WARNING: This article contains spoilers for X-Men Blue #35 by Cullen Bunn, Marcus To, Matt Milla and VC’s Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
With Marvel’s Extermination event underway, time is almost up for the younger, time-displaced members of X-Men Blue. After spending the last couple of years in the present, the publisher is preparing to ship the Original Five X-Men back to their proper place in the timeline during Extermination.
Of course, these events spell the end of X-Men Blue as an ongoing series, and writer Cullen Bunn and artist Marcus To are spending the final two issues with Jean Grey, Beast, Iceman, Angel and Cyclops saying their last goodbyes to their older counterparts as they prepare to step up and travel back to the past.
The timing of the Original Five deciding to go home is convenient, seeing as the story takes place before Extermination #1. Even the X-Men have realized they’ve overstayed their welcome, so why not spend some time reflecting on how much they have changed both physically and emotionally? Fans got a glimpse of these changes in Marvel’s Extermination post-credits scenes that popped up in X-Men titles, jumping 19 years into the future to display the world the younger, Original Five X-Men helped create.
However, it’s still a mystery what transpired in those 19 years. Magneto’s trip to the future revealed a new incarnation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, along with the knowledge that Iceman died, leaving Jean, Cyclops, Beast and Angel the only remaining members of the original X-Men. While it can be fun to see alternate takes on familiar characters in time-traveling stories, we often don’t learn how some changes came to be. Though the same can be said here, X-Men Blue #35 does offer a sneak peek at certain events that came to define the Original Five 19 years from now.
A Phoenix Versus A Devourer Of Worlds
Young Jean and Adult Jean get together in Cefalu, Italy, the location of their first meeting in Generations: Phoenix & Jean Grey. As the leader of X-Men Blue, Young Jean is informing Adult Jean of her teammate’s plan to return home. For a moment the topic drifts to talk of the timeline being set in stone, and whether Young Jean is destined to forget everything she’s experienced in order to grow up and become the Adult Jean in front of her.
We know from Extermination that the Original Five don’t return home, and it’s here that we jump ahead to their future, with what’s left of Galactus hovering over a city with four Silver Surfers. Instead of coming to feast on Earth, Galactus is looking to settle a score with Jean Grey and the Phoenix Force.
This isn’t the first time the two cosmic deities have squared off, as a Silver Surfer claims Jean destroyed the flesh of Galactus. Adult Jean and the Phoenix parted ways in Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey, but things won’t go the same for Young Jean in the future. The feud also seems predicated on Jean punching Galactus, which is something Jean shares in common with Squirrel Girl. Before the scene ends, Jean sets up to deliver another crushing and humiliating blow to Galactus’ carcass.
Of course, the entire reason the Original Five are in the present is because Adult Beast plucked the team from the timestream in an effort to guilt-trip Cyclops. Adult Beast admits to his younger self that he miscalculated and made a mistake, but Young Beast has his own problems to deal with. He has recently started dabbling in magic, which goes against his scientific nature. Though he has it under control for now, the future shows Young Beast will succumb to the magical influence of the Goblin Queen to fight against fellow X-Man, Magik.
Just as Adult Beast has undergone a few different physical transformations, Young Beast’s final form is that of the gray-haired, demon-horned servant of the Goblin Queen, Madeline Pryor. The Goblin Queen made an appearance in an X-Men Blue arc, but Beast’s teammates were able to drive her away. As for Magik, her physical appearance has changed as well, with the ruler of Limbo looking similar to the flashback scene of Magneto’s future Brotherhood in X-Men Blue #33.
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