Rogue, Gambit and Frenzy have arrived at the Jean Grey Institute and they barely have time to unpack their bags before something big and bad comes knockin’ upon their door. In this case, as the cover depicts, the big bad is ex-Acolyte leader Exodus. Last we saw Exodus was in issue #225: Charles Xavier had persuaded Exodus to drop his scheme to reign supreme over the mutant race and instead band together and fight the good fight. Here, he returns for an admirable cause–to reunite both Cyclops’ and Wolverine’s teams once again, as everyone agrees in ‘strength in numbers’ and that ideal has more than proven itself warranted during the time spent on Utopia.
So, Exodus puts forth an Ultimatum: come with him back to Utopia, freely or, if necessary, by force. Of course, no one likes to be told what to do, especially our southern bell Rogue. Admirable cause aside, it was a terrible presentation, so battle erupts! But here in the Jean Grey Institute, all children must evacuate to safety as the X-Men control the situation. I do enjoy Cyclops’ mentality that all mutants are active X-Men combatants, as the situation is ever so dire, but THIS is a breath of fresh air! And the teachers at the institute make one hell of an X-Men Team.
Christopher Gage crams this issue with content, which is always highly appreciated. The issue kicks off with Rachel picking Rogue’s brain on the current status of her relationship with Magneto, who is currently residing with (as Rogue perfectly states) his “heir to his legacy,” Cyclops (scary thought). Rogue and Magneto’s relationship, I believe, is bound to fail, between long distance and/or Magneto eventually ripping the world asunder once again. Personally, I’m rooting for them (and Magneto’s prolonged good streak), as I’m a huge fan of their iterations during the Age of Apocalypse.
Penciler, David Baldeon’s cartoon expressive style accompanies the book’s brother title, Wolverine and the X-Men, perfectly. Both have the cartoon detail that adds a youthful tone that works well for the attempt to make these kids seem vulnerable, though we know most are well seasoned soldiers. As Gage’s script demanded, Baldeon formed his pages to read fluently and not seem crammed. Along with the cartoon style comes over the top effects and colors, which poops off the pages; it’s quite a bit of fun. Beast sports his new uniform, only shown in preview art for the upcoming arc in the Secret Avengers, and it looks great as his old uniform was awkward fitting… almost as if it was crafted by Emma Frost.
This issue was fun and has brought Exodus back into the forefront. I only hope he brings battle to Magneto and then inevitably joins the X-Men, ’cause everyone’s invited! Hell, I predict Mr. Sinister will be an X-Man this time next year. Jumping back, I may add that I’m extremely glad that Rachel Grey has been added to the cast, her history brings a lot of possible story devices and she’s part of the Summers/Grey clan–gotta love em’ all. Kudos to Mark Brooks on a fantastic cover. The next issue’s cover of a battered Rogue tops it!
Also recommended this week:
Justice League #5 – It gets real! -Reviewed Here!
Angel & Faith #6 – There’s a horrifying mosquito demon on the loose…and that’s just scratching the surface.
Secret Avengers #21.1 – The prelude to the formation of Hawkeye’s new secret espionage team!
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