Monday, June 15, 2015

X-Men: First Class by Jeff Parker Vol. 2 issue #7

Now this was an epic resolution to a startling premise. I was very impressed, considering that the last two-parter story of this series, Island X, fell apart in its conclusion. Meanwhile, this one entitled The Catalyst, did not. Last issue, which only ran about eighteen pages, has showcased the deftness of the narrative by being able to deliver the plot on brisk simplicity which followed a rather stakes-high cliffhanger. 

NASA asked for the help of Charles Xavier to deter a comet from landing on earth. Using his telepathy, Professor X tried to assess if there is any living organism in the comet but was disappointed to find out that there is none...or is there not? The X-Men and their mentor woke up the very next day only to discover that they have each lost their respective unique powers. The only one happy about it was Scott and I would be too if it meant not always having to wear specialized shades indoors to avoid accidentally shooting off laser beams at my friends. 

To make matters crazier, a horde of Sentinels started attacking the Xavier Mansion because why the fuck not. Fortunately, because of the youngsters and their teacher getting timely depowered, the Sentinels did not kill them and instead accessed Cerebro's files which included the whereabouts of other mutants, particularly Scarlet Witch and her brother Quicksilver's location. As the Sentinels hunt them down, the X-Men and the professor decided to still do something, mutant-powered or not, and got there just in time as the twins try to fight off the motherfucking hate-mongering robots.

Just as hope for survival looks dire, the X-Men and Professor X regained their powers which also happened to be multiplied tenfold. With such a breadth and depth of powers, they were not only able to defeat the Sentinels, they goddamned owned their asses. It was spectacular and a little bit terrifying. The heroes soon realized that some entity has enhanced their mutation, giving them absolute control and powers that they know might cost their humanity. They went back to the Mansion to discover a piece of the aforementioned comet has landed near their home,  undoubtedly honing in towards the professor's telepathy. After a brief discussion, each of them--though with noted sad resignation--agreed they should give up the overflowing magnitude of their powers so the professor once again communicated with the comet entity which recognized his imprint and therefore terminated whatever it was doing to their genes. 

Now, they could have had it all right there. Nobody would have to know. They can continue using the comet to channel their powers from and justify doing so for the good of mankind. But the youngsters showed emotional maturity by showing that they understand the hefty price they will pay for it and decided wisely not to risk it.

It's worth noting that as they send that piece of comet back to space, we see Jean Grey staring longingly after it. When Scott asked her about it, she merely dismissed that she's definitely going to miss being able to fly. As seen in the first issue of Vol. 2, Jean has been trying to use her telekenesis to fly herself from the ground...and promptly failing. Now she got the taste of real power and we all know what happens to her eventually, which was why there was some dread at the pit of my stomach as I watch her face with that hopeful expression. Jean looks as if she's open to a source of power far greater than ever before which builds up the upcoming events where she will posses the power of the Phoenix until it ultimately eats her up and transforms her into a dark entity.

This is still a PG-13 series so I wonder how far they will push through showcasing Jean Grey's dark potentials.


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