Continuing our look at X-Men Blue as it runs, it’s time for issue #3. If you haven’t read my take on issue #2 then you can find it just here. From here on out things are gunna be spoiler heavy as always. ONWARDS!
When we last left off with the young time-travelling X-Men, they were surrounded by the infamous Sentinels somewhere in Madrid. Greeted by the old automatons with the words “Greetings fellow mutants.” left us all on tenterhooks. Just what the hell is going on? Sentinels are built for one purpose, to target and destroy mutants with extreme prejudice.
However it’s our time-twisted friends who throw the first punches, going all out against the mechanical monsters with a spectacular, and ineffective, show of force. The Sentinels disable the X-Men without really lifting a finger and completely unscathed by the onslaught. We get introduced to a new face, Belen, an emerging mutant. Belen charges forward to stop the X-Men, professing how the Sentinels were helping her control her powers.
Madrid is in a bit of a state and it’s Belen’s fault. Her mysterious powers apparently caused all kinds of hell. Sentinels turned up and used their power dampening powers (yes I know) to shut her down and stop the madness. So why are the Sentinels being all friendly? Why are they referring to the mutants as their brethren?
Picking up our heroes in some fancy forcefields, they transport them back to their base, stating that their mission is to protect the X-Men. The Blackbird or the X-Jet, whatever it’s called, follows along diligently like a sad puppy. Along the way Jean tells Belen about the X-Men’s previous encounters with the Sentinels from back in their time period. Jean seems to harbour some particularly strong feelings towards them, despite arriving at their base and the Sentinels continuing to profess the X-Men’s safety.
Perhaps they have been reprogrammed by the as-of-yet Professor X or some other hero from the previous timelines.
Bastion, a fusion of Nimrod and Master Mold, greets the X-Men as a friend and draws attention to the nature of the younger faces and thanks some form of paradox for them having never met. Drawing attention to such a thing seems like kind of a bold move, but given the Time Transporter that Magneto is working on, I’m sure anything that happens gets fixed anyways.
Bastion tells a story of how he (or it I guess…?) encountered a mutant called Hope who carried the potential to lead a rebirth of the X-gene and restore their strength of numbers. Bastion set out with the intent to destroy her, but underestimated her powers. Bastion was forced to use a temporal shift and move himself into the future to avoid being totally destroyed, however the shift did corrupt his systems. His arrival showed that Hope had failed and the Terrigen poisoning had significantly decreased the number of mutants to border on extinction.
The corrupted, yet still evil looking, Bastion decides to set out to protect all mutants. Jean shuts down Bobby from giving away some information about their past encounters with the Terrigen mists. As to what this could be maybe someone more informed than I will be able to fill in the blanks, but it makes sense to let the ex-nemesis and evil robot looking dude talk. Bastion reprogrammed a group of sentinels to help protect mutants, and bring them to him in order to help save them. Yeah, and I’m the Queen of England.
Belen, being all bright eyed and bushy tailed throws in with him. Jean looks pretty shocked before realising she did the exact same thing with convincing the team to throw in with Magneto. The flash panel seems a little unnecessary, we went over this only last issue, not exactly the kind of plot point you forget. Bastion still looks pretty sketchy, glowing purple and having been hooked up to a whole bunch of cables and stuff when they arrived. How anyone could begin trusting him is a bit beyond me but whatever.
Hank chooses this moment to tell everyone, using Jean’s telepathic brain link, about Utility Functions. If anyone’s ever read I, Robot then you’ll have a pretty good understanding of the flaws of theoretical robot logic systems. Issac Asimov quite literally wrote the book on how this kind of things goes, or would go and it’s nice to see it holds up even today. If you haven’t read it, go read it, it’s great (I like the movie too but that’s a debate for another time).
Jean then asks about the elephant in the room. Why? Why is Bastion, the destroyer of all mutants would want to save the very things he’s programmed to destroy? Again pressuring the fourth wall Bastion tells us what we’re all thinking; He wants them to flourish so he can continue hunting and killing them. For once a robot achieves it’s goal then it has no purpose and a robot has to have a purpose. Its a deep theological rabbit hole that we could go down with that train of thought but again that’s for another time!
Instantly on the offensive the team leap into action and Jean assumes the mantle of leadership with expert skill despite her lack of experience from her original timeline. Bastion stands there totally unphased by it all and then just teleports himself and his Sentinels away.
The characteristic humour that we’ve come to expect packs itself pretty tightly into the last couple pages but that’s not a bad thing. Considering this issue #3 has got some pretty deep undertones (at least in my opinion), it’s nice to see the jovial nature of the young team shine through.
We’re treated to one final page however that features an interaction between Scott and Jean. Scott does the whole supportive boyfriend thing, although it’s not clear if they’re together in this particular continuity, standing by her despite her self-admitted missteps. He makes reference to Dark Phoenix as Jean has been a little carefree with her powers since arriving in the future. Allegedly forcing her will onto others and reading her friends thoughts without permission. Hardly the makings of a super villain but maybe a hint of something to come with future issues.
As an issue, #3 is pretty self contained. It ties up the story of the issue pretty neatly and leave it open for further developments to come through, we will undoubtedly be seeing Bastion and his cuddly sentinels again in the future. Maybe Jean is treading a dark path without knowing it right now and we’ll see the fearsome Dark Phoenix take charge, but right now that seems pretty thin. Hank makes a passing comment about asking Magneto where he got the jet but whether anything is going to come of that will remain to be seen, it does feel pretty throwaway!
One thing I did notice though was some slight inconsistencies in the characters designs. The majority of the art is fantastic as expected, but there’s a couple odd looking angles and facial expressions that just seem a little off. It’s not a deal breaker at all, but I couldn’t help but notice. As I’ve said though, the rest of the art is fantastic as expected!
As always feel free to tweet or comment any thoughts, theories or opinions and we’ll see you in two weeks! Well….a little less since this article is late but you get the idea!
Stay classy, True Believers!