X-Romance in the Air [X-ual Healing 4-24-19]

Psylocke and Blob. Rogue and Gambit. Leader and Dr. Alba (yuck)? Wolverine and the witch he met as a child (yucker)? Romance is in the air in almost all the X-books this week, it seems.

Welcome to this week's X-ual Healing, the column where we read all of the X-Men comics published each week (and there are a lot of them) and tell you what happened in case you're not a millionaire who can afford to spend upwards of a hundred dollars monthly on following the story of the X-Men that would have cost you like five bucks a month back in the day. No big intro this week, so let's get right to the recapping…

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-ual Healing

Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #3
(W) Leah Williams (A) Georges Jeanty (CA) Rahzzah
ALL LOVE IS FORBIDDEN LOVE. Blob knows this. Psylocke knows this. The X-Tracts enforce the law. And yet…
Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 24, 2019
SRP: $3.99

The issue begins where the previous one left off, with Psylocke crawling seductively across the table toward Blob, agreeing to let him keep his crush on her. The next day at work, Psylocke is secretly flirting with Blob when the team brings in a prisoner for her to mindwipe as he begs not to be forced to forget his own love affair. Psylocke does the job… or does she?

Later, Blob gets a call about teenagers planning a party that could get debaucherous, which will be important later. With the team hanging in the break room, Moneta announces that the mutant Psylocke mindwiped still has his memories. Moneta accuses Psylocke of leaving them intact on purpose, but the rest of the team, especially Blob, has Psylocke's back, insisting it must have been a mistake or the mutant was resistant to her powers. Moneta isn't convinced and accuses Psylocke of working with the resistance. Blob says there is no resistance and tells Moneta to take the rest of the day off. Once she's gone, Jubilee and Northstar rat out Moneta for the treatment of the pregnant prisoner Department X is holding in their basement (see last issue).

Later that night, when Blob is sleeping, Psylocke shows up at his house for some "bonding." Psylocke reveals that she's always had issues with her body, though she didn't mind when she had Kwannon's body. Blob tells her she's totally sexy. Then they talk some trash about Moneta.

The next day, the X-Tremists go to bust up that teenage sex party, but when they get there, they find a bunch of hippies sitting in a circle. It turns out Moneta called in the tip to prove to Department X that the resistance exists. A fight breaks out between the Apocalypse followers and Department X, or "The X-Tremists," as the kids call them. After the fight, Blob is pissed and he fires Moneta from the team, earning the thanks of Psylocke. But we're betting this isn't the last we hear from Moneta.

X-Tremists isn't the best Age of X-Man series; that honor falls to Prisoner X. But it is the series that makes the best use of the concept, examining what makes its characters tick through the lens that only the Age of X-Man universe can provide. In addition, it's a damn fine series in its own right. It was great to see all of the characters here begin to overcome the brainwashing of X-Man, not only through Blob and Psylocke's relationship but also in the way characters who haven't played a big role yet like Northstar stepping up to point out that the way Moneta has been acting is wrong. Unfortunately, I have a feeling things are about to get much worse for our heroes now that they're beginning to see the light, especially with Moneta no doubt out for revenge.

Nevertheless, this issue is easily the Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Week.

Congratulations to the creative team.

X-ual Healing

Mr. and Mrs. X #10
(W) Kelly Thompson (A) Oscar Bazaldua (CA) Terry Dodson
• "Gambit & Rogue Forever" concludes!
• Will the hottest couple in the Marvel Universe be able to escape Mojoworld?
• Or will they be doomed to rerun hell?
Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 24, 2019
SRP: $3.99

This issue is mostly one big battle, with Rogue, Gambit, and Spiral facing off against Mojo. Rogue pushes Mojo away from the fight and begins draining his consciousness with her powers, allowing Gambit to give Spiral the baby he rescued last issue. It's not actually a baby though. It's actually the piece of Spiral's soul Mojo was using to keep her allegiance. With her soul restored, Spiral is able to be free of Mojo once and for all. It also restores some form of conscience to her, so instead of skipping out, she helps defeat Mojo and sends Rogue and Gambit back home. Some X-pository dialogue occurs first, with Spiral explaining that the Longshot seen in previous issues was just a hologram and that Mojo will probably still crush the rebellion and come back to rule the Mojoverse stronger than ever.

