Uncanny X-Men #148
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #148
Angel leaves, finding Wolverine too psychotic to have as a team member.
Colossus is enjoying a visit from his young sister, in the US thanks to Miss Locke's kidnapping last arc.
Banshee has arrived at the X-Mansion (he was shown to be en route after Moira's kidnapping) and Xavier arranges to have him meet his daughter Theresa Rourke, aka Siryn.
The X-Men have Spider-Woman over to partake in the meeting (incorrectly called a reunion). Afterwards, Storm, Kitty, and Stevie Hunter take Jessica out to dinner at a club where Dazzler is performing.
Their evening is interrupted when they are attacked by a man wearing ragged clothes.
He turns out to be a mutant named Caliban who has detected others like himself. He's a little mentally unstable and he's lonely so when he approaches them he makes a scene and everyone gets the wrong idea...
...especially since he tries to kidnap Kitty.
He eventually runs off into the sewers. We'll eventually learn that he's part of a group of mutant outcasts called the Morlocks, but right now it's described as if he's been living underground by himself.
Meanwhile, Lee Forrester and Cyclops explore the decidedly Cthulu-esque castle that appeared in the storm last arc, and are discovered by Magneto.
There's something a little... off about Cockrum's art on his second arc.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: There's nothing here in Spider-Woman or Dazzler's appearances that dictates any particular placement. I've moved this up a bit in publishing time to accommodate Angel and Ka-Zar's appearances in Marvel Fanfare #1; Angel is not a member of the X-Men at the time of those issues, and this is where he leaves the team.
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: X-Men Classic #52
Inbound References (2): show
Angel, Banshee, Caliban, Colossus, Cyclops, Dazzler, Lee Forrester, Magik, Magneto, Moira MacTaggert, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde), Siryn, Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), Stevie Hunter, Storm, Wolverine
Josef Rubinstein may have had to finish the art more than just inking it.
At one time the plan was for Caliban to be even more monstrous looking and to become the team's living cerebro. You can see John Byrne's initial sketch here: http://secretsbehindthexmen.blogspot.com/2012/03/kitty-pryde-and-substitute-x-men.html
That sequence with Angel quitting is interesting in light of the recent discussions about the character on this site. I had speculated that Claremont might not have much respect for him (again, he might not have disliked him as a CHARACTER, but may have simply chosen to interpret weakness as a character trait) but I think he comes off well in the above scene. Part of Wolverine's mystique at this time was that he WAS psychotic, and it makes sense for a returning team member to not have the same tolerance for his behavior that the newer X-Men might have. Personally, I think that scene serves both characters well.
Funny - at the height of the X-Men craze in the 80s, I had little, if any, regard for the series. Wolverine was my least liked character - didn't really care for any of them. Never understood the fascination - still don't. Although, I do like the movie version of Wolverine as portrayed by Hugh Jackman.
The problem with Warren's argument is that he argues that Wolverine might become a threat to the public because he destroyed a human looking robot created by Doom. By that logic, the Fantastic Four should have become serial killers by now. That scene would have worked better if Wolverine had threatened an actual person.
By that point there had already been several instances demonstrating that Wolverine was out of control and/or a killer. Wolverine himself had told the other X-Men about his "years of psychotherapy". A few issues prior to this Wolverine and Nightcrawler had discussed how Wolverine had the instincts of a trained killer. Shortly after that Storm had admonished him about using his claws to kill. He snapped and almost carved up Nightcrawler of all people just because he got a little too close to his girlfriend. He disemboweled a couple of nameless henchmen in a situation where any other superhero would have just knocked them out. I'm sure there are more scenes like this that I'm not remembering. The point is that Wolverine WAS a hair trigger psychopath (though struggling with it) and it seems reasonable that if the other X-Men knew about these ocurances then Angel knew about them too. And it's not like Wolverine hid any of it. Angel only brought up the most recent incident, but I think it's safe to assume he knew as much as anybody else. He just hadn't "bonded" with Wolverine like the new recruits had, and so was less willing to accept it all.
It was an interesting story idea. I have issues with the execution, and I do feel Claremont's sympathies were with Wolverine and he wanted ours to be as well. I wish we had seen the two characters interacting more meaningfully. There was a little bit of follow-up in Claremont's MARVEL FANFARE, in which Wolverine gets to say his piece to Angel's face, but the scene cuts away when it could still develop, and then it is dropped. Much later, another writer (?) has Angel, post a transformation or two and his own killer-instinct struggles, admitting to Wolverine that he was too harsh.
