The X-Men have barely had time to calm down since the excitement of the mutant genocide and they’re about to face a monster. This isn’t a lost, hapless mutant. This isn’t some guy in a suit with a fancy gadget. This isn’t a bank robber, a robot, or some pathetic megalomaniac plugging the holes in his ego. This isn’t Magneto’s crazy face. This is a god damn monster. Sauron is one of the first villains they’ve faced that could easily rip them limb from limb. He is a villain to fear, and I’m excited to see where he comes from. Issues 60 and 61 tell the story of his origin, his tragedy, and his first encounter with the X-Men.
Did you think we were done with the Living Pharaoh? Didn’t I warn you not to be fooled? He isn’t done giving the X-Men trouble, and he still has it in for Alex. What seemed like another short encounter with another forgettable villain has instead turned out to be a much greater plot that connects directly into the nest story arc. This tale will lead through the next four issues, and here we’ll talk about the first two, 56 and 57. We get some nasty new villains and the return of another old favorite.
Finally, Angel gets his origin told in the back pages of issues 54-56. This is the origin story that I was most excited to read. I might not have mentioned this before, but Angel has always been one of my favorite X-Men. He is my favorite original team member. Warren Worthington III is a very tortured soul, suffering from deep seated body image issues that Ben Grimm and Curt Connors might understand.
His origin stands out from the others in that he became a superhero completely on his own, fighting crime and busting crooks before the Professor ever discovered him. Warren even had an original costume that we’ve never seen before.
The X-Men have been on separate paths lately, disbanded and disheartened. With Professor Xavier still deceased, times are rough. What would it take to get this team back together? The greatest threat ever, obviously. Lucky for them such a threat is about to strike. This story arc is one of the boldest Marvel had delivered up to this point, spanning four issues, 49-52. We’ll see new enemies, new allies, and the return of an old favorite.
Issue 46 promises us a lot of satisfaction, as it delivers not only the supposed end of the X-Men, but the return of the Juggernaut. The team will have to face their most ferocious opponent without the aid of the Professor. Without Charles, they may have never defeated Cain Marko during their first encounter. How will they survive now? And is the team really finished? Can they somehow continue without Charles? (SPOILER: Yes, they can, but that happens much later.)
I just finished reading issue #1 and there is really a lot to talk about in this comic. Right from the start the scene is set with Professor X and his X-Men training in the Charles Xavier School for Gifted Youth. Angel, Cyclops, Beast, and Iceman are facing various exercises and obstacles under the mental commands of the Professor.