Welcome, dear readers, to X-Men: Bland Design, the weekly multi-part recap column that strives to answer the question: “What if Ed Piskor had no art skills, a juvenile sense of humor, and less classic material to work with?”
It’s been a rough decade or so for X-Men fans. As part of Ike Perlmutter‘s feud with Fox over the Fantastic Four movie rights, Marvel’s greatest franchise has suffered many an indignity. Cyclops turned into a villain by writers and editors with a Wolverine fetish. The worst crossover of all time, Avengers vs. X-Men. A serious attempt to replace mutants with the Inhumans, thankfully killed by the god-awful Inhumans TV show. Greg Land. But that’s all over now (except for Land). With a Marvel/Fox deal on the horizon, the Fantastic Four can return, but more importantly, Marvel can give a crap about the X-Men again!
Each week, we aim to recap what happened in all of the X-books, make a few jokes, and struggle to survive the experience as we reckon our love for our favorite characters with what can often feel like a “quantity-over-quality” approach to comic booking.
Last week, we didn’t have time to recap the X-books due to all the C2E2 news we had to cover, which means we’ve got to catch up. To do that, we’ve got to read and recap 13 — yes, 13 — X-books in one weekend. Is that even possible? We’re about to find out!
X-MEN BLUE #25
CULLEN BUNN (W) • JORGE MOLINA (A/C)
VENOM 30TH VARIANT COVER BY TBA
Cry Havok Part 3
MAGNETO comes face-to-face with HAVOK, with the fate of mutantkind hanging in the balance.
EMMA FROST, MISS SINISTER and BASTION have formed an unholy alliance, and now is the time for them to unleash Project: Mothervine!
With the Original Five lost in space, a NEW TEAM of X-Men must rise to take their place!
40 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99
This issue picks up where the last one left off, with Polaris victorious over Ultimate Universe Malice. Polaris is bummed because she believes she killed Ultimate Malice. Magneto’s robot butler, Ferris, tries to console her. Polaris wonders what Miss Sinister, who sent Malice to possess teenage Jean Grey, is up to. Meanwhile, Gazing Nightshade reminds Polaris that she really messed up The Raksha, a Wolverine fan club from Madripoor that’s been working with Magneto’s team. Polaris promises Gazing Nightshade that everyone will be okay. But will they?
In Scotland, Magneto is meeting with Havok, Emma Frost, Bastion, and Miss Sinister. The others are trying to convince Magneto to buy into Mothervine, which can restore the mutant population and even cause them to become the dominant species. Magneto asks Alex if he realizes he’s cavorting with villains. He points out that all Mothervine has caused so far is secondary mutations gone wrong. He pleads with Alex to see the light, but Alex says Magneto is just a jealous hater. He gives Magneto one more chance to join them. Magneto refuses.
Alex tells Bastion to launch sentinels at New York City. But these aren’t your ordinary mutant-killing sentinels.
As the sentinels deploy Mothervine, the villains attack. Magneto armors up and fights back. He’s kicking everyone’s ass, so Emma uses her psychic powers to boost Havok’s plasma blasts so he can fry Magneto.
But after an ejaculation of powers like that, there’s a refractory period, and Alex needs to rest.
Magneto is on the ropes now, but he takes some mutant growth hormone (don’t leave home to negotiate with villains without it) and escapes. Back at the Madripoor X-Mansion, Jimmy Hudson and Bloodstorm have returned from their mission, and they’ve brought Xorn, which is a happy coincidence since Polaris needs someone to heal all of the mutants she nearly killed.
Outside, Briar Raleigh also returns with Daken in tow. They meet Gazing Nightshade, who tells them about Polaris. Briar is sorry she missed it. Daken is intrigued that carnage turns Raleigh on. Later, Magneto returns, and Briar lectures him for being a dumbass. She tells Magneto that Mothervine was unleashed all over the world. Magneto needs his X-Men, but they’re trapped in space for a Venom event at the moment. Thankfully, Briar has assembled the long-solicited new roster:
How many Wolverines does one team need?! We’ll find out next issue.
X-Men: Blue isn’t always the best X-book on the stands, but it’s definitely the coolest.