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X-Men #207

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2008
By: Christopher Power

Mike Carey
Bachalo, Townsend (i), Olazaba (i), Sibal (i), Vey (i), Reber (c), Delgado (c)
Marvel Comics
After being treated to a 12 issue mind-melting ride of mutant mayhem all in the name of a new messiah, I find myself mystified, and perhaps a bit muddled.

There is nothing wrong with this issue in itself. It is solidly written, it has some fun action, it has lots of characters and it has couple of good moments. However, it also was billed as an event that would be finished after 13 issues after crossing over through most of the X-titles, and the story is anything but done. Just to be clear: I do not have a problem with leaving some storylines open. In fact, that is one of the hallmarks of the periodical format. It is just the case that this one did not resolve any of the major plot points.

Things that are left open that should have been closed:

1. Why did Bishop feel that killing the child was the only way to prevent his future?

2. What happened to the crazy templar type guys?

3. Why does Cable seem to know so much about the child? Does he have a mental bond with the child?

4. Why did Xavier side with Cable? Cable and Xavier never actually seemed to have a discussion about … well, anything - over the course of 13 issues.

5. Why do the X-Men need to break up given the end of this book? Would it not be good to continue on to honor the ideals under which they were trained?

6. Where did the locket come from that the baby has?

7. What happens to the now, seemingly dead in the water, mutant race?

8. And finally…who is the baby?

I admit, some of these items are maybe better left open, especially the question of the mutant race, but the way the series was billed it felt like we would have an answer regarding the place of mutants in the Marvel Universe.

It is unfair to slag this issue based on long term editorial or the over-arcing story. This book actually does push some buttons for me as a long term X-fan. The resolution of the Destiny Diaries story arc was quite satisfying, and I actually felt that Mystique felt she was doing everything for the life of her child. On the threshold of becoming a new father and all that comes with that, a story like that spoke to me quite strongly.

I also thought that the moments shared between Xavier, Cyclops and Cable actually made me feel something. That is the first time in the whole series that I actually had the feeling that Xavier and Cyclops had a father son bond, and likewise between Cyclops and Cable (and that is really a relationship that has been missing for almost 10 years).

The combat sequences were storyboarded well, with Wovlerine’s solution to the Predator X problem being particularly clever. I was reminded of an RPG session many moons ago when I was much younger and slimmer where a compatriot cut his way out of a Purple Worm. I half wanted Wolverine to say when he exited, “This must be the front row!” I also liked the fact that we saw the return to form of field sergeant Wolverine and six-man Cyclops, in particular when Cyclops threw the new New Mutants at the Marauders.

My only major complaint about the issue comes from the panels themselves being difficult to distinguish at times, with characters faces and expressions being often obscured. I’m not keen on how Predator X was drawn, with much of the detail being lost in the pencil and ink style.

All of my comments about the need to close the story more firmly, I think that "Messiah CompleX" was a clever and satisfying read. For the first time in 10 years I am excited to be an X-Men fan, and I feel like a whole new world of stories has been opened for me. I look forward to the Cable series (I was a fan of the old one as well. One of the few). I am looking forward to X-Force, the new militant arm of the X-Men. Surprisingly, I am most looking forward to reading about the new Young X-Men, who are cleverly designed and written characters who are being picked up by scribe Marc Guggenheim.



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