Marvel’s All-New NOW! renumbering, reboot, refresh — at this point, I’m not really sure what’s going on — is at its most perplexing this month as X-Men #10.NOW, also labeled as Ghosts #1, continues as part four of the six part Muertas storyline.
The new Sisterhood is already one step ahead with the meteorite that carried Arkea to Earth now in their possession.
Escalation is the issue’s theme with Sabra and Gabriel Shepherd joining the X-Men, Jubilee and Karima Shapandar using their espionage skills to lock onto Ana Cortes’ position, and Rachel Grey interrogating her former boyfriend John Sublime.
Sublime feels Arkea come back online, and the effects are devastating. After possessing Reiko, Arkea gives power to Cortes, Typhoid Mary, and the Enchantress who has been freed from Odin’s imprisonment.
A new story arc for the X-Men begins with the introduction of teenager Ana Cortes, a heiress coming into control of her deceased father’s powerful company.
Ana’s return to her company’s headquarters in Bogota, Colombia, launches a new story arc that brings back two familiar characters to the X-Universe — the first of whom is Yuriko Oyama — aka Lady Deathstrike — whose consciousness is downloaded directly into a data port in Ana’s neck.
Now reserved to going back to the past, the original X-Men sans Beast and Iceman, head back to the Jean Grey School for Time Cube transport. When the future X-Men are notified of where the missing classic X-Men have gone, things get very twisted as the future X-Men are revealed for who they really are.
Young Jean Grey and Scott Summers have left the building, and the X-Men are in hot pursuit in X-Men #5, the third part of the Battle of the Atom crossover.
The future X-Men have come back through time to correct the current X-Men’s mistake of bringing the classic X-Men into the present in All-New X-Men #16, the second chapter of the Battle of the Atom crossover event.
Professor Charles Xavier’s grandson Xavier, Deadpool, Kitty Pryde, Iceman, Beast, and a mysterious figure wearing Xorn’s mask introduce themselves as the future X-Men team of this current timeline. A healthy — and predictable — amount of doubt and suspicion add to the tension when a sudden loss of control by Wolverine sends the various teams into a ruckus.
In the aftermath, everyone left in the room realizes Jean Grey and Scott Summers have used the manufactured circumstances to escape the premises in the team’s Blackbird.
To go the opposite extreme and bring in an aged X-Men team with a membership made up of some surprise choices, Brian Michael Bendis connects the dots to create the basic and most tenable conflict: The original X-Men must go home. The X-Men of the future are well aware of the consequences, and for the sake of the world and team — hindsight is also 20/20 — the mutants of the future plead to the mutants of the past: Fix this.
The big X-Men event of the year is finally here with Battle of the Atom #1, the first part of a major crossover that will continue in the pages of various X-Books before concluding in next month’s Battle of the Atom #2.
Last issue ended with a countdown, and time’s run out. Strangely, there’s no explosion, but that doesn’t mean the X-Students are in the clear. Things eventually go from bad to worse, but students Primal, Bling, Pixie, and Hellion show Professor Pryde how well they handle duress by working together to stay alive. They eventually discover that Arkea’s hacked into various systems from the Danger Room to the main servers, and Pryde makes the difficult decision to phase through the control center if they want to prevent Arkea’s cyberattack from spreading to machines outside of the X-Mansion.
In Bangladesh, the X-Men follow Arkea’s trail to the Szent Margit Institute. It’s obviously strange that Arkea has returned to the point of her origin, but Sublime informs the team that his sister is reassembling herself using the cybernetic implants given to the patients inside the hospital.
The pages of All-New X-Men have seen some bitter and acrimonious debates waged between the X-Men and Avengers members who’ve been torn apart by last year’s AvX event.
Standing in the bullseye of those arguments, are two similar but very different representations of the same character — the past and future versions of Cyclops. The modern Cyclops has turned into a polarizing figure who’s found acceptance from the general public and a bitter disregard by once-loyal teammates he once fought alongside. It’s a bit of an ironic twist in which Cyclops has gained the world, but many in the mutant community have wondered whether he’s lost his soul.
When Cyclops — the present version — showed up at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning last issue, the scene was set for a possible epic showdown between the rival X-Men teams. With three different X-Men teams present, the fight could have gone in a spectacular amount of directions depending on how and who the members allied themselves.