So . . . we’ve reached number 100 and the end of “Changing of the X-Guard.” Whew!
Let’s tackle the usuals first. We have come to “Eve of Destruction,” which pretty much bookends the 90s era X-Men.
The world is poised at the edge of a genetic war between humans and Mutants, with Magneto rallying all sorts of Mutants and Mutates at Genosha. Why? Well, because the Legacy Virus was cured and suddenly all those sick and dying Mutants and Mutates are up and about and ready to kick ass.
Of course, the X-Men aren’t in the best shape. Storm took her chunk of the team and left. Professor X has been captured by Magneto and is being used as a symbol to rally the troops. So with Wolverine and Cyclops helping Polaris evacuate the remaining humans off of Genosha,
This interim team of X-Men arrive in Genosha in short order and take the fight to Magneto. Magneto “kills” Dazzler and basically tears through the rest of the team . . . until Cyclops and Wolverine show up. They tussle with Mags for a bit, and then are subsequently defeated. Magneto threatens to rip Wolverine’s Adamantium skeleton out again, but Professor X block Magneto from accessing his powers. It turns out that Dazzler faked her death and Jean used the new X-Men to distract Magneto while Dazzler grabbed the Professor and took his place. Wolverine then cuts right into Magneto and the X-Men leave Genosha. Returning to the mansion, the new X-Men depart and Scott, Jean,
Despite the shaky premise, this story actually holds itself together nicely. It’s not the most in-depth tale, but there’s more to like than to hate.
My major critism regarding this story is the choice to bring in these new X-Men. I understand the idea behind it and even appreciate seeing new characters, but as Wolverine points out a few times, there are a number of X-Men out there – not just these three and Storm’s MIA team.
Despite that, though, the story is decent. It ranges from good to mediocre, and only once did it have a scene where I went “ugh! Come on!” – which was when the X-Men and Magneto explained to each other Jean’s brilliant plan. Note to writers: when the villain has to help explain what the plan, you have to know that you didn’t do a very good job on making it clear as to what really happened. Sorry.
The only other problem I had was its scope. There’s a nice “disaster averted” feel to it, but I wish it had been longer (it was supposed to be). Why not include an issue of “X-Men Unlimited?” Really, just one more issue would have made a difference.
To be completely honest, I wouldn’t have minded a tweaked version of Lobdell’s original post-Operation: Zero Tolerance story that had Magneto coming back and pretty much having an all out war between Mutants and humans with the X-Men smack in the middle. Oh well . . . what we got was pretty good.
There are some nice insight moments here – especially with Magneto, Wolverine, and Jean. Cyclops’ darker side steps into the spotlight, which is good. It lays down a foundation that Morrison and Whedon would later build upon. Amelia Vought also returns and it’s always a pleasure to her character again. Same with Polaris.
Lobdell tosses in little nods to the X-Tinction Agenda, Age of Apocalypse, Operation: Zero Tolerance (kinda), the Legacy Virus, Bloodties, The Twelve, Mojo/Longshot, and Fatal Attractions – which helps make this story seem all the better when placed in the context of X-Men history.
The ending with Professor X’s little speech falls a little flat, but the overall conclusion is nicely done. The story is a enjoyable tie-up of just about everything. Stryfe’s dead, the Legacy Virus is cured, Magneto is down of the count, Genosha is pacified, Apocalypse is dead, and Storm is off leading her own little team of X-Men to find journals that will dictate the future of the world. So . . . what’s next?
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Well, here we are at # 100 (if you don’t count the “New Mutants” posting errors and the “Welcome!” entry)! Yay!
I was really kinda debating how to celebrate this occasion. I thought “hmmm! An in-depth look at the X-Men would be a great idea!” But I don’t really have time for that and I’m not really feeling like this is the time for that yet anyway.
So, I’ll take a note from Busta Toons’ Masters of the Universe blog and do a round-up for ya’ll!
Prelude (which is what you're reading right now)
The Early Adventures
Good Guys, Bad Villains
End of an Era
Missing in Action
The New Kids
All Around the World
Perceptions of Reality
The Brood Saga
Enter: The New Mutants
From the Ashes
A Little In-Between
Wolverine and Kitty Pryde
Let’s Get Personal
Asgardian Wars and More!
Beyonder, Spiral, and Nimrod
The Rise of Apocalypse
What Happened to Maddie?
X-Men versus Fantastic Four
Before the Fall
Fall of the Mutants
After the Fall
The Team Falls Apart
Acts of Vengeance
Cleaning Out the X-House # 1: Days of Future Present
Cleaning Out the X-House # 2: X-Tinction Agenda
Cleaning Out the X-House # 3: Crossoroads
Cleaning Out the X-House # 4: Endgame
Cleaning Out the X-House # 5:
A New Era
Cutting Old Threads
The Tragedy of Wolverine
The Wedding Saga
Age of Apocalypse # 1: Legion Quest
Age of Apocalypse # 2: New History
Age of Apocalypse # 3: The New Beginning
Age of Apocalypse # 4: Resistance
Age of Apocalypse # 5: The Quest
Age of Apocalypse # 6: Finale
The Creed Assassination
The Phalanx/Shi’ar Conflict
Operation: Zero Tolerance
The World As It Could Have Been
The Hunt for Xavier
The Magneto War
Apocalypse: The Twelve
Mutants No More
War and Peace
Changing of the X-Guard # 1: X-Men Forever
Changing of the X-Guard # 2: Dream’s End
Changing of the X-Guard # 3: The Search for Cyclops
Changing of the X-Guard # 4: Grand Finales
Changing of the X-Guard # 5: Eve of Destruction
(which is what you're reading right now)
With all that, what does the future hold for the Uncanny X-Periment? Well, obviously, we’re entering into a new phase of the X-Men. Plenty of creators to come – Morrison, Casey, Austen, Whedon, Milligan, Carey, Brubaker, plus Chris Claremont (of course). Not to mention a ton of in-coming artists, most of whom are quite talented.
As for the immediate future, I’m debating what’s to come after this. The next logical step is “Origin,” although I’ve been considering tossing in “Exiles,” “Brotherhood” and “X-Force.” But we’ll see . . .
Ultimately, in the long run, I’m looking at having this up-to-date by the time the next big X-Even comes around (being “Endangered Species”), so probably by the end of the year. After that? Well, there’s plenty more to come. Weekly up-dates, special spotlights on single issues and characters, and (maybe, if I play my cards right), interviews.
So, thanks for stopping by and come on back, because this X-Periment ain’t over yet!