Is it possible to love something you're also beginning to hate just a teensy bit because the relationship you have with is is stuck in a certain place you don't want to be in? Well, All-New X-Men has answered that question with a resounding, "Fuck, yes, bub" since it made me endure that useless crossover story of The Trial of Jean Grey. Once I've opened my eyes to its weaknesses, I can never close them again, not when it hasn't improved with its current arc about the Brotherhood from the future making yet another strenuous comeback.
In Battle of the Atom, Jean Grey and Xorn Jean from the future where zeroed in amidst the chaotic battles around them, and it was great. Now we have Charles Xavier II as the lead villain of the story, with events told from his perspectives and flashbacks, and he is everything that was wrong about Professor X in those off moments that X is an asshole himself. So far, Charlie II possessed grand posturing and self-entitlement that are only rivaled by his half-brother, the shape-shifting, and Wolverine-clawed Raze who is the love child of Logan and Raven, understandably. That was weird but not entirely impossible. I can totes see them having angry, cathartic sex, then never speaking about it.
What did shake me to my core is how this issue opened with a pregnant Moira MacTaggert about to give birth. Only it wasn't Moira. It was Mystique disguised as Moira. And she was impregnated by Xavier himself. I had to stop reading for a couple of minutes just to wrap my head around that revelation. In an earlier issue, Mystique told teen Scott that she respected and admired Charles and that in his death, she felt there was no purpose to fight for mutantkind. So I know she has developed fond feelings for Chuck somewhere along a comic book I have never read. Besides, I like the movie-canon version of the two of them being stepsiblings and growing up together. I really thought Bendis was going for that angle too. But nooooo. Apparently, Mystique became Moira and fucked Charles, and now she had his baby but she has to give away because it hurt too much to see the kid because Charles is dead and she was in love with him all this time. Whut? Whut? Really, WHUT?
I had no words that could sufficiently express my indignation about this and how deeply weirded out I was while also feeling kindda deliriously giddy about it because I kinda-sorta half-ship JenLaw and McAvoy as Raven and Charles in the movies, but seeing a fulfillment of that for these versions of those characters in this comics title just...feels creepy somehow, so all I could afford is an expression akin to this one:
|I'm shocked and bored all at once?|
So Charlie II took over a Steford sister (Mindee) and then everyone gets a bad acid trip while Emma and Scott were able to hide themselves using the White Queen's own telepathy. Teen Jean Grey was not so lucky. She now had to face the full force of Charlie II's power. On the plus side, they failed to kill the group's healer Christopher who can conveniently also heal himself. Good on you, man. Outside, X-23 woke up and healed from the stab wound Raze's inflicted and immediately comes to the rescue for her team. And that's how the issue ended. I don't know how to feel right now. On one hand, I still look forward to what happens and how our heroes will get away, and if the Brotherhood of the Future will be successful in whatever they are fighting for. Before, it was to send back the OCF. Now that option was out of the table because the time-space continuum has fractured so badly. So...they want to kill Jean Grey now. But how does Xorn Jean feel about that? She barely said nothing as she just mindlessly went to work under Charlie II's orders. I just...feel so empty inside while reading this.
Is Legion still around? You know, the first bastard son of Xavier by Gabrielle? I would like to see him and Charlie II have a face-off of some sort. Maybe it'd be interesting. There's now a quality of mind-numbing entertainment for this story arc that makes me feel as if I'm just going through the motions...which is a circle. Since Battle of the Atom, ANXM has been stuck in the same kind of clusterfuck without achieving a satisfying payoff for readers like me. And the fact that it's not moving forward with anything substantial is frustrating. We get a rehash from the past stories that should have no more room to be revisited at this point. Dear god, Bendis just let this play out one last time and then we can move on to something else, okay? Less focus on Jean and more on the other OCF from now on. Also, bring teen Scott back ASAP.