….Well, this is a bitter review, but I told myself I’d get through with it. So here’s my review of the final tie-in of the Last Will and Testament filler that is Uncanny X-Man #31. Note there will be a lot of swearing.
Story begins with the students of the NXS tripping over the arrival of Xavier and Celeste calling Tempus out on bringing him here. Given the cluster-fuck that is the 05 when Tyke nearly bit the bullet, it’s understandable. More so since Celeste knows she lost her family because of her powers. But they don’t have time to dwell on it since Cyclops left a message to be activated in the event of the teachers’ deaths, telling them to go the Jean Grey School.
At said School, Malloy is losing control of his passive defense powers and all of a sudden everyone has lost their damn minds and decides to take revenge for the deaths and every single person there is killed. First off, since when did Iceman, Beast, and Storm give two-shits about the NXS staff? Hell, they were the most vocal about putting Cyclops down like an issue or two ago. Second off, what the hell did the students think they were doing by charging him head-on?
This isn’t just lazy writing; it’s bad and only serves as a stupid excuse for both Tempus and Xavier to cross a moral threshold by going back in time and stopping Malloy’s parents from meeting, aborting him from time. See my notes below on that. Anyway, after that he goes back to his time and wipes his brain clean of this mess.
In the rebooted timeline, Xavier bequeaths everything to Cyclops at the Will reading, which none of the JGS Staff like. Cyclops sees Tempus and asks her what she’s doing there, and she explains that she went to the past after they all got killed and aborted a mutant who was too powerful to control. He tells her she’s out of the school, she tells him she’s graduated and will be watching him so if he doesn’t get his shit together she’s going to abort him next, and then Cyclops gives the estate to Storm in exchange for taking in the NXS students while he disappears as the comic ends.
Okay, review time.
Let me start off by saying, this gets a 2 out of 5. They wasted months on build-up, only to erase it and turn everything prior into filler. The sad thing is… I expected this. I was already skeptical when they introduced Malloy as the most powerful mutant ever because never once has any of those types of characters lasted simply because they’re too powerful to live.
It’s the same thing that happened with Legion, the only solution would be to alter the timeline, which is already morally dubious considering that Tempus erased her own child from time, so she should know fucking better than anyone how messed up that was. Not to mention it goes against Xavier’s creed about now mutant being left behind.
And her self-loathing (or at least that’s what the new writer or whoever it is that brings her back will retcon into the reason) led to her taking out her anger on Cyclops. Note he was the only one who got Malloy to calm down before SHIELD fucked up and didn’t do anything wrong. Him, and Magik, are blameless, yet everyone’s on-board the Cyclops hate train.
Do I think this could have been handled better? Fuck Yes. She literally had all the time in the world to go back to when they had a mutant cure, get one, and just give him the shot before he awoke his powers so he’d continue to live a normal life… until the Skrull killed him anyway.
And how she says she’ll be watching, and the threat to abort him, is the sort of shit I’d expect from super-villains or one of his ex-wives. She the new Kang the Conqueror, only it took one issue to make her unlikable. Bendis was forced to rewrite his story, and from the cover you’d believe him, but this was just poorly done overall.
I was supportive of this series, because I believed in the characters and what Cyclops needed to do. Tempus was the first student he saved, proof he wasn’t sitting on his ass and doing nothing. But now? After this waste of several months, BOTA, and all the other meaningless crap?
I don’t think I can do it for much longer. I’ll probably still review it, but honestly I’m not going to put in more effort than the writer did. They’re clearly of the opinion that none of it will matter once Secret Wars becomes the damn end of it.
Following up from the last issue, Magik visits Doctor Strange in the past, interrupting his…. Private time. I guess even the Sorcerer Supreme is entitled to getting action on the side. Anyway, Magik discusses the problem and asks what he can do about the issue with Malloy. He gives her a suggestion.
With Magneto, Malloy, and Cyclops, Magneto thinks that Cyclops is going too far while Cyclops defends his actions and eventually Malloy sends him off to the school. Magneto then feels he failed Cyclops because he didn’t notice that he had a breakdown and was now endangering them all. Tempus thinks to herself that she can go back in the past to fix all of this, which Celeste calls her out on because she read her mind and knows what happened to her.
To sum up the events of the Eva special, she got lost in time and eventually ended up in the year 2099. There Magik was the Sorceress Supreme and she stayed for seven years, mothered a child and had a husband, before losing control of her powers and ending up at the beginning of Mankind. Morgan Le Fay was there and explained to her that the future she had been to no longer existed, but she ended up trying to get back only to find everything had changed and Stark had become Sorcerer Supreme. He tells her the truth of the matter and then helps her get back to her own time.
