Artist: Stuart Immonen
I have been enjoying this series so far and the way it's flown between the 3 different X-Men teams involved (Wolverine's team, the original 5 X-Men brought from the past to the present, and Cyclops' team). This series has really put the events of Avengers Vs. X-Men into perspective whilst bringing a brand new series that someone can start and enjoy no mater what their previous X-Men knowledge is.
This issue sees how Cyclops' team fully formed and how they broke Emma Frost out of her prison transport . It also shows how Cyclops has lost some of his powers due to the Phoenix Force. It also shows how the Phoenix Force affected other mutants like Magneto who never possessed the Phoenix Force.
This was a good issue but not quite as good as the last. Brian Michael Bendis has been doing an overall brilliant job on this series and has made the X-Men the best that they've been in a long time. I liked how Bendis focused on Cyclops' X-Men in this issue and although I've preferred the younger X-Men's part of this story it's important to show all sides. I also loved how Bendis has went back and answered some of the problems I had with the first issue, as well as open some new questions towards the series. I was looking forward to seeing the younger X-Men confronting Cyclops' group and although I was slightly disappointed that this didn't happen I was happy to see the problems from the first issue rectified.
Stuart Immonen continues to amaze me with his brilliant art work. It doesn't matter who he's drawing he always makes them look as good as possible, whilst keeping their characteristics. I love how Immonen puts so much detail in his work and love how he adds facial expressions showing the characters emotions. There was however one panel featuring Emma where the facial expression looks awkward which was a bit disappointing but considering the near flawless artwork he's already produced throughout this series so far, as well as all the other outstanding art he's produced in the past it's easy to forgive this minor imperfection.
In this issue Cyclops' X-Men get a new base in the form of the old Weapon X facility, which Cyclops plans on calling the new Xavier School. Story wise this is a great addition, and leaves for future controversy for the Wolverine's X-Men's reactions. Although I will make a few complaints about this, it's not towards the writing, and towards Cyclops' choice. Cyclops has no right in naming anything after Professor X after what he did, whether he was in control or not. The location for this new school is also stupid as Wolverine already hates Cyclops enough and I don't think he'd be too happy at any X-Man using an old Weapon X facility without telling him, and especially Cyclops.
The thing I liked most in this issue was that Emma's escape from prison was shown. I was slightly annoyed during the first issue when seeing Emma in Cyclops' X-Men without any explanation to how she escaped, so seeing how it happened during this issue was nice. The conversation Emma had with Cyclops after being broke out of the prison transport was also very interesting. I liked how after their long relationship as well as Emma's already volatile personality that she had no problem in telling Cyclops exactly where she stood. It was also nice to see someone from Cyclops' side question the events during AvX and whether it was him or the Phoenix Force responsible for betraying her and killing Xavier.
This issue also revealed that the Phoenix Force has affected both Cyclops and Magneto's powers. This adds an interesting question about the strength of Cyclops' X-Men and why the Phoenix Force has affected them in this way, and why only a few. Magneto's reaction towards losing his powers was probably the best, and most dramatic. I liked how during his conversation with Cyclops how he wasn't happy about losing his, "god-given power," and that he was even more unhappy due to the fact that he didn't even possess any of the Phoenix Force. It's also interesting as to why the Phoenix Force has affected Cyclops, Emma, and Magneto's mutation as it had a different affect on Magik. I'm also interested to find out if the Phoenix Force had any affect on either Colossus or Namor who also possessed a portion of the Phoenix Force.
A great issue and although not as good as the previous still an amazing issue. I would highly recommend both this issue as well as the series so far, but will warn anyone who's only interested in the confrontation between the younger X-Men and Cyclops' X-Men that this doesn't happen until next issue, which I'm looking forward to.