[This post is part of a series of posts dedicated to an issue by issue look at Grant Morrison's run on New X-Men. For more of the same click the New X-Men label at the bottom of this post.]
In the essay I wrote for Reconstruction years ago I noted that a writer's run on a title was like the translation of canonical poetry -- a new version of old things for a new generation of readers. Just as "Assault on Weapon Plus" was Morrison's take on the Weapon X program, "Here Comes Tomorrow" is his take on "Days of Future Past". What is important is that he chooses to end his run by jumping in the far future -- a future with Wolverine still around doing his cool Wolverine swagger, a future where the Beast still alive (as a version of the X-Men villain Apocalypse -- he is the Beast of the Apocalypse obsessed as Apocalypse is, with genetic perfection), a future with an original sentinel is still around, a future in which Phoenix is back (again) dressing slutty (again), and a future with warhead shaped boobs drawn by Mark Silvestri. Morrison's point with Magneto was that the X-Men are stuck in a cycle. In "Here Comes Tomorrow" it turns out that the future looks a lot like X-Men comics in the 1990s. The cycle goes on for as far as the eye can see.
And yet "Here Comes Tomorrow" is also the freshest thing in the run since Fantomex and Cassandra Nova, because in the future -- outside of the X-Men franchise, in a space that need not effect the tenure of any future writer -- Morrison gets to break out and just have the fun he should have been having all along. What makes the tone of "Here Comes Tomorrow" fascinating is that stale and fresh slam together -- Morrison can do whatever he wants, invent ANYTHING and play crazy games: and he remaps the world, giving us Tranatlantas, and Megamerica (Morrison is great at naming things). But is this world new? His final four issues, rather than being straight ahead inventive, invoke ideas from his previous thirty-seven -- Casandra Nova is back, E.V.A. is back, Fantomex may be back (I will talk about this in issue 154) the U-Men are back (well, one of them), John Sublime is back (in an odd form), the Cookoos are still around, the grandson of Beak is still around, Martha the human brain is still around. Morrison, like all X-Men writers, had to re-translate the canonical X-Men stories in his run; his run ends as he re-translates all the elements he introduced, a kind of reflexive micro version of the whole project. Just as his 41 issues revised X-Men history, his final four issues revise his own run.
It is an amazing way to end things. Morrison is very good at endings.