It’s the final chapter of one of the best X-Men events of recent years, and I have to say… it was a bit of a let-down. Most of this issue was just one big fight, and after all of this mess, it doesn’t seem like that much has really changed for the X-Men. I mean, none of the present-day characters even died! What is an X-Men crossover for if not to randomly kill people off?
That said, the big fight that we did get was pretty good, especially because Esad Ribic was drawing it. I was surprised to see him involved in this type of story, but it really worked, and man, that splash-page of the Sentinels was amazing. Because yes, this issue involved Sentinels. It turns out that the missiles SHIELD were firing on the X-Men weren’t just ordinary missiles, nope, some of them were Sentinels. This raises a lot of cool, interesting stuff for the future, how can the X-Men trust SHIELD now? Will Wolverine carry on as an Avenger? I’m excited to see that plot play out.
In the course of the battle, a couple of Future dudes die, including Beast, Jubilee, Colossus and Xavier. This of course drives Xorn-Jean even crazier, and she rounds on the two characters most closely linked to her, Cyclops and Wolverine. She blames them and their arguments for the terrible future, and that fight is probably the highlight of the issue, there was so much emotion behind it. In the end, it’s up to the original X-Men to defeat Jean, and they do so, but it’s a shame that Ribic couldn’t draw these last few pages of main story. Camuncoli is good, but you could tell he was rushed here. Jean-Xorn explodes, allowing the Brotherhood to escape.
And that’s the end really, there are a few epilogues, where we see the rest of the future X-Men head back to the future (minus Storm and Black Panther’s daughter, Kymera, who is staying in the present to hunt the remaining Brotherhood members) and Ice-Master gives a little tease that Nightcrawler is coming back soon. Despite Xorn-Jean’s arguments, Cyclops and Wolverine don’t patch up their differences, and Wolverine tells Cyclops to leave SHIELD to him. We also see Jubilee bond with Adult Shogo, which was a pretty nice scene, and then, at the end, something big finally happens, as Bendis and Immonen have Kitty Pryde and the Original 5 X-Men defect from Wolverine’s side to Cyclops’. Oh man, that was actually pretty cool. I think that moment is the only thing spinning out of this crossover that has me excited. I suppose the possibility of the Future Brotherhood still being around is cool, but really, I’m more interested in the characters we know, and the ongoing ideological war between Wolverine and Cyclops. This looks like being the next big step.
So yes, whilst this was a bit of a damp squib of a finale, this has been a fantastic event, and the future still looks bright for the X-Men. This group of books hasn’t been this good since the 80s!