X-Tinction Agenda #1

XTA cvr 1

Release Date:  June 3, 2015

battle

I will admit…this issue holds a special place in my heart.  When I first started reading X-Men, X-Tinction Agenda was just wrapping up and it was the first full cross-over I read of X-Men.  Looking back, years later, it doesn’t necessarily hold up, but it still remains high on my list for nostalgia…and most of my issues are due to the inconsistent art and storytelling in the non-Uncanny issues (I’ve also reviewed the entire cross-over, here).

So when they first announced that X-tinction Agenda would be one of the Battleworlds, my second thought was “Wow!  Sweet!”  (my first thought was “What in the world is X-Tinction Agenda doing as part of Secret Wars”)  Of course, I thought the same about Inferno (see my review last week right here) and I was noticeably disappointed.  So I was expecting to be let down with this issue.

Truth is, by lowering my expectations, I wasn’t disappointed at all.  I was actually impressed.  The art is nothing to write home about, but the story is interesting and I’m looking to see how this will interact with the rest of the Battleworlds.

Doom

SYNOPSIS

Okay…I absolutely loved loved loved how this issue started out.  Not because it was some monster revelation, but because the artist and author fathfully recreated the final scenes of the battle of Genosha in X-Factor #62.  Heck, they even have the confrontation between Rictor and Rahne when she decides to stay behind.  It’s a great lead-in to the split in realities.  In 616, Havok and Rahne work to rebuild Genosha until Val Cooper recruits them to join the new X-Factor.  Here, however, we see that years later, they are battling alongside Chief Magistrate Anderson some out of control, crazed mutates.

They look as if they are about to be overran, but then reinforcements arrive:  some guy named Bulletproof (apparently that’s his power too), Rictor, Karma, and Wicked (remember her from Claremont’s Excalibur run on Genosha).  They battle the out of control mutates until Havok calls in their ace in the hole:  Xavier.  Professor X calms them all down with a speech.  We learn that there is an extinction plague that is killing of the mutates.  The mutates calm down, chanting “Xavier for president”.  Apparently he’s worshiped.

Apparently, he’s also dead.  Died some time ago.  So who was the guy who calmed the mutates?

Yep…our favorite resident shapeshifter:  Mystique.

Unfortunately, the current Genegineer (remember, the original one died against Hodge) has had little luck curing the mutant plague, so Havok and Wolfsbane (yep, she’s here too!) take their case to the god of Battleworld (remember, this is a Secret Wars issue):  Lord (apparently Lord is higher than Doctor) Doom.  The request help, but Doom dismisses them, advising that they must turn to Baron Grey and he will not help them.

Once back on Genosha, Rahne once again pleads for Baron Grey’s help.  Apparently Rachel Grey, the current host of the Phoenix force, is baron (wouldn’t it be baroness?) of X-Topia.  Just as she has done fifteen times before, Phoenix rejects their request for aid, maintaining that the quarantine must be preserved.  The Genoshans decide (actually it’s specifically Chief Anderson’s suggestion) that if the X-Topians won’t come to Genosha and help, then Havok will lead a force to X-Topia and kidnap the mutants they need.

We see that both Phoenix on X-Topia, and Wolfsbane (who is sleeping with Havok by this point) are having trouble with the decisions made.  However, Havok’s made up his mind.  The only option is to invade X-Topia and bring back a mutant named Triage by force.  It’s what Cyclops would have done…if he were still alive.

As the Genoshans prepare their jet, Wicked has one last message for Havok.  She brings forth the ghost of Cyclops.  Apparently, attacking X-Topia is not what Cyclops would have done.  On the trip to X-Topia, Rictor contemplates seeing Boom-Boom (who is now called Bombshell) again, but hopes that in the 45 minutes they are on X-Topia, he won’t see her among all the other mutants.  The Genoshans interrupt a baseball game, raining down fire on the players, including Rogue, Wolverine, and Nightcrawler.  The X-Topians engage the Genoshans and a huge battle begins (including Havok literally blowing apart Rockslide).

Aboard the Genoshan jet, Chief Anderson remains behind the controls and reaches out surreptitiously to the Genegineer.  Phase one is complete.  Phase two can begin.  The Genegineer interrupts his work to respond.  Then he gets back to examining the head of Cameron Hodge.

baseball

THOUGHTS/REVIEWS/SNIDE COMMENTS

I have admitted to being a bit biased when it comes to this issue.  X-Tinction Agenda really started it for me and it wasn’t until years later that I realized how sub par most of the cross-over was.  So I may be looking at this issue through rose colored glasses.

or maybe red.

like Cyclops.

That would be cool.

PROS:

  • it’s X-Tinction Agenda.  I mean come on.  How could that not be a pro?
  • Doom.  Turns out he’s a bigot.  Who knew?  But seriously, I love it when these Battleworld issues take just a little bit of time to remind us that they are part of a bigger world and there is an overlord.
  • Chief Anderson and the Genegineer.  they are so obviously plotting something that I’m practically salivating at the thought of this story.  Especially seeing that the Genegineer is experimenting with Hodge’s remains.
  • Baseball.  Seriously, this one scene had me in laughter.  Baseball has long been a “go-to” scene for Claremont (and many after) when he just wanted to show them having fun.  So in this issue, the baseball game seems like just a staple in the X-Universe until the Genoshans show up and fill the field with carnage.  It was awesome.
  • The cover.  It’s an updated version of Uncanny X-Men #270 and is just fantastic.  It may not be Jim Lee (I can’t believe Marvel didn’t try to get him just for a version of this) but it’s still a great homage.

CONS:

  • The art.  This is my first experience with Di Giandomenico and I’m not too impressed.  It’s too confusing.  It’s kind of like Bachalo but without the underlying talent.
  • Rachel/Phoenix.  This is a con for me due to her being in a couple issues (Years of Future Past and this one so far).  Her existence in both of them is a problem for me because I am a huge nerd.  As many of you know, Rachel discovered some time ago that she actually exists ONCE in the entire multiverse.  Since each of these Battleworld issues represent a different world in the multiverse, she should only show up once (and quite frankly, she would have been destroyed when 616 ended).  So as much as I love Rachel, she shouldn’t have been here.

This issue does seem to have an underlying political question:  does one country have the right to invade another country just because the other country has resources the first one needs?  Does it make a difference when the first country is dying off?  Is there any justification?  I can’t say with certainty which answer is correct, but it certainly does look like the Genoshans, even though they are the protagonists here, are the bad guys.

Overall, not a bad issue.  Would have been soooo much better with a different artist, but the story itself was good, well paced, and definitely left me wanting to read the next issue.

Havok

FAVORITE QUOTES

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Havok:  “Press gang, where are you?”

Anderson:  “They said their five minutes out.”

Havok:  “They said that six minutes ago, Anderson.”

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Lord Doom:  “Mutants.  A blight upon the world.”

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Chief Anderson:  “How’d it go?”

Wolfsbane:  “$#% @#$!&”

Anderson:  “I didn’t think you even knew profanity, Rahne.  I guess that answers my question.”

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Rictor:  “There will literally be hundreds of mutants there.  The odds of me running into Tabitha for, like, the 45 minutes this operation’s gonna take are infinitesimal.”

Anderson:  “So you’re in denial.”

Rictor:  “Completely.”

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