X-Men Blue #20 gives us a sense of closure. But is that a good thing?
“Everything Will Be Alright In the End.” It’s the title of an awesome latter-day Weezer album, and, it’s how readers should feel after finishing X-Men Blue #20, the conclusion of the “Cross Time Capers” arc. Ahead of this issue, we learned that the Blue squad was, in fact, the original X-Men–not a young team from another reality as Dennis Hopeless established in All-New X-Men.
And what writer Cullen Bunn does in this issue could either be the best or worst thing to happen to these time-traveling X-Men.
As was revealed last issue, the future Brotherhood, led by Professor X’s evil son, saw that there was an X-Men-sized hole in the past, so they decided to fill it. Oh yeah, and while there, why not change history to your liking? It’s just what morally corrupt mutants do.
What happens this issue is fighting–lots of fighting and arguing between the two mutant teams. Also, it all culminates with the creation of a mega, multi-generational X-Men team that’s pretty cool to see in action. It’s a short-lived team-up, but it’s neat to see.
And, of course, you need to give a lot of credit for how great the mutant-on-mutant fighting looks to artist R.B. Silva, who’s drawn every issue of this five-part story arc. That may be a new record for an X-Men Blue artist, and nothing makes me happier, considering one of my most frequent complaints about this series has been the revolving cast of pencilers (I’m a stickler for consistency). So, thank you, R.B. and please come back soon!
Regarding this issue’s character work, it should come as no surprise that Bunn gives us another great Magneto moment in a career filled with great Magneto moments. It happens at the end of this issue, and I’m very interesting to see where it goes. Either way, just when you get comfy with the “Master of Magnetism,” Bunn reminds you he’s a force to be reckoned with.
Now, after the image below, I’m going to bring things back to the point I made earlier, and we’re going to get spoilery. So, you’ve been warned…So, as I said earlier, everything is going to be OK in the end–meaning, the original X-Men will eventually return home and the timeline will be healed. That’s basically the takeaway from this issue. Ever since Brian Michael Bendis brought these characters to the future, and started making fundamental changes to who they were, fans wondered how it would be possible to put all the toys back in the box without changing the future of the Marvel Universe. In this issue, Bunn is essentially telling readers not to worry about it. Just enjoy the ride.
Now, I respect that. If sales on comics starring the time-displaced X-Men rock for years to come, Marvel can continue to publish new adventures and readers can be at peace knowing someday, these teen heroes will go back home and forget all their modern adventures. At the same time, Bunn has removed suspense from the Blue squad’s stories. Young Jean isn’t dead in her solo book. She can’t ever die. The same for Scott and Warren and so on.
Sure, Bunn or another writer could always throw a curveball our way, but right now, we’re very much dealing with a Last Jedi scenario. The mystery’s off the table and we’re moving forward. Let’s hope our interest in these characters’ continuing adventures survives the experience.