Well, now that that cop-out of an arc is done , our story picks up in the aftermath by starting the Original Sin tie-in event, The Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier, in issue number 23 of Uncanny X-men.
The story begins with a couple arguing. I don’t want to get into details because about five panels in the wife or girlfriend is killed in a random Skrull attack. Weren’t they supposed to be near-extinct or something after Secret Invasion? Either way, the windowed guy blows a Skrull’s head up all of a sudden and has no idea what the hell he just did as SHIELD does their damn job.
Okay, first off, this was last year. Unless this was after AvsX he damn well shouldn’t be a mutant and last I checked it’s only been a few months at best. Next, doesn’t SWORD deal with alien threats? Given how Brand is, that Skrull ship shouldn’t have made it into orbit, and even then not before a team of Avengers went to town on it. Out of all the feasible threats, the Skrulls are the last ones who should be involved here, so that’s just lazy writing.
Anyway, we then skip to She-Hulk, who was disbarred in her comic if I recall, still working and being shamed for her many sexual encounters, who receives something important. Three guesses what it is, and the first two don’t count. Madripoor has Dazzler pissed the fuck off for everything Mystique as done, but they know she’s damn well gone so there’s nothing to be done, and in their secret school Cyclops is having another mini-break down as he recalled Xavier’s last moments.
Tempus arrives to ask him how he is, but he in turns asks her about the time travel incident she went through. She tries to deny it, but the Cyclops has children who travel through time and has done it himself plenty of times. He knows when someone has aged years in the span of weeks… that, and the Stepford Sisters told him. Eva… she doesn’t take it well and storms out.
As for the JGS, She-Hulk crash lands in their front yard to see that the school is wrecked, yet again. Honestly, how the hell have they not been shut down? If the administrators who investigated it the first time didn’t get mind-wiped the school would have been. Are any of the teachers actually qualified? Uh… anyway, the point of her visit is that they need to read the will of Charles Xavier.
As Magik returns with the rest, Dazzler runs off to the bathroom, Magik and Emma tell Cyclops not to talk to her and talk to Hijack, while Magneto goes back to his own solo-series to be a bad-ass. Hijack eats some humble pie and Cyclops welcomes him back. Dazzler, on the other hand… well, a therapy session might be in order from the way she’s looking at the scissors…
Back with the dude from the opening, who runs into his dead girlfriend or wife’s sister who wants to talk to him because he’s looking kind of like a bum, he loses control over his powers and kills her and everyone near him. Yeah, this is kinda why no one trusts people with powers in these series.
She-Hulk then asks if Xavier’s really dead. We can’t blame her since the X-Men come back more than anyone else in Marvel. But since we saw him chilling with Nightcrawler in the afterlife, let’s say he is. The comic ends with She-Hulk needing to have Cyclops there to read the will as well.
Okay, review time…
The art work takes a hit more than normal this issue since it hurt my damn eyes to look at, and since this is the opening of the plot I won’t get on the about that, but the continuity errors are annoying to say the least.
3 out of 5 at best.
It’s time to bring the conflict between Bubblehead and both factions of the X-Men to a close as I give you my review of Uncanny X-Men #22!
The issue opens with Magneto bringing Dazzler to Triage, since Elixir is still missing. Emma and Magneto take a look at her and think that Mystique has gone too far, even compared to them at their worse. I can’t say since I wasn’t around for those times, but what matters is that Dazzler is healed and pissed off.
Meanwhile, in Westchester, the townspeople see what’s happening in the distance and figured it was only a matter of time before SHEILD came after the X-Men and decide to get out of the way. But not before Hijack lives up to his codename and hijacks someone’s car. The school is under attack and has to be abandoned while Maria Hill has to contact the Avengers and White House about this little screw up, as well as ordering Dazzler shot on sight for walking away with no proof she’s involved, which is illegal.
This is when their nuclear anti-mutant payload gets unleashed and they turn out to have even newer Sentinels. Yeah, good luck explaining that. See, you can’t trust SHIELD not to have weapons of genocide.
Anyway, before they all get wiped out, Hijack pulls a big damn heroes and stops the entire fleet from functioning. Although the sell-out was about to switch teams, I’m not question how he got to New York so quickly. What I am questioning is why his powers are working when we know for a fact that Bubblehead made the Blockbuster Sentinel immune to his powers before. I’m calling it an ass-pull, but it gets the job done as he has the Helicarrier open fire on the new killer robots.
The two teams gather as Cyclops and Beast go after the one responsible since his powers were being controlled by nanosentinels by Dark Beast… wait; didn’t Dark Beast get captured in the last issue of Astonishing X-Men, after Iceman froze a good part of the world over? I knew SHIELD couldn’t hold Mystique, but come on! And, as tempting as it is to assume that this is the cause of their broken powers, we all know that the nanosentinels don’t explain why Magik was forced into her dark-side form or why Colossus was screwy and the best Forge could whip up was some tech to keep him all metal, or Magneto, who could sense metal, not noticing.
Ass-pulls all around!
Anyway, the initial blast managed to damage his suit, killing him. But he left a bomb behind that Hijack takes care of. Thus the day is saved, minus the fact that Maria Hill will probably be fired considering that all of this happened on her watch, as Cyclops points out before Dazzler quits because Mystique managed to kidnap her on the Helicarrier and the X-Men were the ones who saved her.
