The more I read All-New X-men the more I realize this is one of the greatest story arcs I have experienced. It has all the good feeling of a classic X-men story but doesn’t feel redundant in any way. Even the angst filled air of a pending mutant revolution feels fresh, which is a true testament to Bendis’ writing. In fact the whole team on this title is really raising the bar to impressive heights. I get that not a lot of people have been able to pick up all these titles so why not do a little bonus catch up synopsis?
If you didn’t catch last Tuesday’s coverage of issue #1 check it out here: The State Of The X-Men
We start off with Kitty Pryde and Iceman breaking into Beast’s laboratory trying to gather him so they can track down Scott Summers (cyclops). They notice his lab is a wreck so Kitty tries to log onto his computer to find some answers but finds it locked. Flash to the past that Beast has traveled to. He stands in the office in front of a young Scott Summers, Jean Gray, Bobby Drake (Iceman), Warren Worthington (Angel) as well as himself. He has just dropped the bomb that future Scott could be the cause for a great mutant genocide and the classic X-men are having a hard time believing what they are hearing. Jean wants to contact Professor X, but Beast warns against that. He begs her to read his mind so she can see the truth in what he is saying, forgetting she has not developed that power yet. This leads the team to ask why he doesn’t just get the Xavier of the present to fix things. Seeing he has no other choice Beast tells them what future Scott has done. No one can believe that scott would kill professor X. This is a good example of how the X-men have evolved emotionally over the course of the series from naive young people with ideas of absolute morality, to jaded adults to live in a world stricken with tough choices. X-men, at it’s heart is a coming of age story and this is an amazing example of this. Beast finally convinces the reluctant original group to travel with him to the future.
The time travelers are immediately met by a hostile Logan (wolverine) who, using his animal senses smelled what he believed was the traitor Cyclops. After a quick scuffle the old and new X-men get a sight of each other. Iceman reacting understandably distressed. Before any formal introductions can be made beast collapses. Taking him back to his own lab, everyone does their best to figure out what is going on. Up to this point Beast has hidden the severity of his latest mutation and his own fears that it is killing him. Now, unconscious, the team both past and present must piece together what is happening if they hope to save him and find out what his plan is. Wolverine kicks the young X-men out of the laboratory to have a talk with them, but when it seems like he will try and send them back Jean uses her mind powers to put him to sleep. It appears that the time travel was a catalyst for the development of her telekinetic powers. The young team decides that they need to track down the present cyclops. The issue closes out with them taking off in the X-men blackbird.
[TEN DAYS AGO] We see Cyclops, Magneto, and Magik, standing in the former warehouse of Weapon X. Cyclops reveals that this is his planned home for the New Xavier School and all they need to do now is fill it with students.
[EIGHT DAYS AGO] A caravan of armored cars, escorted by helicopters, drive down a San Francisco highway. Standing in the middle of the highway like some sorta western train robbers stands Cyclops and Magneto. Radios squawk, machine guns fire, and Magneto raises his hands to unleash his mutant fury. But something is wrong, nothing happens. Cyclops seeing that something is wrong uses his laser eyes to prevent the impending collision, but he too loses control of his power causing much more destruction than intended. Through the wreckage Magneto comes to the main armored truck and musters up his power to unlock the hinge. An action that should be as easy as us breathing. Out emerges Emma Frost, The White Queen. Right off the bat an argument ensues between Emma and Scott. She blames him for betraying her, for stealing her Phoenix Force, and of course for Killing Professor Xavier. He retorts with understanding of her feelings, but begs her to see that his actions were not his own, but the Phoenix Force had changed him in that time. He asks her to read his mind to see that his intentions were not what they appeared. But she can’t. Her powers are also stunted. Emma believes it is because of the Phoenix. That somehow it altered their mutations. Magneto doesn’t buy it, reminding her that he never had the Phoenix Force. Emma hypothesizes that it was because of an attack from the Phoenix possessed Cyclops that Magneto has been effected. The White Witch makes it very clear she is not interested in joining Cyclops’ revolution. With police approaching, Emma starts to walk away. Both Cyclops and Magneto plead with her to join them. They believe they can fix what has been done. They want to make things right and they want her help. We see her reluctance fade as Cyclops calls for Magik to pull them out of the area.
