What is the point of meticulously recapping the events of a bloated line of X-Men comics when the whole line is going to be relaunched in less than a month? That’s a very good question. The Hickboot approaches with House of X #1 on July 24th, and along with it, X-ual Healing: The Weekly X-Men Recap Column will also be rebooted. What will the column turn into? That’s for us to know and for you to find out. But until then, we’ve still got some lame duck X-Men comics to recap, so let’s get on with the show…
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 #20
(W) Matthew Rosenberg (A) Salvador Larroca (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 19, 2019
The issue opens with a prologue wherein a child is injected with the mutant vaccine and immediately begins vomiting blood while his body puffs up, proving that Matthew Rosenberg is an anti-vaxxer. The issue then skips back to three days ago to explain what’s going on. First, the X-Men head to New York to track down and subdue The Nasty Boys, not the old school WWF tag team of Knobbs and Sags, but the early nineties X-Factor villains. Unfortunately, they’re all dead already, killed by fellow early 90s evil mutant stable The Upstarts. A battle ensues, and when the X-Men defeat the upstarts and corner Shinobi Shaw, he makes reference to the X-Men being pawns of Emma Frost and then kills himself. The X-Men don’t understand these references because Emma mindwiped them and has been playing them, as was revealed last issue. The next day, at Harry’s Hideaway, Dark Beast reveals that he’s found a way to neutralize the mutant vaccine, and all the X-Men have to do is disperse a virus from some strategic locations in the world and it will spread throughout the Earth and make the mutant cure completely ineffective. There’s a little bit of hesitation from some of the X-Men, but ultimately they vote to do it.
Back to the present, we see Wolverine and Kwannon in the parking garage where they were confronting Emma Frost, Mystique, and Elixer last issue. A fight breaks out, naturally. During the battle, Mr. Sinister (recently captured by the X-Men and handed over to Emma) gloats about something and then the O.N.E. show up and roast Wolverine with a flamethrower. Meanwhile, in Washington Square Park, Captain America, flanked by Dr. Nemesis, confronts Cyclops and the X-Men about the virus they released, which is killing children. Cyclops is all like “I had no idea the virus given to us by a known evil mutant would cause any harm,” and when Captain America has no idea what Scott is talking about when he mentions all the prisoners he’s been handing over to Cap (we know it was really Mystique disguised as Cap), Cyclops freaks out and has Magik teleport the X-Men and Dr. Nemesis back to Harry’s Hideaway where they confront Dark Beast and learn he tricked them, using a suggestion from Sinister to create a virus that would occasionally cause a child with the X-Gene to die like in the opening scene of this book. Because of that, Dark Beast explains, parents will have to choose between vaccinating their children and potentially killing them or just letting them become mutants.
Displeased by this, Magik kills Dark Beast by teleporting him halfway through the floor. Dr. Nemesis says he can fix the virus, but Scott receives a psychic distress call from Emma, who restores his memories and tells him she needs the X-Men, because General Callahan has had enough of her crap and is about to lock her up.
So… Shinobi Shaw, the Nasty Boys, and Dark Beast are the latest casualties of Matthew Rosenberg’s killing spree. It’s hard to believe that much of this isn’t going to be undone by the Hickboot, but it’s also hard to believe the Hickboot will be more entertaining than the past 20 issues of Uncanny X-Men have been. Sad.
Age of X-Man: Amazing Nightcrawler #5
(W) Seanan McGurie (A) Juan Frigeri (CA) Shane Davis
IT’S CURTAINS FOR KURT WAGNER!
• Nightcrawler’s life hangs in the balance as the Age of X-Man crumbles around him!
• Plus: The fate of baby TJ revealed!
In Shops: Jun 19, 2019
Time to wrap up another Age of X-Man miniseries. Picking up where the previous issue left off, Nightcrawler faces down the Cuckoos and the entire cast of the book in a warehouse where Meggan, who has transformed into Mystique, has been hiding with Tenia Jean, Nightcrawler’s daughter. Nightcrawler teleports Celeste to the roof, along with TJ, for some X-pository dialog. It turns out that Celeste and the Cuckoos have been repeatedly mindwiping Nightcrawler and Meggan because they keep falling in love, having sex, and then tracking down TJ. By mindwiping them, the Cuckoos have prevented the Department X from finding out, which allows them all to continue on with their movie studio business. Nightcrawler is understandably upset by this, but Celeste explains that he’s the one who’s a big jerk here, as the Cuckoos understand that this whole world is wrong, but their mutation makes it impossible for them to be separated.
Nightcrawler teleports back into the warehouse and shocks Meggan into turning back into herself, then teleports her to the roof as well. Meggan and Kurt try to argue that love is right and they should be able to keep their family, but Celeste says that sooner or later the X-Men’s telepaths will find out what’s been going on and everyone will be screwed. Nightcrawler makes a deal: if Celeste lets Meggan escape with TJ, he’ll surrender peacefully. Celeste agrees, and after Nightcrawler and Meggan say their goodbyes, he willingly allows himself to be mindwiped once again. At a press conference later, Surge joins Studio X to replace Meggan, who Nightcrawler tells the press he never really had any chemistry with anyway.
