Welcome back to X-Men: Bland Design, the column where we rip off Ed Piskor's X-Men: Grand Design, except instead of recapping the good old issues of X-Men, we'll recap the new ones that come out each week.
This week, there are six X-issues on the stands, if you count The Despicable Deadpool as an X-book, which we do. Despicable Deadpool #292, Old Man Logan #33, X-Men Blue #19, Cable #153, and X-Men Gold Annual #1, and Phoenix: Resurrection #3. Total cover price: $25. Total time it would take you to read those decompressed stories? Probably shorter than it took to read this introduction. So technically, you won't be saving any time by reading these recaps, but at least it can help you decide which of these comics to take out a second mortgage to follow on a regular basis.
Now on with the show…
X-Men Blue #19
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Penciler: R.B. Silva
Inker: Adriano Di Benedetto
Colorist: Rain Beredo
Letterer: Joe Caramanga
We join the Cross Time Capers storyline in progress, as the time-displaced young X-Men have been traveling through time to different X-eras, finding that the timeline had been corrupted by something that happened in the past. In a previous series, our heroes had learned that their removal from the timestream simply created an alternate timeline and the past still happened mostly as we remember it from past comics (except Xavier founded the school in like 2006 thanks to Marvel time). However, it seems that's not entirely true, and now the past X-Men's presence in the present is messing this up. Apparently, the new young X-Men killed Magneto back in the day, and the world has gone to @#$% because of it, so the old young X-Men, plus Jimmy Hudson, the son of Ultimate Wolverine, and Bloodstorm, an alternate universe teenage vampire Storm, need to go back and stop themselves.
If all of that seems convoluted, keep in mind that this is entry-level X-Men time travel stuff. Things can get way more complicated than that.
Anyway, we join in progress as the time-displaced X-Men find themselves on the scene of their new past selves battling Magneto and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. The Brotherhood appear to have been killed already, and the X-Men are about to finish the job with Magneto. Professor Xavier shows up and reveals that he and the X-Men decided that Magneto was too dangerous to live, and so they needed to kill him. A missile is incoming, and the bad X-Men use Cable's "bodyslide" technology to warp out before it hits, leaving Magneto and the good X-Men to their doom.
The place is nuked and everyone dies. End of story? Probably not. But for now, we cut to the bad X-Men, and the professor reveals that he sensed the presence of the good X-Men. Finally, we get our first to clue what's going on when bad Cyclops says "Next time, I get to be Angel." So these are imposter X-Men who have taken over for the original X-Men after they left, and they have a new way of doing things. They also have the real Charles Xavier doped up and hooked up to Cerebro.
Meanwhile, good Jean Grey has transported the X-Men and Magneto to safety off panel, and they all engage for witty banter as they try to figure out what's going on. They agree to team up to take down the bad X-Men, so they go to the X-mansion to confront them. More expository dialog follows, revealing that the bad X-Men are actually yet another group of alternate timeline X-Men, Charles Xavier II and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants from Earth-13729, who first appeared in the X-Men: Battle of the Atom event.
Literally no action takes place in this comic, aside from a building blowing up with nobody in it except the corpses of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. And trust us, that sounds a lot cooler than it actually way. Otherwise, it's all talking, and yes, you might say that X-Men had a lot of talking even in its glory days, but back then at least Claremont would have squeezed it all into two very cluttered pages and done other stuff in the issue as well. That's the nature of the beast though, and that's the way superhero comics are nowadays, so there's no sense complaining about it.
Do we even need to give a recommendation on this book? X-Men fans don't care if the comics are good, they buy them out of obligation.
Check back later today for the next exciting issue of… X-Men: Bland Design!