It’s time once again for X-ual Healing, the column where we read all the X-Men comics that came out last week so you don’t have to! Well, you should read the ones you like. We’ll tell you about the rest. This week, it’s a very special episode, as Uncanny X-Men #19 explains basically everything that’s happened in the past eight months of Uncanny X-Men comics. That’s why we’re calling this special episode…
Let’s get to recapping, shall we?
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.
Uncanny X-Men #19
(W) Matthew Rosenberg (A) Carlos Villa, Carlos E. Gomez, Bob Quinn, Juan Vlasco, Adriano Di Benedetto, Michelle Delecki (CA) Whilce Portacio
First – learn the truth about the Hellfire Club’s involvement in the X-Men’s quest. Then, the mutant race faces elimination at the hands of a vaccine erasing the X-Gene from future generations…
In Shops: Jun 05, 2019
All of this is about to get rebooted by Jonathan Hickman next month, so it’s time to explain what the hell’s been going on. The issue opens a few months ago, with Emma Frost and Vanisher watching the X-Men battling sentinels from the last story arc of Astonishing X-Men, before Uncanny X-Men relaunched all that time ago (okay, it was just November). Since Emma is the leader of the Hellfire Club now, and no longer an X-Men, she doesn’t get involved. A little while later, Emma is enjoying a nice dinner at the Hellfire Club when Strong Guy, Mirage, and Karma — the versions that were merged with Warlock during this time — invade, working for the O.N.E. They capture Emma and Vanisher.
Later still, Emma is a prisoner of O.N.E., and General Callahan tells Emma that she’s going to help him destroy mutants. Emma is skeptical, but a little while being tortured in her cell changes her mind. She tells Callahan that Beast still has some samples of the mutant cure he invented back during the original run of Astonishing X-Men, and she mind controls Anole into stealing it for Callahan (this happened during the X-Men Disassembled story). Emma wakes up later in a bed, where Callahan is waiting for her. He tells her that all the X-Men are dead after the end of X-Men Disassembled (though of course we know they’ve all gone to the Age of X-Man). He lets Emma go, telling her he will be in touch.
Later still, Emma is shopping in New York with Marrow when Callahan and his troops arrive, demanding Emma come back to work for them. When Emma resists, Callahan uses a weapon they made from the mutant cure to turn Vanisher into goo. Elixer, who is the Black Bishop of the new Hellfire Club, is unable to help him, confirming Rosenberg has killed off another one. Callahan tells Emma to bring him Blindfold. Later, Emma gets a letter from Callahan telling her they’ve gotten Cassandra Nova.
Suddenly, Emma senses that Cyclops has come back from the dead. She goes to find him, but can’t reveal herself in order to keep him safe and out of the clutches of Callahan. She implants a suggestion that he stay in the shadows in his upcoming X-mission, and removes all trace of her from his memory. Now she goes to see Wolverine, who is not happy to see her, and messes with his mind too, sending him to go team up with Cyclops. Later, Callahan shows up at Emma’s apartment, having learned himself that Cyclops is back. He’s not happy, but Emma convinces him she can manipulate the X-Men into taking out mutants for them (which explains Scott’s list).
Finally, we return to the present, where Mister Sinister and “Captain America” are chatting in a parking garage after the X-Men handed Sinister over to him. Of course, we know that’s actually the White King, Mystique, and she’s been bringing all the mutants captured by the X-Men to Emma, who’s been handing them over to Callahan. However, Emma plans to keep Sinister for herself. But before she can do that, Wolverine shows up with Revanche, and he’s not happy with Emma at all, and also appears to remember everything.
Emma Frost is awesome, and it was great to see she’s been behind the scenes manipulating everything since even before Uncanny X-Men relaunched. It’s unfortunate that this book is getting relaunched less than a year after that, but hey, that’s Marvel these days. Still, a few more issues left, and with all that x-position taken care of, it should be all climax and resolution, baby! Or maybe Matthew Rosenberg will just kill everyone off.
Domino: Hotshots #4
(W) Gail Simone (A) David Baldeon, Michael Shelfer, Craig Yeung (CA) R. B. Silva
The immense power of the Creation Constellation is in reach! The only thing between it and Domino’s squad is…each other?! Which of these knockouts are gonna get knocked out?!
