X-Men: The End...of Reason?

I think I should begin with the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed parts of this series, especially the way Rogue and Gambit were portrayed. The ever present, ever annoying "maybe, maybe not" aspect to their relationship was gone...they finally moved beyond that point. Although I love the fact that they are now married with children, I probably would have (eventually) been able to accept the idea of them broken up for good. Either way, the ridiculous cycle of pushing each other away and pulling each other close would be over and done with, something that was long overdue.

I thought both Rogue and Gambit were well written. I loved that Rogue, while upset that Gambit kidnapped both her and Emma's children, was quick to defend his actions. She knows him well enough to understand that while some of his actions may appear suspect, they are usually driven by good intentions that will be revealed in the future. She's determined to find her children, but won't blame Remy for what he's done until she finds out the why behind it. And I loved that Gambit was still Gambit...walking that fine line between right and wrong. Maybe it's more accurate to say that he tends to do the wrong things for the right reasons. In any case, he truly loves his children (as well as being protective of Emma's), and once he knows Sinister's reasons for wanting them, he gets them out of there. Fast.

The scene where Sinister revealed that he was Gambit's father was very "Luke - I am your father," but not entirely accurate. If Gambit is a clone of Sinister, then they are twin brothers. I guess one could argue that since Sinister created Gambit, he is Gambit's father. Genetically speaking, though, they are brothers. Take it from a girl with a M.S. in Biology.

Their final moments together, while tragic, are appropriate. And his willingness to ultimately sacrifice himself to ensure his children's future is noble. They died heroes.

But why does Rogue still have that stupid tattoo?

And then there's the rest of it...again, there were other parts that I liked. But some of it was preposterous...it made me want to punch someone in the face. Like the fact that so many of the past X-Men were included. I mean, on one hand, it is called X-Men: The End, which says it all. But on the other...I'm not sure we really needed minor characters like Slipstream and Lifeguard, who, to my knowledge, only appeared briefly in X-Treme X-Men. Did they really need to be included? Did anyone actually care what happened to them?

And what about the bad guys? What are the odds that all of the X-Men's enemies just happen to attack at the same time? Come on...does anyone really believe that any of these big baddies would be willing to share the spotlight? Or have the patience (and be able to set aside their egos long enough) to work together? If the answer is no...then are we supposed to believe that this is all a colossal coincidence? Let's take a moment to step back and name them all...there's the Kree, Warskrulls, Slavers, Apocalypse (though he only makes a brief appearance and is disposed of easily enough), Sinister, the Ladies Mastermind, the Brood, the Goblin Queen and her goons, the Technarx, Khan and Shaitan, and we mustn't forget Cassandra Nova.

Who the hell is Cassandra Nova? That was the first question I needed to answer. I know I've said that I'm not an X-Men expert - far from it - but I'm at least familiar with the major characters in the X-Universe. So the fact that I didn't know who she was bothered me. Still...I was willing to give Chris Claremont the benefit of a doubt...maybe there was some major event surrounding Ms. Nova that I missed somewhere along the way. Yeah. Right. Does anyone out there reading this know who Cassandra Nova is? If not, here are the basics - she's Xavier's "psychic twin" (for lack of a better term) that was pushed out of existence when they were in their mother's womb. Somehow her consciousness survived even though her body (since this...um...psychic parasite?...apparently copied Xavier's DNA and made herself a body, but baby Xavier killed it) was dead. Pissed off about being "murdered," and understandably so, Cassandra made it her life mission to destroy Xavier. Long story short, in the process she manages to take over his body and act all crazy, causing his lover Lilandra, the Majestrix of the Shi'ar, to go insane. Oh yeah, by the way, Lilandra is wrecking havoc on the universe in The End, so she could be considered yet another villain. But is she really abso-freakin'-lutely out of her mind, or is it her son - fathered by Xavier but secretly possessed by, you guessed it, Cassandra - screwing with her head? Worst. Character. Ever.

***I know this must be incredibly difficult to follow. Blame it on the writers for making it so much more complicated than it had to be.***

Where was I? Oh yeah...let me assure you that other than being an ill-conceived idea, Cassandra is one ugly chick. Especially since she seems to like taking Xavier's form...which means we are exposed to drawings of Xavier wearing lipstick, in drag. Deeply disturbing.

So in the end of The End, we find out that all these super-powerful, super-important telepaths aren't quite right in the head because they are just pieces of a whole. Both Cassandra and Xavier and Madelyne Pryor and Jean Grey (did I forget to mention that Phoenix rose yet again in this series? Oh well...I have a great affection for the Phoenix Force, so I can forgive this bit of silliness) are incomplete. Cassandra is Xavier's opposite, and Madelyne is the part of Jean that loved Scott more than life itself. In order to heal themselves, and the universe, they had to consent to join together. So the X-Men present take their places in the "tree of life," and move on to the next stage of existence...whatever that may be.

Whew. That was a mouthful. But I'm still not quite done. Xavier makes this big speech about how he was totally wrong about forming the X-Men...that the world didn't really hate mutants, that it was a reflection of his own hatred. Mutants should have never hidden their gifts from the "normal" humans...doing so just encouraged fear and hate.

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Is he on drugs? Seriously...as someone who is considered "different," I can honestly say that I don't hide from the world. I am who I am. I am unique. I love who I am. But I have spent most of my life as an outcast; even today, there are very few people who truly appreciate me for me. And I'm certainly not a mutant. So I want to know what the hell Xavier was smoking when he came to this conclusion. I never saw the X-Men as hiding from the world. His school was built around the idea of helping people learn to gain control over their powers. Where else were they going to get that kind of instruction? It's like going to a dance academy - if I want to become a professional dancer, then I'd apply to a school that focuses on dance. It doesn't mean that regular high schools or colleges are better or worse (or that I'm hiding from them)...just that I'm going to attend the school that meets my needs.

20 years after the main action of The End takes place, Kitty Pryde, in the final speech of the series, is president of the United States. And she claims that the X-Men's greatest enemy was themselves...only when they were able to meet that enemy were they able to end the conflict between mutants and humans. Why is it that I have a bad feeling about this statement? It implies that the conflict between humans and mutants were the mutants' fault, more specifically the X-Men's. And that's not fair. Nor is it anywhere close to being true. People will always hate what they don't understand, and try to destroy it...and I always felt like the X-Men's goal was to bridge the gap of fear and hatred that separated humans and mutants...