X-Mas Comes Early as Cyclops Returns! [X-ual Healing 12-19-18]

No intro this week, folks. Marvel decided they needed to publish seven X-Men comics the week before Christmas and this thing is already pushing 3,000 words, so let's get right to the recaps.

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.

Uncanny X-Men #6
(W) Ed Brisson, Kelly Thompson, Matthew Rosenberg (A) Yildiray Cinar (CA) Elizabeth Torque
Just when things didn't look like they could get worse… The ride of the Four Horsemen of Salvation? The coming of X-Man? And…a return to the AGE OF APOCALYPSE? The weekly epic that threatens to leave the X-Men in tatters rolls on toward its explosive conclusion!
Rated T+
In Shops: Dec 19, 2018
SRP: $3.99

The newly unleashed Archangel attacks his former Horseman brother Magneto, causing Magneto to retreat. But Archangel isn't happy with the X-Men, particularly Psylocke, for destroying the only peace he's ever known in life. While Warren doesn't think he can forgive the X-Men, he does lead them to X-Man's multi-cultural temple in British Columbia, where Jean Grey attempts to talk her sort-of-son-from-an-alternate-timeline into backing down. That doesn't work, and a battle breaks out, which X-Man wins easily, subduing all of the X-Men except Jubilee, who he hurls through several walls to the other side of his complex.

When Jubilee lands, somehow mostly unharmed, she finds the young X-Men — Armor, Pixie, Glob Herman, and Rockslide, along with Multiple Man and Legion. They go to confront X-Man themselves, and Armor seems to be making some headway in talking with X-Man, who appears to doubt whether he's doing the right thing. He also reveals that the reason he's doing all this is he's dying and he wants to save the world before he does. Unfortunately, Legion decides that this is the moment to attack and he transports X-Man, Armor, Pixie, Glob, and Rockslide to the Age of Apocalypse.

This relaunch continues to deliver, and next week, we jump a few months into the future.

Exiles #11
(W) Saladin Ahmed (A) Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez (CA) David Nakayama
The Exiles' beloved Khan-who sacrificed herself to stop the Time-Eater-has miraculously returned! But this time, her gun is trained on her old teammates! And she's not alone. Meet the evil Exiles-Captain Axis; Shuri, a.k.a. Killmonger; Iron Kang; X 2/3rd and Skele-Thor!
Rated T+
In Shops: Dec 19, 2018
SRP: $3.99

It's the penultimate issue of Exiles, and Blink and her team face off against post-apocalyptic Kamala Khan and a team of doppelganger Exiles, one for each of the real ones.  There's a Kang to oppose Iron Lad, an X 2/3rd to oppose Wolvie, a Frankenstein Captain America to oppose Cap and Bucky, a skeleton Thor to oppose Valkyrie, and an evil Shuri to oppose King. Apparently, all of these evil Exiles were snatched from dying timelines or other disasters from the Watchers and promised a second chance if they bring in the good Exiles. For Kamala, that means she can have her dead family back, which is why she's doing this.

The good Exiles don't fare well in this battle, but Blink teleports them away. However, Blink realizes that Kamala probably took them to kidnap her Auntie Sandra, so they head to the Bahamas and confront the evil Exiles on the beach. A fight breaks out again, but the good Exiles fare better this time when they realize they need to fight each other's counterparts instead of their own. It's Wolvie who really turns thing around though when he tells Kamala he's happy she's alive and wants her to reunite with her daughter, but he hopes her daughter doesn't find out what she's done as she'll think her mom is a bad person. Kamala gives up and the Watchers teleport them away to the moon. Blink and her Exiles prepare to follow for a final issue showdown with the Watchers.

Kind of crappy that this Exiles reboot is ending after just 12 issues, which isn't nearly enough time these days for a meaty run, what with all the decompression of modern comics storytelling. The team has tried their best, stuffing a lot of rapid character development into these issues, but 12 decompressed issues is about the equivalent of what 3 or 4 issues would have been back when comics were affordable. Too bad.

Extermination #5
(W) Ed Brisson (A) Pepe Larraz (CA) Mark Brooks
• It all ends here!!!
• The original five X-Men have taken the fight back to Ahab…but at what cost?
• Who lives? Who dies? The X-Men will never be the same again.
Rated T+
In Shops: Dec 19, 2018
SRP: $4.99

When did the last issue of this come out? Was it last year? In any case, you may recall that Extermination #4 ended on a cliffhanger with Cyclops impaled by Ahab's harpoon. Except, as it turns out, that was actually Mimic, sacrificing himself so time-displaced teenage Scott Summers could live. This should give the teen X-Men a chance to escape, but Cyclops refuses, vowing to fight. Unfortunately, the X-Men are not faring well, since Ahab's mutant twins keep making more X-Men into hounds. Things get really bad when Storm gets turned.

