Title: X-Men: Supernovas
Authors: Mike Carey, et al.
Rating: 4/5 stars
Supernovas brought about some significant changes for the X-Men team that Rogue leads. Cyclops basically gives her full reign to choose a team as she sees fit, and while in the end the team isn't exactly to his liking, she reminds him that he let her choose her own team, and they leave it at that.
The volume is broken into three distinct story arcs, the first dealing with The Children of the Vault, a group of humans that were housed in a time accelerating field, so that in the some-odd years that they were housed in the ship where the machine was located, something like 6,000 years have passed, so they can almost be viewed as a separate species now. They want to keep their existence a secret for the time being, but Sabretooth has discovered them, so they go in pursuit of him, and he eventually turns to the X-Men for help and asylum. The Children of the Vault attack SHIELD and capture Northstar (who SHIELD is trying to rehabilitate) and Aurora, to aid them in attacking the X-Men. The story becomes a little convoluted (a little, some ask?) but ends with The Children of the Vault defeated and the X-Men commandeering their flying barge, the Conquistador.
The next story arc deals with the X-Men trying to get SHIELD to help rehabilitate both Northstar and Aurora, now. In the meantime, Exodus and his Acolytes try to capture the Helicarrier to recreate into a new home for the remaining mutants on the planet. Northstar and Aurora come to their senses long enough to help battle Exodus, and the X-Men are victorious because of their aid. Exodus also learns at this point that there are no more mutants and the possibility of a mutant birth is non-existent due to the Scarlet Witch and the events of House of M. (Confused, yet?)
The final story arc deals with Rogue and her team going after the members of the hospital responsible for dissecting mutants and trying to gene-splice their powers onto regular humans, the ultimate goal of which is to create a "super" human out of Pandemic, a former colleague of Professor X, who sees Rogue and her ability to borrow the powers of people she touches as the next step in his evolution, even though he is human. Lots happens here, but the base result is, Pandemic is defeated (by absorbing Sabretooth's powers, including his healing factor) and Rogue is infected with Strain 88, which causes her powers to fluctuate way out of control, to the point that she will instantly kill anyone who touches her, absorbing all their powers and memories. Meanwhile, Providence is attacked by the Hecatomb, a weapon created by the Shi'Ar to defeat the mummudrai (telepathic parasites). A mummudrai makes its way to Earth, and eventually attaches itself to Cable, in an effort to defeat the Hecatomb, but in the end it is Rogue who saves the day, absorbing all 8 billion minds that compose the Hecatomb and making it vulnerable to an attack from the X-Men. And now Rogue is crazy.
So much happens in this volume, and it does seem to jump around quite a bit, but it is refreshing to see some stories that revolve around some of the more sidelined X-Characters instead of the old standbys. Cyclops, Beast, Wolverine, Emma Frost and such do make an appearance in this volume, but they are as peripheral characters, with most of the action revolving around Rogue's team. Mike Carey keeps the pace non-stop through the volume, almost hectically, leaving the read thrown from one even to the next. It does make the story just fly by, but so much is happening, and again, so many characters are thrown into the mix, that the story almost becomes distracting despite itself.