In honor of Jean Grey’s first ongoing series, it seemed like a good time to touch on an important bit of Marvel lore: Clones, swerves and all-powerful alien simulacra aside, and regardless of what internet wags would have you believe, Miss Grey has actually died exactly once

This is that story.  Your Major Spoilers (Retro) Review of New X-Men #150 awaits!

NEW X-MEN #150

Writer: Grant Morrison
Penciler: Phil Jiminez
Inker: Andy Lanning, Simon Coleby
Colorist: Chris Chuckry
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Mike Marts
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
Current Near-Mint Pricing: $4.00

Previously in New X-Men: After months of hiding in plain sight as one of the X-Men, Magneto has finally revealed himself.  Worse still, his grudge against Charles Xavier and the X-Men has gone nuclear.  Phoenix and Wolverine have been stranded on Asteroid M, left to die in airless space.  The rest of the X-Men have been scattered, Professor X has once again been rendered paraplegic, and Magneto has declared the city of New York his new base, dubbing it New Genosha.

Next, the entire planet will fall…

…though not if The Phoenix has anything to say about it.  Last issue, Logan chose to give Jean Grey a way out of a fiery death, but in piercing her heart with his claws, he only awoke the alien Phoenix force within her.  Fully empowered, Jean pulls the pieces of Asteroid M together with her telekinesis, and prepares to return to Earth…

Her first stop is a crash site in the Pacific Ocean, where she gathers The Beast and The White Queen (who, by the way, looks utterly amazing; if I had my way, all X-books would be drawn by Phil Jiminez forever) and heads back to the U.S.  As the President weighs a strike on New York and Magneto, the mutant Master of Magnetism finds things spinning out of control in his camp.  His lieutenants are questioning his judgement, and one heroic X-Man has made his way into Magneto’s campground…

‘Course, it’s Beak, who literally has no real powers.

And he’s attacking with a metal baseball bat that Magneto easily takes from him with a wave of his magnetic fingers.

But at least he serves as a distraction long enough for the combat-machine known as Fantomex to make the scene…

Fantomex easily dispatches The Toad with twin shots to the kneecaps (!!), but when he targets Magneto himself, things aren’t quite as cut and dried, as bullets are just as ferromagnetic as Beak’s bat…

…which turns out to be the plan.  Thanks to a little computer-brain thinkiness, Fantomex’s bullet trajectories strike the glass tube in which Professor Xavier has been imprisoned.  Fantomex likewise falls to a magnetic trap, but where the B and C list X-Men failed, they opened up a line of attack for the A-team.  Cyclops blasts the floor out from under Magnus’ very feet, attacking with an uncharacteristic ferocity…

A traitor in the team’s midst has finally shaken the ennui that has grasped the leader of the X-Men (remember, this is only a few issues after his telepathic affair with Emma Frost was revealed, taking place right under his wife’s nose and/or cerebral cortex), and he responds to “Xorn’s” betrayal with anger.

Anger and ray-beam eye blasts that can shatter concrete.

With his psi-dampening helmet destroyed, Magneto finds himself under telepathic assault as well as shattered eardrums, severe burns and the head-trauma that comes with a point-blank Cyclops eye-blast.  He prepares himself to face his old nemesis, Charles Xavier, only to find that Esme Cuckoo (one of the clone-batch “daughters” of Emma Frost) has turned on him.  In desperation, Magneto cements his fate by murdering a teenager out of sheer desperation…

It’s a turning point for not only Magneto, but his bid for control and for his army, as more X-Men arrive.  The White Queen bids farewell to Esme, while The Beast parlays with the United States Government…

Say what you will about Grant Morrison’s writing, but nobody does “weird and alienated” better than him, and the fact that Dr. McCoy has to resort to some very pointed terms in his negotiations put the test to that sentiment.  After all, these aren’t heroes, nor are they government-sponsored, like The Avengers.  Indeed, it seems that one of the X-Men’s own has made a bid to take over the world, there’s no reason why the sapiens would trust him.  Magneto is forced to don his Xorn helmet again, to try to keep the telepaths out, but finds that his followers don’t believe that he is the real Magneto.  As more X-Men arrive to the fight, they use that very doubt against him…

Magneto confronts the X-Men in the middle of Fifth Avenue, as crowds gather to witness…  whatever is going to happen.  That’s when Phoenix arrives to finally call Magneto’s bluff…

The crowd turns on him, shouting that the real Magneto wouldn’t have messed up this bad, that he’s clearly not the real thing, and his facial injuries make him unrecognizable when he sheds his helmet in a desperate bid to prove himself.  That’s when Professor X finally makes his presence known, with a blistering rebuke of his former friend…

Professor X brings Magneto down one final time, but he manages to use his power in a final strike against Phoenix, giving Jean a massive, fatal stroke before demanding that the X-Men make him immortal in death.

Wolverine obliges, because he knows that violence is not the answer: Violence is the question, the answer is “Hell yes!”  Magneto’s severed head bounces away into the streets, forgotten as an X-Men dies…

“All I ever did…  was die on you,” murmurs Jean as she expires in her beloved’s arms.

Strangely, this isn’t the end of Morrison’s New X-Men, there is one final arc that I don’t particularly care for that follows this one and brings it all around to a close.  But this one really has it all: Desperate stakes, mutants in flux, a seemingly omnipotent foe…  It even ends with Wolverine finally getting his claws on the man he’s wanted to kill since the earliest days of the All-New All-Different X-Men, though Marvel editorial would retcon the story within a few months.  Still, regardless of later tales undermining it, New X-Men #150 is a corker, with amazing Phil Jiminez art, a Morrison plot that unwinds with clockwork precision and a couple of really important moments in X-Men history, earning a well-deserved 5 out of 5 stars overall.  Even though later stories ruin nearly everything that works in these pages (that’s not hyperbole, either, that is a philosophical truth), this issue is one hell of a standalone read, serving as a depressing-but-excellent final chapter to the saga of the New X-Men…

In honor of Jean Grey's first ongoing series, it seemed like a good time to touch on an important bit of Marvel lore: Clones, swerves and all-powerful alien simulacra aside, and regardless of what internet wags would have you believe, Miss Grey has actually died exactly once... This is that story.  Your Major Spoilers (Retro) Review of New X-Men #150 awaits! NEW X-MEN #150 Writer: Grant Morrison Penciler: Phil Jiminez Inker: Andy Lanning, Simon Coleby Colorist: Chris Chuckry Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos Editor: Mike Marts Publisher: Marvel Comics Cover Price: $3.50 Current Near-Mint Pricing: $4.00 Previously in New X-Men: After months…
As long as you don't try to reconcile what comes before or after it, this issue is excellent stuff, with Jiminez and Morrison at the top of their respective games...

NEW X-MEN #150

Writing
Art
Coloring

As long as you don't try to reconcile what comes before or after it, this issue is excellent stuff, with Jiminez and Morrison at the top of their respective games...

User Rating: 4.28 ( 2 votes)

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Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

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