[University of Texas Campus: Present Day] A pro-mutant demonstration is being held where we see a few likenesses of Scott Summer, as well as signs that read “Mutants are people too.” and “Cyclops cares”. One of the students calls out to her friend Benjamin asking him to join in. He explains it isn’t really his cup of tea so he’ll pass. She tries to guilt trip him into it, asking why he doesn’t want to make a difference. While responding, Benjamin’s voice starts to change and next thing we know he has completely shape shifted into his friend’s form. Everyone seems to be surprised by this change of events, including Benjamin. So much so he passes out.
We cut to a remote forest, my guess is somewhere in the Canadian wilderness near Weapon X. In a rage scott blasts out a beam of from his eyes. still uncontrollable, he is clearly frustrated. Magneto approaches, telling Scott to stop, that he is embarrassing himself. Scott tries to explain himself but it comes off more like a young child making excuses. Magneto gives him a reality check, reminding him that he too has lost his powers at what seems to be Scotts hand. He speaks about all the young mutants that are popping up each day and how they need them to lead. He explains that it is time for him to grow up and take responsibility for his own actions. Magik approaches and we find out that her powers are not only still intact but stronger. that she can now pull of forces from the limbo dimension. When Scott asks if she has heard from her brother, Colossus, she states that she hasn’t. Which is for the best because if he knew what Cyclops had done to the professor, he would kill him. Emma Frost come up to them holding what looks like a headline for the University of Texas incident. Looks like it’s time for more recruiting.
Back in Texas things are turning into a spectacle. The protest has turned into a bonfire and everyone is clamoring to take their picture with the newfound mutant. Hot on the scene arrives arrives Cyclops and his band of rogue mutants planning on plucking this new talent into their team. But no sooner have they arrived, the young X-men appear, obviously ready for a confrontation.
Cyclops tries to comprehend what he is seeing. At first he thinks that the young X-men must be some kind of mind trick or the work of a shape shifter. He even goes so far as to think that Professor X is not even dead but is playing tricks with his mind. But is intuition tells him this is not the case. That what he is seeing is real, and that somehow a young him and his friends have come to the present. He finally notices Jean which is almost more than he can handle. She was everything he wanted. His partner, best friend, and wife. After her death he was never the same. Jean, reading his mind, orders him to stop talking. She still gets overwhelmed by her rapidly developing mind powers. She throws Cyclops and Magneto across the courtyard. She cries out, knowing now what she had hoped was false, that he has killed the Professor. When cyclops lands his visor is knocked off, unleashing his untamed laser. To defend Jean, the young Scott uses his own powers to counteract that of his elder self. This is one of the best panels i have ever seen. Cyclops versus Cyclops — mind blowing. They finally break beams and Magneto is able to get Magik to summon then out of the area, leaving the young X-men in the rubble trying to discern what exactly happened. What this future really is, and if they can fix it. They decide it best to leave the University. the section ends with Benjamin piecing things together and trying to figure out if they had come for him and what caused that to change.
There is a small scene at Weapon X, where we see that two young mutants have joined the ranks and Magneto fills Emma Frost in on the latest developments.
[Flattop Mountain Colorado] The young X-men have landed to try to revive Jean Gray and figure out what their next step is. Iceman and Angel both want to go back to their time. Beast refuses to do anything until he knows that his future self will not die. you can feel the animosity between Jean and Scott. She holds him responsible for the actions he commits in their future. They load back up into the plane and head back to the school.
They arrive at the school just as Storm is in a heated argument with Wolverine over going to find the young X-men. As soon as they land the young Hank states plainly that he is going to see to his future self’s well being. Once at the lab he asks for all his medical records and information on his last mutation, revealing his password to be the names of his parents. Present day Beast wakes up from his coma just long enough to mumble a few words and then is thrown into cardiac arrest.
Holy shit right? It’s really amazing the direction this story is going. A recap of issues #5-7 will be attached to the end of my article this Wednesday just in time for the release of Issue #8. hope you’ll log on to check it out!