The X-Men dissolve before your eyes
The Bishop scene depicted on the cover hardly factors into this issue, which witnesses the arrival of Jean and Scott to try to temper Xavier's intractable nastiness and the subsequent dissolution of the team.
Story and Script
I love issues where the X-Men have downtime when they are written well, and this is a great example. Each member of the team has their own complaint about Xavier's brusk treatment, and their reactions (and factions) show a keen eye for the long histories of these characters. Particularly, pairing Rogue with Kitty and Nightcrawler is a nod to the late 100s of Uncanny. Also, the tone of Colossus's fixation with Marrow feels just right – not romantic, but not entirely fraternal, either.
On top of that, the scripting of a semi-retired Jean and Scott is perfection. Your heart can't help but ache if you know what's in store for them both in the next five years.
Guest penciler Jeff Johnson and his inker Cam Smith should have stuck around – they sketch a smooth, adult version of the X-Men that hearkens back to the mid 100s of Uncanny. Characters pull a few awkward faces, but I think the mature look of the art lends itself well to a story about the team going their separate ways.
Johnson & Smith's Mannites are super-cartoonish, and the contrast is a little off-putting. I feel like their exaggerated features – especially hair – place them in a different world than the realistic X-Men.
If you like your X-Men with action, be warned – nothing happens here.
Usually when I say “nothing happens” it's not a complement, but the “nothing” in this issue's script and art means plenty of room for authentic moments with the characters we love.
For that reason, I say this issue is unmissable!