William Rosenthal ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
The numbering in the Trial of Jean Grey crossover is becoming unclear. If the cover were to be believed then this is part 3 of 5, but the series check list puts the count at 6 issues. Either way, issue 23 means this crossover is half way through and there has been very little trail during the Trial of Jean Grey.
Most of this event has been spent moving characters from one location to another. Parts one and two brought Kitty Pryde’s X-Men together with The Guardians of the Galaxy, and the third follows the two on their journey towards the Shi’ar homeland. While it begins with what feels like tired initial interactions between the two teams, the true meat of the story comes at the second half.
The story’s perspectives are divided between Jean, who’s held prisoner by the Shi’ar, and the X-Men/Guardians en route.
At first, Jean’s interaction with the Shi’ar is repeated exposition as presented by Gladiator. He’s been built up well as this menacing face of the Shi’ar accusers. Whenever he’s on the page, he has this commanding presence that’s difficult to place as truly devoted to the cause or not. While he was the one who offered the idea of putting this young Jean Grey on trial for the Phoenix’s crimes, it’s clear from the brief splash page he’s featured in that when face-to-face with the accused, he’s clearly reluctant, which is interesting to see how it’ll play out in future issues.
Related: Review: All New X-Men #22
Next, Jean’s interrogated by Oracle, the Shi’ar Imperial Guard’s own telepath. Oracle becomes an unsuspected ally when she uncovers that even though Jean knows about her actions as the Phoenix, she’s clear of condemning memories. Whether this will make its way into the actual trial is yet to be determined, but the fact that this came from Oracle, a character whose been wrapped up in the X-Men almost as long as she’s existed, was a great gesture to long time readers.
Finally, the big reveal at the end of the issue is the appearance of Major Christopher Summers, Corsair, none other than Cyclops’s father. This was a throw from left field as by all accounts Corsair has been dead. Even Quill mentions this. Although, no explanation has been given so far as to how Corsair is alive and in command of his ship, which is perhaps the true reason for sending the X-Men into space in the first place.
Overall, while the issue brought up some interesting and entertaining points, its slow start really held it back.
Emertainment gives this issue a 7 out of 10.