Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists: John Romita Jr., Barry Windsor-Smith, Michael Golden, Bret Blevins, and Steve Leialoha

Collects UXM #180-198, UXM Annual 7, 8

This is another collection full of classic story lines and characters. It’s also quite dark in tone but so was the previous collection’s Brood storyline.

This collection deals with a lot of relationship stuff and introduces a pivotal character: Rachel Summers, Scott and Jean’s daughter from alternate time line. Her time line was glimpsed at in “Days of Future Past” and in issues focusing on Rachel we get to see the horrible (but by now quite familiar to fans) future where mutants and superheroes were (will be) hunted and put into concentration camps. After the X-Men of that time die, Rachel travels back in time in desperation to try to change her present and the X-Men’s future. Instead, she cames to an alternate past. We’re also introduced government’s mutant inventor: Forge. And several enemies: Selene who is a millenia old vampire-like mutant and Nimord, the super sentinel from Rachel’s future.

Kitty and Storm finally settle their differences. Kitty has been horrified by Storm’s changes but they finally face the fact that Storm can’t live her life the way Kitty would want her to, but the way Storm wants to and needs to. Then Colossus brakes up with Kitty and she leaves the X-Men for a while. Meanwhile, Rogue has to face her own demons, Carol Danvers’s memories.

Then, Gyrich shoots Storm with a weapon Forge designed. It’s supposed to strip a mutant from his or her powers – and it works. Storm loses her powers and is devastated. For awhile she’s still with the X-Men and proves that she’s still a warrior even without her powers. But in the end she decides to return to Africa to find a new direction to her life.

In this collection, government’s paranoia towards mutants escalates. Senator Kelly is heading the mutant registration act and agents like Gyrich, who has worked with the Avengers in the past, are looking for ways to neutralize mutant powers completely. The start of the collection has a lot of magic in it, too. Unfortunately, none of the X-Men have magical powers so they have to rely on allies to save them. This look pretty grim.

Meanwhile, the X-Men battle foes from Selene to Kulan Gath and the Morlocks. Warmachine’s father Magus is also introduced. The X-Men fight Juggernaut and Rogue has to combine the powers of several X-Men to beat Nimrod.

The collection is quite dark in tone with Rogue’s and Rachel’s mental problems and Storm losing her powers. The hatred that ordinary humans feels towards mutants is also prominent.

Annual 7 is much more whimsical in tone. Here, the X-Men come face to face with… Galactus, who steals their mansion. However, Xavier contacts them and tells them that while this is a very powerful being, it’s not Galactus. The X-Men chase the being to various places before finally getting to the bottom of the story.

Apparently, some reprint editions also contain the four issue X-Men/Alpha Flight miniseries. I liked it; it had a quite a mythical feel to it.

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