Okay, review time.
Ummm, ass-pulls all around really take away from it all. Let’s be frank, I don’t care about Dark Beast being the one responsible because it’s a lighter ass-pull and… well, no one’s going to miss a version of Beast being dead.
But really, this cluster-fuck was manufactured to try and tie everything up in a neat little bow from the fact that Hijack was selling out to the other team and just so happen to be useful to having a familiar villain be killed off.
On one hand, it’s finally over. On the other, Mystique still got away and, while she lost her main source of MGH, she can always find some other mutant and hook them up to make more.
So… 3 out of 5.
After the atrocity that was Issue #18, I admit I lost some faith in the series. Let’s see if I can’t get it back by reviewing Issue #19 of Uncanny X-Men, in which the war against SHIELD is declared anew.
Our story begins in Atlanta, after Cyclops has kicked Hijack off the team. It appears that a day has passed and Hijack slept off being given the boot, only to wake up and find Maria Hill and three SHIELD agents in his home while he’s in his Spider-Man undies. She tells him they have no reason to fight, not that she didn’t remove everyone else’s car in the neighborhood to be safe, and tells Hijack to give her all the information he has Cyclops or she’ll detain him forever, claiming that since he’s been cavorting with a known terrorist she’s allowed to hack his email…
In which the moron apparently wrote about how he was booted out to his girlfriend and was begging her to take him back. Leaving aside the fact that his girlfriend got him shot before, if you gotta get relationship advice from the person threatening to arrest you, you fucked up somewhere.
At the same time this is happening, Mystique and Sabertooth have Dazzler in some undisclosed location. Her eyes and ears are covered so she can’t hear or see anything, and Mystique makes it known that she considers Dazzler a traitor to her people. But, when asked why she doesn’t kill her and be done with it, she tells Sabertooth that Dazzler still has her uses.
Mystique has been using Dazzler as the source of Mutant Growth Hormone, you know that stuff that pissed off Magneto so he dropped her through a building? She, hypocritically, claims that Dazzler is a “sell-out dirty whore” for working with SHIELD and then goes about her way. The moment she’s out the door, Dazzler says “Ow” which, given the timing, indicates that she’s not only aware of what’s going on but she knows what Mystique is doing to her. Yeah, she’s going to be pissed off as hell once she gets free.
Maria Hill, after the above, is still harassing Hijack and claims that Cyclops knew they must have been watching his place and set this conversation up. Now, while I’d like to dismiss this notion outright, given what happened to Eva and Fabio when they visited home…I have to admit she’s got some logic there in that he had to of known that was going to happen. Since Cyclops didn’t have the Stepford Sisters give a mind wipe to him, the evidence looks damning to both me and Hijack.
Speaking of Cyclops, he’s watching Cerebro for new mutants as Eva arrives. He’s looking at the big picture, reminding himself what they’re fighting for. He then notes Eva has been different after the training mission and tells her that she can tell him anything, but she hesitates and uses the signal of a powerful mutant popping up as an escape to avoid the conversation, only looking on mournfully as he leaves.
The team arrives in Chicago, only for it to be a trap in the form of a big Sentinel that gives birth to a bunch of smaller ones. Magik, Fabio, and Cyclops’ mutant powers fail to work appropriately, leaving Cyclops to cause a boatload of property damage and Magik unable to teleport them to safety before they get caught in the enemy crossfire and there isn’t anything left in the spot, making it seem as though they were blasted to atoms.
However, they appear a minute later safe and sound. Eva sealed them in a Time Bubble and warped them all a minute forward to avoid the damage. Magik then shows the fruit of her training with Doctor Strange before he started playing super-cop and uses a defensive spell, an energy manipulation spell, and a spell to make some multi-headed dragon thing that chomped on the robots.
With that done, Cyclops congratulates Eva on a job well done and she smiles earnestly, but Celeste whispers to her she needs to tell him about what went down in her trip to the future. Before Cyclops can follow up and tear the biggest robot apart it runs away. They reason that whoever sent it rigged it to mess with mutant powers, but only those they knew about. I’m calling bullshit on this because there are only a handful of ways that works.
One is magic, in which case I expect those Sentinels to be magic-proof like that ass-pull in Battle of the Atom next time. Another is like what they did to Cyclops in the prison with the shock collars. In both cases they were general purpose, but the way they’re talking is that the person making them is tailoring them, and considering Eva’s powers still work it’s not something that suppresses the X-Gene completely.
Either way, the new students get their first taste of a hate mob and Cyclops is pissed off because this was some sick game and he’s tired of being hunted. He declares if it is SHIELD behind this they’re going to war, and if someone else was using SHIELD to do it and they didn’t care enough to put a stop to it, then more war. Basically, he’s decided SHIELD is the main enemy as the comic ends with dome-head watching from wherever he is.
Okay, review time.
Judging from how things are going, I’m just assuming they didn’t count #18 as canon, which I’m all for given the mess that it was. But the humor in this issue was rather crass and I can’t say the dialogue was anything revolutionary, in fact it felt like a step down from Issue #17, but the mediocre artwork is still miles ahead of what it was from the last issue and the plot is progressing.
3 out of 5 is my rating for this issue.