WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for X-Men Blue #19, by Cullen Bunn, R.B. Silva, Adriano Di Benedetto, Rain Beredo and Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
Time is broken in the Marvel Universe, and it’s up to the mutant team of X-Men Blue to fix it. Of course, the timestream wouldn’t be in the state it is if not for the original, younger X-Men from the past being displaced in the first place. There’s also the fact that it appears someone has gone out of their way to tamper with time, to the effect that people in the current-day (Magneto, Polaris and Danger) have begun to blink out of existence, causing numerous paradoxes as a result.
The multi-part “Cross Time Capers” story arc has seen the X-Men Blue unit attempt a time-travel adventure to set things right. But this being comics, things don’t go according to plan. Instead of landing back in their correct point in time, the X-Men are taken to several other pre-determined temporal coordinates. There, they first meet a future team of X-Men in the year 2099, followed by an interaction with the mid-90s’ mutants-in-training from Generation X. Eventually, our heroes land in the past just in time to witness Magneto fighting… themselves?
This, of course, begs the question: If the original X-Men were taken from their time, then who are these pretenders? Cullen Bunn, R.B. Silva, Adriano Di Benedetto, Rain Beredo and Joe Caramagna answer that in X-Men Blue #19, with a callback to Brian Michael Bendis’ period as the writer of All-New X-Men.
This Can’t Be Real, Can It?
The issue begins with the aforementioned battle between what looks like the original X-Men and Magneto. Something else that seems off is the apparent deaths of the remaining members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Toad) at the hands of these X-Men pretenders. Cyclops and Jean Grey remember the fight, but not like this. The original X-Men would never resort to killing an adversary, so what has changed?
Whoever these alleged heroes are, they’re determined to put an end to the Master of Magnetism. A walking Charles Xavier notes that times change, and so do ideals. This Charles sounds like he’s rethought his dream of humans and mutants living together in harmony, and is prepared to wipe Magneto off the map with some help from an incoming nuclear missile.
Interestingly enough, our X-Men imitators teleport away with the phrase “bodyslide” before the missile arrives. This term and technology came to prominence when the time-traveling mutant Cable first started making regular appearances in New Mutants and X-Force. He would always say it before teleporting to different locations, and sometimes, different timelines.
We next seem them at the X-Mansion, surveying the results of their handiwork. Charles senses that they have company, which leads him and Angel to consult Cerebro. Why Angel, who has no psychic abilities, was chosen will become apparent later on — now, what’s important is the reveal of the real Charles Xavier, under the control of a modified Cerebro unit.
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