The five stories themselves were whimsical and kooky which is just the way I like them. Nothing too heavy but there is some lightness to be had particularly with that Stan Lee/Louis Simonson piece about the original X-Men and their very stilted sixties language that made me giggle non-stop because of how cheesy they used to sound like back then.
The longest story here had to be Claremont's Sentinels piece where we get to see the old-continuity X-Men before all the scary shit about mutant decimation occurred so it's pre-House of M era and we get fantastic character moments with Kitty Pryde and Rogue who had just become a part of the X-Men after being Mystique's sidekick for a while. Prof X and Scott are having happy times with their girlfriends here (alien empress Lilandra and Madelyn Pryor) while Nightcrawler is still very much alive (OH, I'VE MISSED YOU, ELF!). I hate anything with Sentinels but this story was acceptable enough. It was colorful and flashy and reminded you of the times when the X-Men can still enjoy themselves while doing good instead of worrying about their survival against hatemongering assholes like the current storylines we have now.
The other two pieces were delightful oneshots that feature the perspective of certain characters. The Roy Thomas one was about Banshee and Sunfire totally bro-ing it up with their little adventure. Meanwhile, Len Wein's Wolverine-focused piece was absolutely hilarious. The way that dude thinks can be so outrageous yet endearing all at once. Of course, the last piece of this issue was the only one that ended up unraveling me by the seams...then drove me bat-shit insane.
Yes, the greatest surprise in this issue for me was the fact that we even got a Professor X/Magneto story! And of course it was penned by Fabian Nicieza himself! If you don't know who this jerk is, then please refer to his nineties stories Fatal Attractions and Legion Quest which are both tales of Cherik-centered madness and shippy angstiness that would render any Charles/Erik shipper such as myself angry, tearful and comatosed because of Nicieza's paradoxical pleasurable and agonizing depiction of these two dorks' relationship.
I don't even know where to start so I'll just go ahead and stumble my way into reviewing this Cherik piece as sporadically and unapologetically crazy as I could and I don't care what y'all party-poopers have to say about it. Because, you fucks, I HAVE NOT CHERIK-ED FOR ALMOST THREE MONTHS NOW! This is my time in limelight epic slashiness again, okay? Now, what got the blood in my lady-boner richly flowing again was this amusing reference to the actual 2011 movie adaptation of X-Men: First Class starring the most orgasmic pairing of Charles and Erik ever conceived in cinematic form, as portrayed by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender.
This fucking fuckity shit left me in a blind rage. I mean, the piece was only five pages short! AND IT WAS AN ECHO TO THAT FUCKING FATAL ATTRACTION STORYLINE after all! The concept behind this piece, I believe, is essentially an illusion leading to Professor X mind-wiping Magneto after Mags almost killed Wolverine in the most horrendous way possible. You can view that clusterfuck here. For a second I thought I was getting Magneto's 'grief piece' at last because Marvel hasn't addressed WHY MAGNETO SEEMED ENTIRELY DISMISSIVE OF THE FACT THAT CYCLOPS JUST MURDERED PROFESSOR X! I just don't understand why we never got to see him grieve in some Claremont-esque manner where he'll be drinking scotch as he morosely looks at pictures of Charles back in the good old days, monologue-ing about how they could have had it all, etc. That's been a canon-established characterization of him for years!
Why can't you give me that back, Marvel, when I ask so little from you?! JERKS!!!
ANYWAY. Let's break down all their scenes and interpret the meanings of them, shall we? Or you can just scroll down and ignore me fangasming here. Either way, the deconstruction of Cherik is happening whether you are a willing participant or not!!
FIRST: We have this beautiful fantasy that Charles cultivated in Erik's mind for a while before he rendered him comatosed (how very cruel and affectionate all at once, Chuck). In this telepathic projection, we see Charles and Erik are united as partners and maybe even leaders of a new world, enjoying the fruits of their labor where mutant co-existence with humans was finally achieved. This scene of Charles fixing his tie in front of the mirror while scolding Erik for his bad behavior sounded to me like they are totes married now, living together like they did in Genosha, and are simply having married-couple conversation about the daily grind. That's how I interpreted it.
And then the husbands leave together from their idyllic home with a scenic view:
And just when I thought this was going to be a fluff piece, Logan started acting weird and grabbed Magnus who wasn't sure what was happening. But then Nicieza dropped the act abruptly and revealed that this was all a telepathic projection that Charles aimed at Magnus right before he severely mind-wiped him. Why did he do it? Well, Magnus just happened to RIP THE FUCKING ADAMANTIUM STEEL from Wolverine which explained why Logan was depicted with those weird things on his face and he looked to be in tremendous pain.
In a very Cherik manner of heartbreak, Charles holds Magnus close to him and says these tearful words:
...all the while Adele's Rolling in the Deep plays in the background. How many times have we seen a scene of the two of them in each other's arms, always breaking up or dying? As hurtful as it is, I'm going to miss them doing this signature scene, now that Professor X is presently deceased since 2012. That being said, Marvel, I would still like to ask you kindly....
The floodgates are now open. I have buried Cherik like an unpleasant memory because I want to abstain from Cherikking at least until the next movie comes out next year but thanks to this Nicieza piece, I'm once again reminded how much I love these two jerkwads who just have the worst timing in the history of couples getting-together ever! GOD..FUCKING..DAMMIT..SHIT..CUNT...ASDFGHJKL!!!!
|*incoherent, bile-inducing rage and meltdown*|
I'm also re-reading Subtitulor's amazing fanfiction Nine Eleven Ten in the meantime. BECAUSE I'M A MASOCHIST.