Once they're back home, Rogue has a bunch of text messages, but before she checks them, she and Gambit have some sex. The next morning, Rogue heads off to go guest-star in the current Captain Marvel storyline. When she leaves, Gambit's dad reveals he was hiding in the apartment (uh… watching them have sex?) and tells Gambit he needs to come to New Orleans immediately.

This issue felt like it wrapped some storylines up quickly, perhaps due to the book's looming cancellation. I do like that it took the time to establish a timeline with Rogue's appearance in the current Captain Marvel series (will that one fare better than Mr. and Mrs. X and West Coast Avengers and last more than 12 issues?). It's always nice when Marvel does the little things to make their universe feel more cohesive. But seriously, can we talk about what a creep Gambit's dad is? Was he jerking it in the closet?

X-ual Healing

Hulkverines #3
(W) Greg Pak (A) Ario Anindito (CA) Greg Land, D'Armata, Frank, Jay Leisten
Together, the Hulk's old foe the Leader and Weapon H's own creator, Dr. Alba, have managed to do what the Weapon X program never could: capture and transform the two greatest fighters in the Marvel Universe. And now they're heading straight for a nuclear power plant. It's up to Clay to stop them – but what is one Hulkverine against two? The conclusion of the clash of the century!
Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 24, 2019
SRP: $4.99

The Hulkverines finale opens with Wolverine, Hulk, and Weapon H riding in the backseat of the Weapon H family's submarine car as they flee the safehouse where Weapon H's family tried to run when Weapon H got a cold in the first issue. After concluding that all three monsters are actually heroes, the trip is interrupted by a giant Humanoid which grabs Wolverine and Hulk and teleports away. Weapon H, egged on by his kids, vows to rescue them.

At a Shadow Base facility, Leader and Dr. Alba continue their yucky flirting, pleased with themselves for capturing Hulk and Wolverine. Though Weapon H was able to survive the Hulkverine process because of his training, Wolverine and Hulk are total rage beasts so when Leader and Alba turn them into Hulkverines, they become drooling monsters. Wolverine and Hulk are unleashed at another Shadow Base facility that doubles as a nuclear power plant where they start smashing things. Captain America and Black Widow show up on the scene and through X-pository dialogue reveal that none of Earth's heroes who can actually withstand the radiation are available at the moment. Thankfully, Weapon H shows up, snubs Captain America for lying to him back in the Weapon H series, and then enters the fray.

Weapon H tangles with Hulkverine and Wolverhulk for a bit and then leads them to the platform where Leader and Dr. Alba are watching. Weapon H reveals he can shoot his adamantium claws out of his hand, and he uses that to destroy Leader's teleportation device. Left with no choice, Alba deactivates Hulk and Wolverine and then infects Weapon H with more nanobots with the intention of removing his humanity. It doesn't work though because he has nanobot immunity now. Leader has fixed his teleportation device by this point and they escape.

Everything ends happily ever after as Weapon H heads home with his family, Hulk and Wolverine grab a beer, and Leader and Dr. Alba make out.

I like that they kept Hulkverines short and sweet, just 3 issues. It looks like this is the end of Weapon H's story for now. All in all, not bad; for what has been probably the stupidest concept in comics this decade, Weapon H and Hulkverines turned out to be enjoyable books. And what an image to go out on!

X-ual Healing


X-ual Healing

War of the Realms: Uncanny X-Men #1
(W) Matthew Rosenberg (A) Pere Perez (CA) David Yardin
The War of the Realms has come to Midgard…and Westchester! Malekith's forces are invading Earth, and the heroes of Earth are joining with the heroes of Asgard to fight them back! Who better to lead the X-Men into that war than their very own Valkyrie, Dani Moonstar?
Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 24, 2019
SRP: $3.99

In a story set between Uncanny X-Men #15 and Uncanny X-Men #16 (because Cyclops is still team leader, Wolfsbane is alive, and Hope and Banshee are prisoners of the X-Men), the X-Men (Cyclops, Havok, Wolfsbane, Mirage, Magik, and Multiple Man) head to the woods to take down a returning Nanny and Orphan-Maker. Things go awry quickly when Mirage gets a psychic calling from the Valkyries about the War of the Realms battle taking place in New York, and she enlists the help of Magik to teleport away. The X-Men barely survive the battle but eventually come out on top. Afterward, Magik reappears, tells them Dani is in trouble, and they all head to New York…

