A Resolution to The Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier

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.

Turmoil2

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.

No more Jean Grey School

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.

breaking rules

 

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?

warning

Pro: Threat number one.

threats1

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.

eva

Pro: This whole exchange was intense. Love the above panel, and Threat number 2 of the issue that went with it.

threat2

 

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.

 

graduate

Pro: Right Back at you Professor? Times 2

emma

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.change

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.

love you

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.

 

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Iñigo says:

    Great review as usual. I guess this is an ending of sorts. Bendis knows where Marvel is heading with Secret Wars and what to make of all those time travels that have happened in recent months. He also knows where he wants to leave his books. This sense of closure feels almost like a movie endind. Mallow felt like Deux Ex Machina since the beginning of the story and we know why: the story was about Tempus, She´s being cimented like a powerful force and one who may have a philosophical weight in the future. I liked the character since her introduction in All-New X-Men #1. That said, I hurt a bit everytime a writer tries too hard to give more significance to their own characters in spite of other, more known ones, like Cyclops in this case. Bendis rign is coming to a close (I enjoyed it a lot) and can´t spot wondering what´s next for our loved mutants.

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    1. loz says:

      Inigo, I agree. This was never really about Malloy, but it was about Tempus and Cyclops in particular. I’m still not sure if this arc just created a bigger threat to EVERYONE, more than Malloy was, and her cost is coming.

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      1. Iñigo says:

        I think it´s a matter of waiting what the status of time travel is post Secret Wars. This story gave me the impression as Bendis doing everything that wasn´t allowed by editorial in past years. Time was broken after Age of Ultron (written by Bendis) and will be fixed in the upcoming x-over. Bendis has a lot of information and put some of it into the story.

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      2. loz says:

        Yeah, I agree. He knows a lot more than us. Time is still broken. That whole age of ultron time break hasn’t been resolved has it?

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  2. I have to be honest that I felt rather disappointed with the ‘time rewrite’ solution, not least because – as is frequently the case – I’m left confused about the temporal mechanics. Remembering that Bendis established that time is rewritten from the point of change, Tempus’ ensuring Malloy’s parents never meet means she never met Xavier in the first place.

    I guess I liked the fact that, for the first time in a long, long while, I genuinely had no idea where an arc was going; comics were actually surprising me. Now we’re back to normal, and – like you – I suspect the X-kids will be lost in the shuffle.

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    1. loz says:

      Ahh, as always tom you point out the niggly bit I didn’t think about but knew must exist somewhere. Eva Should never have met Xavier and a part of me feels like that was what that little series of Xavier images is. It’s a mini time rewrite. He was returned to his time and shortly after time is changed to adapt to what he and eva did. Which makes me feel a whole lot better not having to trust that he could wipe his own memory.

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      1. Hmmm that interpretation of the images works rather well 😀

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      2. Ry-Guy says:

        … that series of Xavier images was him wiping his own memory of the events (or maybe not, with the trust levels being what they are).

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  3. Ry-Guy says:

    Con: The art. As Bachalo-related usual.

    Also, who is “Amity”?

    Like

    1. loz says:

      I have this love hate relationship with Bachalo. There are times I really hate his work but then other times I think it’s the best and really conveys what it needs to. He’s a very apples/oranges artist.
      Amity is Benjamin Deeds codename, or at least it is the codename taken on by the Benjamin deeds of Earth-TRN421. I saw it mentioned on Tumblr and assumed it was our Benjamin Deeds, but you know what they say about Assuming. I don’t think Benjamin has officially taken a codename despite everyone wanting to lump him with the name Morph.

      Like

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