Wednesday, July 21, 2010

full circle, part 2

drive-by readings

The Heroic Age: Uncanny X-Men one-shot (Marvel)
Matt Fraction
Whilce Portacio
Ed Tadeo
Brian Reber
Steve Sanders
Jaime Mendoza
Ian Hannin
Jamie McKelvie
Chris Sotomayor
Joe Caramagna
Mark Brooks (cover)
i see this one-shot as something akin to a look at the past, present and future for our merry band of mutants. with the onset of the Heroic Age, the defeat of one of their most dangerous enemies, and the possible rebooting of their race, the X-Men stand once again at the crossroads, free to rewrite the next chapter of their destiny.

the X-Men's present is Cyclops, who has made steely yet carefully weighed decisions that may have cost him his friends and reputation, that have saved his race from extinction. imagine if he quit after Jeannie's death (and she didn't go back and prod him to marry Emma and continue with the school)? there's no better leader suited to shepherd the X-Men than him, but that's for this moment. Professor X and Magneto have bowed to his wishes, not always freely, but have also made sacrifices to somehow earn his trust. Scott was angry at Charles once for not treating the sentient Danger as an equal, and for living fast and loose with their lives with his decisions. somehow, he hasn't gotten the same vitriol from Charles or Magneto (who likely understands making the hard choice even better), their former mentors. i would say its Scott's age, which is closer to majority of the adults of the X-Men (and the younger generation), that makes them a lot more receptive to his decisions, compared to the father figures Charles and Magneto once were, even bordering on the tyrannical.

but he has not been spared that disapproval from Hank McCoy, longtime friend and comrade in the trenches (and to a degree, Storm). Hank does represent the old school, and not a few us remember when he wasn't blue and furry. his own decision to leave the fold makes him representative of the past, because he didn't want to be part of the new X world order, which he says is more militaristic. wait till he gets a load of the new X-Force - it'll make the last X-Force iteration look like the cute animals from Pet Avengers. and considering his parting words "make love, not war, Scott" (Matt Fraction, you is a hippie!), this seems disingenuous as he is waging war as a member of the Secret Avengers. in keeping with his scientific beliefs, he no longer has faith that the mutant race will blossom like it used to, despite urging from the cute-as-a-button Molly Hayes.

the future, meanwhile, belongs to the appropriately-named Hope (now i don't remember who named her? was it Cyclops or Cable?). here we see here being tested by Reed Richards as a time-transplant, though she was born in this time anyway. lacking the normal experience of a child growing up, its fun to see her awkwardly interact with her peers, like Franklin Richards, who, frankly, with all his powers, should also be in the frontline for mutant rights and defense. maybe the powers-that-be just don't want to remember Heroes Reborn. anyway, Hope, a fine doppelganger of Jeannie (imagine the torment Emma would be going thru everyday as a reminder), wants to find her birth parents in Alaska (Sarah Palin?). this is a good start and Cyclops, realizing that he may be making the mistake of putting the weight of expectations on people, gives her his blessings and a chaperone squad.

its been a long, long time since House of M/Decimation. i hope the next storylines do not involve the exhausting theme of mutant extermination, because am goddamned tired, despite the real-world analogy of the subject.

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