This second volume of the Bendis-written title that focuses on the time-traveling original X-Men team doesn’t have a cohesive plot so much as a series of interconnected character moments. Fortunately for us, most of them are actually really good. Seeing Kitty help Jean come to grips with her newfound telepathy is handled well and in a visually imaginative way from artist David Marquez, who also gives us a really nice two-page spread that illustrates the differences between the two Angels as they team up to fight Hydra. Having the younger Warren Worthington freak out at what has happened to his older self is quite understandable and makes him more sympathetic while Kitty and Bobby’s dialogue about what Beast and Captain America are talking about is priceless. I also liked seeing the members of the original team starting to question what they’ve been told about what has happened to them at the end of the volume, as that strikes me as a promising plot thread.
God knows it’s more interesting than seeing Mystique try to manipulate the younger Cyclops into causing more trouble because it’s incredibly obvious that’s what she’s trying to do during their pages-long conversation. That’s also BEFORE she comes out and says it. It’s still less dumb than seeing Cyclops walk around in public with only a jacket and hat for a “disguise” and then be able to access his safety deposit box without showing any real identification. Though Jean’s little “ethics breach” in using her telepathic powers on Warren is supposed to come off as a shocking moment, it’s arguably too shocking as it shows her to be far more ruthless than is acceptable for the story at this time. Even so, the good outweighs the bad and the combined efforts of Marquez and Stuart Immonen mean that this volume is likely to wind up as one of the best-looking Marvel books I’ll read all year. Its long-term plans don’t seem as interesting as “Uncanny’s” -- witness the limp cliffhanger that closes out the issues collected here -- but as long as the moments in this series continue to be as strong and as plentiful as they are here I’ll keep reading.