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.
Stuff Happens. Important Stuff with the Kids.
At this point I’m starting to think that the NXS kids deserve their own side series like Wolverine’s do. But then I think about that travesty and decide this way better as I review Issue #17 of Uncanny X-Men…although I will admit the one about Toad was a good one.
The issue begins with the kids being dropped off in a strange landscape and left there with no instructions by Magik. Given that she can teleport across time and space, it’s natural to assume that they may not even be on earth, but each comes up with their own theory as to where they are and that they are being tested. Also it appears that Phoebe has dyed her hair red like she said she wanted back after Irma went black.
Anyway, Hijack reveals he kept his cellphone and whips it out. They tell him Cyclops said they can be tracked by them, but he states he couldn’t break his contract so he kept it and then states they’re in Montana. They are then split apart by a very large creature with jagged teeth and a deafening roar.
Eva, who has a very potty mouth upon being surprised, goes with Fabio and correctly guesses its training to see how they deal with unpredictable situations. That includes her and Fabio being surprised again by some Ostrich-dinosaur thing that chokes of Fabio’s goldballs (sorry for the phrasing) and keels over, but not before Eva has vanished in her Time Bubble and is nowhere to be seen.
With Phoebe and Irma, they have to put up with Triage screaming like a little girl because they ended up in a cave with a spider-slug thing the size of his fist. I will never let him live this down, but since the girls are trying to hide Irma does the mind manipulation thing they did in Limbo to make him brave. He seems to like it, but that might because he and Irma clearly are developing something and having a pretty girl in your head doesn’t sound too bad as long as you can stop thinking about dirty thoughts every few minutes. It worked for Cyclops and Emma, if you ignore she took advantage of his vulnerability while with Jean and then Jean hooked them up to avoid a bad future from the grave…Yeah, he might want to be careful in the long run. Anyway, Fabio finds them, but Eva is still nowhere to be seen.
We then skip to Benjamin, Hijack, and Celeste hiding. She explains they are in Tabula Rasa, a.k.a the place Archangel blew up and led to the bad future of Uncanny Avengers. She’s giving them an overview of them being in a bubble that will show what the earth will look like well after I’m good and dead when she can sense a mind in the distance. Unfortunately said minds don’t like her and mind-rape her to the point that her sister’s couldn’t hear her and assumed she was dead within their Hive Mind, leaving it to Benjamin to try and reason with them by using his powers to gain some level of trust and understanding and calming them down. It works to an extent, as they touch and read Benjamin’s mind, and they reactivate her brain.
She’s pissed, more than Emma when confronting an Adult Jean Grey, and tries to mentally assault them despite Benjamin stating that they are an evolved species. It goes poorly. But then Eva pops up and traps them in the time bubble.
She looks like she went through hell. Her hair is longer, her clothing are torn, and she looks like she aged a bit. But the first things she does were hug Benjamin as though she hadn’t seen him in a long time, tell Celeste not to tell anyone anything about what she gleamed from her mind, and kissed Fabio on the forehead. But she became downright hostile to Triage, who only wanted to heal her, and seeing as the two of them were the first of the team to meet up and be friends he must’ve fucked up bad in the future.
Anyway, SHIELD shows up with Nick Fury, Coulson, Fucking Hawkeye, and Spider-Woman because of Hijack’s phone. Yeah, he fucked up. They want Cyclops, the big fish, not the small minnows and tell them to put their hands up.
The Stepford Sisters can’t affect them because SHIELD regularly has anti-telepathy equipment given their line of work. Now Eva could probably take them again, but Hijack turns their fancy gear on them. It’s then that Magik teleports them out and back to their base.
Cyclops is pissed off. It was a field test to see how they reacted, and most of them passed with flying colors. Even Fabio, who stumbled his way into a victory. While I doubt Celeste and Triage did as well, the only one to outright fail was Hijack.
They were in the most unexplored place on the planet and SHIELD tracked them down in 15 minutes, because of his cellphone at that, and he revealed his power. Next time SHIELD is going to be prepared for it like they were with the Stepford Sisters. Cyclops can’t have that so they drop him off at his old place, which is bad when you remember what happened to Fabio and that Mystique will most likely be the one talking to him with that silver tongue of hers to turn him evil, and the issue ends.
Okay, review time.
First off, considering that Kitty was in the background during that lecture I’m assuming this is before the Trial of Jean Grey. Second off, according to rumors next issue revolves around Cyclops, Teen!Cyclops, the aftermath of this chapter, and Tempus’ crush on him.
While I want to believe she went to a bad future and took some training from hell, there is a chance that the writers aged her so they could pair her with Cyclops if what I’m hearing about her romance for him coming into play. You can’t blame the young girl either for the crush. He’s hot enough that Pixie, Irma (for a while), and even the teenage host of Lady Deathstrike in X-Men #11 wants him.
Teenage girls find him hot, to the extent even his teen version was getting some play before BOTA, but while Cyclops is a lot of things, and most of them positives with a spattering of negatives, he’s not skeezy enough to have a relationship with her like that. Even though he did meet her mother already, and she was his first rescue, and so on. That’s Wolverine’s department.
Not to mention, whenever she was at clearly traumatized her. I mean, getting lost in time is mandatory for an X-Men with powers remotely close to hers. But if there is any luck she learned more about her powers and will serve as the leader of the team behind the adults.
As for Hijack, I’m conflicted on how to feel because Cyclops was a little harsh, but he has a point since they stated he warned the idiot about the phone thing. It’d be one thing to kick him off the team because he was disobeying an order that was morally wrong, but Hijack admitted the main reason he didn’t toss his phone was because of the damn contract. You’re an X-Man, and a fugitive one at that, fuck the phone contract and worry about the giant-ass robots SHIELD and Helmet-Head keeps sending at you!
Honesty, Cyclops can’t have that sort of reckless behavior right now and was somewhat right to kick him out, despite the benefits his power-set has to offer. If he’d used his phone at the base, they would have been compromised in a hurry. Like Cyclops said, mistakes have killed good X-Men before.
But Hijack knows wayyyy too damn much to be let go if he decides to go traitor and turn them into SHIELD. I don’t normally agree with mind-fuckery, but at least fudge the location of their base in his mind so he can retain his abilities and know how they work without compromising the group. Even if he’s being used as SHIELD bait by some chance, like a couple of people suggest when I lurked in the forums.
The sad thing is that I liked Hijack as he had the potential to be a great character. A victim of prejudice-turned-crusader of their rights without going overboard, a neat power, and as an older member of the team he would have been an excellent big brother figure to the rest of the younger members (barring Benjamin since he’s collage-age). On the other hand, the X-Men are lacking interesting villains and if you can’t join or stay with the team…in the end it really depends on what the storyboard has laid out for Hijack, but this won’t be the last we see of him.
So, between Tempus having aged and gone on her own time travel trauma and Hijack gotten the boot, many things have happened. I’m calling this a must-have issue that will have major effects on the plot, so it gets a 5 out of 5.