Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Spoilers, ho!

If you haven't finished your daily regiment of comic reading for this illustrious Wednesday eve, may I suggest you do so, and then venture back into these parts.


Okay good.

It used to be said that Joss Whedon's version of the fabulous Astonishing X-Men was the tits. The bee's knees. The top dog of the Marvel Universe when it came down to the big dogs of the universe (outside of Spider-man, who they ruined, and Captain America, who they killed).

After the events of this Wednesday, and a number of previous Wednesdays, I wholeheartedly disagree.

I have been a comic fan since I was about 7 years old, reading everything I could get my hands on and usually it was because of my dad that I did. He would buy them and take me to the store and give me money for them. It was our tradition. And I miss it. I really do. But one of the first things I remember about comics was in 1991, on my birthday, getting a number of toys (called ACTION FIGURES) featuring the X-citing X-Men. I got Wolverine, Iceman, Cyclops (in his awesome X-Factor outfit with the white X) and I was hooked. Then came comics. Then the cartoon.

And all these years later, I'm still suckered in by them. After horrible storylines, after pointless crossovers, after numerous months of late-streaks (Astonishing X-Men, especially), I was still there, month in and month out.

I say that Astonishing has been stopped. The run is almost over. But it was beat.

And it was beat hard, by the last 13 weeks of the X-Men event called Messiah CompleX. For background for the non-readers, the mutant population was nearly wiped clean due to a magical event (that's right, MAGIC IN THE MARVEL UNIVERSE, AGAIN) back in 2005 due to an event called the House of M in which Scarlet Witch said three words "No More Mutants" and her powers of hex magic wiped the world of all but about 300 mutants. Total.

No new mutants born. Mutants were hunted and persecuted worse than before because the end times were here. They were near Extinction. Beast went on a mission, all across the globe, to try and stop the extinction, to no avail.

And then a miracle. A baby, the first mutant birth in 2 years. A possible "Messiah" for the mutant race.

And it kicked off this storyline, crossing throughout the regular universe books like Adjectiveless X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, New X-Men, and X-Factor. Things were changing and the mutants were at war. With a group of assassin mutants bent on using the mutant baby for their own machinations. Another group called the Purifiers who are religious zealots bent on killing all mutants and they wanted to destroy the baby.

And this storyline went in all directions. Characters died. Lost limbs (I'm looking at you Bishop, and your right arm). Characters changed sides and characters vanished into the background.

And best of all, BEST OF ALL, characters grew up. They changed in ways that normal human beings do throughout real life. Cyclops, the leader, became a leader. He made tough choices in the face of immense adversity. He sent friends, lovers, and even some enemies into their almost certain death because he was acting as a leader. A soldier.

The one character who always seemed wooden, seemed infallible, is now the most hardened leader the X-Men have ever seen.

And the last chapter, X-Men #207, took the cake. The events had been leading to a showdown. X-Men vs. Marauders. Cable vs. Bishop. Cable vs. Predator X. And everyone falling on either side was affected.

Gambit was acting with the Marauders, the group of assassins and mercenaries, along with a number of other old-school X-Men. Bishop, the man who came from the future to prevent a traitor within the X-Men from destroying them, acted as a traitor and almost killed the baby, almost killed Cable, and SHOT PROFESSOR X IN THE HEAD.

(It was revealed in X-Factor that Bishop's timeline was caused by the Baby, who threatened humanity and mutantdom was put in concentration camps while in Cable's timeline the baby was the savior and made the world safe for mutants and humans alike. 2 separate storylines, and 2 separate possibilities for the future)

Twists and turns better than most movies, these X-Men are now divided due to the actions of this storyline. And I cannot wait for what's coming.

These are the X-Men I grew up with. These are the X-Men that were there in numerous aspects of my life. They are Unstoppable. And I am so happy to have been along for the ride.

A special thanks to Mike Carey, Ed Brubaker, Chris Yost, Craig Kyle, Chris Bachalo, Humberto Ramos, Scot Eaton, Billy Tan, and everyone else who worked on this storyline. You proved that this is the way to truly make a crossover exciting and worth sticking it out for.


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