And the rest of the interim X-saga...
So this is an interesting series. I don’t know exactly when Marvel solicited Hickman to return and relaunch their entire X-Men brand, but it had to be fairly early if not even before this series launched. So they either knew from the stat it was a “bridge” series or they found out very early that it was going to be an irrelevant chapter in the ongoing Mutant saga. And I can’t tell if they knew what Hickman had planned and were setting that up, but I’d say likely not. Anyway, this run of Uncanny ran for 22 issues, plus an annual, and the first ten issues were WEEKLY, and the final 12 were bi-weekly, so the entire series came out very fast. And that’s not counting the ‘Age of X-Man’ event that kicked off halfway thru and the half dozen tie-in series for that event.
Uncanny X-Men 1-10. Brisson, Rosenberg, and Thompson all shared writing duties on the first ten weekly issues. They set up a fairly decent mystery as Mutant racial tensions start rising again, Kitty Pryde gets kidnapped during a training mission with some of the junior X-Men students (Armor, Rockslide, Anole, etc) and a bunch of other weird phenomenon start happening like dinosaurs in Montana and an army of Multiple Men attacking Kansas. Armor and the juniors are bracing against Jean Grey and Storm continually putting them on crowd control and clean up duties, so there’s tension there.
Then 4 new Horsemen show up; Magneto, Omega Red, Blob, and Angel as agents of Nate Grey, aka X-Man from Age of Apocalypse. His psionic and psychic powers have grown exponentially and he wants to create an Utopia on Earth no matter how many must die. Legion shows up at the X-Mansion and explains to the juniors that he wants to stop Nate because he feels responsible for him existing because of the Age of Apocalypse. The juniors want to help him, and the veteran X-Men don’t trust him so there’s a schism on the team. Eventually all the X-Men go to confront Nate on his Canadian Island fortress and he ends up “killing” all the X-Men or so it seems to the rest of the world.
This leads to the Age of X-Man Alpha oneshot where all the world is mutants so there’s no strife. But also no family or physical attachment is allowed and love, physical intimacy is forbidden. The world is policed by the Marvelous X-Men who are superhero celebrities. But there is a undercurrent of unease that no one can quite put their finger on and the six Age of X-Men miniseries all dealt with the cracks in this “perfect” society coming undone.
The Amazing Nightcrawler 1-5. Kurt is the most famous actor in the world but somethings not right.
Apocalypse and the X-Tracts 1-5. En Sabah Nuhr is a sort of beatnik cult leader who encourages love and family in a world where neither are permitted and puts him at odds with the status quo maintaining X-Men.
Marvelous X-Men 1-5. The premier superhero role models of the world are finding chinks in their memories that they can’t explain.
NextGen 1-5. The students at the Xavier institute are realizing not is all as it seems in their perfect world.
PrisonerX 1-5. Bishop was once a member of the X-Men, but he was caught having an intimate affair with Jean Grey and he was ‘erased’ from the team and sent to a Rehabilitation Center. But he’s having memories of things that never happened...
X-Tremists 1-5. The black Ops mutant team that does all the dirty work to make the X-Men look good and keep their hands clean. But they, too, are finding things wrong with the world they can’t explain.
As you can see, there was a general theme that all comes to a head in Age of X-Man Omega oneshot where they figure out Nate created this world they’ve all been trapped in and go to confront him about it and all the X-Men come back ‘to life’ at the end.
Uncanny X-Men 11-22. Rosenberg took over as solo writer back in the other Uncanny X-Men book, everyone thinks the X-Men are dead and the O.N.E. takes this opportunity to wipe out the rest of the mutants. Cyclops(who is back from the dead as was explained in the books Annual) and Wolverine(who is also recently back from the dead) team up and recruit what is the Last X-Men Team Ever to stop the O.N.E. and along the way a bunch of X-Men die, like Havok, Wolfsbane, Madrox, Chamber, eh I lost count because it was a lot of unnecessary deaths for cheap shock value that became irrelevant because Hickman undid all the deaths like three months later anyway. In the end Emma Frost uses cerebral to “erase” mutants from humanity’s mind so they can all just go live their lives and never have to worry about being feared and hunted ever again, but Cyclops decides they shouldn’t have to hide and then all the ‘dead’ Age of X-Man X-Men show up, Cyclops reunites with Jean Grey for the first time in forever and the cerebro shield drops and all the X-Men are standing there together all bad ass on the last page. Apart from the cliche “sales boosting” deaths, the story was okay. Not great, but it was a page turner with the X-Men with their backs against the wall and the “stakes have never been higher” if you didn’t know Hickman was just around the corner.
And that’s the X-Books up until House of X/Powers of X.
I think next I’m gonna read the Infinity Wars event and maybe some other books in that H-I-J box. Gonna be bouncing around the boxes for awhile.
"No Tom Foolery today, Ron. I'm tired of looking at your dreadful, speckled mug.""Why do you hurt me in this way, Harry?"”It’s a grid system motherfucker. Eleven up and one over, you simple bitch.”