UNCANNY X-MEN #10
The X-Men take the battle to X-Man himself and throw everything they have at him. But despite depriving him of the power of Legion and returning Storm to the fold, they must contend with the determination of a man desperate to leave the world with the legacy of his wisdom and singular vision.
This finale was more than just a battle royale that fed into the Age of X-Man. The end result of course would never be a positive one, as we all know where this is leading. But the last few panels did give a great springboard for the long awaited return of not one but two mainstays to the world of the X-Men, and just when they are needed the most of course. But the battle we witnessed had itself some truly memorable imagery to show us. From the outset there was some truly awesome sights to see, not least of which the telepaths all getting their heads together to pit their wits against X-Man.
As if this weren’t enough it was such a relief to finally see Storm getting some recognition, which was a huge failing in X-Men: Gold. And while I hesitate to use the ‘O’ word, as to me it has always been a pointless designation that does nothing but cause arguments between fans and create OP characters that can be defined by nothing else, she stands her ground and defines what it is that makes her a Goddess, surely earning the title once and for all.
It was also nice to see some recognition for so many unused and low profile mutants this issue. In a school full of so many diverse and amazing characters with so much to offer, surely not EVERY scenario or incident can only be dealt with by the same people, while others fade into the background? And this has been the argument from some of the characters themselves from the start.
The same solution does not equate for every problem in day to day life, different emergencies have different contingencies. And so it is a welcome return of No Girl and Sage, giving Martha a chance to play among the big brains and other key psychics and Sage a memorable reintroduction, since her ‘exile’ of recent years.
And by having everyone in on the action and play a part it also honored what the X-Men are supposed to stand for, as well as possibly lay some groundwork for the future. In the blow out confrontation we also see the likes of Frenzy, Tempus, Primal and even Husk, who had been relegated to the pages of Spider-Man/Deadpool of late. As well as little moments like Bobby helping Eye-Boy up and other interactions between mutants who have never even met before. Gabby and Kylun exchange observations in a way that makes it seem they have at least chatted in the grounds of the school before now, even if this is something we haven’t witnessed.
And of course Paige rushing headstrong into battle after her fallen brother needs taking off the field of battle is typical her. Also the telling bit of interplay between Archangel and Psylocke as Warren reminds us that he more than anyone knows how Ororo must be feeling right now. There has been some criticism of characterisation in this title of late, by myself even, but I have to say these little snippets rang so true.
And there was even a touching moment of concern for Betsy from Archangel, which belies his earlier assertion that he no longer cares. This is reassuring and allows me to believe that in the finale there is more going on than a knock down, drag out fight and that’s all there is to it.
Pere Pérez gave us the dramatic team up of Jean and Psylocke in Uncanny X-Men #4 as well as the stark visual of the changed kids in the mixed up Age of Apocalypse of Uncanny X-Men #7, that one not my favorite story wise but dramatic looking nonetheless. And here he doesn’t disappoint. So many dramatic images to contend with and some memorable ones as well. Psylocke breaking Storm free of conditioning was an image I won’t forget anytime soon. Ouch!
And then still reeling from that we got all the telepaths literally going head to head to split up the Omega Boys, a name I prefer to Grandchildren of the Atom, sorry. The sight of all those telepaths in a trippy image that pits them all against the might of X-Man is a strong one and dare I say screensaver worthy.
Then of course the moment mom finally steps up and deals with the petulant child as she discovers one more detail of his status, he has control of a Life Seed. Putting him in his place and taking the fight right where it needs to be, I had strong flashbacks to Xavier in David’s mind after the Muir Island incident in X-Factor #70 and his belief David was crying out to him, when in fact the mindscape was empty and he was misreading the signs. But Jean has the right idea and knows just what to say and do to make her point.
And though Nate had already expressed his reasons for doing what he did, this time it was made so much more poignant as Jean reminds him of her own experience with omnipotence.
And of course the fallout of the battle are never in doubt, as are the repercussions left behind. As humanity picks up the pieces and moves on without them all, things have never looked worse for mutantkind. With key heroes missing, public opinion at an all time low and a mutant cure being given free reign. But there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon with the return of Cyclops and Wolverine. It’s just a little frustrating that Jean won’t be able to see them… yet. With a stunning cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Roberto Poggi & Jason Keith, a haunting callback to the Fall of the Mutants, I felt this a fitting end to the first chapter in this latest X-Men saga.
Diversity encourages betterment and vastly enriches our own life experience. Faced with a world without X-Men... where do we go from here?
Uncanny X-Men #10: Fade to Grey
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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