X-Men (vol. 2) #41

X-Men 41 cover

Dreams Die! – Legion Quest, part 4.2

February 1995
Gambit and Rogue kiss for the first time
Gambit and Rogue kiss for the first time

“You can’t be dead.  ‘Cause if you’re dead, that means –

That David Haller was never born.  Which would also mean that the X-men would never come back in time to stop him, because there were no X-Men, because Charles Xavier never lived to create them.  All save one time-displaced man.  His mind damaged by the energies which ripped Legion and the other X-Men away, Bishop remains the sole survivor of a world which is now lost, possibly forevermore!

Which means that from this day forward, things will never be the same again.

Avalon, an orbital sanctuary for mutants.  Magneto, left nearly mindless months ago by the man he once called friend, gives silent final benediction to his fanatically devoted Acolytes.  All frozen, caught, unawares as the M’Kraan effect swept over them.  They never knew what hit them.  In that, they were blessed.

Others will not be so fortunate.  for beyond the glassing hull of the lifeless station, the crystallization wave, the destruction of all realities, continues its inexorable onslaught towards the blue-green world called Earth to the expecting X-Men.  They have less than a second to think about their lives, and their deaths, about all the incredible things that have happened to them between the two.  Some have enough time left to think about things they never had, while others sense this opportunity, the last moment together, to act on the only thing they have left.

Now in one instant, all over this now lost, cold crystal planet, lives end before they ever had the chance to begin.  Friendships torn asunder are never to be mended together again.  Potential is left unfulfilled.  Opportunities that collapse are left uncorrected, as life slips through their fingertips in a whispered flash of energy.

Dreams die.

The world ends with neither bang nor whisper but in an eerie, silent, shimmering shroud of glass.  A world, which like one man’s dreams, proved to be such a delicate thing.  And when not handled with enough care, is so easily…

…Shattered.”

X-Men

This issue had been teased about for almost a year.  The advertisement sections for Entertainment This Month had the Xavier dies announcement for quite some time.  This was the issue that officially concluded Legion Quest and would set the stage for the entire X-Universe for the next 4 months to come.  And it was one hell of a way to go!  Everything about this issue was fantastic.  I* was so incredibly psyched when I picked this one up and I wasn’t disappointed.

This month across all of the X-titles, every single issue ended the same way (except for Generation X which I was really upset about).  It all ended with everything being crystallized.  Granted, Cable #20 probably had the most memorable ending and most emotional, but overall, this issue is definitely a better way of ending the cross-over.  So while Cable #20 and this issue run concurrently and can be read in either order, I recommend reading this one last as this is the perfect lead-in to Age of Apocalypse (which I will start reviewing next week).

SYNOPSIS

We are first treated to the X-Men in the past staring up at some climactic battle in disbelief.  Erik Lehnsherr is battling Legion above the city in Israel.  The four X-Men trapped in the past (Storm, Iceman, Psylocke, and Bishop) comment how this event was never supposed to happen considering that Xavier didn’t find out about Magneto’s powers this way.  Elsewhere, Xavier and Gabrielle Haller try to collect themselves as Xavier comments how this appears to be the dawn of Homo Superior, but it was not the way he imagined.  He takes in the impossible scene:  energy cascading around a huge black man, a man made entirely of ice, and a British sounding Asian ninja.  He also begins telepathically talking with Psylocke and after forcing Gabrielle to sleep, he quickly runs over to the ninja.

Storm drops in and he suddenly recognizes her as the young thief who tried to grab his wallet in Cairo weeks ago (one of the reasons I love this saga).

In the present, Xavier, communicating with a hologram of Lilandra, learns that whatever is happening in the past is responsible for the crystal wave (funny…I thought he figured this out after Lilandra showed him the Watchers, but whatever…).  He realizes that his X-Men must have failed in the past somehow.  Overhead, Archangel flies by, watching Gambit and Rogue deal with the impending end of the world.  He joins Cyclops and Jean as they watch the crystal wave on a monitor from the Shi’ar.