Cyclops and Jean decide that they need to go back to their own time, as their presence in the future is to blame for all of this. Each of the teen X-Men say goodbye to their adult counterparts, except for Cyclops, because his is dead. Iceman gets a whole page to talk about how much he doesn't want to go back and forget who he is, living decades of X-Men continuity in the closet. Adult Iceman tells teen Iceman that it's all because of him that he gets to be his true self today, so no matter what, his experiences matter.

Kid Cable timeslides with the teens, but not to the past. They head to the future, 5 years before this particular apocalyptic future, where the twins, Maxime and Manon, are students at the Xavier school, before Ahab got to them. Jena talks to the twins, learning how their powers work and how to undo it when they make people into hounds. Ahab attacks as well, but the X-Men ignore him, instead attacking his ship, destroying it, and preventing him from traveling in time. He then sends the O5 back to their own time, and brings himself and Ahab back to the present battle with the X-Men and the hounds.

In the past, the teenage X-Men discuss their plan. They're going to lock their memories so that everything that happened in past X-Men stories can proceed without interruption, but once they get to the future (where the battle is currently taking place), the memories will unlock, and the experiences of the teenage X-Men will be remembered by the adult X-Men. Also, they'll be able to free the hounds and defeat Ahab, but plot takes a backseat here to continuity-fixing. And that's the end of the time-displaced teenage X-Men's stories. In the future, Jean regains her teenage self's memories and defeats the twins and frees the hounds… except for Rachel, who remains that way because her pain was real, not implanted by the twins. Ahab teleports away with her.

Kid Cable has a moment with Jean, who recognizes him as her true son and lets him go. A few days later, the X-Men hold a triple funeral for Bloodstorm, adult Cable, and Mimic. Afterward, Beast, Iceman, Jean, and Angel meet for milkshakes and share a toast to Cyclops as Beast admits he's always been wrong about everything. In a final scene, Kid Cable returns to his safehouse and shares a root beer with a resurrected adult Cyclops. CYCLOPS IS BACK BABY! X-MAS HAS COME EARLY!!!

A lot has been said about this issue, particularly what happened to Iceman, and I'm unlikely to deliver a more thorough analysis than Steve Foxe did in his two articles on the subject at Paste magazine, so I'll just direct you to read his thoughts here. And if you haven't been convinced by years of Marvel's shoddy treatment of LGBTQ characters, just take a look at how it's driven poor Steve to wish Extermination had taken some cues from the super-mega-crossover event monstrosity of Infinity Countdown/Infinity Wars/Infinity Warps/Wolverine and the Infinity Cluster@#$% to see just how bad the problem is.

Farewell, time-displaced teenage X-Men. Despite being created by Bendis, you were alright in the end.

Iceman #4
(W) Sina Grace (A) Nathan Stockman (CA) W. Scott Forbes
• New York is finally throwing its first Mutant Pride Parade!
• But it may also be the last, as Mr. Sinister escalates his attacks on Iceman!
Rated T+
In Shops: Dec 19, 2018
SRP: $3.99

Iceman visits with Morlocks leader Madin to explain how her brother was arrested due to being transformed into an ice monster by Mister Sinister for the purpose of screwing with Iceman. Bobby says he's going to bust him out of jail, but Madin, who's hangry, tells him that won't be helpful, as it will just draw more attention to the Morlocks. At the Xavier institute a few days later, Bobby works with Forge to come up with a way to beat Sinister even though Sinister is smarter than Bobby as Sinister sets up a trap in some kind of ballroom. Bishop, rebuffed by Bobby when looking for a team-up, heads to the sewers to find out what's going on from the Morlocks.

It's mutant pride day, and the X-Men hold a rally in New York, starting with a Dazzler concert and leading into a speech by Kitty Pryde and Storm as Iceman heads to Sinister's lair, where he fights a bunch of deformed monsters who have been transformed against their will by Sinister. The fight takes place against the backdrop of Storm and Kitty's speech (in terms of panels, not in the same place. Bobby loses his fight and gets captured by Sinister and put in a tube. Sinister explains how he finds Bobby magnificent so it's unfortunate he'll have to kill him to understand how his body works. He turns on his science machine and Bobby shatters into ice cubes.

