Bishop: The Last X-Men #15-16; Cable #87; Uncanny X-Men #381-389; X-Men #101-109; X-Men Annual 2000 (2000-2001)

Chris Claremont’s return to the X-Men is less than great, and life is too short to plod through all the reasons why. Like most Claremont joints, these are very convoluted issues with multiple subplots, and the subplots have subplots. Here’s the highlights:

Overall, Claremont still writes women better than most men. He also still writes good “character moments,” and it is scenes like the one above that keep this run from being unreadable. Also moments like this:

  • And this one:
  • The Neo race (who are mutants, I think?) want revenge on the X-Men because High Evolutionary removed the powers from every mutant on Earth and in so doing it killed some Neo (yeah, they’re mutants). Why do they blame the X-Men for it? It doesn’t matter. Don’t worry about it. There are a bunch of other new villains, too, but they REALLY don’t matter.
  • Nightcrawler quits the team to become a priest.
  • Kitty starts dating a Neo (she doesn’t know he’s a Neo) named Seth, but he dies–so Kitty’s lovelife continues to be terrible.
  • Mister Sinister clones himself, which means the Neo can kill him over and over again.
  • Gambit becomes the leader of the Thieve’s Guild
  • There are a ton of artists working on this, and their skill levels vary greatly, so these runs are disjointed and lack coherent visual storytelling
  • There is some kind of power switch with Jean Grey and Psylocke, but I didn’t really understand it and I think it just gets dropped when Claremont leaves.
  • Gambit and Rogue are still in love but don’t really seem to like each other
  • Psylocke dumps Angel for the new Thunderbird
  • Celia Reyes gets addicted to a new drug, Rave, which makes her powers go nuts. This isn’t important per se, but when Grant Morrison comes and rescues the X-Men from their descent into low-grade mediocrity, he’ll build off it.
  • The villains, the Neo, never return because…They’re just not all that interesting. Although Manacle had potential…
  • Another Senator plans to run for office and kill all mutants and he’s assassinated. So, it’s just more of the same there.
  • Rogue becomes team leader for a bit.
  • An overall plus: The Claremont stories largely didn’t bleed over into the other x-books, meaning they could suck or succeed on their own. Except that there was a pointless tie-in to Maximum Security that brings Bishop back and also ties to Bishop’s own series–and ends it. Here are the last panels from Bishop: The Last Man.
  • Oh yeah, Xavier can walk again. Sometimes.
  • Cable, who is suffering through a truly terrible run of his own, also ties in unnecessarily. But other than that, Claremont left the eXtended x-verse alone.
  • Oh, and there is a Christmas issue. Those are always nice.
  • Moira McTaggert “dies” (except no she doesn’t).
  • Supposedly, this run also represented a funeral for editor Bob Harras–as rumors have it that he was fired because Claremont’s run was so disappointing to so many people.
  • Here’s how it all ends:

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