The penultimate issue of Extermination came out this week, which means bloodthirsty writer Ed Brisson is running out of time to devastate X-Men fans by killing off their favorite characters. We've already seen Brisson implicated in a plot to kill off Honey Badger with the other Uncanny X-Men writers. He succeeded in killing off Bloodstorm and adult Cable in Extermination #1. And he's taking his time, killing Old Man Logan slowly, beginning in this week's Old Man Logan #50 and on into the 12-issue Dead Man Logan maxi-series.
Now, Brisson has set his sights on the most cherished X-Man of all. Let's get right into it…
Extermination #4 (of 5)
W) Ed Brisson (A) Pepe Larraz (CA) Mark Brooks
• The X-Men are at the end of their rope.
• If even one of the original five X-Men dies, our future is lost.
• Jean Grey and the X-Men only have one option left…and it may cost them everything.
In Shops: Oct 31, 2018
The issue begins with Ahab, backed by his soldiers, his psychic twins, and his hounds — Nightcrawler and Old Man Logan — heading to the X-Men Red's headquarters under the ocean, Searebro, to kill time-displaced teenage Cyclops. Meanwhile, Cannonball arrives at the Xavier institute carrying Shatterstar, who was also turned into a hound before being beaten into unconsciousness by Sam. The X-Men at the mansion, of course, are faring much worse, with Beast injured and the place a wreck. At murderous teenage Cable's hideout, X-Force and time-displaced teenage Jean Grey confront the younger version of their mentor who killed the older version of their mentor. Cutting to the chase, Jean freezes everyone with her telekinesis and forces Cable to explain his plan. As we all likely guessed, teen Cable killed Old Man Cable because Old Man Cable had gotten too soft, allowing the time-displaced teenage X-Men to remain in the future, mucking up the timeline. He's been kidnapping the original X-Men to reboot them back to their pre-time-displaced state so that he can send them back and fix things. For example, he used Mimic's wings to repair Angel, and Mimic went along willingly. If Cable doesn't get the original X-Men back to their timeline before one of them is killed, the X-Men will not be able to stem the tides of hatred against mutants and the world will become one of the X-Men's patented post-apocalyptic futures.
In Searbro, adult Jean Grey tells time-displaced-teenage Scott Summers that she couldn't stand to lose him again, as all of this foreshadowing is really getting us nervous. Ahab attacks, but X-Force shows up at the room where Scott is recuperating from the attack by Nightcrawler last issue, along with the other time-displaced teenage X-Men. It looks like the X-Men just have this under control… until Ahab busts into the room, and this happens:
Scott, or "Scott," is left pinned to the wall with a harpoon and the issue ends with both Jeans horrified at the loss of their true love (suck it, Wolverine).
So is that is? Has Marvel killed another Cyclops? Is this the latest manifestation of the publisher's vendetta against the best X-Man?
Well, Bleeding Cool's own Rich Johnston laid out two theories for what happened here. One, which is an obvious one that a lot of people have speculated on, is that it wasn't Cyclops but Mimic who was killed. But it's Johnston's other theory that makes us much madder:
Theory two is darker. Teen Cable, already prepared to mind wipe the O5 to their pre-time travel selves, including erasing Iceman's sexual identity in the process, to preserve the timeline could, theoretically, do the same for the Mimic. Remove all his powers, but Cyclops' optic blasts. Use his shapeshifting powers to Mimic Scott Summers permanently. And use Jean Grey's memories to implant everything he is going to do. Create a DNA fix so that no one suspects. And reveal that for decades Scott Summers was never Scott Summers, but the Mimic who thought he was Scott Summers, all along, playing out the memory of Cyclops until he dies. And then find a way to bring back a Scott Summers who never did all those naughty things…
So not only did Cyclops create Cable but Cable creates Cyclops.
Which would you prefer?
If Marvel goes this route, this means that, yes, all the crappy things Marvel had Cyclops do in the last ten years in the name of making him a villain would be undone, but so would all the good things he's done over the years, as it would actually be Mimic who did all of those things, including marrying Jean Grey. Would Marvel really do this to Cyclops fans?
Of course they would! They've been torturing us for years, and this would be the ultimate insult. Which means it's probably what they're going to do… unless, that is, they can think of something even worse. And from the twisted, sadistic mind of Ed Brisson, anything is possible. Worse yet, Brisson still has one more issue to kill off whoever he pleases. Who will be next? Honey Badger? Glob Herman? Reveal that it was mimic who died this issue, only to kill off the real Scott in the next?
Sadly, we have no choice but to stand by and watch helplessly as countless more X-Men die. On the bright side, we did appreciate the cover homage.
$2500, huh? Well, a single issue will probably cost that much within the next decade, the way things are going.
Let's get on with the rest of the column…
Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities, but with a corporate merger on the way, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics.
X-Men Black: Emma Frost
(W) Leah Williams (A) Chris Bachalo (CA) J. Scott Campbell
THE DIAMOND DIVA STRIKES BACK!
Before she was an X-Man, Emma Frost was White Queen of the Hellfire Club where she labored under the yolk of Sebastian Shaw, the Black King. Now she sets her sights on the club, determined to tear down the organization that wronged her…if she can convince the X-Men to help out. PLUS: Part 5 of X-MEN BLACK: APOCALYPSE!
In Shops: Oct 31, 2018
Cheering us up after that issue of Extermination isn't an easy task, but thankfully, X-Men Black: Emma Frost is a comic up to the job. The issue begins with Rogue and a team of X-Men including Nightcrawler, X-23, Storm, and Gambit meeting Emma at Walmart to discuss a plan Emma has (though it was Rogue's idea to hold the meeting at Walmart just to piss Emma off). Emma wants the X-Men to help her take down the Hellfire Club, who she calls terrorists. While the X-Men take out a bunch of Hellfire Club bases, Emma will take down their leader, Sebastian Shaw. They agree, and Emma infiltrate's Shaw's headquarters in a sequence that shows her using her telepathy to kill or incapacitate dozens of people as she rides an elevator to Shaw's penthouse.