With what happened to time-displaced teenage Iceman in Extermination, I hope that Marvel plans some more volumes of this series after the Age of X-Man stuff. Iceman Vol. 1 and 2 have thus far been the best Iceman stories since at least the 80s, and it's sad that this volume is wrapping up next issue (though with an additional one-shot coming as part of Age of X-Man).

Domino #9
(W) Gail Simone (A) David Baldeon, Michael Shelfer, Roberto Poggi (CA) Lim, Gang Hyuk
Domino's luck seems to have a mind of its own sometimes, whether her intentions are noble or not. A very SPECIAL GUEST arrives to show Domino how it's done!
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Dec 19, 2018
SRP: $3.99

With the whole Morbius/sea vampires thing done, Domino, Outlaw, and Diamondback meet with Shoon'kwa, who has another job for them. She wants them to find and kill Longshot. When Domino refuses, Shoon'kwa challenges her to a duel. They fight and Domino gains the upper hand when she tumbles with SHoonkwa into the water. Since Shoon'kwa is wearing a giant bear costume, it inhibits her swimming abilities. Domino uses this opportunity to demand an explanation.

Shoon'kwa was the daughter of a Wakandan general and a member of the Dora Milaje. When she fell ill as a child, the spirit of the last bear in Africa appeared to her and offered to merge with her, giving her the ability to see visions of events that could cause the extinction of humanity, just like the bear's species. One of these visions depicted Longshot as a threat to all life on Earth. Domino and the team agree to find Longshot and talk to him.

They do find him, hanging out on top of an under-construction skyscraper for some reason. Longshot is losing his mind and believes he's being controlled by Mojo, who is standing there with him, but he's the only one who can see Mojo. Mojo is all in his mind, and he's leading Longshot to do bad things. Domino and Longshot fight (and talk), but just as Longshot seems to be having a moment of doubt, Domino's luck powers win out over Longshot's and he slips and falls off the top of the skyscraper.

This is another series that's relaunching as a mini next year, and also another one that we hope continues, even if in mini-series format.

Weapon H #11
(W) Greg Pak (A) Guiu Vilanova (CA) Philip Tan, Romulo Fajardo
Sorceress Morgan Le Fay, ruler of Weirdworld, is on the rampage! Time for Clay and his team to cut their losses. But Dario Agger isn't about to lose a profit – and Weapon H will have to bear the cost!
Rated T+
In Shops: Dec 19, 2018
SRP: $3.99

In Weirdworld, Kork and Titania prepare to leave the village they've been protecting with Hara and Man-Thing to go and help Weapon H, but they're too late. Weapon H has come to them, and he's now under the control of Morgan Le Fay, who has a major grudge against employees of Roxxon for the whole imprisoning her and trying to suck out her energy for profit.  Le Fay orders Hara to help Weapon H kill Titania and Korg, and she obliges. Back at the destroyed Roxxon outpost where Le Fay was being held, Blake and Black Widow prepare to lead Dr. Espinoza and the other Roxxon employees to safety, but Espinoza has other ideas. She grabs the adamantine crystal in which they were storing Le Fay's energy and snaps it into a gun.

Blake, Black Widow, and Espinoza locate Weapon H, currently kicking Korg's ass, and Weapon H's wife Sonia reestablishes their radio link and wants to talk to her husband. Unfortunately, Le Fay's powers are too strong. Dario Agger interrupts Sonia and takes over the comms, telling Black Widow to lead the survivors to an escape point. It was a trap though, as Agger has trapped them in a canyon, he hopes, leaving them no choice but to use the gun to kill Le Fay, Hara and her people, Weapon H, and the Skrillduggers, which will of course clear the way for Agger to mine adamantine crystals from Weirdworld. As a little incentive, he triggers a timer on the gun which will blow up and kill everyone in three minutes if they don't do what he says.

Sonia knocks Agger out with a fire extinguisher to the back of the head, steals a flying scooter, and heads to Weirdworld to talk down Weapon H personally. She succeeds, and Weapon H quickly leaps back to Earth, kidnaps Agger, and brings him back here to force him to turn off the bomb lest he get blown up too.

And again, Weapon H will seemingly end and be replaced by the Hulkverines mini-series next year, so it's up in the air in what way Weapon H's adventures will continue after that. So, enjoy this shockingly way-more-entertaining-than-its-premise deserves comic while it lasts.

