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.
And we’ve reached a turning point in Uncanny X-Men #21 folks! Read this review for my thoughts on the matter!
The story picks up where it left off with Cyclops blasting the JGS staff as his powers run out of control until he passes out. Naturally things go from bad to worse as Magik goes Dark Childe and summons a dragon. Storm puts them both down with a bolt of lightning and the group needs to decide what to do with the two as Beast says he’ll handle it. Part of me was cheering that Beast may have been done in by the blast, but it was false hope. Maybe he’ll try to redeem himself by not being a douche-bag, but he doesn’t even get a chance as Mystique wearing Dazzler’s skin has come for the two of them with SHIELD backing her in Helicarriers.
Wait, back up a page. How the hell does Storm know that Magik has Limbo inside of her? She shouldn’t know that unless her daughter from the future told her, and I’d like to have seen that on-panel or at least an admission. And why the hell is Quentin in his bathrobes outside in the rain? Plot-holes!
Uh…anyway, back in Madripoor we have the Blob earning respect the only way you can in the place: kicking the shit out of everyone else in a bar brawl. Like he said, he was an original brotherhood member and he will be respected. But naturally his drug-gained powers fail and he needs his next fix, so like all junkies who know where the source of their drugs come from he goes to get some fresh from it.
He leads Magneto straight to Dazzler, who rightfully points out Mystique has made him a druggie and he should be ashamed. Magneto does not tolerate mutants being exploited for MGH and given the rampage he’s been on in his own series, the only reason Blob is still alive is because they’ve known each other so long. Magneto frees her and they both set out to go fuck up Mystique’s plans.
Back at the JGS it comes as no surprise Maria Hill is there and wants Cyclops. She’s got the hots for him and this is a chance she doesn’t want to pass on. But, since having something wrong with him could potentially back fire while in bed, she gives Beast an hour to see what the hell he can do to fix it, much to the shock of Mystique-Dazzler. They don’t have five minutes before Helmet Head, who I now suspect is a future student of Beast’s from his dialogue, takes control of their Helicarriers and open fire.
Beast, in another moment of shocking competence, tells Storm to take the battle head-on and keep the school intact while he figures out who is responsible by examining Cyclops and Magik. Man, getting chewed out by the Watcher did some damn good after all. Too bad he got shot. As for Maria Hill, SHIELD once more proves their incompetence as they explain they’ve been compromised (again) and Storm brings down the lightning on them.
We then have a brief cut to the NXS school, where the kids have been looking all over for Emma. Her daughters don’t even need to read her mind to know she’s worried and annoyed for Cyclops since he left without her, like you would expect from an ex-girlfriend who isn’t out to ruin your life because you broke up with her. This is a rarity, of course. She says she can feel something is wrong and just as she does something in the sky comes falling down towards them.
The JGS sends out a message for the students to get to the emergency bunker as Quire reads Maria’s head to try and figure out why they’re attacking and Mystique-Dazzler is just walking away. Meanwhile Beast still proves himself a douche-bag by talking trash to an unconscious man he’s known his entire mutant career, but he does say he knows who is responsible just as the Helmet Head tells him it’s time to show him who’s the smarter one as the comic ends.
Fucking teasers! Would it have killed them to just say the guy’s name in the last panel so people could rail about it! Stop dragging it out, Marvel!
Ahem… okay, review time.
The art was not to my liking but sadly was standard for this series, which is a damn shame considering how All-New X-Men is goddamn beautiful. Even worse is the fact that the pages are a jumbled mess to me as they cut away at the worst times. They couldn’t have done the NXS scene before the scene with Maria appearing?
The plot is moving, so there’s that, but I can’t give this more than a 3 out of 5.