In the past, the battle in Israel is broadcast to the world.  Apocalypse takes notice and makes note how these events are happening much sooner than his “Sinister associate predicted” (care to guess who that refers to?).  He decides that the order of ascension must begin now.

Legion is easily beating down Magneto (remember that Erik Lehnsherr isn’t as experienced as he will be 30 years in the future).  He reveals to Erik that he is doing this because he must protect his father, Charles Xavier’s, dream.  Storm and Iceman rush up to stop him.  ;Legion actually thinks they are here to help, but then Iceman does something with his power he’s never done before:  he freezes every molecule of water in Legion’s body.  The battle seems over, but before Psylocke can warn everybody, Legion breaks free and takes down all four X-Men, Erik, and Xavier.  He then prepares to deal the killing blow but Xavier jumps in the way.  The killing blow strikes Xavier instead, killing him instantly.

As Magneto holds his friend in his arms, the X-Men and Legion are ripped away, having never existed.  Only Bishop is left behind, thanks to him already being out of time.

In the present, the wave washes over Avalon, freezing Magneto, Colossus, and the Acolytes.  It can be seen approaching in the sky.  On impulse, and thinking she would die, Rogue pulls Gambit close and kisses him deeply.  Then the wave hits.

Everything ends.

Magneto

THOUGHTS/REVIEWS/SNIDE COMMENTS

This issue was everything I could hope for.  My only complaint is I felt the narration at the very end was actually better in Cable #20, but everything else about this book was superior (which is saying a lot considering I loved Cable #20).

PROS:

  • The art.  Andy Kubert was, once again, on top of his game.  Sure, there are some bending issues (he sometimes draws his characters in positions that would normally be very painful) but the battle scenes are incredible to watch.  Unfortunately, he is only the credited artist for the scenes in Israel.
  • Iceman.  For all you Iceman fans, we finally get Iceman represented as a true powerhouse.  Because of Cable’s interference, his mental blocks on his power have been removed and he now has complete control over his entire body and flows like “liquid ice” (yes, I realize it’s kind of a contradiction, but it works).
  • Apocalypse.  This little teased moment of the cross-over spinning off directly from this series is only a single page, but it is awesome and awe-inspiring and gave me chills just waiting to see what would happen.
  • The Death of Xavier.  When Legion mistakenly kills his father and realizes what he’s done…  that’s just awesome.  But seeing Magneto cradle his best friend’s lifeless body on the ground is even better.
  • The kiss.  No, not the one from Cable #20.  This is the one X-fans (specifically you Romy fans) had been waiting for since X-Men #4 when Gambit and Rogue first went on a date.

CONS:

  • The art.  Andy Kubert, unfortunately, only draws a portion of this issue.  The art is noticeably inconsistent.  Ron Garney (our “friend” from last issue) handles the present scenes and the final crystallization wave at the end and it’s a definite drop in quality.

Whew…  so that’s it.  Next week, I’ll bring out reviews of the Age of Apocalypse.  Legion Quest did a great job leading into it.  If you haven’t read it, check it out.  If it’s been awhile, reacquaint yourself with it.  Some top notch art and a great, intense storyline.  And the best part is?  Age of Apocalypse is coming!

Apocalypse

FAVORITE QUOTES

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Iceman:  “Professor Xavier told us how he’d first met Magneto here.  You don’t think it slipped the Prof’s mind to mention that he learned about Magnus’s mutant powers while watching him tear the city apart in a fight with his own son, did you?!”

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Xavier:  “We are watching a genetic atom bomb – and it’s exploding over our heads!”

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Apocalypse:  “As for myself, these events simply mean that the order of ascension begins now!  And may the fittest survive the challenge!!”

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Xavier:  “Dear lord – Magnus!  And that boy up there…  that poor, insane boy…  somehow, someway…  is my son?!  He believes he’s doing this for me?  In my name?  He’s going to kill my best friend for my sake?!”

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Iceman:  “I’m putting you ice, pun intended, dude!”

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Iceman

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