Again in this issue the art is looking rushed -- the rushed job makes the scenes of X-Force, trapped in a tunnel with Weapon 12 who has an electric mushroom brain and can corrupt you into a zombie under his control with just a touch, look extra terrifying. In these pages Kordey intends for you not to be able to tell what is going on and it works to great effect. Not so good elsewhere in the issue, as for example in the panel in which Xavier says "Now, Jean".
E.V.A, Fantomex's living flying saucer -- complete with electric lights -- that is both his partner and his mutation is a marvel of absurdity. One of the things that elevates Fantomex from a mere parody of a "bad-ass" character is that a character like, say, Hawkeye in the Ultimates, should be relatively simple, relatively economical. He shoots stuff at people, mostly arrows, and he is deadly. That's his thing. Fantomex is a bit like that -- as I said Monday he looks like a G.I. Joe figure and shoots people like a "lunatic ninja Matrix freak" as a member of X-Force calls him in this issue. But then there is that flying saucer that just needlessly -- and playfully -- complicates him. This guy is almost literally too much. Also he shoots white bullets with little ghost heads on them, a detail never explained. Remember that his power is probably just misdirection, as Morrison keeps hinting -- none of these things are probably any more real that his little old blind mother who sits in his mansion and still thinks it is their old house. To absurd to be true -- you bet, that is the point. He is just too much fun. When he takes Xavier and Jean -- the two most powerful X-Men by a long-shot -- with him into the tunnel and then playfully calls them with "To me, my X-Men," the old school X-Men call to arms Morrison alluded to at the end of his first story arc, you have to love this guy. Best comic book character of all time. I cannot say enough about him. My only complaint is that, as someone pointed out, Quitely never drew him.
In the end Jean is so sexually attracted to him she lets him go. There is a joke here I think about how if Wolverine is Weapon X (Ten) and Fantomex is Weapon XIII, his evolutionary superior, Jean must be EVEN MORE DRAWN TO HIM. The detail that Fantomex can effectively read minds by reading body language -- he can tell Jean finds him sexy because of the direction of her pelvis (!?) -- is hilarious, and also a send up of Wolverine's heightened senses. We have gone way past sniffing people.
Mark Millar's Ultimate X-Men established, for me, the definitive portrayal of Xavier -- dark, manipulative, possibly (like the Authority) a bad guy who only thinks he is a good guy, or, even worse, just a bad guy with very good PR. (I wrote extensively about this in my essay for Reconstrction that I linked to in my last New X-Men post). Whedon picks this up and tries to do a dark Xavier in "Danger" (Astonishing X-Men), but it is too little to late. Morrison does a dark Xavier here in just a line that I like -- Xavier tells a human he has no time for Chimpanzee politics, not a nice thing to say to a race he publicly considers equals. Millar owns this territory, and Morrison cannot do much to add to it, but he is running on the same lines. If post-humans are free from human rules, judged by us the reader (merely human ourselves) they might very well look like the bad guys.