Artist: David Lafuente
This has been a series that I've been enjoying since it started, and although it's not always been consistent, it's always been fun. I have also been even more excited about the X-Men series in general after the announcement of Battle of the Atom, which I'm seriously looking forward to.
As the young Iceman, and Cyclops head out for a while, the young Jean Grey spends time with Beast, learning more about how he feels about her.
This was not one of the better issues in this series, but it was still a brilliant issue, being a fun stand alone issue prior to the start of Battle of the Atom. Brian Michael Bendis did a great job of developing these characters, and I loved seeing them just relaxing, and having fun, as with Battle of the Atom just round the corner they won't have much time for that. I also loved the slightly controversy that Bendis added to this story, as although it's not proper controversy, it's bound to have mixed responses, and although I'm somewhat in the middle, I look forward to seeing where it goes, and if it will affect the Battle of the Atom crossover.
I wasn't too sure whether I liked the art in this issue or not, as it was much different than either Stuart Immonen, or David Marquez' art. I did however overall enjoy the art, feeling that David Lafuente's cartoon like style suited the fun tone of this issue. The detail in Lafuente's art was however amazing, and he did a great job wit the the characters, as although I wasn't a fan of how he drew Wolverine, he drew the younger characters perfectly, and especially Iceman who he already had experience drawing during his time on Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. Lafuente also did a great job with the characters emotions, making it easy to tell what the characters are feeling. I also loved the vibrant colours from Jim Campbell.
This issue would see what I assume was the first meeting between the young Jean Grey, and Rachel Grey. This slightly confused me, as Rachel has appeared in Wolverine and the X-Men over the last year or more, and the young X-Men have been mentioned during that, so I would have thought that they'd have already met, unless this takes place before then. I was however not entirely sure if I liked the encounter, as although the awkward approach was an interesting direction to take it in, I would have much rather seen a more shocking encounter. It did however suit Lafuente's art more this way though.
During this issue the young Iceman, and Cyclops decide to leave the school, deciding to go and have some fun, meeting a few girls whilst at it. I personally loved this sequence, as it showed a time when Iceman, and Cyclops were best of friends, and it was nice to see that again. I also loved the humour in this sequence, as it was the perfect fun adventure for these two characters, allowing them to relax, whilst still getting time for a spot of action. Bendis also showed both characters personalities well during this sequence, with Iceman being very cool, and confident, and Cyclops being timid, and serious.
The cover, and solicits for this issue advertised a possible romance between Beast, and Jean in this issue. Now I've already said how I had mixed feelings on the subject, but I felt I'd go into a little more detail, though I'll try and avoid spoilers. Basically whilst spending time with the older Beast, Jean learns through her telepathy that he has/had feelings for her. Now I found it nice that Beast remembered his time with Jean, but at the same time it felt kind of sudden, as I wouldn't have thought that he'd be having these kind of thoughts this late in the series, as it would have made more sense earlier in the series. I also loved the interaction between Jean, and the young Beast, as it was very dramatic, and emotional, and although it felt slightly awkward at times, it was enjoyable, and I look forward to seeing how this is developed.
Not one of the best issues, but far from one of the worst. This was a fun stand alone issue showing the young X-Men having fun, as well as Jean learning Beast's feelings, making for a really fun, entertaining read. I'd probably recommend this issue, as it was very fun, and well worth reading, as well as a great jumping on point. I would however recommend waiting till the start of Battle of the Atom if you're short on cash though.