In a Nutshell
A young Xavier & Magnus encounter Legion in the past, while in the present, Lilandra delivers a dire warning.
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Pencils: Andy Kubert
Inker: Matt Ryan
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Colorist: Kevin Somers
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco
In the past, Xavier invites his friend & hospital co-worker Magnus to dinner, after which Magnus has an encounter with an amnesiac "John Doe" patient. In the present, the X-Men scour the Negev Desert for their missing teammates but discover only Phoenix, who informs them that Legion has taken the rest of the X-Men into the past. Back at the mansion, Sabretooth, believing the place empty, attempts to escape, only to discover Wolverine has returned home. In the past, Magnus is tending to John Doe when Doe suddenly reaches into Magnus mind, discovering the horrors in his past. Magnus rushes off to find Xavier, believing Doe to be one of the mutants they've discussed recently, and when they return to the hospital, they discover John Doe psychically manifesting both fire and images of strange individuals. In the present, Cable & Domino rendezvous with the X-Men at Xavier's behest, but they are interrupted by the sudden appearance of a Lilandra, appearing via a holographic transmission to warn the X-Men that Legion's actions in the past pose a threat to the fabric of all reality. When Xavier asks how she could possibly know this, Lilandra reveals that she is surrounded by a half dozen Watchers, the deliverers of the warning.
Firsts and Other Notables
"Legion Quest" continues, with Legion and the X-Men in the past (circa the events of Uncanny X-Men #161) but partially amnesiac: the time lost X-Men remember their names, relationships with one another, and their powers, but aren’t sure what they’re doing in Israel or why they were all wearing aerobic suits covered in the letter X, whereas Legion is a patient residing in the psychiatric hospital where Xavier & Magneto work.
The issue concludes with Lilandra warning the X-Men of the threat to reality posed by Legion's actions, a threat reinforced by the presence of multiple Watchers, the cosmic beings whose presence is shorthand for "big important things are happening in this story".
Cable joins the present day X-Men in Israel, coming at the request of Xavier, though he tells him that he no longer possesses the ability to travel through time, as his time displacement core currently resides at the bottom of the ocean (as of Cable #3/X-Force #22).
Wolverine returns to the X-Mansion, and the series, for the first time since issue #25 (not counting his off-page appearance in #30), in a two page interlude setting up his showdown with Sabretooth in Wolverine #90 (more in that review about how absolutely bonkers it was that the X-Men’s most popular character was written out of X-Men comics at arguably the height of their popularity for over a year). It's a little odd that Sabretooth is trying to escape, considering he technically turned himself over to the X-Men voluntarily for treatment (and returned of his own volition after breaking free of his restraints in issue #37), but it ultimately comes down to needing an excuse for Wolverine's dramatic entry.
It’s said that Asian Psylocke has a British accent, and I can’t decide if that makes sense or not (accents arent caused by anything physical - I could have a British accent if I wanted - but voices are, somewhat, since not every person sounds the same).
Magnus, after rightly pointing out the line Xavier has crossed by dating a patient, ponders if he’s jealous of Xavier’s relationship, or just his capacity to dream of a better world, foreshadowing his role in Age of Apocalypse, when he is the architect of the X-Men’s dream.
The Chronology Corner
Cable appears here after X-Force #41 (and before X-Force #43), and between issues #19 and #20 of his solo series. Wolverine, obviously, appears between issues #89 and #90 of his book.
A Work in Progress
Ncieza & Kubert do that thing where the issue opens on Xavier in a wheelchair, before pulling out as Xavier stands up, revealing the story is taking place a time before he was injured and is still capable of walking.
Archangel comments that even with his enhanced eyesight, he’s having a hard time seeing through the sandstorm, a reference to one his rarely-mentioned “bird-like” powers that complement his ability to fly.
He’s also started wearing his old blue & white, halo icon costume, in lieu of his blue and red Archangel suit. This will be his default look pretty much until Claremont’s return to the series (and the debut of new unified looks for the characters) circa issue #100 of this series.
Beast reminds everyone that he’s still technically the field leader of the X-Men, and I can’t really blame Gambit for forgetting that, since I did too.
When the amnesiac Legion reads Magnus’ mind, one of the Nazis is depicted as the same kind of monster as in Gabrielle Haller’s mind in X-Men #161.
Xavier considers Legion to be only the second Mutant he’s encountered (after Amahl Farouk), though he has suspicions of Magnus (at this point, before the events of Uncanny #161, he doesn’t yet know Magneto is a mutant).
Upon his arrival in Israel, Cable is promptly accosted by the authorities; he suggests they may be confusing him with Stryfe, while Domino jokes that it's hard to keep track of all the places where they're wanted.
Archangel is determined not to lose Psylocke so soon after they both found happiness with each other.
Technically, this is the second part of "Legion Quest", but this is really where the story kicks into gear. Part 1 established Legion as a legitimate powerhouse threat to the X-Men before throwing everyone back in time, but this is where both the meat of the overall plot and the stakes involved get laid out. A group of X-Men are in the past, quasi-amnesiac, bumping into Young Xavier & Young Magneto, who are unknowingly drawn into the orbit of a similarly-amnesiac Legion, while in the present, the rest of the X-Men call in their time-traveling big gun just as Lilandra shows up, backed by a coterie of Watchers, doubling-down on the appearance of Jahf to underscore just how dangerous Legion's trip to the past is. The romp through Xavier's past, Cable's presence, the galactic consequences, heck, even the return of Wolverine, all lend a sense of grandeur to the issue, combined with some top notch work from Kubert who uses some dramatic figures & panel compositions along with both full and double-page spreads to amp up the energy If Uncanny #320 sold the idea that Legion's threat is legitimate, this is the chapter that makes it clear just how epic this story is.
Tomorrow, Warpath & Emma Frost have a therapy session in X-Force #42. Friday, "The Soulsword Trilogy" concludes in Excalibur #85. Next week, Rogue gets the miniseries treatment.
Like what you read? Support us on Patreon!