x35's New X-Men #148 - Survivor Type review

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Perhaps that's MY secondary mutation? To always come back.

AF Reviews: X-Men
AF Reviews: X-Men

As Magneto develops his plans to wage war on mankind, he continues to encounter problems with holding the attention of the shallow masses below. Elsewhere, Jean Grey and Wolverine are afloat in space, heading straight for the sun with little in the way of oxygen or hope.

Magneto's plight for a new world takes a backseat this issue and we instead focus on the ordeal that Jean and Wolverine are in. With impending death fast approaching the two heroes, the two reflect on what has befallen them and the recent developments in their lives. Wolverine has only just found out the supposed truth of his origins and his real name is James and Jean discovered Cyclops having an affair with Emma and is becoming once again reliant on the Phoenix Force. Eventually, as the two X-Men hurtle closer and closer to the sun, Jean begins to succumb to the temperature and is slowly dying until Wolverine puts her out of her misery by snikting her in the gut as he picks up her corpse, ready to embrace burning to death at the face of the sun.

Back on Earth, Magneto is frustrated to learn that most of the public whom he delivered a speech to before demolishing most of New York didn't understand what he meant most of the time because he was doing his "big, Shakespearean stuff". Magneto slinks off to his privacy again, to lecture the sedated Professor X while taking some more of the Kick drug and deciding on a plan to reverse the Earth's magnetic poles as a display of his power to impress all the people.

Magneto also finds himself growing angry with his Brotherhood allies, with Esme's insistent attempts to insert herself and acquaint herself to Magneto's level, Basilisk's constant bad jokes, Ernst's remaining confusion with what happened to Mister Xorn and Beak being appointed to lead a mass execution of humans. Magneto snaps at most of his "allies" and, despite his "promises" of equality and union, continues to not-so-subtly restate his own superiority.

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We get some more tremendous work with Magneto this issue, seeing him growing impatient with his Brotherhood and his would-be followers, and generally just succumb to his own stress and drug addiction. Last issue, I was talking about Magneto and how, despite his unshakable belief that he is better than those who would oppress him, he does feel himself superior even to his own kind (I think I removed most of it though), and this issue displays that very well with him dropping his façade of the "correct Professor X" to tell Basilisk to "shut up" or Esme to stop interrupting him. If Magneto got his way and homo superior were the dominant species, he would still be a bad person and would have delusions of grandeur. In fact, that was one of the only things Bendis raised in House of M that was worth a damn (it was random throwaway line in an issue, probably an accident he made between writing dialogue that's just horrible censored swear-words and the same old annoyingly monotone conversational shtick). There's also some great one-sided conversation between Magneto and Professor X, which also works to establish Magneto's downward spiral, but at the same time offers some reminders to why Magneto is a great villain and counter to Xavier and the X-Men.

But enough about Magneto (yet again), most of the story is focused instead on the situation which has befallen Jean and Logan. While Jean and Logan are among two of my absolute least favorite X-Mencomic book characters, I find the actual story told here to be pretty good. We have a great feeling of the direness of their situation and they're slowly descend into acceptance is really well handled by Morrison. Both the writing and the art (by Phil Jimenez) perfectly capture the despair and hopelessness as the two slowly drift towards their death. Little things like the subtle increase in beads of sweat trickling down their heads as scenes progress or the realistic conversation between the two as they both slip into babbling. There's also the rather subtly done thing with them switching back and forth between telepathic and real conversation by mistake showing their awareness drifting. I mean, the fact Grant Morrison can write a comic book about Jean Grey and Wolverine doing nothing but sitting around complaining and talking about themselves and not have me wanting to read anything else is testament to the quality of this story.

This is a good issue, we get a decent almost stand-alone story about two X-Men and the need for hope while we also get some more development with the Magneto side of things. The one thing I feel is missing, by this point, is a look-in at the other two groups of lost X-Men (Cyclops/Fantomex and Beast/Emma). While I understand it was necessary to not show them so Jean and Logan's hopes that the rest of the X-Men will save them at the last moment were shared by us (or in my case, not at all), it doesn't feel right that we've gone practically 3 issues without seeing Cyclops. It also stands out since the cover of this issue displays nothing but Beast when the issue doesn't feature him at all (this was the beginning of the descent of comic book covers). But regardless, this is still a great chapter of Planet X that I couldn't recommend enough.

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