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As mentioned before, much of the stories of X-Men 2099 were set in the southwestern region of the United States which gave the team’s adventures and misadventures a unique setting completely different from what was shown in the stories of Spider-Man 2099 and Punisher 2099. Along the way, John Francis Moore and Ron Lim crafted stories that made the mutants of the far future unique when compared to the X-Men of the 20th century. Stories were, for the most part, original.
Historically speaking, the X-Men 2099 monthly series ended with a total of thirty-five issues. As such we are gradually nearing the end as we take a close look back at X-Men 2099 #31 published in 1996 by Marvel Comics with a story written by John Francis Moore and drawn by Ron Lim.
The story begins in Mexico. There a Metro Express train moves on its track smoothly until it comes close to hitting Skullfire who was just standing in front of it. Suddenly, Meanstreak grabs Skullfire moving him out of the path of the train and on to a safe spot where Luna is. Luna reminds Meanstreak that Skullfire has not been himself since their team took out the Graverobber. Meanstreak is not convinced that Tim/Skullfire has returned to normal, and he stressed that their team almost fell apart only because one leader fell off the deep end.
As it turns out, the three of them are on a mission searching for a mutant who sent them a message claiming he was being held against his will. They start moving towards to the headquarters of the Quetzalcoatl Corporation and their mission is to raid it.
Meanwhile at another location in Mexico, a gray, rock-like mutant is held prisoner in the dark. Chairman Belize contacts him via live video asking for the market overviews he requested. The imprisoned mutant does not want to cooperate.
Back at Halo City, former X-Men leader Xi’an talks with Ten Eagles (note: Krystalin met him in the wasteland some time ago) who now has a brand new cybernetic arm…
There was no surprise that John Francis Moore confidently crafted another story showing members of the X-Men separated and placed in different situations far away from each other. As such, the characters got developed more while the plot (or in this comic book, tales of each group of X-Men) thickened.
Without spoiling too much, it was refreshing to see renewed spotlight on Xi’an and Ten Eagles, which helped flesh out the personality of Krystalin. As for the mission of Meanstreak, Skullfire and Luna, it’s nice to see them out of Halo City and take things seriously to accomplish something very important.
Regarding the mysterious mutant imprisoned by a corporation’s leader, the story emphasized once again the theme of the state of mutants in 2099 – mutants are of a lower social class disregarded or exploited by the people who have more money and power (try comparing this to the classic mutants-and-humans conflict of the classic X-Men). To analyze things a bit, there is a bit of Political Leftist influence in the presentation. Come to think of it, the concept of so-called progressive diversity within the X-Men of 2099 had started since the beginning of this monthly series. I’m confident that today’s self-proclaimed socialists, social justice warriors (SJWs) and liberals will find something to relate with in this comic book.
Regarding the art of Ron Lim, he delivered solid visuals as expected. He also exerted effort on visualizing futuristic technology that made sense within Marvel 2099’s fantasy.
X-Men 2099 #31 is fun and worth spending time to read. Just don’t let the cover art mislead you on what to expect with the story.
If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men 2099 #31, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $7 while the newsstand edition’s near-mint copy costs $21.
Overall, X-Men 2099 #31 is recommended.
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