The premature end to a memorable era.
And here we have it. The final issue to such an underestimated but epic run and along with that, the final thank yous. Thank you Brian Wood and thank you David Lopez. It has been an amazing ride.
From the start of Brian Wood's run we were hit with the concept of Proto-Mutants. An analogy that they were an altogether different species like Neanderthals were from we humans, was highlighted each and every single time the concept was brought up. Now, at first, it wasn't exactly an idea that had such an impact on us readers or anyone else for that matter, but through and through, page after page, Wood made this fantastic concept work.
Here we have the X-Men stumbling upon Gabriel Sheperd, a real-life Proto-Mutant that is more or the less the proponent of everything Wood's run has been about. But that's not all, from the start of Wood's run there were conflicts. Conflicts brewing about the team regarding the Proto-Mutants and what the better direction was. This issue, we see every choice Storm made, every option she took against Cyclops, come down to a brutal breaking point. one which Megan Gwynn, who had not found herself in the conflict, is now at the center of.
It's been a long time since i've seen an X-Title where every character has a say-so and every move has a long-term consequence. As i've said time and again, team conflicts are not good things, but Wood manages that perfectly, as usual. This title conveys mystery, secrecy, drama, uncanny intrigue and so much more month in and month out, seeing that end is a saddening thing. Lopez on art duties manages to knock the whole thing out the park, once again, especially during the scene between Pixie and Gabriel. So much raw emotion and passion, silent, yet bursting with semantics. It was a truly magical moment, along with the way Pixie ended the whole run.
Pixie started this run off, so i guess it was a given that she'd end it. And it was a wonderfully done end, too.
Nothing much. Only complaints are: i expected Domino to have a bigger say in the conclusion of it all, considering it was quite clear that both her and Colossus were in the works. The whole issue felt like Wood did not have enough space for all of his seeds to come to fruition. Quite a lot was put into it and the end felt more like a 'to be continued', on Pixie's part. Also, the run started with Cyclops v Storm, it'd add a lot more credibility if it ended with Cyclops v Storm instead of what we actually got, which was good nonetheless.
If you've been picking up this series since Brian Wood took over then you'd be doing yourself a massive disservice by not picking this up, the final issue draws the Wood/Lopez run to an end, but even though there are still a few unanswered questions, it does leave all the characters featured in this title, especially Pixie, in an interesting place. 5/5. Pick. This. Up.