Thursday, September 3, 2015

All-New X-Men by Brian Michael Bendis #7

This issue is the follow-up chapter to young Scott's conflicted character arc from the previous installment, and it was surprisingly bittersweet in a way that emotionally resonates because all of this suddenly feels like a coming-of-age story in reverse. We have the adult Scott Summers who is now a radical leader for the mutant revolution and the story of how this affects his younger self, displaced in time to witness the errors and atrocities he will one day commit. That has to be so astronomically disheartening to see and so it's only reasonable for young Scott to run away and try to figure things out.

To do this, he goes to a bank to uncover a deposit box he had in possession for forty years. Apparently, it's where he keeps his things so it's more or less a time capsule of some sort and there he got to see some important stuff he kept hidden that have accumulated over the decades. One that stood out was an invitation to a wedding. I didn't recognize it at first until the very last page of this issue which really broke my heart, by the way. David Marquez illustrates again and his characters' facial expressions are alive and vibrant especially the close-ups.

Desolated, unaccepted and extremely on edge, Scott only wanted to talk to somebody about what he is going through and the only adult who tried to have an honest conversation with him is no other than Mystique. Disguised as Wolverine at first, Mystique picked up young Scott from the bank and then they had a heart-to-heart talk in a park where she tried to explain and contextualize things to him properly. Everyone in this timeline were so busy and caught up in the present-Scott being such an absolute jerk that no one took the time to give this young Scott a chance to hear this side of things and how this affects him greatly. And the villainess Mystique noticed this and helped him, even if she has less than noble reasons to talk to him.

Her insights were on-the-mark, though. She argued that the reason none of the X-Men ever tried to kill present-Scott is because they still respected him and all that he has accomplished back when he was their leader. She also assured him that when present-Scott murdered Charles Xavier, a cosmic force took over and compelled him to so she said that he and the Scott of the present, if they were in their right state of mind, will never kill their mentor and father figure like that. She also asserted that even though she had been a bad person for a good fraction of her lifetime, she had great respect for Xavier because the professor had cared about her even whens she's an asshole, and that is why she felt like she wanted to get involved and tell him that he should claim back his leadership status again and prove to the others that he will stop his present self from causing anymore chaos. That's what Xavier would have wanted, she reasoned out. And, for once, young Scott listened and took her advice. When Wolverine found him again, he willingly went back with him.

We will later find out that Mystique really just wants to mess things up for the X-Men and that she has no emotional stake in the events whatsover. That being said, I think having that conversation was cathartic for young Scott.

Afterwards, we get a comedic break with this scene between Kitty and young Bobby:

Aaaand then we get very sad again with this final scene with Jean and Scott:

It turns out that it was THEIR wedding invitation all along. Jean already knows they were going to get married after she viewed Beast's memories while being telepathically linked to him back in issue #5. But Scott didn't. So when Scott gave her that invitation, I think it was also his way of saying that he knows now and he understands why she's been avoiding him. It was also his way of making peace with the fact that, in the future, he had a chance to be loved by a woman like her and was even married to her--and she then died and it turned him into someone rotten and hateful. He wanted to fix that and I think giving her that proof of their union is also his way of saying that he will be the man again she deemed worthy enough to marry. It's starting to become so painful for me, guys! This series is giving me an overload of feels!!!


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