Welcome back to X-ual Healing, the weekly recap column where we obsessively read every X-Men and X-Men-adjacent comic that Marvel publishes, tell you what happens, provide additional context where necessary, and examine whether the comic makes good use of the long and convoluted history of the X-Men by referencing it in a way that’s accessible to new readers, because we here at X-ual Healing love the X-Men, and we want everyone else to love them too.
The X-Men are returning to their rightful place of prominence after a decade of insults and neglect by a Marvel editorial that feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, which means it’s finally time for X-fans to enjoy some…
If you need to know more on the premise of this column, check out the longer explanation here.
Now, let’s dive right into…
X-MEN BLUE #26
CULLEN BUNN (W) • R.B. SILVA (A)
Cover by Mike Choi
Cry Havok Part 4
Project: Mothervine has been unleashed, and new mutants are emerging all over the world!
Even though these new mutants cannot control their powers, MISS SINISTER can!
A new team of X-MEN stand against the WHITE QUEEN, HAVOK, BASTION and MISS SINISTER!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
X-Men Blue #26 is part 4 of the Cry Havok storyline. It starts off in deep space, where the original 5 time-displaced teenage X-Men (minus Jean Grey, who was turned into a Poison during the Poison X crossover, are trying to fly the Blackbird, which is also the sentient Danger Room, Danger, and plus Venom), back to Earth. Danger is offline due to damage, but Beast is trying to get it up and running again. The X-Men are sad about Jean Grey, but none more sad than Cyclops. They get the ship up and running.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, Mothervine, a loosely-defined project developed by the villainous Havok, Emma Frost, Bastion, and Miss Sinister, has been deploted to “a dozen” major U.S. cities. Mothervine causes secondary mutations in existing mutants, new mutations in regular humans, and re-mutations in depowered mutants, such as Beak, who is finally back by popular demand. Unfortunately, some of these mutations and secondary mutations are terrible and destructive to the mutants. As one might expect, this causes chaos on the streets. Thankfully, the sentinels are there to make sure things go smoothly.
Bastion, you see, a super-sentinel from the future consisting of a combination of Master Mold and Nimrod, needs mutants to thrive today so that he can murder them in the future. So these are mutant-friendly sentinels. The sentinels begin gathering up mutants in San Francisco to bring them back to Bastion for safekeeping, but the Nu-X-Men Blue — Polaris, Daken (son of Wolverine), Jimmy Hudson (son of Ultimate Universe Wolverine), Gazing Nightshade, Bloodstorm, and Xorn (not that you’d know that since the book doesn’t introduce them by name) — intervene and trash some sentinels with the help of Unuscione (a former member of the Acolytes), who’s power is described on page (yay!) as bio-electric blasts, though they seem to be more powerful thanks to Mothervine.
One of the sentinels uses power dampeners on the mutants, canceling their powers (for their own safety of course). That doesn’t stop Daken from slicing it up with swords though. This causes pain for Unuscione, however, prompting Jimmy to suggest that the sentinels may actually be helping and maybe the X-Men should let them do their thing. This also sparks some X-pository dialog between Daken and Jimmy, explaining their Wolverine relationships. Has someone in the X-offices been reading this column? Whatever the case, there’s nothing we appreciate more than a comic that doesn’t assume the reader knows everything and explains the basics. Bloodstorm, an alternate dimension vampire Storm, and Polaris, trash the last sentinels, but they’ve called for backup. Xorn saves some civilians from falling sentinel parts, and then schools Unuscione in guided meditation so she can keep her secondary mutation from exploding. Daken helps calm her down with his pheromone powers, and calm us down by explaining briefly how they work. Likewise, Gazing Nightshade explains her powers (she’s an empath) in X-pository dialog with Jimmy Hudson. In turn, Jimmy X-plains that his Ultimate Universe mutant DNA helped create Mothervine. The X-position is firing on all cylinders in this book, and we love it!
The X-Men are about to head home when Unuscione blows up their plane. At that point, Havok’s team of Ultimate Universe Marauders — Blob, Toad, Dragoness, Wanderer, and Wildside (not that the book names them… boo!) — show up and a fight ensues, with the newly mutated mutants losing their powers and causing X-tra trouble.
“Elsewhere,” Havoc, Miss Sinister, Bastion, and Emma are observing their handiwork on monitors. If things continue to go according to plan, mutants will outnumber humans within a few weeks. Some nice X-pository dialog explains the motivation of this unlikely team of villains. Bastion wants mutants to survive so he can kill them in the future. Sinister wants to control the mutants. Emma is having something of a crisis of conscience. Havok believes the ends justify the means, and they can take care of Sinister… provided, as Emma points out, they still can if Sinister controls an army of new mutants. Miss Sinister also reveals the next phase of their villainous plan: killing Magneto.
In Madripoor, home base of the X-Men Blue, Magneto and his robot butler, Ferris, are checking on injured mutants, including those affected negatively by Mothervine as well as the injured Raksha, a local mutant Wolverine fan club who were decimated by Polaris, under the control of Ultimate Universe Malice, last issue. The remaining Marauders — Mach-2, Armor, and Guardian — show up and attack.
Magneto points out that he’s a badass, but Ferris notices that the Mothervine-mutated mutants are awake and appear to be siding with the Marauders. Uh oh. The issue ends there.
X-Men Blue is always a fun read for long-time readers, featuring lots of cool characters and callbacks to past stories. We’re glad to see it’s also improving in the area of being new-and-lapsed-reader friendly by throwing in X-position where needed. And if the results of the Mothervine story are an increased number of mutants in the Marvel Universe, we’d consider that a major improvement for the company’s status quo.
Read more X-ual Healing here: