Wednesday, June 17, 2015

X-Men: First Class by Jeff Parker Vol. 2 issue #12

Let's bury the lead in this review: basically, this is the last time we will see Angel and what a rather moving send-off it was! Now that I think about it, it was really only a matter of time for Warren Worthington III to leave the X-Men...and so soon at that. True to his winged nature, it's not exactly hard to believe that Warren desires freedom above everything but more than anything else he wants the freedom to roam in a place where people fully accept what he is. 

Sadly enough, being an X-Man, fighting crime, just doesn't cut it anymore. This twelfth issue of the series entitled Fly Away is definitely an emotionally resonant piece for me. After the weird story that preceded it, I was more than relieved to read something this intimate and intensely familiar as someone who always loved what the X-Men have long represented: underdogs who will never compromise their uniqueness as individuals as they fight to carve a piece in the world where they could both belong and live in harmony with others.

While Scott set out to confront a mutant serial killer somewhere in the jungle in issue #10, we get a flashback where Warren's parents paid him a visit to inform him that his favorite aunt (the same one who found them Gorilla-Man as their tour guide in issue #8 of Vol. 1) has been missing for a week in one of her exciting expeditions. He later leaves without permission from Xavier or informing his friends which peeved Jean. Luckily, she was able to communicate with him using a tracker and the two of them continue to correspond until Warren arrives in these majestic waterfalls where he discovered  a secret passage that may lead to where his aunt might be.

Upon getting inside, he was shocked to see to find the Land of Mists, a forgotten kingdom much like an Atlantis where his aunt has been staying and having a fabulous time. Warren spent hours there with her to meet the people and explore its territory. Meanwhile the rest of the X-Men were worried so they set out to find him. But Warren wasn't in any kind of trouble. In fact, he feels right at home. Everyone was welcoming and they saw his winged feature as a beautiful vessel. That was rather unexpected for him and it was the very first time he felt at ease being different, much more so than when he was among his classmates in Xavier's school. 
Once his friends saw for themselves how happier Warren is, they felt a bit guilty for not seeing before how lonely he must have been even among mutants, cooped up in a single place, limiting his interactions and contact from the rest of the world. The professor himself has also realized that he shouldn't obligate any of these kids to a life of crime-fighting if there is something else that makes them happy and Warren has clearly found it. As he eloquently explains it to Scott (who has a difference of opinion about the entire thing since he himself made a choice in issue #10 and so wanted to stay committed to their crusade as X-Men):


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