Uncanny X-Men #29 not only offers us a battle of words between Cyclops and Magneto over the fate of the extremely powerful, and a bit out-of-control, Matthew Malloy, but it also adds a mew wrinkle with a pair of time-traveling subplots one of which may stabilize the situation and another that may through the X-Men’s entire history into chaos.
Along with continuing to play on Magik jumping back-forth through time for the assistance of Doctor Strange, who comes us with an unusual solution to the Malloy problem, the latest issue also gives Tempus her own subplot as she considers altering time in a very large way by warning Professor Xavier of the Malloy situation in the past and alloying him to try and prevent the current situation before it ever occurs. Of course you have to wonder what else a past version of Xavier might learn about both his future and that of his prized student opening up the door for a very big shakeup if Brian Michael Bendis wants to walk the reader through. Worth a look.
The time-displaced X-Men’s (along with X-23) visit to the Marvel Ultimate Universe continues as Jean Grey goes looking for help only to come face-to-face with this world’s X-Men including herself. Reading each others minds creates immediate confusion for both telepaths but also forges an unusual friendship between the pair understanding the highs and lows of each other’s troubled lives. Attempting to return home to Cyclops‘ compound, Angel and X-23 also discover that they are indeed in the wrong world and, as far as they know, without a way to get back home.
Things aren’t any easier for the Beast who has a dinner date with this world’s Doctor Doom who is fascinated with the tale of time-and-space-displaced mutants. Just what the super-villain plans to do with such knowledge is yet to be seen. And, in the least interesting of the three storylines, Iceman finishes battling the mole monster on the streets of New York only to run into a couple of police officers and discover mutants are no more beloved in this reality than his own. Worth a look.
While others react to his recent move of attempting to befriend rather than stop the dangerous Omega-level mutant, Cyclops works to attempt to convince Matthew Malloy to join his team of X-Men offering Scott Summers a big gun and game changer in his standoff against S.H.I.E.L.D.
Although the unstable Malloy is still far from A) Joining Cyclops team or B) Being able to control his powers to be able to join the team, Cyclops’ offer leaves Beast, Maria Hill, and others at a complete loss of what to do next. The only one who seizes the opportunity to act is Magneto who finally returns to the series after a lengthy abscence not all that keen on what Cyclops has been doing in since his departure.
I’m happy to see Magneto’s return but sad to learn that he appears to be at odds with a move that could take the X-Men, and the series, to an entirely new level. Worth a look.
As the rest of the scattered X-Men discover they aren’t in Kansas anymore, Jean Grey enlists the help of Miles Morales in hopes of finding the rest of her time-and-space displaced team. Angel and X-23 manage to make it back to the home of their X-Men only to find more questions as the Beast sits down for dinner with Victor von Damme, and Iceman deals with a pissed-off Mole Man and his entire underground army.
Getting Angel and X-23 back adds some nice levity to the situation while the rest of the team mainly freaks out with their new reality. For someone unfamiliar with Marvel’s Ultimate Universe (which I’ve mostly avoided other than the early Ultimate Spider-Man arcs) I felt as out-of-place as the X-Men, but given the fact that is exactly the issue’s hook it certainly doesn’t hurt the story (although those more familiar with the universe will obviously get more out of the cameos of the various alternate versions of Marvel Comics characters). Worth a look.
In an issue that teases possible serious repercussions for both teams of X-Men going forward, Cyclops reluctantly agrees to help Wolverine‘s team and S.H.I.E.L.D. stop Matthew Malloy before the mutant is overcome by his restored powers no longer kept in check by the recently deceased Charles Xavier.
I’m always a bit squeamish when comics rely on the introduction of a new super-duper-awesome hero/villain as a plot device to effect change. Someone as powerful as Malloy simply inserted into the existing universe creates all kinds of problems that Marvel Comics may not be prepared to deal with. Don’t believe me? Look up the Sentry‘s Wikipedia entry.
Cyclops’ decision-making at the end of this issue (after the heroes where routed easily by Malloy) offers Scott Summers the opportunity to further his own mutant agenda (even if it may very likely push him down a super-villain path which he has teetered on ever since the fracture of the team). Worth a look.