…and right into the middle of a battle with frost giants and trolls. Wolfsbane can sense that Mirage is alive through their psychic bond, but her location is unknown. Cyclops orders Magik to retrieve the rest of the X-Men, so she teleports away and brings back Chamber, Karma, Hope, and Banshee. Wolverine isn't there because he's too busy starring in the main War of the Realms book. Well, that didn't take long, did it? After a brief discussion about her shooting him in the face, Cyclops reluctantly agrees to let Hope stay (not that he had much choice. Hope, Magik, and Chamber jump into a hole in the street into the sewers, into which Wolfsbane and a Multiple Man dupe had fallen during the battle. Down there, they fight some dark elves, and when Hope needs a recharge, she powers up by taking some of Chamber's power… but she ends up with something else as well…

X-ual Healing

Well, that power signature is as familiar as an old episode of Magnum P.I., isn't it?

Back on the surface, the rest of the X-Men reunite with Mirage, now decked out in her Valkyrie gear. Unfortunately, all the other Valkyries are dead. To be continued.

This issue adds a little more context to the opening scene of Uncanny X-Men #16, where it seemed a little sudden that Cyclops would quit as leader, Wolfsbane would quit the X-Men, and the rest of the team would vote for Hope and Banshee to rejoin the squad. It's nice that this mini-series feels like it's a part of the regular Uncanny X-Men story, though it's unfortunate that Marvel's need to pump out so many X-books each month as part of their strategy to dominate the industry by flooding the market means that it has to run after we've already seen its aftermath in the regular ongoing. Now we already know everyone will make it out alive, which is unusual for a Matthew Rosenberg comic.

X-ual Healing

Marvel Comics Presents
(W) Charles Soule, Daniel Kibblesmith, Ben Percy (A) Paulo Siqueira, Pere Perez, Juan Ferreyra (CA) Arthur Adams
Our tour of the history of Marvel reaches the turbulent 1970s! Wolverine's vigil takes an unexpected turn! Spider-Man has an adventure in the new age of blockbuster cinema! Finally, an all-new tale of Moon Knight, one of the decade's most exciting creations, helmed by superstar creative team Benjamin Percy & Juan Ferreyra (Green Arrow)!
Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 24, 2019
SRP: $4.99

Sylvie wakes up with a nightmare in the 1970s, indicating it's time to get together with Wolverine and fend off the demon Ron Killings again. The last time she saw Wolverine, they had sex, which is kinda awkward for her current husband. After assuring him it was just a one-time thing (and probably a plot to create a Wolverine love child), she heads off to meet Logan at a bar in New York City. She doesn't want to talk about their affair, just as he doesn't want to talk about his new metal claws. They go to Bangladesh where The Truth has a new plan to defeat his opponents… he causes a tidal wave, forcing the heroes to choose between teaming up to fight him or splitting up to save the civilians. Wolverine heads to the rescue while Sylvie takes on the Truth. She seemingly defeats him, but at the last minute, the demon reaches his arm outside of a portal and pulls her in. Uh oh!

This issue also features a story where Spider-Man goes to see Star Wars on opening day and one where Moon Knight advocates for euthanasia, the latter of which is the most on-brand Marvel Comics Presents story of the reboot so far.

I do worry whether this MCP reboot will continue after the Wolverine story is done and the book has covered all the decades. The stories have been good so far, but the monthly shipping schedule and the lack of serials other than the Wolverine one take a little bit of the wind out of the sails of the anthology series' concept.

Other X-Stuff

Can't wait to find out what Jonathan Hickman will do in his upcoming X-Men reboot? Xavier Files has a theory you can read here.

It's X-Men Monday, the Twitter hashtag and EX-X-XCLUSIVE intellectual property of Adventures in Poor Taste. It's their 10th-anniversary column in fact (ten columns, not ten years), which means it's time to get lots of important questions answered… except mine. But that's because Chris Hassan knows my question about when Chris Claremont will write an ongoing series again is so important, it needs to wait for the 25th or 50th-anniversary column to get its proper place to shine. Two words this week: bearded Cyclops.

Bleeding Cool tries to make some sense out of Marvel screwing up Uncanny X-Men's legacy numbering.

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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