Welcome to Unsung Marvel Moments, where we bring you the Marvel moments worth talking about! Each week we’ll be highlighting some of the most exciting, emotional, and action-packed scenes in Marvel’s comics that we think deserve your attention. We got you covered on the Marvel moments you don’t want to miss! 

But beware, spoilers abound! 

This week was the week of the X-Men in the world of Marvel comics! August 15th saw the release of both EXTERMINATION #1 and ASTONISHING X-MEN ANNUAL #1. With X-MEN BLUE and X-MEN GOLD wrapping up soon, these pivotal issues can tell us a lot about the future for the X-Men.

Without further ado, let’s dive into this week’s mutant-centric installment of Marvel Unsung Moments!

EXTERMINATION #1 – Cable’s End

EXTERMINATION #1 page 27. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Marvel isn’t exactly known for starting miniseries with off-the-bat excitement. Earlier this year, the VENOMIZED miniseries failed to deliver any notable action until the last issue, making for a very boring beginning. I assumed EXTERMINATION would follow the same path, but writer Ed Brisson completely surprised me. Within the first few pages, Bloodstorm dies, and by the end of the issue, X-Men fan-favorite Cable follows suit. Or, at least a version of Cable. The last panel in the issue shows the true face of Earth-616 Cable’s killer: a younger version of Cable. Got to love comics, right?

This issue is undoubtedly a little confusing, but I’m glad Brisson tried to pack in so much. I think it’s a sign that this miniseries has a lot to say. I don’t want to predict what will happen or say whether or not the series will be “good” at this point since there’s only one issue out. But, from what I’ve seen of Brisson’s ingenious dialogue and Pepe Larraz’s spectacular art, I’m impressed.

A Mother and Her Son

Brisson handled all the character interactions perfectly, but his shining star in this issue was the “Old” Jean. After Cable’s death, Jean and Nightcrawler leave their Atlantean hiding place to get the details on their friend’s untimely passing. Jean, without the Phoenix, isn’t an angry person but you feel her unbridled rage through her words and Larraz’s facial expressions. Something a lot of fans forget is that Jean raised Cable as her son. They are family and Brisson acknowledges that by having Jean call Cable her “son.” Raise your hand if you also got a little emotional at that point.

This issue is full of twists, turns, and downright free falls. Brisson and Larraz give us a lot to mull over before EXTERMINATION #2, which is good since I think we all need a little time to sit back and think about what this all means for the X-Men.

ASTONISHING X-MEN ANNUAL #1 – Just Like Old Times?

ASTONISHING X-MEN ANNUAL #1 pg. 28. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

As an extremely loyal X-Men fan, this issue was hard for me to read. I love seeing the original X-Men (minus Cyclops) get back together, but the way writer Matthew Rosenberg does it is distinctly off-kilter. Yes, they’re back together, and Jean’s alive again, but everyone is different. Things have changed, and they aren’t the same kids who graduated from Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Perhaps the biggest change in their lives is Charles Xavier — the man who was once dead and is now, miraculously, back again. Sort of.

The Real Prof. X

If you’ve been reading ASTONISHING X-MEN, you know that Charles’ psyche used Fantomex’s body in order to resurrect himself. So, now he’s back in a much younger body that can walk…which is honestly a little weird. In ASTONISHING X-MEN ANNUAL #1, the new Charles interrupts the dinner Jean organized for the original X-Men members. He invites them back to a town that, as they soon discover, has been taken over by the same alien who broke Charles’ legs years ago. Charles wants the team to kill the alien, which they, of course, refuse to do. At the last minute, Angel, as Arch Angel, agrees. After the fight, Charles wipes everyone’s memories…except for Angel’s.

We’ve known for a while now that Charles isn’t a great guy. He had a crush on Jean Grey when she was under sixteen and forced the sentient Danger Room to unwillingly do his bidding for years. He isn’t always the nice professor we like to think of him as, and this issue really embodies that — whether you like it or not.

Next Week in Unsung Marvel Moments

The week of August 22nd sees the continuation of a few of Marvel’s many new series. LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL #2, SENTRY #3, and X-MEN RED #7 are a few of the big ones coming out next week. We’ll also see the release of PUNISHER #1 and the eagerly-anticipated WEST COAST AVENGERS #1. Check back in next week to see which issues make our list!

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