I’m focusing on the X-Men releases of the week in conjunction with a sister editorial that is meant to offer a background of information on the proceedings long-leading up to the upcoming Avengers Vs. X-Men event. (Check that out here!) Considering we’re still in the middle of the mutant Schism event, let’s take a look at one issue from each side of the divide:
When I reviewed the first issue of this new series I was skeptical. I had been expecting great things, and it had let me down a bit. I’m happy to report that by issue six Jason Aaron has really found his groove. Over the course of the last few issues this series has risen to being my most anticipated Wednesday release of the X-Men line.
There are two simultaneous stories going on in this issue. Story number one is revolving around Wolverine and Quentin Quire on the planet Sin as they attempt to make their fortune through gambling. The Jean Grey School for Higher Learning has run into a rather large rut of financial difficulty. Therefore the obvious solution is to head into space (bringing along a genius level telepath kid) to cheat one’s way into some easy cash. But of course they get caught…
Back in New York, things aren’t running so smoothly either. Kitty Pryde is pregnant (sorta). She is actually infested with hundreds of tiny brood causing a false pregnancy. When Kid Gladiator uses Pym particles to shrink down and enter her biological system in order to fight the brood single handedly, the other professors are forced to follow. Unfortunately for Kitty, though, she’s being attacked from both within and without as normal-sized Brood start attacking the school.
As I mentioned above, I’m really enjoying this series. It’s fun and witty and exciting. For the first time in a long while I’m eager to pick up an X-Men title other than the much over looked New Mutants. I find so much of the time X-Men books are either extremely dramatic and serious or far too silly. This has a perfect balance of both.
I’m extremely eager to see how the teaching staff is going to fight in the AvsX event and maintain their moral stance of not involving or endangering their students in any way.
Tension is rising between Hope and her Lights. She already lost Idie to Wolvierine, now Kenji and Laura are plotting a mutiny. They are tired of Hope’s ability to tap into their powers and manipulate them like a puppet master.
Hope doesn’t even see it coming. She is too busy worrying about what she should be doing with her new pet project, a mind-wiped Sebastian Shaw. Last issue she and the Lights brought him to the island of Utopia and were surprised when Cyclops reaction was less than welcoming. As she digs through the past to figure out who Sebastian Shaw is and if he should be given another chance, she must also deal with her own feelings of being imprisoned and manipulated by Cyclops and the constant pressure of being seen as the mutant messiah.
Writer James Asmus has been doing a great job of building Hope up as an important character in a short amount of time. From what we knew of her before this series she was always more of a plot concept than a character struggling to step into her own authority. Now she is not only ready to take on that authority, but she is willing to shove anyone out of her way to do so. This was a great issue to showcase the continued internal tension within the mutant community over the existence of Hope – which is going to come to a head here soon in the upcoming Avengers vs. X-Men event.
Even the mutants who have not been in the spotlight for a long time are determined to voice their opinions on the matter. Former M.L.F (Mutant Liberation Front) members join up with Kenji and Laura and the results aren’t looking promising for the little messiah.
While the Generation Hope series won’t be pivotal to the Avengers Vs. X-Men event, it is providing great lead-up and background. Through this series we are able to see better into the mind of the girl who has caused so much uproar in the Marvel Universe.