X-Men #186 Review

The Revolution has not been overly impressed with Milligan’s run on the X-Men. I do think that the current story arc is his best effort on this title. Having said that, this title definitely needs the new writer that it will be getting very soon. All right, I’m fat and happy off the bag of chicharrones I just devoured and I’m ready to do this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist: Salvador Larroca

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Total Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: The issue starts with the EVA’s..I mean, the new Sentinels, (Glad to see O.N.E. junked the crappy American made robots in favor of some kick ass Japanese Mecha) flying to the rescue. One of the pilots is none other than Rhodey from Iron Man.

We shift back to the X-Mansion where we see Sunfire power up and fly away to the United Nations building.

We then cut back to the EVA’s, dammit, I mean the new Sentinels, who are joining the X-Men and the Avengers in their assault on Apocalypse’s Sphinx ship. The combined forced manage to cripple the ship enough to have it crash into the ocean. The X-Men enter the Sphinx ship and come face to face with Apocalypse and his horsemen. And we officially have a braaaaaawwl! During the brawl, Ozymandias re-appears and stabs Horseman War through the heart. Ozymandias says that since he saved Gazer’s life that he as meant to repay Ozymandias. Since Gazer as the Horseman War reneged on that payment then Ozymandias had to kill him to settle the balance. Apocalypse begins to experience a feeling of weakness and is unable to attack At that point, Sunfire appears and blasts Apocalypse. (Yes! I’ve been waiting for Sunfire to get his revenge!) Apocalypse then escapes through a hidden door. The X-Men break it down and follow Apocalypse to the heart of the Sphinx. Apocalypse steps into the Sphinx’s “Infernal Machine” which has tore a mouth in the membrane of space to allow him to escape. With Apocalypse gone, we find out that Sunfire took Remy and left. The X-Men notice on horseman that has been left behind: Pestilence. They realize that it is Polaris. She can barely breathe and is covered with germs. Havok risks his life and gives Polaris mouth to mouth.

We shift back to the Xavier Institute. Polaris is recovering and asleep in her bed. Emma tells Havok that most of the pathogens have been isolated and her recovery depends on how her T-cell receptor sites cope with the mutation. Havok tells Emma that he has felt sick since giving Polaris mouth to mouth. Emma says that if Havok had not given her CPR then she would have died. Emma then gives Havok a vial of Apocalypse’s blood serum to cure him. End of issue.

This comic does have a small back up story. We see Apocalypse traveling through space as he has escaped the X-men. We then see a flashback to when he was in Egypt at his beginning. He is approached by a Celestial. The Celestial offers him power and riches beyond his wildest imagination in return for him agreeing at some point the Celestial will demand something of him in return. Apocalypse accepts the deal and becomes the beast that we know.

We cut back to present time. Apocalypse says he is ready for death. The Celestial then speaks to Apocalypse. The Celestial tells him that they won’t let him die. That it is time for Apocalypse. Time to pay up. End of issue.


The Good: It was nice to see Sunfire fully recovered and kicking some butt. It was also nice to see that Havok risked his life to save Polaris. Those two belong together. I am interested to find out why Sunfire took Gambit and left.

Larroca’s artwork is absolutely beautiful. There is no doubt that the artwork has been the X-Men’s saving grace. I could stare at Larroca’s panels for hours. They are simply gorgeous.

The Bad: Milligan is a talented writer, but the X-men just isn’t the right title for him. Milligan’s run on the X-Men started out absolutely horrendous. I will give him credit that the Apocalypse storyline has been better than his previous issues. Having said that, I still found the Apocalypse storyline to be rather average.

X-Men #186 was ok. Nothing great. Nothing terrible. Just very average. The dialogue was nothing great. And this issue was rather anticlimactic. The last couple of issues seemed to be building up to something and X-Men #186 just under delivered the finale. I was rather unimpressed with this ending. Which, actually, is rather fitting since it reflects my feeling about Milligan’s entire run on X-Men.

Milligan has never really gotten comfortable with these characters and their unique personalities. X-Men is simply a very ordinary read. There are so many other comic books far more worth your money than X-Men.

During Milligan’s run, the X-Men have suffered from a lack of direction. Hopefully, the new creative team will kick start this title in the right direction. There is no doubt that it desperately needs it.