All-New X-Men (1st series) #23

Issue Date: 
April 2014
Story Title: 

Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Stuart Immonen (penciler), Wade von Grawbadger (inker), Marte Gracia (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Immonen, Grawbadger & Gracia (cover artists), Jordan D White (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

The Guardians of the Galaxy have taken the X-Men aboard and fly towards Shi’ar space to rescue Jean Grey. Along the way, they are attacked by a Shi’ar ship and helped by an unexpected ally – the Starjammers. Even more unexpected, Cyclops comes face to face with the father he believed dead, the Starjammers’ leader Corsair. Meanwhile, aboard the Shi’ar ship, Jean Grey finds her powers have been neutralized and she is told little about why she has been abducted. Later in a telepathic dialogue, Oracle informs her she will be put on trial for the crimes of the Phoenix. Reading Jean’s mind, Oracle realizes Jean is innocent so far.

Full Summary: 

In the darkness, Scott Summers can make out a shape. Jean? he asks. She read his note, Jean Grey tells him. Did he mean what he said? Does he really love her? Why didn’t he tell her sooner?

He doesn’t know. He doesn’t know what? a different voice asks. Good Lord! Scott screams as he wakes up and sees that the person talking is a raccoon. What – who… he stammers. Hey, he was the one about to pucker up on him, Rocket Raccoon points out. 

Scott finds himself on a spaceship, surrounded by the other X-Men and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Kitty Pryde tells him things took a turn for the surreal. Gamora explains they are the Guardians. They are here to help.

Iceman happily points out they are on a spaceship and that this is a talking raccoon. As usual, Groot announces, I am Groot. If the straits were not so dire, this would be the greatest day of his life, Beast admits. Did they mention the tree talks, Angel adds. And they are in outer space?

Peter Quill aka Star-Lord tells everyone to take a seat and buckle up. Earth’s orbit is nothing but clutter. Sometimes things get bumpy. Is he saying they already made it into orbit? Hank marvels. He’s just going to nerd out on him the whole time, isn’t he? Peter states. Probably, Hank admits. Scott asks where they are going. Peter tells him to settle down. They are here to help. Where is Jean Grey? Scott shouts.

Jean finds herself floating. She awakes with Scott’s name on her lips. She is still in her bubble prison, now aboard a spaceship. She announces who she is. She doesn’t know where they are taking her, but she demands someone explain to her exactly where-- Oh God! she exclaims when she realizes they are in space. Just tell her where they are taking her. Why can’t she hear their thoughts? Maybe she hasn’t tried hard enough…

That won’t be necessary, Gladiator, flanked by the Imperial Guard tells her. Her mutant powers won’t work here. They’ve seen to that. He is Kallark, Majestor of the Shi’ar and chosen Praetor of the Imperial Guard. Her human friends know him as Gladiator. They have been chosen to make sure that the laws of the Shi’ar Empire are obeyed across the entire galaxy. Take her away! he orders.  

What do they want from her? Jean demands. Her questions will be answered in time. No! she protests. He has to tell her! She is here to answer for her crimes, he replies darkly. She doesn’t know what he’s talking about! she cries. That means little. He turns away. She doesn’t know what he’s talking about! she screams. He doesn’t have the right to do this! Let her go! Let her go, or so help her God-- She screams and tries to use her powers. An energy blast hits her and the globe is dropped through a trapdoor into somewhere dark and isolated. Helpless, Jean swears.

The Guardians’ ship on the outskirts of the Shi’ar Empire:
Kitty blames herself for not predicting this. She didn’t see aliens from another planet coming to Earth to kidnap Jean and put her on trial for crimes she didn’t commit? Angel asks sensibly. Yet, Rocket Raccoon adds. Crimes that they didn’t even know she would be capable of, Angel continues. Yet, Rocket repeats. Angela and Kitty tell him to shut up.

Star-Lord tells Kitty she is being hard on herself. She’s in charge of these kids, she replies. Why are they even here again? Rocket asks. They offered them a ride, Iceman replies. He means in this time period, Beast explains. He gets that, Iceman replies. He just likes talking to the talking raccoon. It makes him feel like a Disney princess. He’d make a better princess than Hank, he points out defensively when Beast reacts with skepticism.  

It’s all a lie, a dejected Cyclops announces. They are here because someone told them there was going to be a mutant genocide or apocalypse and that they should come here and stop it. But it was all a lie. Hearing this, Angela asks what a mutant is.

When Hank begins to explain Rocket states he is already bored with the answer. Drax asks him to be nice to their guests. Then they should stop calling him a raccoon, he replies, surprising Bobby and Hank.

Suddenly they are shaken as the ship is hit. Peter reminds Rocket he told him to keep the ship cloaked. He did, is the angry reply. The Shi’ar have nevertheless found them and are firing at the far smaller vessel.

In the chaos, Angela asks Drax if they can get the ship closer.

Rocket addresses the Shi’ar, announcing they accept their surrender and mocks them.

The Shi’ar fire at them and the ship is again shaken. Angela tells Star-Lord to get the ship close, then asks Groot if he will accompany her into battle. I am Groot, he replies as usual. What can they do? Cyclops asks. Angela tells them to stand down. They are hit again. She hates space, Kitty mutters. She has had very bad luck in space!

Elsewhere, Jean awakes at what seems to be a table in a huge interrogation room. Opposite her sits the Imperial Guard’s telepath Oracle, who explains to her she has been transported to the Shi’ar homeworld. She is under arrest and to be brought before a tribunal.

Jean slams the wall, demanding to be let out. Calmly, Oracles asks her what she knows of the Phoenix. She was shown her legacy when she arrived in this time, yes? She was shown her future, Jean replies. Did she understand it? Oracle asks. Jean recalls the images of Dark Phoenix… of Phoenix dying twice. She was shown her entire life in a burst, she states. Oracle imagines she wasn’t able to fully comprehend the experience.  

What is she being accused of? Jean asks. What has she done? She murdered a planet, Oracle replies. No, she hasn’t! Jean retorts. Oracle tells her to look inside herself. Jean is quiet.  

Interesting, Oracle observes. Jean has no firsthand experience memory of her time or actions as the Phoenix… none at all. How could-- Jean stammers. She would never – wait! Was Oracle just inside her mind? She knows Jean is innocent! She has to tell them! That is what the day of judgment will be for, Oracle tells her as she gets up. But she knows it wasn’t her! Jean insists. She liked talking to a psychic of such raw emotion, Oracle continues. She has such love in her heart. And for so many. So raw, so— Stop it! Jean shouts and her eyes flare. Oracle advises her to watch her temper. She is not helping her case. She and the room fade away and Jean finds herself again in her bubble prison in the dark.

Angela, Drax and Groot attack the Shi’ar ship in space. Aboard the Guardians’ ship, Gamora tells Star-Lord to take the ship away as she puts on a spacesuit. She’ll signal when to come get them. Hell, no! he protests.  

Rocket criticizes Cyclops for the way he is trying to extinguish the fire. It’s his first space fire! Scott snaps. X-23 wants to go fight. Gamora informs her she likes her, but she’ll stay here.  

Rocket decides when this is over he is going to propose to Angela. And it’s not because she doesn’t know how to dress for battle. His train of thought is interrupted when they encounter another spaceship. The other ship hails them, telling Quill to get his buddies out of the way and they’ll wrap up this fight for them.  

Quill orders his teammates back and the Starjammer quickly takes out the Shi’ar ship. He thought he was dead, Quill addresses Corsair, leader of the Starjammers. He thought the same about them, Corsair retorts. He was just talking about this yesterday. He bet Raza his sword the Guardians hadn’t made it off the Badoon homeworld.  

Why did he call him Summers? Scott asks Peter. Star-Lord stammers. Corsair asks what the trouble with the Shi’ar is. Peter announces he thinks there is someone who wants to say ‘hi’ to him. This is Major Christopher Summers, US Air Force. Who is he talking to?

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (all original X-Men)
Kitty Pryde, X-23 (X-Men)

Drax, Gamora, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, Star-Lord (all Guardians of the Galaxy)


Ch’od, Corsair, Korvus, Mam’selle Hepzibah, Raza (all Starjammers)

Astra, Electron, Flashfire, Hussar, Manta, Mentor, Oracle, Plutonia, Smasher, Titan, WarStar and others (all Imperial Guard)

Story Notes: 

This is part 3 of the Trial of Jean Grey. It follows Guardians of the Galaxy # 11. The next part is Guardians of the Galaxy #12.

Kitty’s bad luck in space might refer to several things but most recently her being stuck in a giant bullet flying through space for a year.

Jean was shown her life in issue #5.

Dark Phoenix destroyed a sun (and with it an orbiting, inhabited planet) in X-Men (1st series) #135.

Corsair was killed by his son Vulcan in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #486. His return will be explained in Cyclops (2nd series) #3.

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