get.
So Jean Grey is basically screwed in the present for shit she would end up doing in the future. And she has to find a way to deal with it while keeping a straight face in the presence of a machine-gun toting Raccoon. The odds are against her to say the least. It's like the OJ Simpson trial, but Jean doesn't have the money to hire Johnny Cochran.
But beyond the event itself, this news reveals a few more tantalizing details. For one, it appears they patch things up with O5 Angel because he seems to rejoin them and gets a new uniform as well. I imagine it's going to lead to some very awkward moments where O5 Jean has to apologize for mind-fucking him in an earlier issue of All New X-men. It also hints that maybe O5 Angel changes his mind about wanting to go back to the past. Something may happen in the next three issues that makes him think, "Fuck, I need to stop being a whiny little bitch." I think it's overdue because he has basically done jack shit since he ditched the O5 X-men.
Another issue that's worth bringing up is the connections between this story and the Phoenix Saga. Marvel tends to have this nasty habit of flat out ignoring past events in favor of looking ahead to bolder, often more fucked up stories. But for once, Marvel is being detailed in dealing with the many ramifications of having time displaced X-men in the present. They're already doing a great deal in Battle of the Atom, but something like the Phoenix Force and the shit it did to make their trip to the future necessary is something else that shouldn't be ignored, yet often is. I'm glad it's being addressed, but it does have the potential to do more than just be another crossover.
Since All New X-men began, it has focused largely on the O5 just being shell shocked by how fucked their future is. Yet as Battle of the Atom has shown, what they do has a big effect on the timeline. And the longer the O5 stay in the future, the bigger that effect could be. So in theory, that means that Marvel could do some major retconning with the history of the X-men. In practice, however, it could fuck shit up even more or take a huge shit on otherwise iconic stories. It's hard to say how far Marvel will take it at this point, but a crossover with Guardians of the Galaxy is already pretty fucking far. The best anyone can do is grab a cold beer, light up a joint, and enjoy the ride. Nuff said!