Thursday, June 18, 2015

X-Men: First Class by Jeff Parker Vol. 2 issue #13

With Angel gone so he can live in the very accepting Land of Mists with his aunt and new girlfriend, the X-Men are
dealing with his loss in different ways. Scott seems umoved, more focused on whatever task at hand; Bobby still believes Warren is coming back in two weeks; Henry is constructing a life-size skeletal structure of a dinosaur fossil; and Jean is visibly wary of a possible new member joining their family. In this case, it's an artificial intelligence named Aaron, who is a military experiment headed by one of Charles Xavier's scientist friends.

This installment of X-Men was significantly more centered on character interaction and composition which was great because the OCF need new depth and dimension to their characterizations as individuals and as a unit, especially now thay we are in the twenty-first issue of the series (counting Vol. 1). For that development, I appreciate the scope in which this issue tackled using enough humor and subtlety just how much each X-Man is coping with Warren leaving. To some (like Bobby and Henry), the full effect of their friend's absence hasn't really sunk in. Meanwhile, Jean is the only one who is willing to acknowledge that he's gone but he doesn't have to be replaced so soon. Scott also acknowledges the loss but is more open to training a new member for future missions if there is such a need.

I don't find it peculiar at all that Scott seemed cold and uncaring that Warren is no longer with them; the dude is goal-oriented and would rather dwell on what is to gain in the aftermath of something. Scott had also recently come to terms that he wants to lead his comrades this time without any of his usual self-doubt and rridiculouslyextreme caution. He has made that choice to stay on the course as much as Warren decides not to do the same. I think Scott respected that choice and accepts that bygones are inevitable which was why he welcomed the robot Aaron into their team easily because he trusts the professor's intentions and now is ready to treat every new event as a learning experience. He sees the X-Men foremost as an operational team who need to function at their best and I think he was simply trying to set an example.

But Jean sees the X-Men as a family foremost and when a loved one goes way you should allow yourself to be sad. Both have a different approach on the matter which affects how they dealt with Aaron. While both Henry and Bobby are generally curious to have a robot working with them during a new mission, Jean is uncomfortable and distrustful, treating Aaron indirectly as a threat to the way things were and what she believed should stay the same. But Scott looks at the addition of Aaron as a pragmatic advantage. After all, Aaron's abilities are handy. As far as Scott is concerned, anyone who will replace Warren shouldn't need to have a personality, let alone feelings, which I know pisses Jean off even if she maintains a calm demeanor through the rest of the issue.

But I would assert that Scott cares more than she can imagine. He's just not outwardly emotional about it or possesses enough self-awareness to allow himself to miss a friend of theirs. So their new mission is to confront the Lava Men. But the Lava Men found them instead in a tragically convenient twist of fate. So onto the next issue!


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