Characters Appearing: Angel, Beast, Beth Sheldon, Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Cyclops, Dazzler, Diane Bellamy, Doris Sheldon, Dr. Druid, Havok, Iceman, Jean Grey, Jenny Sheldon, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Maggie (mutant), Marcia Hardesty, Phil Sheldon, Rogue, Storm, Thor, Tracy Burke, Valerie Cooper, Wolverine
Marvels: Eye of the Camera #5
Issue(s): Marvels: Eye of the Camera #5
Actually, this story is more personal. Definitely tragic, focusing on Phil succumbing to cancer...
...and losing the ability to work on his second book and especially continue to take new photos.
It's a human story, and while it hits all the beats you'd expect of a disease of the week tragi-drama, Kurt Busiek's scripting is perfect, and the way he blends it into the various Marvel events going on during this period shows that he's both a great big continuity geek but also an excellent writer.
One of the ways this differs from, say, Jim Starlin's Death of Captain Marvel is that Sheldon doesn't see himself as the star of his story and he was never a hero, so he begins to question if his life's work has any value.
Hey, i feel you, buddy. At least you actually took those pictures and aren't just uploading scans made by other people.
A surprise at the end of this issue as Maggie, the little mutant girl from Marvels #2 shows up in Phil's hospital room.
Sheldon generally has a positive opinion about the Marvels again and is back to complaining that most people tend to turn on them on a dime...
...but we do get a few negative reactions from him that could be construed as Dark Age criticism. The first is about X-Factor, and on an in-story level that still fits fine with Sheldon's philosophy; it's humans preying on mutant hysteria. But we readers know the truth about that.
The second is Sheldon's reaction to the current team of X-Men, after he spends much of the book defending mutants.
As i've said before, Jay Anacleto is not Alex Ross and the focus here is on Phil Sheldon's life, not the spectacle of the Marvels (most of the super-hero appearances are on television). It's impossible to not make the comparison but Anacleto's art is fine for this story.
Quality Rating: A
Chronological Placement Considerations: As always, i place this after the last reference in the book (see below), which is the Mutant Registration Act announcement. I'll note that the reports on Crystal and the hot-dog vendor don't necessarily mean that the issues they reference to have to take place on the same day as the X-Men issue, but it does mean that Fantastic Four #308 takes place before or during Uncanny X-Men #224. The next issue of this series seems to begin soon afterwards, but it covers the events of Fall of the Mutants so i'm pushing it a little further down.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
Interesting timing choice for the story, considering that very soon after Val Cooper's press conference X-Factor would be getting a parade in New York and the X-Men would very publicly sacrifice themselves in Dallas to stop Adversary.
Probably would have been driving in too hard and unwittingly the cheering today, again savaging tomorrow bit.
Posted by: Teemu | April 21, 2014 6:45 PM
Here's the Sources page for #5:
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | April 23, 2014 2:20 AM
Jay, thanks for all of these. I've cross-referenced and added any that have been missing to the 5 entries so far.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 23, 2014 2:45 PM
Interestingly enough Teemu, they show that very thing in Marvels: Eye of the Camera #6. Up until this point, the Marvel Universe had become a very bleak and dangerous place. Things lightened up a bit in people's attitude towards mutants (and heroes in general) after The Fall of the Mutants event with the X-Men's sacrifice, X-Factor stopping Apocalypse and his Horsemen & rescuing New Yorkers after, and the New Mutants decimating The Right.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | April 23, 2014 4:05 PM
Thanks, Jay. What happened here was I getting my marble somehow stuck so that I couldn't factor in that there was a #6 coming, too. I was writing Phil off already and cursing Busiek for not giving him the happy moment that's just in the tube coming up.
Posted by: Teemu | April 23, 2014 4:18 PM
Great list, Jay! Slight correction--the "Page 21-FF Wedding" source is FF Annual #3, not FF Annual #2.
Posted by: Shar | April 24, 2014 9:37 AM
Thanks, Shar. I've updated it in the References.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 24, 2014 11:44 AM
Whoops! Sorry about that. Slip of the finger I guess...
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | April 24, 2014 1:58 PM
Jay Demetrick, I really appreciate you posting the source pages for these issues. if you have the source pages for the original Marvels series, it would be great if you could post them in those entries as well.
Posted by: Uncanny Michael | April 24, 2014 5:08 PM
I'll check that on Sun when I get back home from work.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | April 25, 2014 1:27 AM
You wrote: "The revelation about Worthington's money happened after X-Factor #9."
Actually, that's only Mystique telling her team she's going to investigate. The public announcement of her findings by Trish Tilby happened in X-Factor #10.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | April 25, 2014 3:53 PM
Last i checked, #10 comes after #9. ;-)
The Eye of the Camera story has Phil Sheldon learning the news from Joe Robertson at the Bugle, so i didn't think the link to X-Factor #10 specifically was appropriate. Even in X-Factor #10, Trish Tilby is just seen saying that she's "investigating reports" about Worthington. It's not clear that Mystique only leaked the info to Tilby. Maybe it's confirmed later that Tilby's the one who broke the story? Anyway, it's a minor point, and if the Sources page in the trade lists issue #10 i'll add it as a reference.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 26, 2014 12:28 PM
I noticed you've got all of the members of X-Factor except for Iceman linked in the "Characters Appearing" section. He's there in the X-Factor pic to the right of Angel (the tongs are covering his head).
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | November 6, 2014 2:41 AM
Thanks, Jay. Added him.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 6, 2014 7:55 AM
Why is this not tagged as a continuity insert?
Posted by: Morgan Wick | June 3, 2015 8:14 PM
Just an oversight. Thanks Morgan.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 3, 2015 8:53 PM
Comments are now closed.
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