So the Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier finally came to an end. Last year after issue #23 I wrote:
This is the much anticipated Last Will and Testament arc that Brian Michael Bendis has promised will change the X-landscape forever. This is a promise that has been often thrown around, but nothing Bendis has done so far suggests hyperbole, and with the tantalizing promise of Xavier’s last word on things, this was too much not to miss.
Did this arc, 8 issues in the telling, deliver? Without further ado, lets dive in, Pro/Con style.Click Below for the review
Pro: A resolution. While I have really loved this arc and its journey, it was time for a resolution and here it is.
Pro: The writing has been great. I’m sure there are those out there who will hate this arc because it seems like nothing mattered and everything that happened to our characters means nothing because of it. But WE know, and so does Eva Bell, and that is enough. This all still matters. The arc uncovered a lot of revelations about certain characters motivations and true emotions. And on top of all that we got the arc of a future villain/arch nemesis in the making.
Pro: Early on we get the fallout from Eva bringing O5 Xavier to the present and the turmoil among the students. I’d really have loved to see the Cuckoos go toe-to-toe with this young Xavier but it was not to be as Cerebro kicks in destroys all hope they have have for a clean resolution.
Con: Oh how Xavier’s ego must have been boosted in this one shot. But then we’re not sure if he is really horrified or not. He hides it well, and throughout the issue, he’s difficult and combative with Eva. I guess he has a reason to be, his future has turned into a nightmare, but the problem with his foreknowledge is, he only has Eva’s version of it. Thus, he has no idea what has been going on in the forefront of everything the X-Men are dealing with, just snippets of it here and there.
Pro: Things go from Terrible to Catastrophic at the Jean Grey, but at least we get the above view.
Con: With that said, I think Wolverine and the X-men had a better system for this kind of student protection plan. Where are the minor staff. Several times in WatX, we saw the students shuffled quickly into protective vaults while the senior staff fight off the threats. Here, the students run amok, Storm acts on a scarily irresponsible whim, and everyone dies…maybe…perhaps Kitty survived, or a few of the other students with protective powers who aren’t on the front charge. What was Storm thinking, that attacking the omnipotent mutant who just accidentally reduced Emma to an expensive pile of rocks.
Pro/Con (I’m not sure): Xavier and Eva erase Malloy from existence. The implications for this are horrifying. I worried that Xavier would step in a do something horrible, but when that particular sequence started I was thrown for a loop. There was a disconnect. I didn’t know who I was looking at. Was it Matthew and some random girl. It took me too long to figure out that this was Malloy’s parents and the discomfort that came after that realization. Yeah…probably a con.
Pro: The Eva/Xavier dynamic. every scene with the two of them is clever and entertaining. Every time these two converse there is a range of emotions, ideas , concepts and concerns peppered with Xavier’s ego and Eva’s sass.
Con: There are so many questions about this issue. What is the cost to all this meddling with time. What smaller, but crucial, and unseen changes happened because of this change in history. Already Wolverine is missing from the proceedings. Yeah he died but not at the time this all happened. And, Xavier never married Mystique. What does this mean for Kid Xavier and his coerced brotherhood?
Pro: Threat number one.
Con: Do we trust Xavier. Why did he ask where the Jean Grey school was if his intention was to just go back in time and get rid of Malloy. I’m not sure if this is intentionally mysterious, or a bad story beat, or unintentionally confusing. I don’t trust Xavier as far as I can throw him. Is this a huge telepathic ploy across time and space.
Pro: This whole exchange was intense. Love the above panel, and Threat number 2 of the issue that went with it.
Con: Eva is in dangerous territory. I’ve always thought the code name Tempus sounded villainous, and the past few months, Eva has slowly stepped into some ambiguous areas. She’s lived a lifetime in the future with a family and lost them. She’s had to step back into her old life with all she knows and learned. To go along with that she’s had some questionable leaders. Cyclops consistently put her in harms way. Unintentionally so but still the threat was there. Magik took her to hell (speaks for itself). Magneto had consistently been in and out and had possibly betrayed the team. And Emma, while the backbone of the faculty, has not been able to control her powers.
BIG CON: Maybe the best place for these students is at the Jean Grey school. But, Didn’t Kitty and the All-new X-men just leave there due to creative differences. AND…
EVEN BIGGER CON: Aren’t these students going to be lost in the crowd of other forgotten mutants only to appear as panel fillers in large group scenes? NOT COOL MARVEL. Amity, Hijack, and Gold Ball must not be relegated to limbo. I also don’t see the same amount of characterization being assigned to the cuckoos who were really starting to develop individual personalities. Marvel. Give us a Teen book. PLEASE. Just call it UNCANNY-X.
Pro: Right Back at you Professor? Times 2
Pro: This ^^^
Con: Here it is. Just what a lot of people have been clamoring for, the reintegration of Uncanny X-men into the Jean Grey School. I’m not so happy. I could have done with a whole lot more alone time and more separation of the two factions.
Con: And what of the other students at the Weapon X-Base. What happened to them after Xavier left I feeling neglect by proxy.
Con: What will become of Emma? Will she be sidelined to the other TP users at the JG school. I’ve seen her make a difference with the students far more that anyone else in the last year or so, and to be honest, Storm in control of the school is a joke. Cyclops could have very easily signed it over to Emma who has done it before and done a good job. Cyclops just Sidelined his own faculty.
PRO: This ^^^
All in all I think this was a lot of fun. We got some great character pieces, a lot of insights, a lot of tragedy and a great arc. Sure, I’m left with a lot of questions, but seeing as this arc was extended by one issue for reasons unknown that’s understandable and possibly could have been foreseen and catered to earlier within the narrative. Hopefully we get more of these moments with OUR young Uncanny X-men. That said, I’m left with this sense of impending doom. I’m not of the mind that Marvel want to kill off the X-men to spite Fox, but with Secret Wars on the horizon, I feel its shadow over my favourite book, especially with Bendis leaving. The emotions connected with his departure and this event have become mixed and I’m left with a hole.