A comic book story arc by Marvel Comics
"X-Cutioner's Song" is a crossover storyline published by Marvel Comics' in twelve parts from the November 1992 to early 1993. It involved the Uncanny X-Men, X-Men (vol. 2), X-Factor, and X-Force. Besides being the first … see full wiki
Professor Charles Xavier, founder of the X-Men, makes an appearance at a concert in Central Park hosted by the mutant teleporter Lila Cheney. He hopes to bring mankind and mutantkind closer to co-existence by delivering a speech on brotherhood. When his speech is over, he's shot in the head by the mutant time traveler Cable. The X-Men fail to capture him, which results in a manhunt for him or anyone connected with him, namely X-Force. Xavier survives the attack but they later learn that he's been infected by a virus that's killing him slowly. -summary
Released in 1992 to 1993, The X-Cutioner Song is the third X-Men crossover of the 90's following the X-Tinction Agenda which took place two years earlier, and the crossover is written by Scott Lobdell (Uncanny X-Men), Peter David (X-Factor), and Fabian Niceza (X-Force and X-Men). It ran for 12 issues through all of the X-titles and this trade paperback collects the entire story arc; Uncanny X-Men 294 - 296, X-Men Vol.2 14 - 16, X-Factor 84 - 86, and X-Force 16 - 18.
Besides the aftermath which resulted in serious repercussions and began new story elements, as well as semi wrapping up old ones. The story arc is most notable for bringing together the three major villains in the X-Men universe; Apocalypse, Mr. Sinister, and Stryfe. The story also ties up an issue from a pass event X-Factor: End Game, which I didn't see coming from what I remember. At the time of this story, with Magneto presumed dead, I was able to understand Apocalypse and Sinister being regarded as the most noteworthy villains. However, I didn't see Stryfe in the same light. He never made that much of a serious impact in the pages of the New Mutants or even in the pages of the Cable series, despite that crazy connection between him and Cable. When I saw him in this story being built up as the main threat, it did interest me, but it was hard to buy into him at first.
The story is indeed action packed from beginning to end, and there aren't many slow moments. There are several battles taking place that are sure to wow fans, such as X-Force vs. X-Factor, X-Force vs. X-Men & X-Factor, X-Men vs. Apocalypse, and several other conflicts that get enough attention and rarely feel rushed. The X-teams even combine against the Mutant Liberation Front, which results in about 2 issues of cool action. However, the show stealer is all the little story elements and revelations taking place, that I remember keeping me gripped back then, because everything was so vague and full of suspense. Despite all the things the story does right, there are some mishaps along the way, with the most notable being the romantic interactions between Cyclops and Jean Grey. It just got to the point where these two annoyed me constantly, and I blame the animated series for that a lot more. It came off way too cheesy and even forced at times.
Another issue that I have happens to sometimes be the dialogue. One thing is for sure, after Claremont's departure from the series, for a very long time, the characters were being hurt by some lame dialogue, and this story arc is guilty of it on some occasions. The artwork is incredible for the two X-Men titles with some very nice character designs and panel by panel action, with neat lines and very good coloring. X-Force is a few steps down but passable. Unfortunately, X-Factor is just terrible, it's almost worse than the X-Tinction Agenda, with very inconsistent and insanely ugly character designs. Everyone has the same mean looking face. When Iceman and Bishop almost look like twins, then you know we have a problem.
The story doesn't and never felt like an average filler arc. There are moments where there's an epic feel, and the ending was pretty strong. This story is responsible for a few major story elements moving forward, with the most important being the Legacy Virus, which happens to be a fatal illness that only mutants can catch, so it seemed at first. This would also lead into another strong story with an ending that came out of nowhere. In any case, this is a 90's X-Men story that I can recommend, and it will prove most valuable to serious fans. It doesn't require much background knowledge, but it would help since character development is a bit sloppy due to so many characters being present.
-Interesting and pretty gripping narrative, artwork for three of the titles
-Dialogue has some bad moments, artwork for X-Factor
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