In Shops: Jun 05, 2019
In the penultimate issue of Domino: Hotshots, we pick up where last issue left off, with Outlaw having grown into a giant and knocked out some sentinels, and Domino, Diamondback, and Deadpool also infected by the Celestial virus. White Fox gets jealous and attacks Domino, hoping to become infected herself. Domino defeats her without touching her with the infection, then kicks her off the team. Domino explains that nobody with dangerous desires can have this much power, including her. The rest of the Hotshots resign themselves to finding and stopping Mazarov, obtaining the artifact, and then, hopefully, curing everyone who’s been infected.
They track him down to Mar Del Plata in Argentina, where he has become overwhelmed with the knowledge of the universe. He also turned his girlfriend/colleague, Dr. Guen, into a cocoon. A battle ensues, but when the team can’t hold their own, Domino accepts the Celestial power and shoots Mazarov with her guns, which are also infected apparently. She orders Tony Stark’s Iron Man drones to fly the celestial artifact into the sun.
Well, that’s all wrapped up then, everyone is okay, and they head back to Domino’s riverboat headquarters to relax. Unfortunately, Dr. Guen’s cocoon has hatched, she has now become Guen the Executioner, and she’s really mad at Domino for killing her boyfriend. That makes sense since there’s one more issue left and it would have been weird if it was just the Hotshots chilling on the Riverboat. I mean, I’d read it, but it would seem weird.
Age of X-Man: Prisoner X #4
(W) Vita Ayala (A) German Peralta (CA) Patrick Zircher
THE AGE OF X-MAN CONTINUES!
• The walls begin to crumble around the inmates!
• Can Bishop keep his sanity long enough to break free?
In Shops: Jun 05, 2019
Another mini-series is about to wrap in just two more issues (can you tell how close we are to the Hickboot)? Prisoner X #4 opens with Forge having a heart-to-heart with Bishop. He desperately wants Bishop to believe he’s trying to do good by rehabilitating people, but considering Bishop knows this is one bull@#$% reality inside another bull@#$% reality, he’s not having it. In any case, Bishop heads back to general population the next day, and there he begins talking with all the prisoners, convincing them of what he knows, and organizing a plan to revolt. Alongside this, Dani Moonstar talks to Polaris, and expository dialog reveals that Polaris remembers that she broke out of the prison’s control in the last issue. In fact, she’s done it multiple times, but until now, she’s the only one that’s remembered.
The day of the riot has arrived, and Bishop and Beast stage a fight to bring the guards in. As the riot breaks out, Forge sits in his control room, debating hitting a button labeled “kill switch” which will unlock all the power-dampening collars. Legion arrives to taunt Forge. Forge tells Legion that he’s in charge and Legion is his prisoner, but Legion disagrees. He psychically attacks Forge, but Forge manages to press the button. Now the prisoners are in complete control of the prison, but rather than being dismayed, Legion is smiling, pleased with these results. One more issue left!
I’ve been calling this the best of the Age of X-Man books since the beginning, and I still feel that’s true. X-Tremists gives it a run for its money for sure, but Prisoner X still comes out on top. Let’s award it the Wolverine’s Weiner X-Pick of the Week!
Congratulations to the creative team!
Dead Man Logan #8
(W) Ed Brisson (A) Mike Henderson (CA) Declan Shalvey
THE LAST REAL HULK ALIVE!
When Logan slaughtered the Hulk Gang, he spared its youngest member…but every burnout, sporto and motorhead in the Wastelands wants the kid dead – or under their control!
In Shops: Jun 05, 2019
The good news for Old Man Logan: he gets to escape the Hickboot because he’s in an alternate reality, so his mini-series will continue for a few months yet. The bad news: the whole point of the mini-series is to kill him off. The issue picks up with Logan, Dani Cage, and Hulk Jr. riding in a car. Dani explains what she’s been up to for the past seven years: mostly preventing people from killing Bruce or worse, capturing him and exploiting his Hulkness. When they camp out at a Walmart in Kansas City, Logan explains what he’s been up to: living in an alternate reality where the X-Men are still alive. He flat out says that the reason he came back to die was because the original Wolverine came back, which is a little too meta. While they’re talking, they figure out Bruce has disappeared, apparently to go grab some new books from a ruined library they passed on the road earlier.