Anyway, the rest of the X-Men are divided on the whole time-travel thing while the adults are stuck at the Jean Grey school and learn that Beast essentially screwed up when he told everyone that Malloy was a threat. This is proven when Magik shows up with the Eye of Agamotto, intent on using it to see into him and what he is capable of, when Helicarriers arrive and open fire. The comic ends with the sight of three skeletons burning and Eva arriving in the past to greet Charles Xavier.
Okay, review time…
In truth, I’m more than a little mad. They keep dragging this arc on and, from the looks of it, plan on retconning the entire thing if she prevents his death somehow. That would mean, much like BOTA, the entire thing was a waste of time.
It gets a 3 out of 5.
The story picks up where it left off, with Cyclops offering to buy the man breakfast. Maybe it’s because he’s got some psychic potential and psychics seem to be willing to listen to him more, but Matthew goes willingly. Maria Hill is then panicking because Cyclops, who declared he wants to start a revolution, just got his hands on the current most powerful mutant there is.
Then we get a quick look at the JGS, where Beast is tripping over his furry self in stressing out about this new mutant and the world powers don’t care and blah, blah, blah. I’m not going to lie. As much as I figured I would love hearing the words ‘Cyclops was right’ or the equivalent from the sellouts there, they managed to ruin it because it feels hollow in the grand scheme of things here. It feels forced.
Anyway, Cyclops takes him up a steep plateau for some private time while Magik goes to fetch breakfast (yeah, like that’s going to happen) and he lets Matthew take a peek at his past with the professor. To sum it up, he fought for the professor’s idea and no matter how many times they save the world they were still hated on a genetic level for it. So the professor may have been wrong (which his psychic ghost residue mentions in this week’s Magneto) and they need to take their place.
Matthew then starts to flip out of control and so Cyclops shows him that a number of other mutants went through the same thing and they can help him. He still loses it and Magik pulls Cyclops out, but he won’t abandon him despite Magik telling him they need a plan. She then tells him he gets one more chance and if she doesn’t like what she sees then she’ll act on her own.
He goes back in and tells him that they’re going to help him, train him, and make him better. He doesn’t lie to him and admits that a mutant as powerful as he is will act as a deterrent for people like the Purifiers and while he’s willing to go as far as he needs to, with him they won’t have to. At this point, as the comic ends, Magneto pops up and tells him that he’s going just a bit too far.
Okay, review time.
Honestly, at this point I just want the arc to end. The only really good thing is that it gets to skip that even bigger nightmare AXIS, but other than the rehashing of Cyclops’ goals we really don’t learn much and the art was clunky…even more than usual. 3 out of 5.
The next issue in the Will and Testament of Charles Xavier is out in Uncanny X-Men #27 and this is my review/recap!
Okay, continuing where we last left off Cyclops manages to get on-board the Helicarrier with Maria Hill not ordering his detainment to her bedroom since he’s come with the other X-Men. Right away we see where everyone stands on the topic of the coming of the God-Mutant, Cyclops and Storm want dialogue first, Wolverine wants to go the Snikt-List route, and Rachel decides to hit him with an illusion of Charles and the Avengers telling him to behave like he’s a naughty toddler.
To be fair to Rachel, it almost works. For like five panels. Then he asks why they’re trying to stop him from being what he’s supposed to be, and works towards the ‘might is right’ attitude. Then, once he learns that Charles Xavier is actually dead, he brings the Helicarrier down and teleports the X-Men to their individual schools in the process, stating he doesn’t blame them since they were being manipulated too by Charles. I’m assuming he knew the school’s locations and that Charles was dead by reading Rachel’s mind.
Cyclops has an anxiety attack as he lands in the snow and the Stepford Sisters calm him down and read his mind. Again, I question where’s that psychic protection he was supposed to have had when he first visited the JGS to recruit, but it doesn’t matter since Magik arrives and offers to take him back to the other X-Men, who are basically assembling all the heroes to take the new mutant down.
Cyclops has a different idea, one even the sisters think is crazy. He returns the site of the crash via Magikbus as Maria Hill is asking the guy to leave the planet and then talks to him, explaining that they have a lot in common, with both being former prodigies of Charles and have been manipulated by him, and that he’s a one of a kind blessing but the world may not be ready for him. He then offers to buy him breakfast to talk about things and he accepts as the comic ends.
Okay, review time.
