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When I first read X-Men 2099 #1 way back in 1993, I found Xi’an a pretty interesting team leader. He was a reformed person driven to help not only his fellow mutants but other people described as outcasts who are all unwanted by what he referred to as corporate structures that look down on them. The big speech he delivered in issue #1 technically highlighted diversity which reminds me of how the Political Left of America emphasizes it for their self-serving socio-political agenda. Of course in the comic book, Xi’an did not highlight diversity for political gain but to help the outcasts live on with hope and move forward to choose their destiny.
Several issues later, demons from Xi’an’s past with the Lawless caught up with him and made his leadership of the X-Men questionable. Xi’an then became more impulsive, more violent and a less compassionate person.
This time, as I’m about to do this retro comic book review, Xi’an past with the Lawless finally got him and anyone who liked him as X-Men leader will find him very alienating.
Here’s a look back at X-Men 2099 #33, published by Marvel Comics in 1996 with a story written by John Francis Moore and drawn by Jan Duursema.
The story begins with Xi’an and the Lawless on the move searching for the Foolkiller who captured their teammate Mongrel (who strongly resembles Hank McCoy/Beast of the mainstream X-Men). As Mongrel and the Foolkiller exchange words with each other, the Lawless arrive to get their teammate back and fight.
Elsewhere in Halo City, Eddie/Metalhead and Rosa enjoy the nice new place with their baby. They have a friend accompanying them. The peace gets broken when two beasts suddenly appeared to attack them…..
Even though John Francis Moore continued to write consistently and proved to be knowledgeable about all the characters introduced in this monthly series, I should say that the concept of this comic book did not interest me that much. Like the previous issue, this one was less about the X-Men and more about the Lawless (with the continued spotlight on Xi’an) but the more I read it, I found myself becoming less interested. Nothing here impressed me.
As for the art, Jan Duursema’s work here showed how quickly she adapted the established look of not only the characters but also Halo City. Her art here is pretty good. She was a worthy replacement for Ron Lim. John Francis Moore himself stated in an interview that Duursema did an admirable job.
After the dramatic turn of events for the mutants of 2099 told in issue #25, X-Men 2099 #33 is so far the weakest follow-up. It’s not a terrible comic book, it’s just not too interesting and not too compelling. Anyone who is dedicated with the X-Men team will be disappointed with the shift of the spotlight moved to the Lawless.
If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men 2099 #33, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $8 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $26.
Overall, X-Men 2099 #33 is serviceable. If you intend to really spend money on this comic book, better buy it below its cover price. Really, you should be conscious about your money when it comes to collecting back issues of this past monthly series of the 1990s.
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