So this is mostly going to be the overview of All-New X-Men issues 5-7, but I also wanted to talk about a few headlines in the comic book world.
First off, Emerald City Comicon was last week and everything I have seen about it has been nothing but positive. This Seattle convention is considered an honest Comic based convention, really focusing on the books and a little less on the movies and gaming side of things. That might sound like a negative, but many traditionalists and people like myself who have minimal interest in all the rest find these kind of shows refreshing.
Also in the news is more speculation on the Justice League of America movie and Christian Bale’s possible involvement. Bale played a good Bruce Wayne, but far from the best batman so I’m not sure that would be the best idea. I vote that they bring in a Nightwing figure in Batman’s stead to prevent comparison to the dark knight. Marvel has already set a high bar with all of the Avengers related movies, so WB has a lot to live up to.
*Spoiler Alert* incase you have been living under a rock. They killed Robin — Again. And it was the worst kept secret in the history of everything. CNN had it as part of their morning program. No warning, no nothing. Just BOOM! major plot line in your face. Yet another example of comics not being treated with the same regard as other forms of media.
As promised, here is the recap for issues 5-7. and remember Issue 8 comes out today! Again SPOILER ALERT!
Right off the bat into the craziness that is this series. We are transported into the brain of present day Beast, by Jean Gray’s mind powers. They are joined by young Beast in a hope to find out what is causing the latest mutation to kill him/them. Present day Beast is stoeckly sure that this is the end and there is no hope, but young Beast isn’t so quick to give up. In fact within (what appears to be) minutes he finds an error in his future selves calculations.
[University of Texas] Our new mutant friend Benjamin, from issue three has been kicked out of school and ostracized by his peers. On his way off campus he is stopped by a casually dressed Cyclops. His recruitment skills are tarnished by the incident at the bonfire involving the young X-men, but he is able to convince Benjamin into joining his group.
Jump back into the mind of the dying Hank McCoy. He and Jean are discussing why he brought them to the present. Why he did what he did at such a high cost to his friends. He explains that his hope is to impact young Scott in a way, as to prevent him from growing into the man he is now. Or to show present day Cyclops how far he has fallen so that he can die with that shame. This talk of mortality leads Jean to ask how she dies. Beast, knowing he would never close his mind to Jean, allows her to see her own life through his eyes. in an instant she is aware of her whole life ahead of her. She feels every emotion and every bit of pain. This overwhelms her, causing her to break the psychic connection and go into a bit of a breakdown. Kitty Pryde does what she can to comfort her and leads her out of the lab, leaving young and old Hank alone.
Everyone is gathered outside of the school and a confrontation begins between young Scott and Wolverine. The elder X-men rants about how he could just kill the young Cyclops and prevent any of this from ever happening. (all my scifi nerds will hate how little they go into the repercussions of the time travel. I mean I don’t want a Marty McFly disappearing from the photo moment. I just want to see some real issues being created by their choices. The series is still young so we will just have to see.) This scuffle is quickly ended by a fully conscious and walking Hank McCoy, who tells the young X-men that he is sending them back to their time. This is countered by a resounding “No.” from Jean. She refuses to go back without fixing the current predicament. There is still some resistance so they put it to a vote amongst the young X-men. Everyone votes in favor except Angel (yep, he is still here) who stands by his thoughts that this is all a bad idea. With that decided Kitty Pryde steps forward to be in charge of the young ones. as the crowd disperses Scott approaches Jean but she cuts him off telling him to leave her the hell alone.
Jean Gray wakes up from a terrible dream to see that she has thrown everything in her room to the ground. Kitty Pryde, hearing all the commotion come in and begins to comfort her. Jean explains the obvious despair she is feeling, waking up one day knowing that everyone she loves is dead, hurt, or changed beyond recognition. We see her selflessness though when she asks how the others are doing. Cut to Scott wandering around the school catching dirty looks and wide eyed stares everywhere he goes. Scott deals with his stress in a much less constructive way, stealing Wolverine’s motorcycle and running away (with Logan in hot pursuit.)
Back in Jeans room, she and Kitty are exchanging small talk while cleaning up the mess. A simple question sparks another fit with her powers. She is unable to focus on one thought so they all come flooding into her mind. Kitty holds her and walks her through a basic calming exercise until she is back under control. At this point storm enter the room and they begin to talk about how Jean must lead her team. How she was the one to convince them to stay, and Scott has lost his credibility with many, she she has to step up. Again she asks where scott has gone.
It turns out Scott is at a small convenience store in the nearby town, trying to buy a magazine. This is where Wolverine catches up with him. Honestly I was a little disappointed at this scene. After a few words, Scott decides to use his laser beam eyes to knock Logan back just long enough to jump back on the bike and take off. I really wanted there to be an epic showdown but– later maybe?
Unbeknownst to young Scott and Wolverine, Angel is following them. He has this inner monologue talking about his apprehension with being in the present. He feels like like he is not really being considered in any of this, which in many ways is true. Then boom! out of nowhere goddamn present day Angel shows up and the two of them fly off into the sunset. Yes it is just that simple.
The Issue closes out with Raven being informed of what appears to be a very young cyclops blasting Wolverine with his laser eyes. This obviously catches her attention, she gathers her team to go see what is going on for herself.
Young Scott can’t seem to figure out that he stands out like a sore thumb in his classic x-men uniform and Logan’s jacket. Even with a baseball cap on he is far from discreet. He finds a young clerk who he thinks will help him and asks her to check and see if he still has a safety deposit box with them. In the box he has his old sunglasses, a passport, cash, a few random items, and an invitation to he and Jean’s wedding. When he comes out of the vault he is met by an obviously disgruntled Wolverine who, using his Avengers ID card prevents Scott from having a run in with bank security. Remember, young Scott is still Cyclops and the rest of the world doesn’t know there are two of them floating around. Once outside Logan pulls young Scott into an ally and *drum roll* IT’S NOT ACTUALLY Wolverine. It’s Raven, a shape shifting mutant who took on logans form to get to Scott. She tells him they need to talk. In their conversation we see why Scott thinks Beast brought them back. He thinks it was to punish him. Raven explains that if anything is going to get fixed it has to be by him, no other mutant can do what need to be done. We also see that her opinions of the rest of the present day X-men is not that high. She sees the new school as run by Wolverine to be against what Charles Xavier’s dream. With this she leaves him just as Logan pulls up in his Jeep. Scott asks why he hasn’t killed him yet and Logan replies that killing is the easiest thing to do, it’s saving someone that is truly hard. Scott’s reply to this is so simple but powerful. He asks “What if I can’t be saved?” Logan brushes it off but this is an important question they have to face. What if they can’t change present day Cyclopes mind?
We have a quick flash to Raven talking to one of her cronies. He is curious as to her sudden concern with the X-men, and she explains that with them occupied, she will be free to see her own plan to the finish line. It is clear that her concern is only for herself, not the mutant kind.
Back at the School, Kitty is trying to train the young X-men and finding it harder than expected, especially with young Iceman. Their training is interrupted by the return of Logan and Scott. Silently and with purpose young scott walks up to Jean and hands her their wedding invitation he had retrieved from the safety deposit box. Is that enough to patch back up their relationship? Will the X-men be able to stop Cyclops? What is Raven’s plan, and how does it link with the rest of the story? Go out to your comic shop and pick up All-New X-Men #8 today!