Honestly, there were pages wasted here and this whole arc is negligible. You don’t introduce God-Tier characters without some criticism and I’ll be glad when it’s over, but at least they didn’t resolve things by trying to punch him out. Still, I’m have tempted to think that Cyclops earned his trust the same way he does virtually every psychic, invite them into his head, whisper sweet words of understanding, and then breakfast.
I give it a 3 out of 5.
Okay, my review of Uncanny X-Men #24. Not much really happening in this issue, so the review will be short.
The story picks up where it left off, with She-Hulk needing Cyclops for the will reading and Bobby running off because of it for some strange reason, but I stopped caring about this iteration of him some time ago so it doesn’t matter. Beast reveals he’s known all along where Cyclops was, sounding even more like a jilted lover than Wolverine, and Storm calls his ass out on it before they saddle up to and get him. At least Rachel finally spoke the hell up for once.
Then we skip to Maria Hill trying to get the new guy whose killing everyone left and right and failing, but that’s hardly interesting.
Meanwhile the sell-outs, I mean Jean Grey School team, arrives to find Dazzler looking insane, Scott sleeping naked for some reason, and basically tell him to get dressed and come on. Scott doesn’t want to, but decides to take his own ride with the adults while the students stay behind. When we get there we learn that Professor X married Mystique, which must make things awkward for Rogue, Nightcrawler, Iceman, Wolverine, Forge, and every other being she’s slept with.
Oh, and there’s a mutant so powerful that it threatens the relationship between mutant and humans so they need to go take care of that.
Okay, review time.
No. Just no. Leaving aside the fact the art isn’t worth writing home about, this has to be the dumbest string of words I have read. Mystique murder Moira, has threatened to kill his students multiple times, and shot her own daughter, and somehow he married her? I could get having a kid with her, because quite frankly she’s basically genetically tied to the majority of the X-Men that way, but damn.
This issue gets a 2 out of 5.
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.
Okay, things escalated in the wake of the latest Sentinel attack and I’m giving you the highlights in this review of Uncanny X-Men #20.
We start again with David Bonds being interrogated by Maria Hill. She’s grilling him thoroughly, but he knows nothing. She only relents the moment she gets word about the fiasco in the last issue, where Cyclops had to deal with the fact that someone set them up. She ditches David like a bad date and ends up floating 1000 feet over Ohio to get to her real target.
Cyclops manages to get on board by using the triplets to have a little four-on-one chat inside her head, where she declares him under arrest and he blames SHIELD for the attack in Chicago. She claims SHIELD had nothing to do with that and tells him he can use the psychics he has to check her mind. He takes their offer and the Stepford Sisters spill that she doesn’t know who’s sending them, she’s afraid that if it is SHIELD then she can’t touch them, and that she has a crush on Cyclops. You can tell by that grin on his face he probably knew it already, but tells her than until they can prove that they aren’t at least partially responsible then they are at war.
In my opinion I believe that he just baited them into using their resources to fish out their mole. But more to the point, Maria Hill’s obsession with catching Cyclops makes so much sense now. She wants to take him and probably lock him in her bedroom. Well, we can’t blame her since that seems to be a thing going around now that he’s single.
Anyway, back in Madripoor we see that the Blob is still alive after Magneto dropped a building on him. He’s followed Mystique and Sabertooth to the source of the MGH but gets caught in the act. It’s made clear he’s addicted to the stuff and they task him with guarding Dazzler, which will probably bite them in the ass soon enough.
But Mystique has more pressing matters, like trying to get SHIELD and Cyclops to destroy each other. She does so by claiming Magneto was in Madripoor and that was where she was to follow his trail. Maria Hill ends up thinking that he may be trying to fan the flames, but either way you can’t hide giant robots forever.
Meanwhile David Bonds, after having the sanctity of his home violated, decides to go on the move while being unaware SHIELD is tailing him while Cyclops tries to work out how they’ve been led astray by someone hacking Cerebro. Since there are only a few mind intelligent enough to know it exists and how to hack it, all immediate signs point to Beast of the X-Men. The kids note that cutting off their search for new mutants means this is no longer a revolution, but a war.
At the JGSHL Magik and Cyclops immediately run into their old teammates. He makes it clear he wants to check Beast’s lab to absolve him of everything, but no sooner than he gets the words out Rachel Grey senses something psychically amiss just as Cyclops loses control of his power (yes, I laughed when he blasted Beast) and SHIELD issues order to go catch his ass since he lit up on satellite, ending the issue.
Okay, review time.
This issue moved the plot forward and had a few funny moments, but the art was lackluster once more which has sadly become the norm. Other than that I had little complaints other than the cliff-hanger. It gets a 4 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.