Why I didn’t much care for the ending to Messiah CompleX: A complaint in three acts


The “Messiah CompleX” X-crossover had me looking forward to each Wednesday, hooked on a weekly story like I hadn’t been since 52. But the finale, while pleasing in some ways, overall left me disappointed.

The conflict
After one of the kids decided to transport all the sick, wounded and juvenile to Muir Island in an effort to save themselves from Predator X, we ended up with a big mess with all present – including the X-Men and the Marauders. Cyclops, perhaps the butt of the Messiah CompleX joke, pulls one of his stupider moves yet.

One would think that if Cyclops were a real person, the X-writers were out to get him. But he’s not a real person, and instead, these writers are deliberately or carelessly ruining the X-Men’s leader in a way that lacks even the dignity of Tony Stark’s downfall.

Here, in the opening pages of the final chapter of Messiah CompleX, Cyclops orders the students – who have previously been a pain due to their insistence upon entering battle – to target the Marauders. Now one could say Cyclops was simply reduced to having to choose such an act due to desperation. But no – this was Cyclops being clever. Because, as he says to Emma, “Sinister’s people know us inside and out. They’ve spent years training to face us. Let’s throw them something they won’t see coming.”

Okay, maybe if you’re five, that seems all awesome and badass and stuff, but let’s look at what has really happened. Cyclops has sent the kids up against the mutant-massacring Marauders to surprise them. Cyclops apparently thinks the Marauders will see kids attacking them and be shocked that the X-Men did this and then … what? Be confused and therefore more easily defeated?

No, if you’re a Marauder, and you kill defenseless mutants, you’re more likely going to be relieved that now you have to fight some kid instead of a fully-grown and fully-trained X-Man.

Good one, Scott.

The climax
I’m not really sure why they bothered to put Predator X in this story anyway. I kept waiting for the thing to have more significance than just the big dog who showed up at the wrong time.

Had Predator X not been introduced, writer Mike Carey might not have had to rely on The Men in Black Ending to get them out of this mess.

Predator X is relentless, brutal, vicious, blah blah blah, but it also heals rapidly and can withstand virtually any attack. But Wolverine figures out he can get swallowed and hack his way out from the inside. Apparently it’s much easier for Predator X to regenerate a stonelike exterior than it is to regenerate internal organs. Still doesn’t change the fact that Wolverine had to rip off the Men in Black ending to get them out of this pickle.

Maybe when he got his memories back, the previous decade’s efforts to block that film from his mind were undone.

The denouement
If there was one point drilled home throughout Messiah CompleX, it’s that Professor X doesn’t lead the X-Men anymore – Cyclops does. Professor X is irrelevant, and it’s probably safe to say based on Cyclops’ behavior that Charles is dead to Scott.

So why then does Professor X’s death motivate Cyclops to disband the X-Men? Talk about a misplaced reaction. He says “Pray that child’s birth means something. That we won’t be the last. That there’s still some good left in the world. It was Xavier’s dream wasn’t it? It began with him and it ends with him. There are no X-Men.”

Okay, again, that probably sounds really awesome and dramatic if you’re 5, but think about those words. We want these actions to mean something. We need a force for good in the world. That’s what drove me to do what I did.

Oh, but Professor X, the guy I’ve been ignoring, is dead. So screw all that.

Never mind the fact that Professor X is either getting killed, getting paralyzed or losing his powers about every other issue, meaning this shocking turn and the subsequent disappearance of Professor X’s body had absolutely no dramatic impact whatsoever.

What a stupid ending.