Spoilers for X-Men #11
The X-Men do an awful lot of talking in this issue, as they try to assess their situation. It takes them about four pages to figure out how they just got tricked. I’m not against dialogue though, and maybe it’s a good thing that they don’t all automatically agree on exactly what the villain is doing right away. They arrive at an interesting conclusion too: Deathstrike isn’t just back and leading a new Sisterhood, but whoever brought her back has a larger agenda.
Makes sense, because this whole thing has connections to the “Necrosha” event, where X-Men villain Selene was destroyed. A powerful interest managed to store some form of her essence in a vault, and the Sisterhood buy it, literally paying for it on some kind of black market, and resurrect her. So here we have two stories related to death and resurrection, maybe there are more specific relations between them.
One thing to note – this idea of resurrecting legendary X-Men villains to fight the X-Men, um, they’re dead for a reason, right? I get it, they want people with an ax to grind and plenty of them, but it’s not a totally watertight plan to begin with, is all I’m saying.
In a brief interlude, we’re reminded of Sublime’s history with Shogo, and warned of the future.
The villains get an interesting look in this issue too. Typhoid confides that she feels in a bit over her head, going from a simple snatch and grab gig to a full on world assault. In one of her rare moments of control, Cortes admits she only shared her body with Deathstrike for kicks, and is terrified at how far beyond fun and games this has gone. She’s not even an evil villain, just a bored rich kid, and she would rather die than have this plot continue. She tries to goad Mary into killing her, and even cuts herself, and while they leave that as our cliffhanger, I don’t see a simple sword wound stopping Arkea from getting what she wants from her.
They’re continuing the double feature idea from last issue, and after cliffhanger one cut to the other side of the action, where a team of X-Men are fighting Arkea controlled sentinels. It’s not a bad little fight scene, certainly more action than you’ll get in Wolverine and the X-Men, but I have to nitpick it. You’ve got people, like Quire for example, in this scene, that were already shown (in the same issue) to be somewhere else. I get as a comic fan that sometimes you have to kind of editorialize in your own mind what is taking place when, but when they cut to the fight they do literally use the tag “meanwhile.” In the cliffhanger for this side of the story, we see Jubilee did a magical vampire misting trick to avoid being crushed by a sentinel, but can’t seem to re-corporealize.
My rating: 4.25 out of 5
This book has had to overcome a lot. First there was the whole weird marketing of it, as a book about female X-Men that didn’t want to be known as a book about female X-Men. Then “Battle of the Atom” hijacked the series way too soon, forcing it to start again from a full stop. Now of course it has the arc within an arc, which exists only to try to sell the #1.NOW gimmick, but regardless, the series has built up a lot of momentum again. Despite my plot nitpick, it’s even using the Jean Grey School (as a backdrop) better than the titles it is front and center in. Even the villains get a fair shake in this issue, with enough time to be developed as characters without making the whole comic about them.