Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities, but with a corporate merger on the way, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in comics.
Each week, armed with the joy, heartbreak, and frustration of 30+ years of reading X-Men comics, we crankily read every new X-book that comes out, recap the events, provide some back-links to Marvel Unlimited, and wonder when Marvel will let Chris Claremont write something again. Seriously, how do you have the greatest writer in the history of comics on the payroll and just not use him for anything?
It’s the way X-Men comics were meant to be read! It’s the column that can only be known as…
For more about the column, check out the reboot issue here.
X-MEN BLUE #31
CULLEN BUNN (W)
JORGE MOLINA (A)
COVER BY R.B. SILVA
MAGNETO: HELLFIRE HUNTER!
• After the events of “Cry Havok,” Magneto is on a mission of vengeance!
• His target? Emma Frost, the White Queen!
• But there’s only one group who will stand in his way…
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
X-Men Blue #31 begins with a flashback within a flashback. Jean Grey remembers when she originally agreed to have the X-Men Blue team-up with Magneto after reading his mind and finding a child Magneto inside, agonizing over his experiences in a concentration camp, and terrorized by the villain Hitzig, who played a big role in Magneto’s previous solo series. Kid Magneto is scared of something, but mind-Hitzig says it isn’t him; it’s the real Magneto, the evil one, that Kid Magneto is afraid of returning. Jean and the X-Men agreed to stick around so that they could be there to stop Magneto when he reverts to his evil ways. That time is now, it seems. Well, there’s only a few issues left, so it has to be.
In San Francisco, Polaris meets up with her old boyfriend, the recently no-longer-evil Havok, in Golden Gate Park, so they’ve both probably got a contact high. Havok apologizes for trying to unleash a mutant doomsday device on the planet, and he wonders if Magneto is coming to kill him for it. Polaris says he’s got bigger fish to fry, plus, Havok has to go star in Astonishing X-Men, so he’s off the hook. At the Hellfire Club in Manhattan, Magneto interrupts some colonial cosplay to demand access to the White Queen. She’s not there, so he kills everyone and destroys the Hellfire Club Mansion, the only mansion that gets destroyed more than the X-Mansion.
The next day, the X-Men Blue (that’s the original 5 plus Bloodstorm now) arrive on the scene to help out with the cleanup and figure out what Magneto is doing. They realize that Magneto was forced to kill mutants during the Mothervine storyline, so now he plans to make the people behind that (except for Havok) pay, starting with Emma Frost. The X-Men agonize a bit over whether staying here instead of stopping Magneto in their own time is better, but they agree to put off the discussion until the Extermination X-Over event. Instead, they visit Briar Raleigh in her backyard swimming pool in Malibu for information on Magneto. Briar advises the X-Men to let Magneto get this out of system, especially since he’s taking out Hellfire Club franchises all over the globe.
But we’ve got to move this plot along, so Briar tells the X-Men where they can find Emma. She’s in Paris, but about to move again. The X-Men show up and warn her that Magneto is on his way. She flirts with teenage Cyclops a little bit, exchanges some snappy banter with the X-Men, and says she’s not afraid of Magneto.
That’s good, because he’s right outside, but he’s gonna graciously hold off his attack until next issue.
The Bottom Line
So many long-running plot threads coming to their conclusions in the final days of X-Men Blue! The calm before a reboot can be so rewarding.
It also looks like Magneto is nearing the full-blown evil part of his semi-annual character cycle again. Of course, it’s hard to top the first and best Magneto meltdown from New Mutants #75. After the events of Inferno, Magneto was pushed to the brink after a terrible tenure as headmaster in charge of the New Mutants. ]t’s hard to pick a favorite moment from Magneto’s issue-long rant, but his rebuke of Sunspot when Sunspot says he’ll never join Magneto’s path is probably it:
Speaking of which…
To read Magneto’s descent into villainy, start with the Trial of Magneto in Uncanny X-Men #200, and then follow Magneto’s path as headmaster of the Xavier School from New Mutants #35 all the way to the fiery conclusion in New Mutants #75.
Read more X-ual Healing here: