So our beloved time-stranded X-Men have been getting the snot kicked out of them by the Brotherhood Of Evil X-Men From The Future (or BOEXMFTF for not really short at all), when their secret— or at least forgotten weapon— shows up: X-23, ready to gut Xavier Junior.

The pacing has been such for this comic that a) it's about friggin' time the good guys turned the tide, and b) most of the issue is them doing clean-up work. The X-Men suss out that Xavier Jr.'s the linchpin of his team: without him controlling them, all but Raze are happy to work for the angels.

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The BO(F)EXMFTF help mop the floor with Raze while the others track down Xavier, out in the snow, crawling for his life. (Problems like that crop up when the angry clone of a Canadian savage tries to gut you.)

I can't say for certain, but I'm almost convinced that illustrating super-types beating each other up may be one of Stuart Immonen's great joys. Wade Von Grawbadger's inks and Martie Gracia's colors (with help from Jason Keith) bring these pages to life. It's just fantastic stuff.

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The issue also puts a fork in a riddle that's been brewing for a few chapters— what exactly is Jean Grey's new power? Turns out the ginger psychic can soak up psionic energy and turn it into those radiant violet blasts. (Think of Bishop's penchant for absorbing energy, but without needing to get smacked with lasers.)

A wrinkle arises: Elder Cyclops teaches his junior counterparts: "Be better than your enemies." That's certainly noble and all, but it leaves him and his team vulnerable to payback down the road.

To wit, in this time, Raze and Xavier Jr. are delivered to the Cage, doped up with powers dampened by special collars. Regardless, in the fullness of time, Xavier will deliver a note to himself— replacing the same moment Raze had earlier / later in Issue #28— leaving this available to happen all over again. (Legit but bothersome sequel hook.)

A question posed by the issue's cover: Why on earth would Angel ever need a motorcycle— is answered on the last page. He wants to take Laura (X-23) out for a meal. She refuses to fly. Question answered. Off they go.

All in all, this is another bracing chapter that resolves the mounting suspense of the last few chapters, and brings it to a mostly satisfactory conclusion. I'll be ready to enjoy what the next chapter brings... it's time for something new.

What do you think?