Damn, that’s messed up. It would be a lot more heartbreaking if this wasn’t an alternate reality that we know will be reset after Age of X-Man: Omega to get ready for the Hickboot, but what are you gonna do?
Wolverine Infinity Watch #5
(W) Gerry Duggan (A) Andy MacDonald (CA) Giuseppe Camuncoli
We’ve finally reached Infinity’s end…and hopefully Logan can claw his way back from the edge before he falls off.
In Shops: Jun 19, 2019
And now it’s time to wrap up this mini-series. Picking up from last issue, Hector Bautista freezes time on the Raptor ship just as Warbringer is about to attack and kill everyone. He then spends the next day wandering around the frozen ship, practicing his ability to rewind time and also snagging some cool armor from a dead Skrull (see the cover above). Once he feels confident enough, he restarts time and then freezes just Warbringer. Wolverine, Hector, Loki, Bats the ghost dog, Talonar, and Talonar’s mom all jump through a portal to Earth and leave Warbringer behind on the ship which is about to explode. Presumably the rest of the Raptors all die too, but nobody mentions it. Talonar is mad that Loki brought his mom into space, but his mom wants to lecture him about being a space villain, so he takes off.
Next, Wolverine demands that Hector take him back in time to save the X-Men, who Wolverine thinks are dead (even though they’re actually in the Age of X-Man universe). Hector refuses, kicks Wolverine’s ass, and then disappears. Loki says he’s gotta go die in War of the Realms, and the issue ends with King Thor reading from his book, revealing that the events of this series freed the Infinite Gems from whatever was controlling them in Infinity Countdown/War (didn’t read it, don’t care), and also that Hector will take the superhero name Overtime in case Gerry Duggan wants to launch a new solo book for him at some point down the line.
Not only was this mini-series set before Wolverine’s return to Uncanny X-Men, as well as Loki’s death in War of the Realms, but we also know (as has been the theme this week) that any Wolverine development will likely be discarded by the Hickboot. The story was harmless enough, but it really does feel like kind of a waste to get invested in “lame duck” stories that are about to be replaced by a big line-wide relaunch.
Now look, maybe this is just me, but I feel like Marvel’s constant need to make massive, sweeping status quo changes every 6-12 months is making it kind of hard for any story to have lasting impact. The X-Men’s universe was just drastically changed by the Age of X-Man, and before that drastically changed by X-Men Disassembled, and before that drastically changed by Extermination, and that’s going back less than a freaking year. In Uncanny X-Men, Matthew Rosenberg is killing off multiple characters every issue now, and in Age of X-Man it’s an alternate universe so nothing would matter even without the Hickboot.
I’m not really sure what the answer is here… obviously Marvel needs to get attention for the Hickboot because they’re hoping it will make the X-Men a big seller again, but I dunno, maybe if they reset their universe less than four times per year it would have more impact and feel less like they’re just jerking the readers around? Because at this point, I’m kind of wondering why I am paying for 20+ X-books per month and then wasting my time recapping them here when nothing matters?
Sigh… one more…
(W) Skottie Young (A/CA) Nic Klein
WAR OF THE REALMS TIE-IN! BEYOND THUNDERPOOL!
• The war against the trolls grows larger! The likelihood of Deadpool not causing an international incident grows smaller!
• Prepare for carnage as only a nation begun as a penal colony can deliver!
In Shops: Jun 19, 2019
You know what, @#$% Deadpool #14. This series ends next issue and I’m not even going to bother putting effort into recapping it because it, too, is just wasting my time and in turn I’m wasting your time. Deadpool helps tricks the trolls invading Australia into moving to New Zealand to become character actors in a Lord of the Rings theme park, but it turns out those trolls were led by a different and were merely the vanguard, and now the real Ulik has shown up to trash the country. But Deadpool isn’t going to stick around to deal with that.
Deadpool keeping it real right here by saying what we’re all thinking: all of this is pointless.
Which book gets the Wolverine’s Weiner X-Pick of the Week this week? NONE OF THEM! HAH!
Go read X-Men Monday at Adventures in Poor taste where, like Nightcrawler at the end of Amazing Nightcrawler #5, everyone is carrying along like everything is fine and the entire world isn’t falling apart around us! *grabs Chris Hassan by the shoulders and shakes him* Can’t you see what’s going on here, man?!
Sorry. This week’s it’s a Magneto-centered column.
Wow, true believers, Jude is really starting to lose his grip! X-ual Healing: The Weekly X-Men Recap Column has truly been shaken to its core!!! How will Jude maintain this column for the next four weeks before, just like the X-Men Universe, X-ual Healing will be completely rebooted, leaving nothing the same ever again?!?!
You’ll have to tune in next week to find out…
Read more X-ual Healing here: