Bachalo returns with an altered art style, which seems to deviate from his previous look even more as the issue progress. Not only is the style cartoonier, but almost all of the figures are smaller, as they’re packed into layouts that often have a dozen or more panels per page. Bachalo was experimenting with smaller panels earlier in the series’ run, but he always managed to keep the pages attractive and neat. Now, several of the pages just look cluttered, and the storytelling is often unclear. Even Stan Lee jokingly reminds Bachalo that he isn’t paid by the panel in one scene. As the designs are becoming more simplified, the cast seems to be developing more generic faces, and a manga influence begins to creep in (Banshee suddenly looks 20 years younger and has a spiky hairdo). I certainly wouldn’t say that this is a bad-looking comic, but I prefer Bachalo’s earlier, less-cluttered work.
Two more subplots are introduced back at the team’s Massachusetts home. One has Mondo making cryptic comments to himself, and the other involves the new groundskeeper, Chevy. It’s hinted that he was in the mob that killed Dennis Hogan (in X-Men Prime), and has been sent by his father to hide out at the school. This requires Chevy’s father to know Banshee personally, but not know that he’s a mutant running an all-mutant school. All of these elements combined are a lot to swallow, but this is an interesting way to follow up the Dennis Hogan story. I seem to recall people listing this as a dropped storyline, though, which unfortunately wouldn't be surprising. There are quite a few things going on in this issue, which is something I always enjoy in team books. Bachalo’s art isn’t as chaotic as the previous issue, and Lobdell does a decent job handling the various plotlines.