New X-Men by Grant Morrison Ultimate Collection - Book 3

New X-Men by Grant Morrison Ultimate Collection - Book 3 - Grant Morrison, Chris Bachalo, Phil Jimenez, Marc Silvestri

First off, the cover of this volume should have "Spoiler!" written across it. Secondly, there were a lot of things I did not like about the last leg of Morrison's run. But, we'll start with the good.

-Jean and Wolverine's connection. The arc of Wolverine and Jean being stuck inside a run-away ship was probably my favorite section of this part of the collection. But there were a lot of moments between Jean and Wolverine that really highlighted their friendship and did it in a way that (for once) I could actually understand why they would have such affection for one another.

-Magneto. I really enjoyed the arc of Magneto as this aging and outdated radical activist that didn't know how to connect with the people he was trying to sway anymore. It was almost heartbreaking watching him struggle to gather people to him like he was once able to do. I loved the internal conflict we kept seeing as he tried to be the man he once was. I only wish that his arc hadn't been so rushed. I would've loved to have seen it given more attention and time to develop instead of whipping through it.

The Annoying Things:
-Pacing My main issue with all three of these volumes is the pacing. I got whiplash from how many things happened in such a small amount of time. Plots would be over in the blink of an eye and it never gave the characters' time to react properly to anything that was happening or to explore an interesting concept. And Morrison had so many interesting stories that got only a fraction of the time they deserved dedicated to them.

-Cyclops. Throughout the whole Morrison run I kept waiting for Scott to get his shit together and step-up. Sadly, he never does and it drove me nuts. He's supposed to be a leader but all we got was an emotionally stunted man who spends the better part of his scenes whining and getting dragged around. Sometimes quite literally. In this book, Wolverine carries a passed-out Scott into a dangerous mission because he wants him there as backup. And that's a huge issue I had with Scott's character here.

Scott plays a purely reactionary role throughout the entire Morrison run. Stuff goes wrong and he reacts to it. He gets dragged into situations and just does what he needs to get out alive or because "it's the right thing to do". Even at the end he doesn't have to deal with the fall-out of his cheating on Jean because he ran away when it was discovered and Jean dies before he has to actually talk to them about it. (And yes, even though it was telepathically, I'm counting his thing with Emma Frost as cheating.)

-Jean's Death. I absolutely hated the way Jean died. Not because I enjoyed her character in the story and didn't want to see it happen. No, it was because I loved her character in the story and her death made me feel nothing. If you kill a character off, it should invoke an emotion. When Jean died all I thought was, "Well that was stupid." The entire scene felt extremely trite.

When Jean dies, the battle with Magneto is essentially over. She reaches down to touch him and he uses a last burst energy to give her a stroke. After watching her and Wolverine survive a plunge into the sun on a run-away spaceship, this was extremely anti-climatic. She dies in Scott's arms who expresses grief. Wolverine goes feral. Everyone stands around in sadness. It's all very...boring.

I got the feeling that the whole reason for Jean's death was purely to allow Scott to be with Emma without guilt or having to outright make the choice to leave Jean. It was extremely frustrating. The collection ends on the lackluster scene of a Phoenix Jean giving Scott her blessing to be with Emma as she joins all the other Phoenixes. A very "meh" ending to an otherwise good run.