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.
After (finally) wrapping up the Xavier and the Future Brotherhood of Mutants storyline last month, All-New X-Men takes a break and gives the characters a chance to breathe. All-New X-Men #30 deals primarily with the state of two relationships, one which has been brewing for several months and the other which turns out to be a pleasant surprise.
As the cover suggests, this is the issue where Angel and X-23 finally get together. It’s certainly an odd pairing, but as Angel states during the issue he doesn’t need to know why he likes Laura only that he does. This is a relationship I’m going to want to see develop over the next several months.
The other major plot thread involves Emma Frost trying to pick a fight with Jean Grey, but not for the reason you may suspect. The ending of that story completely changes the pair’s dynamic (which didn’t have anywhere to go) and opens up the door for several new possibilities between Scott Summers‘ ex-girlfriends as actual friends. Poor Cyclops. Worth a look.
Magneto‘s vagabond mission across the globe to unearth who is behind the rise of attacks on mutants leads him to Hong Kong based on the intel provided by his new friend Briar Raleigh. Allowing himself to be taken prisoner, Magneto wakes in a prison where he is put into combat against a Predator X for the enjoyment of paid spectators whose thrill of the fight swiftly evaporates when they discover just who they’ve let in the building.
Although the mutant-hunting creature is harder to deal with than at the peak of his powers, Magneto uses the Predator X’s strengths against it before turning his fury on those in charge of the operation. Despite the fact that the reasons for Cyclops and Emma Frost‘s power loss was explained a month ago (a finale which involved our lead character), Magneto’s power loss hasn’t been fixed (or apparently even yet explained) in this issue. In the overall scope of things Magneto seems to be lagging behind the other X-books. Of course that may be why Marvel has put two issues of the series out in less than a month. Worth a look.
Continuing the storyline involving the attacks on the school by Xavier and the Future Brotherhood of Mutants, All-New X-Men #29 finds the team victorious over the future mutants. Despite capturing Xavier and turning him over to the authorities, it appears the time loop involving the team’s meddlesome trips to the past has not yet been broken.
Of all the possible relationships between the past and current X-Men I’ll admit I didn’t expect Angel and X-23 to get together romantically (which is teased more at the end of this issue and even further on next month’s cover). Although on the face of it the pairing seems odd, the more I think about it the more I like the pair together and the possibilities such a relationship might yield.
All-New X-Men #29 is another strong issue although by their nature the Brotherhood’s failed attacks are beginning to grow stale. Hopefully next month’s issue moves towards an end to this storyline and begins to look forward to something new for the team to sink its teeth into. Worth a look.