Black Panther vs. Deadpool #3
(W) Daniel Kibblesmith (A) Ricardo Lopez Ortiz (CA) Ryan Benjamin, Rain Beredo
But WHOSE head? Deadpool's? T'Challa's? …JACK O'LANTERN'S? (And which Lantern?) Well SOMEbody better keep his head, because Deadpool and the Black Panther now have a MUTUAL THREAT on their hands-and if they don't act soon, there'll be no Wakanda left to fight for!
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Dec 19, 2018
SRP: $3.99

The issue starts with a brief flashback dealing with Jack O'Lantern's surprisingly complex continuity, which you can read about on the Marvel Wiki. After the last time he was killed, Jack (who we assume here to be Steve Levins) was picked up by the government and given an experimental treatment that turned him into a normal person before being sent to work at a desk job. One day, he sees Deadpool walking past him in the hallway and it rekindles his memories. He appreciates that Deadpool really knows how to live, and he wants to feel like that again. He murders his boss and follows Deadpool to Wakanda.

Meanwhile, in Wakanda, Shuru has made a robot body for the zebra head Deadpool had welded to his shoulder where Black Panther cut off his arm with Shuri's new life gun. Yeah, a lot has happened in the last two issues. The Panther continues his conversation with his mother, asking her advice on whether he should use Shuri's gun to allow himself to live forever and rule Wakanda. She gives him a lecture on the history of France, telling him that while Louis XIV was a good king beloved by his people, his grandson, Louis XVI, was terrible and his reign ended with a revolution. And don't get her started on Louis CK. She says that perhaps T'Challa could make it work, but if a king can't change with his people, he ends up with his head cut off. If Louis XIV had lived for hundreds of years, would the revolution have happened anyway?

After Shuri welds Deadpool's original arm back on, he and Black Panther team up to track down Jack, who has burned a Rhino farm to draw the Panther to him. Jack wants to feel alive like Deadpool, and to do so, he needs to kill something that will stay dead. He'd also be okay with Deadpool killing him for good. The Panther and Deadpool are victorious in the battle, but when Panther leaves Deadpool to subdue Jack while he speaks with the family that owns the farm, Deadpool shoots Jack in the head in front of a kid. The Panther slices off Deadpool's head in retaliation as he vows to live forever so he can stop people like Deadpool forever.

While I maintain my position that nobody asked for or needed this comic, I appreciate how fast-paced it's been, defying the usual Marvel hyper-decompressed style.

Dead Man Logan #2
(W) Ed Brisson (A) Mike Henderson (CA) Declan Shalvey
Mysterio means to set in motion the massacre at the crux of Old Man Logan's apocalyptic future timeline. But who is pulling his strings? The master of illusion's newest benefactors will surprise you!
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Dec 19, 2018
SRP: $3.99

At the headquarters of Neo-Hydra, Sin and Crossbones are using Mysterio's powers to kill prisoners illusioned to look like heroes. Miss Sinster explains that they're wasting their time because she's stolen the Red Skull's plans from Logan's memory of his reality to figure out how to kill all the heroes so the villains can rule. Meanwhile, Logan and Hawkeye continue to try to track down Sinister so Logan can kill Mysterio, something Hawkeye is surprisingly okay with. Back at Hydra HQ, Sinister and Sin debate how best to use Mysterio while Crossbones threatens to kill Mysterio if he tries his illusions on them. Mysterio is in way over his head. Logan and Hawkeye go to visit Forge, who has repaired Maestro's dimensional portal. Logan can use this to go home to the Wasteland, but he can't yet because he has a Mysterio to kill.

Sin decides to test-drive Mysterio by causing a ruckus in Times Square, which is where Logan and Hawkeye eventually end up. Logan shoots up some Regenix, the healing factor drug that has been ironically killing him, and charges in to fight who he sees as Mysterio and some other villains, but it's actually an illusion and he's trying to kill the Avengers.

Maybe the Avengers will just kill Logan next issue and we get 9 more issues of Glob Herman and Forge exploring the Wastelands? Too much to hope for? Well, it is X-mastime, after all.

That's all for this week. Next week, there's just Uncanny X-Men and X-Force #1. See you then!

Read more X-ual Healing here:

About Jude Terror

A prophecy says that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero will come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events.

Scourge of Rich Johnston, maker of puns, and seeker of the Snyder Cut, Jude Terror, sadly, is not the hero comics needs right now... but he's the one the industry deserves.

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