Once there, she boots out a sex worker who's fixing Shaw a drink and proceeds to lecture Shaw about being a pervert. Shaw lashes out and appears to get the upper hand, but it turns out the sex worker was actually working for Emma, and she slipped a drug in Shaw's drink to paralyze him. Emma takes over as the new Black King of the Hellfire Club, and sends the X-Men a gift basket as a thank you. This should make for an interesting relationship between the X-Men and the Hellfire Club in the coming months.
In the final chapter of the Apocalyspe backup story, Apocalypse has regained his powers and has a shiny new body. He also figures out that he hasn't been in another dimension or on another planet, but on the island where he was performing his experiments at the start, where a little bit of his powers have leaked into every living thing. He kills all of his evolved lab rats and sets about undoing the damage he's done to the island's ecosystem by wiping out the entire island. Then he flies away, presumably to show up later in Uncanny X-Men.
It's no surprise if you've ever heard Leah Williams talk about the X-Men before, but she's really good at writing them.
What If? Magik
(W) Leah Williams (A) Filipe Andrade (CA) Jeff Dekal
Before she was Magik, Illyana Rasputin was just a kid whom Limbo chewed up and spit out seven years older. So it's no surprise that, at 15, she wants nothing to do with the X-Men…nothing to do with the New Mutants…and nothing to do with her own powers. It's not even surprising that she runs away… but where – and who – she ends up? Well, that's something you've never seen before.
In Shops: Oct 31, 2018
What If? Magik asks the question "What if Magik became sorcerer supreme?" The premise is that, after being raised in Limbo be Belasco, rather than joining the New Mutants, Illyana heads off on her own. The issue begins with Magik hitchhiking in the desert, where a man who gave her a ride tries to rape her. She dispatches him with her magic when Doctor Strange shows up. He's been tracking her for a while as she's left a trail of magical destruction, but Illyana says she's just been defending herself. Strange analyzes her and figures out what happened to her, so he teleports her to his mansion because he wants to help. Magik is skeptical, but eventually, he convinces her to become his apprentice because he's hoping to retire someday and have Magik replace him (sorry, Doc, nobody ever retires in Marvel comic books).
Through training, Magik becomes adept at many magical styles, but she seems unable to master creation magic, possibly because she raised from such a young age to destroy. Strange takes her to a tropical island, hoping that the environment will help her to concentrate, and it does. Magik is able to create her first object, a Soul Staff, but Belasco appears and attacks, and Illyana freezes. Strange and Belasco do battle, but when Belasco seems to get the upper hand, Magik intervenes and kills him with her Soul Staff, which is lethal to all sorcerers.
Stricken with grief and rage, Illyana starts throwing a magical tantrum that wreaks havoc on the environment and also may kill her. Strange transports the both of them to another dimension where Illyana can release that rage, which she does. Later, he gives her her own Doctor Strange cape.
This issue was basically an origin story for an alternate universe Magik whose ongoing series we would definitely buy, but even better would be an ongoing for Magik in regular continuity by this same creative team (for no other reason than that we just prefer everything be in continuity). The art was perfect for this book, by the way.
Old Man Logan #50
(W) Ed Brisson (A) Ibraim Roberson (CA) Andrea Sorrentino
• Logan came into this world the same way he's leaving it: IN PAIN!
• Don't miss the end of an era as Old Man Logan's golden years are cut short!
In Shops: Oct 31, 2018
If you thought the original Wolverine has been taking his sweet time coming back from the dead, it's nothing compared to how long Old Man Logan has been taking to die. The final issue of Old Man Logan begins with Logan facing off against Maestro in Fort Wells… again. It goes just about as well as the last time for him. Logan just needs to keep Maestro talking long enough for him to inject himself with Regenix to kickstart his healing factor, but Maestro is onto him and smacks him across the town. Logan drops the Regenix and a little picks it up. Maestro captures Logan and resolves to find a good way to kill him once and for all.
Meanwhile, Joshua, the young man who helped Logan last issue, is bleeding out after his neighbors, loyal to King Maestro, shot him. He's brought to a medical bay, where he dies. One of the locals, Angela, has had enough and decides to gather the townspeople and take up arms against Maestro. Some of the Maestro loyalists tattle on her as she goes to visit Logan, who tells her he needs the Regenix to save her. It turns out it was her daughter who took the Regenix, so Angela goes to get it. Then she gathers some people with guns and attacks Maestro, who has brought Logan to the town square to kill him in front of everyone.
Angela injects Logan with Regenix, and he gets up, fully recharged, and attacks. Maestro leaps away, telling Logan to follow him because he has an offer. Logan does, and they end up in a cave where Maestro offers to send Logan back to his own time, before his family was killed, so that he can live out his days in peace with his family. Logan refuses, so Maestro destroys the machine, trapping him here. Logan cuts off Maestro's head, and then collapses as the Regenix runs out.
You would think this might be the end for Logan, this being the final issue and all… but there's a 12-issue Dead Man Logan series to go before that, so you'd better dig in. The only question is whether that one will complete before the original Wolverine's return does. Honestly, it could go either way. But you know what? Ed Brisson may have killed our beloved Cyclops… maybe… but he does know that the best way to make it up to us is to kill a Wolverine.
Brisson, we just can't stay mad at you. For (starting) the killing off of another Wolverine, Old Man Logan #50 is the Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Week!
Congratulations to the creative team. Now please reveal Cyclops is still alive next month, Brisson.
That's all for this week, folks. See you next weekend!
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