X-MEN #42-44 (1995): Acolytes, Rusty Collins die

Aaaaaaand they’re back! After the Age of Apocalypse put them on hiatus, the 616 X-Men return. But perhaps more exciting is the return of artist Paul Smith (for the first two issues of this arc)!

Picking up right where we left off is a bit tough after several months of completely different versions of these mutants, but here we are. After finding him in space, the Acolytes, led by Exodus, bring Holocaust aboard their space base and he quickly kills Francisco Milan and Rusty Collins. I could care less about Milan, but Rusty has been around for a long time.

We learn the character is Apocalypse’s son.

Holocaust wreaks havoc on their ship and Exodus can’t beat him.

Amelia Voght teleports away, fleeing, but simultaneously (and accidentally) she trades places with Cyclops and Jean Grey. And so they find themselves in battle with the Acolytes.

While there, Jean finds out Magneto is back (again).

Despite being thoroughly pissed at them, Cyclops saves several Acolytes by convincing them to jump in an escape pod. Separately, Colossus and Magneto escape the base in another pod.

Ultimately, the Acolytes’ base is destroyed, and many of them die. With Rusty dead, Skids quits the Acolytes.

Meanwhile, the X-Men try to revive Juggernaut, who was knocked out after fighting an unseen character (Onslaught) in Uncanny X-Men #322. They’ve also got custody of Sabretooth–who we readers kinda thought was dead.

And Rogue breaks into X-Mansion wearing Gambit’s trenchcoat and finds Iceman who can do this now:

The cliffhanger has Callisto showing up promising yet-another end-of-the-world problem.

Also, yet-another crossover. Sigh. I liked these three issues because they told a single story and I didn’t have to look anywhere else to enjoy it.

Not sure what’s going on there yet.

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