Continuing under the banner of ResurreXion, the time-displaced Original X-Men have joined forces with arch-nemesis Magneto as their mentor. This time Jean Grey takes over as leader as they seek out mutant criminals around the globe. Taking the volume title Strangest from their original subtitle (The Strangest Super-Heroes of All) we follow their exploits from the seedy underbelly of Madripoor as the fight against the likes of Juggernaut, Bastian and Mister Sinister.
I have been a fan of the writer, Cullen Bunn for years and to be honest, if he wasn’t writing this, I wouldn’t bother picking it up. While I love the O5, I can’t be bothered with these time-displaced versions. When they were brought them to the present their whole schtick was that they were the actual real versions of the original X-Men – if something happened to them then their present counterparts would be affected too. But as time progressed their presence has caused them to divert the timestream and now they are in essence alternate universe characters. And when we have so many deserving prime universe characters not getting attention, seeing this title infuriates me a bit.
When the older Beast brings them to the present, it’s to show Cyclops how far he’s fallen. But when he can’t send them back, they are stuck here and decide to make the most of it. While 3 of them can actually interact with older counterparts, Angel and Jean can’t since their older versions are essentially dead. This leads to some interesting drama and during an outer space adventure, Angel changes his wings to cosmically powered fire wings. So, to me, I feel like this makes them alternate universe characters and not the prime characters. And while I have a soft spot for the O5, I can just be happy reading the old Stan Lee adventures instead of this.
Over the course of the 6 issues collected here, you see some compelling super- heroics and even the cynic in me smiled quite a bit. There’s a charm Bunn is channeling here and a mystery to their alliance with Magneto that is interesting enough to keep me on board. If you are a fan of the original X-Men, I think that you would like this collection and find their interactions engaging and fun.
Cullen has been writing a fantastic Magneto for quite a while and seeing him interact with the O5 is a real treat, and honestly the main reason to get this title. But I must say a real groan inducing moment is when the team finds their Wolverine in the Ultimate Universe (an imprint that existed for about 15 years before being destroyed/merged into a new Prime Marvel Universe – I know) Jimmy Hudson. I did enjoy reading about him before, but I’m not too keen on having another Logan spawn scurrying around.
The artwork is bright and clear and the costume redesigns are interesting. I feel though that the longer these O5 stay here, the more annoying it will be to see them over other characters. But I will give them another collection and take it from there.