that60sguy's The X-Men #46 - The End Of The X-Men review

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The End of the Beginning

In the late 60's the X-Men series was on a downward spiral and eventually ended up being cancelled with only reprints being run until 1975. However this issue is a gem that stands out among the rest.

This is a rather touching story taking place after the first X-Men/Avengers crossover in history. In the last issue the young mutants were unable to mourn their professor properly due to an interruption by Quicksilver that eventually lead to the X-Men fighting Magneto AND The Avengers. This well told story provides them with some closure as they finally get to say their peace at Xavier's grave. The solace doesn't last for long however as Agent Duncan interrupts their mourning (seriously let the kids grieve!) to tell them of "big news".

The teenagers take Duncan to the mansion and who should be waiting for them but that loveable lawyer Foggy Nelson, who's been hired to read Xavier's will. As soon as Foggy leaves (and of course Angel manages to wish him luck for running for DA even through his grief so Stan Lee can get in a Daredevil plug!), the X-Men's peace is even shorter lived as they are attacked by Juggernaut. The explanation for Juggy's appearance is pretty poor but nothing out of the ordinary for the silver age. Apparently Xavier had set a timer on his banishment to the Crimson Cosmos as he was his brother after all!

Cain Marko wants to kill Xavier and doesn't believe that his half brother is dead so decides to smash the X-Men along the way. When he finally ses Xavier's grave, after another brief battle he just as mysteriously (or cornily!) disappears back to where he came from. Finally Duncan drops the bombshell in telling - ORDERING - the X-Men to disband as they'll be able to fight crime better if they are more spread out and will also be harder for enemies to track down. Surprisingly Cyclops agrees and disbands the X-Men.

The fights with Juggernaut are nothing special but the sentiments raised when the kids are mourning Xavier and of course when they finally split up, say their goodbyes and leave the mansion for the (supposed) last time are extremely well told an almost feel out of place in a 60s issue. Yes you know they will be back but you just didn't see this coming. Well worth a read.

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