Oh, baby X-Men, we hardly knew ye. Since the time-displaced original five debuted in 2012 as part of Brian Michael Bendis’s mutant master plan, many of us have been more or less waiting for the eventual reversal — whatever method of time-traveling chicanery would be necessary to send them back to their proper when and clear the decks once again. The plot development that brought the young X-Men into the present-day Marvel universe seemed, from the outset, to be very temporary. Have kid Cyclops show crazy old Cyclops that he was acting a right dick, and move on. Send the younguns home. Instead, these “All-New X-Men” settled in for a spell and opened new doors (closet doors among them) all over the mansion.
Angel got fire wings, and Beast took up dark magic. Iceman came out as gay, and Jean Grey came into a heretofore unappreciated personality. Cyclops rejected his destined psychosis, kicking it with the Champions and the Starjammers when he wasn’t neurotically whining all over Westchester. Along the way, this new “Blue” team picked up a few more strays and even started training under one-time arch-nemesis Magneto.
So, are these kids really sticking around?
Nope. Doesn’t look like it.
X-Men: Extinction #1, by Ed Brisson and Pepe Larraz, is this year’s mini mutant event and, as Brisson mentions in his afterword, this event is “largely about cleaning house.” But he goes on to assure us dear readers that, even once they resolve the young X-Men storyline, the last few years of continuity will still matter.
Continue reading X-Men: Extermination
I really enjoyed the first issues of both Astonishing X-Men and X-Men Gold, but these last few months I’ve seen a consistency in the quality of writing and art in Blue that sets it apart from the other solid X-Men books. While each one has its own roster of celebrity X-Men, Blue’s team hits at something elemental in the franchise, focusing on the original five-person roster from the seminal Kirby/Lee stories. Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Iceman and Angel were all sucked from their original timeline in 2012 as part of the All-New X-Men title, and in Blue, writer Cullen Bunn skillfully juggles the relationship dynamics and Civil Rights commentary that are a signature aspect of good X-men stories, while also dealing with the challenges that arise when time travel and alternate universes are involved. The way all these separate facets of the current X-men universe are combined into something narratively cohesive, as well as the great artwork by Jorge Molina, makes Blue one of the most rewarding capes ‘n’ tights books I’ve read in awhile.
What makes this book stand out from the other X-titles is how the subsequent storylines reinforce the character arcs and themes introduced in the first issue. Magneto’s role as the X-Men’s benefactor is a device that’s been used before to subvert the familiar in X-books, but by pairing the historied Magneto with the team of inexperienced original X-men, Bunn has the opportunity to look at covered ground from a different perspective. Not only is the issue of trust a factor between the former foes, but whether or not people have the power to change and shape their own destiny is a huge question for all of these X-Men. While they struggle with their decision to trust the reformed Magneto, they encounter the future Sentinel, Bastion, who has also changed cosmetically, but is later revealed to have more sinisterly convoluted plans than ever before.
Continue reading The Best of ResurrXion #2 – X-Men: Blue