While all of that is going on, Sabretooth, who is alive, interrogates the cannibals that were keeping Logan prisoner last issue until he gets them to tell him where Logan, Dani, and Bruce went. He phones his boss to inform them he’s not only got Logan’s trail, but Bruce’s too. At the library, Logan and Dani find Bruce under attack by cult members from The Tranquility Temple, who want to kill Bruce. And they have a secret weapon: the Hulk Killer, a Humanoid created by the Leader who appeared in a story in Tales to Astonish #86-87 and never again, so that’s a pretty deep continuity dive. And you can read it on Marvel Unlimited.
Logan tries to take on the Hulk Killer, but it rips his lungs out. Since his healing factor sucks now, he has to sit there helpless while the Hulk Killer does its job… but not until next issue.
This book is… fine, I guess. But it’s really decompressed, which is, I suppose, par for the course for Wolverine death and rebirth minis. I’m glad Marvel decided to give a proper ending to Old Man Logan after he filled in for Wolverine while he was dead (how could we miss you when you were never really gone, Wolverine?!), but they could have done this in 6 issues, tops. Just kill the old geezer and get it over with!
(W) Skottie Young (A/CA) Nic Klein
WAR OF THE REALMS TIE-IN! DEADPOOL GOES DOWN UNDER!
• As the War of the Realms rages, Deadpool is sent to Australia to take care of a pesky troll problem!
• No, not those obnoxious internet nerds. REAL TROLLS!
• How many didgeridoo jokes can one comic book make? Let’s find out together!
In Shops: Jun 05, 2019
It’s time for Deadpool to tie into War of the Realms, and Deadpool is being sent to Australia to help fight off the invasion of trolls. After explaining the event to Blind Al, he hitches a ride with Negasonic Teenage Warhead, watching romantic comedies on the plane until she kicks him out without a parachute over the continent. He lands amidst some trolls and begins emptying his suitcase for things to throw at them, but stops short of throwing a live goldfish in a bowl and runs away instead.
Deadpool is recused by Nancy Nuke, an Australian hero with the power to turn anything into a nuclear bomb. She takes him into the city to meet her colleagues, Captain Outback, a typical superhero with super strength and flight, and Tazmanian Devil, a vigilante who is also married to Nancy Nuke. They were hoping for a better Avenger, but Deadpool is what they’ve got given the circumstances. Deadpool doesn’t think it will be a big deal to beat the trolls, but the final scene shows Ulik leading an absolutely massive troll army.
This book can’t relaunch soon enough. 90% of the issues are jokes, and they’re just not really funny. Of course, the same could probably be said about my writing. But hey, Skottie Young is welcome to start a column critiquing me if he likes.
Don’t forget to read X-Men Monday over at Adventures in Poor Taste, where Chris Hassan brought in a ton of guest stars from the X-Men writing stable and didn’t ask any of them when Chris Claremont will write an ongoing series. Speaking of which Hassan asks that you please stop harassing the X-Men writers… so please stop doing that, you f***king idiots.
Yo, angry followers of #XMenMonday who lash out at writers who take time out of their busy schedules to participate in something meant to entertain #XMen fans: STOP IT. Being polite and respectful isn't hard. Also not hard? Me ignoring your future questions. Cool, good talk 👋
— Chris Hassan (@ChrisAHassan) June 10, 2019
The X-Men Animated Series creators are trying to bring the show back, which would be great. Of course, any X-Men cartoon would be great. What’s stopping you, Marvel?!
X-Men Dark Phoenix bombed at the box office… but Chris Claremont was a hit on the red carpet!
Do you like X-Men action figures? Then you probably should check out the Marvel Legends Retro Line.
Kelly Thompson teases some naked Gambit for later this month:
#XMenMonday for #MrAndMrsX #12. Art by Javier Pina, colors by Frank D'Armata, letters by Joe Sabino. This is out 6/26! Naked #Gambit is best Gambit. Even Candra knows this. #MMX pic.twitter.com/FqiYdvjV2a
— KELLY THOMPSON (@79SemiFinalist) June 10, 2019
Well, another week down, X-fans. Next week we’ve got new Marvelous X-Men, Apocalypse and the X-Tracts, Major X, and X-Force! Oh, and here’s a tease for you… when Jonathan Hickman reboots the X-Men… I’m going to reboot this column. Stay tuned!
Read more X-ual Healing here: