In the first two issues of the Trial of Jean Grey, Marvel’s latest effort at making crossovers feel less like a sales gimmick, the All New X-men and Guardians of the Galaxy have seen a painfully clear vision of the future. O5 Jean Grey grows up to be a woman who both pits Cyclops and Wolverine against one another in an endless dick-measuring contest and who gets drunk off Phoenix power and kills five billion aliens. Now that she’s back, albeit in a time-displaced fashion, the Shi’ar believe it’s time she go on trial for these crimes that she hasn’t technically committed. Since the Shi’ar justice system seems to be fashioned from the legal traditions of North Korea, I’m sure technicalities mean jack shit. So to save O5 Jean and possibly the entire space-time continuum, the O5 X-men must team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to save her. It’s not entirely clear what stake the Guardians have in it other than Starlord pissing off his father in a new way. Then again, that might be reason enough.
But part of what made the first part of the Trial of Jean Grey so gripping was how the emotional drama between O5 Cyclops and O5 Jean was developed. I made it a point to highlight it in my review. These two are not operating under the same kind of puppy love that they showed throughout the early years of the X-men. And I think that’s a good thing because love-at-first-sight and puppy love became legally dead after the invention of divorce lawyers, alimony, and child support. There’s still a place for it in comics, but the love between Cyclops and Jean Grey was badly in need of depth. And since learning about how fucked their future is, O5 Cyclops and O5 Jean Grey have had some tenuous emotional moments. However, the chemistry is still clearly there. And now that O5 Jean has been abducted, those emotions promise to boil over in a way that even teenage hormones can’t match.
All New X-men #23 promises to expand on that melodrama to a point where I can’t keep using teenage hormones as an excuse. An unlettered preview was already released a few weeks back. Now a lettered preview has emerged from Newsarama that finally allows me to stop imagining how the O5 X-men would react to being on a space ship with a machine gun wielding raccoon, a talking tree, and a hot green alien chick. But I’m okay with that. My imagination is creative enough to imagine plenty of other crazy shit.
• Jean is on trial and it’s up to the All-New X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy to get her free.
Once again, the teenage melodrama between O5 Cyclops and O5 Jean keeps building. They’ve been avoiding all those unpleasant details about their past and future relationship since All New X-men began. Now they’re running out of time to deal with it because if they don’t, the Shi’ar legal system will deal with it for them. And that would be like a married couple letting Chris Brown handle their divorce. It’s overdue, but the implications are still unknown. Could this be a One More Day type deal or a Superman/Wonder Woman type deal? It’s hard to say at this point, but at least the drama isn’t taking a back seat to animals shooting machine guns. As entertaining as that is, there’s a place for melodrama in stories about time displaced teenagers. Just look at Back to the Future and try to ignore the incest.
In addition, the novelty of working with aliens is undeniably appealing. O5 Beast looks like he just got into a limousine with William Shatner, Leonard Nemoy, and George Lucas. He and the rest of the O5 X-men are still at an age where their experience with aliens is limited. Whereas their older selves deal with aliens at least once a month, this is a first for them. I imagine it helps that Gamora and Angela look damn good in revealing space suits. Any overwhelming situation can be made more palatable if beautiful women are involved. Nuff said!