Helping setting up Marvel Comics’ Fall Avengers/X-Men crossover Axis (which I will likely be giving a very wide berth), Magneto‘s search leads him to be captured by the Red Skull who, imbued with a part of Charles Xavier‘s mental gifts, uses his mind to turn Magneto’s own past against him.
Taking place mostly inside Magneto’s mind, Magneto #10 focuses on Magneto attempting to keep his sanity and stop the Red Skull from breaking him (which would happened if not for the timely arrival of the Scarlet Witch, Rogue, and Quicksilver). As to the now mutant-powered Red Skull… meh.
For a comic that has gone out of its way to keep its lead character off the grid throwing him into the middle of a crossover this big is more than a little jarring. That said, the tease at the end of the issue involving Magneto’s rash decision allows readers who stick around to see what an amped-up version of his former self might accomplish. For fans.
After their encounter with a new mutant Jean Grey, Beast, Iceman, Angel, and X-23 are scattered across the Marvel Ultimate Earth with no way of getting home. Jean Grey is lucky enough to run into Spider-Man, albeit not the Spider-Man she knows, but other members of the team aren’t so lucky.
Angel finds himself in the middle of the Savage Land, Beast is trapped in the middle of Latveria, after accidentally breaking up a football game X-23 is on the run from the law, and Bobby wakes in the middle of the Mole-Man‘s lair.
The Jean Grey/Miles Morales team-up sells the issue (while also providing a pretty cool splash panel of Miles’ time as Spidey), but the other storylines don’t put the original X-Men in situations which they couldn’t have found on their own Earth (in either timeline, really). As someone who has largely ignored the Ultimate Universe since its creation the comic is is only mildly interesting to me but longtime fans may get more out of it. For fans.
In an attempt to fulfill the final wish of Charles Xavier, the unlikely force of Rachel, Cyclops, and Wolverine go after an Omega-Level Mutant whose knowledge of his immense powers Professor X wiped from his mind. With the professor gone, those memories are returning making the man a potential danger to every living being on the planet.
Without getting specific about just what powers the man controls, Uncanny X-Men #26 sets up the mutant as a major threat who S.H.I.E.L.D. will gladly take all the help it can get to neutralize before things spiral out of control.
The issue brings up two subplots worth keeping an eye on in Iceman‘s boiling rage against Scott Summers for Xavier’s death and in the conflict of Cyclops’ young mutants when discussing the reasons for the existence of a training program pitting them against the Avengers. Both foreshadow potentially messy situations for Cyclops and possibly his entire team. Worth a look.
With the instructors busy with other business, the time displaced X-Men along with the returned Angel and X-23 (whose new relationship is cause of great interest for the entire school) set off to find and rescue a young mutant just coming int her powers. However, what the group doesn’t yet know is the type of her mutation and how her uncontrolled ability to open doorways to alternate dimensions will leave on member of the team stranded in the Ultimate Universe.
Although I think it’s very possible for these characters and this comic specifically to get time/space dimension fatigue beginning so quickly after wrapping up a storyline involving villains from the future, Brian Michael Bendis’ choice to bring Jean Grey into a universe he knows so well (he did help create it after all) does open the door for some intriguing possibilities as long as the arc doesn’t overstay its welcome (a problem the title has had issues with in the past). Worth a look.
Continuing the trend of the comic in recent months Magneto #8 features an increasing number of flashbacks and panels from Magneto‘s complicated past narrated through the current version’s search for justice. The latest issue also offers up another group of mutant killers and traffickers for Magneto to track down leading to S.H.I.E.L.D. finally catching up with the vigilante and the reveal of the less-than-noble goal of Magneto’s quest.
Personally I’m all in favor of Magneto being reinstated back to full strength, but evil Beast storyline already opened the door for that as a possibility (only to be immediately ignored by every X-book afterwards). The choice offered here takes the character down a darker road which may offer some intriguing storylines but probably doesn’t serve the character all that well in the long run. If Magneto is restored to full power (whatever costs may be involved) the question then becomes where does he fit in the larger X-Men and Marvel universes? For fans.