The Shi'ar Empire spans galaxies and is protected by the fearsome Imperial Guard, a lethal group of super-powered beings from all over the Empire. When something goes really wrong, they need to call for the help of people with a different skill set … and that's where Marvel's not so merry mutants come in.
Under a galaxy-wide economic collapse, a new regent sits on the Shi'ar throne, a child who hasn't even reached adolescence, and that child has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Deathbird — sister to the former empress, frenemy to the mutant nation, puts out a call, and Krakoa sends some heat: Scott Summers, Jean Grey, and Ororo Monroe.
This story offers a look at how some of the best of the children of the atom slice through a mystery baffling an empire like a chainsaw through wax paper. Each X-Man has a moment to shine, and there's a surprisingly effective stylized text aside showing Bobby DaCosta and Sam Guthrie as best buds in space, which is super enjoyable. There's also a great moment when Sam Guthrie could be considered the new Zhu Li, which had some solid flavor.
If you're a fan of the 1990s X-Men books, then the visuals from Brett Booth, Adelso Corona, Sunny Cho, and Clayton Cowles will scratch that itch as Jean contorts her legs while standing or accusing, and the Great Maul of Stygia will give you definite early Cable vibes. This is not intended as an insult, but a compliment, stylistically bringing one of the most dynamic periods of X-Men history to life … IN SPAAAAAAAACE!!!!
While the struggle between peoples had its own relevance (especially now), the threats were just shy of making it work. While there's a great confrontation, the action scenes are vague and have a climax that needed much more visual room to breathe. That was the sole real complaint, but it sapped the book's finale of impact. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
By Jonathan Hickman, Brett Booth, Leinil Francis Yu
STORM THE EMPIRE! When the Shi'ar Empire asks the X-Men for help, Cyclops, Storm and Marvel Girl answer the call.