Writer/ Jeff Lemire Penciller/ Humberto Ramos Inker/ Victor Olazaba Colourist/ Edgar Delgado
Times are tough in the Marvel universe, but it would appear times are tougher for our favourite mutant X-Men.
The Marvel Universe has, over the past little while, been shifting its focus to superhuman beings of a different kind: Inhumans. They’re pretty much the same as mutants (folks born with the X-Gene and develop unique powers in their teens) or regular old “science” based superheroes like Captain America (injected with the super soldier serum) or Spider-Man (bitten by a radioactive spider), in that they have wicked cool powers.
In the case of the “Nuhumans”, many thousands of people across the earth retain, as descendants of the Inhuman experiments conducted by the alien Kree on early man, a means of unlocking superpowers through the transformative Terrigen Mists. The general population of Earth had, of course, no knowledge that they are what was left of an abandoned Kree weapon experiment; most still don’t know.
Imagine everyone’s surprise when a Terrigen Bomb went off in Earth’s atmosphere at the end of the Infinity storyline. Epic stuff happens when Thanos is involved. In this case, it was Black Bolt who set off the bomb to defeat Thanos, but in the process, more than a bunch of folks began terrigenesis and developed strange powers. And they all lived happily ever after.
Not so for the mutants, who got the short end of the stick, yet again. Constantly persecuted for being different, mutants have been fighting long and hard to be considered equal among the rest of the population. They have largely had to live outside of society, amongst their own. If they did try to fit in, they did so anonymously, hiding the fact that they were “special”.
Special, in this case, will be their downfall. While it’s nice that nuhumans are popping up all over the place, some mutants are getting sick. While it would appear this Terrigen induced virus is only affecting mutants, it has not taken long for the general population to turn on them in fear of getting some sort of plague. On top of contracting a deadly virus, mutants exposed to the Terrigen Mists become sterile and unable to have children. The mists also prevent the activation of the X-Gene in humans.
Today, we find Storm leading what is left of the X-men, and she is looking pretty bad-assed with that crazy mohawk of hers. Starting with Iceman and Magik, the three of them have maintained the school for mutant children, but have moved it to a “secure location.” Now that mutants are being targeted for being “gene freaks” (again) and are carriers of the M-Pox, Storm is planning something big to ensure the survival of her people.
One trick up her sleeve is Cerebra, an A.I. that Forge (mutant master inventor/tinkerer) has place inside the empty shell of a Sentinel robot. With the Sentinel program gutted from the system, Cerebra is able to track down and pinpoint the location of anyone with the X-Gene. Iceman mentions to Storm that Magik should be back soon from her latest mission.
Magik jumped into a dangerous situation. In New Delhi, where they’ve tracked a young girl who has recently manifested her mutant powers, an armed posse is getting ready to deal with the child in order to prevent the spread of the mutant sickness. Magik ‘ports in from Limbo, the outer-dimensional plane she can travel to and fro at will, into the middle of the room to stand in front of the kid. She has a wicked huge sword with a piece of her soul in it.
The mob surges forward. “Kill them! The gene freaks will make us sick, too!” Being a sorceress, Magik lets them all know that, she cast a language spell so that everyone could converse peacefully, but with “language like that,” chat time is over. Waving her sword around, a powerful blast knocks the bigots to the ground and off they go through one of her portals. Once everyone is safe back at the school, Storm and Iceman are off to attempt to recruit a friend for help in their time of need.
In Manhattan, Jean Grey is attending class at Empire State University. Now, this is Jean Grey in her early twenties. “The original” if you will, brought from the past to the present by Beast for intervention purposes. She has since decided to remain in the here and now. Storm tries to convince Jean to come back to the X-Men, but she refuses even though she telepathically shares in Storm’s thoughts and saw how dire the fate of mutants has become. She takes off, but not before revealing that she has sensed someone who shouldn’t be alive: Logan, the Wolverine.
Magik drops in on her brother, Colossus, who would also rather be left alone, farming somewhere in the Russian countryside. After some convincing to join the cause, they are off to find Nightcrawler. They arrive to find he’s missing. A few pages back, we saw Nightcrawler tussling with some baddies. He puts up a good fight, but is, in the end, beaten and taken by Aries, Coda, Azimuth and another for reasons not yet known.
Not wasting any time, Storm, Iceman and Cerebra track down Wolverine’s wherabouts. “Is… Is it really you, Logan?!” She says. “Well, Ororo, that kinda depends on what you mean by really me” says Old Man Logan, turning to face her.
And there you have it. Wolverine is alive and well, in one way or another. I mean our Wolverine died, but with the events of Secret Wars, Old Man Logan finds himself in the “All-New, All-Different” Marvel Universe. X-23 is still kicking ass in her own title as All-New Wolverine. I read #2 of that yesterday and it was super fun. As is Extraordinary X-Men so far. I can’t say that it’ll be hard to like a team with Storm, Iceman, Old Man Logan, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Colossus and Magik. They are all great, seasoned characters. I especially enjoy stories with Magik. She’s such a trainwreck.
If you’re looking to add some mutants to your monthly haul, Extraordinary X-Men is a safe bet folks. – RENE
(Rene LeClair is an avid comic book reader and works at Comic Hunter in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, spreading the word to all who love comics as well. He is also a fantastic musician who currently plays with a great band called FEAR AGENT. Rene has been at his music for years, including stints with Longtimers, Four Frames, and the amazing Dead City Rebels. At the Comic Hunter (Moncton/Charlottetown) they easily have the biggest selection in the Maritimes for all your nerdy needs. They specialize in comic books w/ over 250k back issues, an immense library of graphic novels as well as a seemingly endless selection of board/card games. Whether you find yourself that side of Quebec or not, they’ll ship anywhere. Visit their website and contact them here.)