[This post is part of a series of posts looking issue by issue at Grant Morrison's New X-Men run; for more of the same click the new X-Men label at the bottom of this post].
The last of John Sublime's 3rd Species U-Men is seen here for the first time -- he works for the Beast, calls himself Apollyon the Destroyer, and may be Fantomex (which we will talk about in two more issues). We have a reader here doing a thesis on Morrison's New X-Men: he noticed that in The World Fantomex and EVA are like Adam and Eve; here, if this is Fantomex, he has gone from being a figure at the beginning of Christian time, to one at the end -- Apolloyon is a figure from the biblical Apocalypse.
I have come around to liking Mark Silvestri's art on this book, but occasionally it does not work; here it is just too self-serious for drawing something like a mutant who has a magic flying car. Morrison needs an artist who is fun for his fun ideas.
When Tom tells the children that the good guys always win, and one of them replies flatly that current statistical thinking suggests otherwise -- that is one of my favorite little lines in the book. I really don't know why, though. Tom is a great character, and playing his connection to a giant old school sentinel and his attraction to EVA as a love triangle is great fun, a great twist on an old formula.
The three remaining Cookoos describe the horror of the Beast taking over the world: "Evolution will grind to a halt. The future will belong to mass produced biological conformity." In terms of Morrison's little meta-story, this is his condemnation of the X-Men franchise that he simply cannot do anything with -- the future of superhero fiction is mass produced conformity.
And just another note on Morrison being great at naming things: Panafrica and Extrailia.
The highlight of this issue is a great two page spread of the team going off to fight the Beast -- Beak, Nova, Martha, Wolverine, EVA, Tom, and Rover. It will turn out that the Cookoos, working from home base, are Weapon 13, which means that half of the team consists of sentinels (the original sentinel, and Weapons 10, 13, and 14). Given that Wolverine is a mutant and Weapon 10, Martha is just a mutant brain, Tom is a human, and Nova is whatevertheheck she is supposed to be (mutant, free-floating emotional energy in an alien body, a Shi'ar legend) we can see the final legacy of Beak -- his grandson is the only straight up mutant left on the X-Men. The image of the team has another important detail -- Wolverine is wearing jeans, his old yellow top, a leather jacket and a cowboy hat, and Silvestri has drawn him with sultry female almond eyes: it is like some kind of weird parody of the fashion model stuff in the first issue.