Sunday, July 12, 2015

All-New X-Men #41 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Like "Guardians of the Galaxy" #27 (though not "Uncanny X-Men" #34), Bendis wraps up the Utopia sub-plot a lot more quickly than I thought that he would, but in a way that doesn't feel rushed.  He does a great job of showing how the Utopians are exhausted from years of persecution and how they've come to view everything as a threat.

The story starts with Maria Hill convincing the team to go X-Factor, resolving the "big mutant problem" on Utopia.  We get the usual trope of the good guys coming into conflict as a result of a misunderstanding, but it gets resolved quickly thanks to Jean and Xi'an having (literally) a meeting of the minds.  The original X-Men invite the Utopians to live with them at the New Xavier School, offering them the sort of haven that they sought on Utopia.  But, more importantly, the kids also tell S.H.I.E.L.D. to stop coming after mutants.

I'll admit that I was annoyed that Bendis suddenly turned the Utopians into less of the threat that they seemed to be last issue, when it appeared that they murdered the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents for simply setting foot on their property.  (It turns out they just incapacitated them.)  It's a real bait-and-switch move, as they go from a new Brotherhood of Mutants to essentially the Morlocks.  But, I'll take it because Bendis does a great job of showing how the experience radicalizes the kids.  They ask Hill a number of questions that make it clear that they understand how poorly treated mutants are, and it provokes Jean to express dismay that they're still where they were in their original timeline.  She ponders what they can do to change that situation, and I can't wait to see what the answer is in "Uncanny X-Men" #600.  It's going to be a doozy of an issue.

*** (three of five stars)

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