Charles Xavier has not had very many proud moments as of late, but the beginning of this issue features arguably the most badass Xavier moment in at least the last decade.
The issue starts with Charles invading the dream of Acolyte Amelia Voght, who wakes up to find that her teammates have all met him in their dreams. Xavier shows up at the Acolytes’ doorstep and coasts through its defenses, opening their doors at will, disabling the defense systems, and taking control of the Acolytes’ bodies. When he reaches Exodus, their leader, he reveals that the reason for his invasion is not a violent one but rather an attempt to convince them to end their conflict with other mutants.
Xavier’s argument is that, with the mutant population so dwinded, the old mutant vs. mutant conflicts are no longer valid and that, if they are to survive as a race, they must cease all aggression at once. In his long appeal to Exodus, he mentions that there will come a time when they will have to defend themselves against non-mutants and that they will need all the allies they can get. This is quite a pessimistic message considering that he has always preached hope of cohabitation with the rest of humanity. It further shows just how bleak things have gotten for mutantkind as a whole.
With the exception of the first few pages, this issue is very short on action and heavy with dialogue. The artist does a nice job of keeping things interesting during Charles and Exodus’ discussion by showing us scenes of several mutant conflicts, many of which involved the X-Men in their various incarnations. The end of the book features a surprise guest star (who has appeared in pretty much every other Marvel book lately) which should make things interesting for Xavier and the Acolytes.
Mike Carey does a pretty good job holding the reader’s attention during what is essentially a psychic Powerpoint presentation by Xavier in his proposition of peace. The art by Phil Briones is slightly reminiscent of early Andy Kubert, despite a few inconsistencies in some of the splash pages. All in all, this was an interesting issue, and a welcome change after the travesty that was last week’s Uncanny X-Men # 511. Carey seems to be hinting at some big things to come for the X-Men’s founder and , hopefully, the X-Men books as a whole.
Rating – 3 1/2 out of 5 peace signs