Welcome to X-ual Healing, the column where we read every X-Men comic that came out last week and tell you what happened in them! Let’s jump right into it this week…
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 all of comics.
Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #4
W) Leah Williams (A) Georges Jeanty (CA) Rahzzah
THE AGE OF X-MAN CONTINUES!
Northstar – the guiding light that keeps the traveler reassured they are going in the right direction. If only the name rang true for poor Jean-Paul…
In Shops: May 29, 2019
In the penultimate issue of X-Tremists, the Age of X-Man is beginning to unravel. The issue begins with Northstar noticing Blob and Psylocke being a little too chummy after Blob kicked Moneta off the team for her actions last issue. When Iceman teases Northstar about it, Northstar points out the physical contact between the two, prompting Iceman to make physical contact with Northstar to prove it’s no big deal. Unfortunately, this severely unnerves Northstar, who flies off to be alone. Later that night, he awakens from a dream with a gasp.
The next day, Northstar arrives at the office to find Monetta is back, having been reprogrammed with no memory of the previous day’s events. Iceman teases her about it, which annoys Northstar, and seems to stir something in Moneta. When Northstar makes fun of Bobby’s sweatshirt, he takes it off, flaunting his sexy body. Department X gets a call about possible illicit activity at a theater in town, and Northstar volunteers to check it out alone.
At the theater, Northstar meets up with Rictor, the proprietor, and their conversation reveals Northstar is a regular at this place, which is used to show romantic movies while people make out in the seats. Back at HQ, Bobby leaves to catch up with Northstar, and, left alone, Moneta uses her powers on herself, presumably restoring her memories. At the theater, Northstar is angered to see Iceman arrive, but Rictor plies them both with booze and they party on the roof.
Later that night, Northstar explains why he’s been so on edge lately – he feels like someone is missing from his life, referring of course to his husband Kyle, who is not in the Age of X-Man. They’re interrupted by fireworks, as Jubilee is in the street causing a ruckus. She informs them she’s just remembered she has a son (who is also not in the Age of X-Man). This sparks Northstar’s memory of Kyle. Northstar, Iceman, and Rictor agree to join jubilee in a riot as the proverbial @#$% is about to hit the fan in the Age of X-Man.
Wow, I can’t say enough good things about this series, but I’m gonna try. I’ve appreciated it all along as a very interesting character study, especially in the way it makes use of the drastically changed environment to explore how characters like Blob are affected by his environment. But seeing Jubilee, Northstar, Rictor, and Iceman get into asskicking mode, finally ready to fight back against this repressive reality, really gives me those timeless X-Men feels I crave. I’m ill-equipped to talk intelligently about art, but I will say that I really appreciate Georges Jeanty’s talent for conveying sexual tension, especially the paranoid, uncomfortable tension that exists here in the Age of X-Man.
Wolverine’s Weiner X-Pick of the week for the second issue in a row? You bet!
Congratulations to the creative team!
Major X #4
(W) Rob Liefeld (A) Brent Peebles (CA) Rob Liefeld
With the X-Istence threatened, Major X has no choice but to leap through time to save it. With a little help from Cable and Wolverine, can even the Major overcome the terrible threat of an infamous killer with the initials DP?
In Shops: May 29, 2019
This masterpiece begins with a flashback to The X-Istence, where a delegation of Atlanteans including Namor and his children, Nomar and Lora, meet with The X-Ential, Major X, and M’Koy to complain about how polluted the water is in the X-Istence for some reason. The X-Ential promises to clean things up, and refuses the Atlanteans’ request to return them to the regular world, which may or may not still X-ist. Namor leaves in a huff, promising that there will be “reparations.”
In the present (which, for this book, is currently the late 90s), Dreadpool and his gang at The Watchtower have captured Major X and M’Koy after last issue’s battle and are about to hand them over to Nomar and Lora in exchange for a bargain they’ve made with The Administrator, but Major X breaks free and another fight starts. Scintillating dialog ensues…
The Major is quickly subdued again, and The Administrator reveals the terms of his arrangement: he needs to X-tract genetic material from the Atlanteans for his mutant X-periments, and he will hand over not just his prisoners, but his protege, the younger past version of The X-Ential, as well. The Atlanteans aren’t in the mood to wait around for all that, so they decide to betray The Administrator and take Major X for free. Sharkskin, Eel, and Undertow break through a nearby wall and an all-out brawl breaks out.
The Atlanteans try to get Dreadpool to join their side in the fight, but he refuses. However, when the facility begins to collapse, he takes them up on their offer and X-capes, leaving Major X, M’Koy, and The X-Ential to die. The X-Ential has other plans though, grabbing M’Koy and the Major by the hand and teleporting them to Genosha, where a bunch of Sentinels are waiting.
Major X should be an ongoing series that lasts forever. Yes, it’s all incredibly silly, but in the best way possible. I’m not sure where this fits into Jonathan Hickman’s relaunch plans, but the book has been selling well, so hopefully Marvel finds a way to keep this going in one form or another.
(W) Mariko Tamaki (A) Diego Olortegui (CA) Ashley Witter
• What truths lie behind the Harvest Company?
• And does it mean the end for Laura and Gabby Kinney?
In Shops: May 29, 2019
Last issue, Gabby walked out on Laura after Laura refused to consider Gabby’s feelings about eliminating all clones of the sisters. Laura wants to stop the cloning, while Gabby wants to save the clones. Before long, however, Laura gets a call from Gabby, who is currently fighting bad guys on top of a train with Jonathan. Laura rushes to help her out.
Inside the train, Laura finds out that Gabby is there to save turkeys. X-Turkeys, to be specific, as they are empowered with X-23 DNA. As they battle through the train, Laura finally listens to Gabby and understands her feelings on clones, which is good, because this is the last issue so they had to reconcile quickly. Unfortunately, the train is about to self-destruct. The sisters escape, but they’re unable to get the X-Turkeys off the train. Thankfully, the X-Turkeys are fire-retardant and able to fly, so they save themselves.
As the series concludes with a happy ending, Gabby ditches her Honey Badger codename for a new one, Scout, named after the X-Assassin who sacrificed herself for her sisters in the previous story arc.
X-23 was a fine continuation of All-New Wolverine, though it seems kind of senseless to have continued it for just 12 issues before canceling it. Hopefully, these two will return in some prominent roles after the Hicklaunch. I wrote some more about this book here.
Adventures in Poor Taste’s X-Men Monday column returned after a week’s hiatus with Jordan White talking X-Men events. We managed to get one salaciously-headlined clickbait article out of it, but Chris Hassan once again refused to ask White when Chris Claremont will finally be allowed to write an ongoing series. We’d start to take this personally, but we’re holding out hope that Marvel has plans for Claremont post-Hicklaunch.
Speaking of Claremont, Rich Johnston talked about the X-scribe’s plans to see the Dark Phoenix movie.
Rich also wrote a sort-of review of the latest issue of X-Men: Grand Design, the book that inspired this column!
And that’s all for this week! There are five X-books in stores next week, so we’ll see you back here next Monday for that!
Read more X-ual Healing here: