When the ‘All New X-Men’ series was launched the entire premise seemed absurd to me. Beast brought the original team of the X-Men from the past into modern day time to attempt to prevent the events from ‘Avengers vs. X-Men’ from happening. Or at the very least change the outcome enough so that Professor X wasn’t killed. The two most obvious outcomes of this were going to either be a huge retcon of continuity when this event happened or Professor X would wipe out their memories of the future when they traveled back into the past. The third, less likely option, is that Xavier would use the knowledge he gathers from this to ‘appear’ to be dead from AvX and somehow find a way to keep himself alive.
Only time will tell but in the meantime I have to say that this ridiculous premise is absolutely working. The first 6 issues have fully caught my attention and the 7th issue here is quite possibly the best X-Men issue I have read in years. Also, I have to say that I completely love how they are making the younger X-Men look in these books. You can completely recognize both who they are AND know they are their younger selves.
In the last issue Cyclops (I’ll be referring only to the younger versions of the original team from this point on) went into a bank to look for a safety deposit box he had setup in his time. Knowing his older self is one of the most wanted fugitives on the planet he convinces a clerk who has an pin of an X on her shirt to help him out. Fortunately for him the safety box has been kept all of these years. Unfortunately for him the giddiness of the clerk gives herself away and she tells a co-worker what she had done who quickly calls the authorities.
While this is going on Scott recovers an older visor to contain his optic blast that we haven’t seen in quite some time as well as to what looks like an invitation. Before the police show up though Wolverine decides to barge in on the action to take Cyclops back to the school. As the cops do arrive we get what could be one of my favorite quotes out of Logan in years as the police try to take Scott into custody instead of letting him take Cyclops in.
So here’s the deal: We are leaving. If you shoot me. It won’t hurt me and I will cut off your hands. I’ll go back to wherever I came from and you won’t have hands.
The look on his face followed by the police’s faces is absolutely priceless. There have been some fantastic facial expressions in this series that stand out and these continue that trend. Wolverine escorts Cyclops right out the door and into an alley to just show us that it was actually Mystique. With it being her it’s sad that Wolverine didn’t actually spout out that line but it was still fun reading it.
She uses the time before the real Wolverine shows up to plant some seeds of a plan in Scott’s mind. Trying to get him to see if what his view of Xavier’s dream was actually has come through in either X camp. Possibly trying to put him on a path to stop either his older self or break up what Wolverine has put together. She runs off to someone whose visage they won’t show us talking about how she helped make the X-Men busy so they wouldn’t notice their plan. The shadowed out person does have quite a familiar outline I’m sure for fans of the series will have guesses at.
As Wolverine takes Scott back to the school they drive in silence. We quickly flash to the school as Kitty is teaching Bobby Drake that he is just an Iceboy and needs training. He tries to be the rebel he always was and say she’s got it all wrong but when they have a great little exchange that ends up with Bobby on his back and Kitty saying he won’t miss any more practice.
Wolverine and Scott return at this point and we close on one of the most pivotal scenes of the issue. Scott hands Jean Grey the opened invitation he had taken from his safety deposit box earlier in the issue and it is the invitation to their wedding. The framing of Scott walking away from her and the look on her face make the last page perfectly rendered to tug at the heartstrings of anyone who has been following the X-Men for years. This is a tale of love and loss that we all know to well and we’re re-experiencing it before it ever happened.
It’s another issue laying groundwork for where the series will be going. As a long time fan of the X-Men in my mind though it’s a great way to both look to the past and leap forward to where they are going to take this series.
Offhand with how much I really appreciated the standard (top) cover I don’t understand why they wasted the time printed the variant cover which not only takes away from he issue but makes Wolverine looks like he has a broken back.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Penciler (cover): Stuart Immonen
Penciller (50th Anniversary Variant cover): Nick Bradshaw