A fitting End to the 200s Claremont Run
And now we arrive at the final trade collecting Chris Claremont's 2000s run on Uncanny X-Men. As has been the case with with all the issues (at least 2-5) the focus is on the B-Team. Other than scattered appearances here and there - No Cyclops, Gambit, Emma, etc.
As you probably remember, in the third volume Psylocke was mysteriously found alive after her team mates saw her die. She literally died in Beast's arms. Turns out her brother, Brian, can manipulate reality via quantum strings. (Sometimes literally visualised - sometimes not) Apparently during a prior Claremont run Psylocke became asian - that's why her brother is a blond British guy (I'd thought she was adopted, but in a prior trade she was shown blond so I was confused). Anyway, as I mentioned before when talking about House of M, it's always somewhat dangerous to have a crazy person who can manipulate reality and this turns out to be the case with her brother. This is evidenced by The Watcher appearing shortly after he does. A momentary aside: I always thought Uatu was kinda pudgy under those robes, but in this TP he appears kinda buff when he pushes it aside.
So, apparently it is Brian who gave her her new abilities as seen in "On Ice" when she realizes she doesn't have exactly the same powers as she did before. It turns out Brian did this to make her the perfect warrior for some upcoming battle. The neat thing about this trade's main story, "First Foursaken" is that it introduces the opposite entity of the Phoenix. It's it's left up to the reader whether this entity is good or bad and whether it or the Phoenix has the right point of view.
The book bookends with Storm's travels in Africa. As I mentioned in the previous reviews she and Wolverine (although he's MIA in this book) are going through Africa to try and figure out who's killing all the mutants and former mutants post-M-day. The only thing that sucks about the fact that Claremont references the child armies in Africa (as Batman has done with Batwing) is that there aren't mutants to go in there and unilaterally fix things in the real world. (Always a possible emotion to evoke when the comic book and real worlds intersect) The book also has her debating her marriage proposal by T'Challa, the Black Panther and ruler of Wakanda. This wasn't touched on in any of the Uncanny books and the "wedding of the century" doesn't appear in any of the trades I know about. (But the wedding IS referenced in one of the post-Whedon Astonishing X-Men trades I read)
Overall I thought the book was a pretty perfect end to Claremont's run. And he set into motion a lot of the story beats that are still being explored today. Also, I found it to be a great companion to the A-Team book of Astonishing X-Men. The only thing I wish Claremont had done is focus a bit more on the relationships he touches on in his issues. The Kitty/Rachel conflict never gets properly resolved. Same with Bishop and the administrator from Sentinel O*N*E. And that especially sucks since this trade felt a lot skinnier than the previous ones. But, as I mentioned in this review and others, perhaps some of these things were being dealt with in other X-books. So I ended up giving this trade 3.5 stars because I feel like, although it was a perfect ending to his run, it ran out of steam and just wasn't up to the par of the rest of his New Age run. Good to get if you're a completionist, but you can probably skip this one if you weren't especially loving the Claremont run.