An incredibly odd title comes to an incredibly odd end as the penultimate and otherwise unremarkable part of a crossover. I have to admit, were I a big fan of New X-Men, I might feel a bit short changed. As it is, I can’t get too worked up, not least because the rumours of a “Young X-Men” title are flying thick and fast which will presumably fill the niche this book, and Generation X, and (the original) New Mutants occupied before it (though as an aside, having run the “New” branding into the ground off the back of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men, it seems Marvel are now eyeing up Young Avengers’ branding. What’s next? Young Daredevil? Young Punisher? Young New Excalibur?!)
Still, while it may not be much of a send-off for the plucky young group of cannon-fodder, it is a fairly decent chapter in its own right. There are some concerns, however. Rogue’s sudden reappearance as a major plot point doesn’t feel very foreshadowed, unless you’ve been reading the series prior to Messiah Complex, and her current “death touch” isn’t even mentioned shortly before it’s used to kill off Sinister, if you can believe that’s actually happened. Still, the idea of Mystique and Gambit working together in the Marauders is a logical one, and Gambit’s change of heart in giving the child to Xavier makes plenty of sense. There’s an excellent scene where Gambit looks over Sinister’s corpse and considers that if Sinister is dead, then his debt is truly over and he’s free again.
Perhaps the other major point in the issue is that the Predator-X arc finally intersects with the rest of the plot, which seems fitting because he is a New X-Men villain, after all. Faced with a battle they can’t win, the NXM have a fairly frantic battle which culminates in Pixie freaking out and teleporting the New X-Men – and more importantly Predator-X - to the X-Men, who she believes can stop it. Unfortunately, the X-Men are with mutant baby that made Predator-X go insane with hunger in the first place. Uhoh. It seems, then, that Predator-X will be providing the culminating battle, and in a few days we’ll get to see exactly how this all ends.