After the big crossover (Messiah Complex) with the first mutant birth, the adjective-less X-Men title took a whole new approach with it’s premise: focus on the X-Men founder after he was shot in the head by a fellow X-Man. This being superhero melodramatic comics and focusing on the most powerful psychic in the Marvel universe, the series would be thought-provokingly epic as it goes through the (sometimes convoluted) history of the X-Universe. Xavier dies but is resurrected with a reconstituted mind, and after 17 issues, we came across a changed amnesiac man with a new purpose. Xavier fought some of the deadliest villains (Mr. Sinister, Exodus, Magneto, Emma Frost, Danger, Juggernaut, Sebastian Shaw), faced his biggest sins (lying to Rogue about her uncontrollable powers; imprisoning the killing robot, Danger; restarting Wolverine’s memories; wiping the memories of several X-Men including Moira and Cyclops; killing his evil twin sister, Cassandra Nova, at birth; releasing his dark side as Onslaught; witnessing Genosha’s massacre; hiding Vulcan while covering the deaths of his teammates; and allowing many of his X-Men to die), and faced his biggest obstacle, his ego and his failing dream.
It’s a lot to take in, but Mike Carey was able to take 40 years of confusing history, and make it relevant. Some of the more intimate moments were the best such as Xavier talks with fellow X-Men such as Gambit, Rogue, Cyclops, and Magneto. As the over-arching arc ended, we saw a new direction of Xavier’s position in the new world after some altering events like the mutant decimation and super villain Norman Osborn’s Dark Reign. Signaling a change for the Xavier to provide co-existence amongst all mutants. There was some action in the title, but it consisted mostly of fantastic characterization. By the end, we knew Xavier’s past mistakes and witness the strengths of his power and character as a wholly new person. My only complaint was not the exclusion of Jean Grey. She was seen in many of the flashbacks, but it would have been nice to see more development and characterization as Xavier faces his decisions with the most powerful X-Man. Nonetheless, the book works for my taste and will soon buy all trade paperbacks (4 in total). As much as Mike Carey is an extraordinary writer and will focus the book on Rogue and current events, l will drop the book because I feel satisfaction with the characters. I’ll peak every once in a while.