I don't know...I like that Claremont attempted to give Angel some kind of continuing arc during his return in the #130s and 140s. He had grown up some (as perceived by those who knew him best), he was experienced but rusty at the hero business, and there was one member of the new team who made him persistently uneasy. But the hasty exit did solidify an impression that he was an obligatory old-X-Men placeholder during Scott's hiatus.
Not to pile on poor Cockrum, but in that "I think not, and it scares me, Professor" panel, Warren suddenly looks about 58 years old.
I agree. It does seem like he was just there because Cyclops wasn't, and as soon as Cyclops was poised to get back into the mix via the upcoming Magneto story, Angel was quickly shuffled out. Same issue, in fact.
Oh, I think that scene between Archangel and Wolverine (if this is what I think you're talking about) was from a long time after this, during Erik Larsen's run on Wolverine from the late-1990s, if I'm not mistaken.
My own feelings were that Claremont never much cared about the original X-Men, except for Scott (and I guess Jean), and just didn't have much interest in keeping them around on X-books he was writing.
I would never be able to find the issue, Chris, but I'm fairly sure this was in UNCANNY, because it was reproduced on a computer disc that collected all the UNCANNY through the mid-2000s. Angel has feathery wings and his normal skin at this point. He and Wolverine and another mutant are strategizing, and Angel says something about having a "strong feeling," and Wolverine makes a pointed reference to Angel's previous "strong feelings," and Angel offers a mea culpa for events of these much earlier issues we've been discussing. Wolverine accepts, and then they're buddies.
You're right about it being much later, and I agree about Claremont's preference for "his" characters. Angel, I suppose, fared better than Hank and Bobby, at least in face time.
My gues is that the X-Men filled a void in many lives.
And then I discovered alcohol.
I'd say for FaceTime/enthusiasm Claremont's preferences regarding the original X-Men went:
He of course found something to do with Professor X, Magneto, Havok, and Polaris, as well. But for the original five, I think it's clear which ones he took an interest in, and to what degree.
Jay, that's a great list.
Five. Not too many. Not too few.
Professor X, you always got the feeling he was ambivalent about. He was always trying to find ways to write him out of the series, and then he'd come back for a time, and then get written out again.
Magneto, well, Claremont just made Magneto his own. Magneto was pretty much a cipher until Claremont.
For what it's worth, you could see that Claremont always seemed to have much more of a soft spot for the Neal Adams period, rather than the earlier X-Men stories. (Hence, Alex and Lorna.)
Oh yeah, definitely. John Byrne claims Claremont had ONLY read the Neal Adams/Roy Thomas issues.
In 1969 Claremont was at Marvel as an intern/assistant/gofer (during his winter break from Bard College)when some of the Thomas/Adams X-Men issues were being created/produced.
Jay, the scene where Angel questions whether Wolverine is a danger is in some ways similar to the "Wolverine-stabs-Rachel" scene in Uncanny 207-208. Rachel had been acting increasingly unstable in the lead-up to Uncanny 207-208, and Wolverine had good reason to think she might become a threat to the public if she became a murderer. But instead of having Logan cite the time she almost maimed Heather Hudson, for example, Claremont simply had Logan say "X-Men don't kill". The problem is the arguments Claremont had Warren and Logan make, even though their positions were defensible.
I remember that issue, Michael, and it bugged the Hell out of me at the time. If I recall correctly, Wolverine's argument was more specifically "X-Men don't MURDER", and while that may be a valid distinction, it was invalidated for me by Wolverine immediately impaling her. You know, to show her that violence is wrong.
I've been re-reading this conversation, and I don't know if this has been mentioned yet.
Hmm. I'd say that the CLASSIC X-MEN story provides an after-the-fact stronger foundation for tension between them, but I don't think this had yet occurred to Claremont when he was writing Angel in the early 1980s. It really did seem, then, to be about personalities and methods. Angel was not around for much Wolverine/Jean.
Here's a question: In the CLASSIC story, which I have not read in a while, does Claremont intend us to see Angel as a hypocrite, making a big scene over Wolverine doing what he (Angel) was trying to do with Storm, i.e., hitting on a female teammate? Or is there a difference, in that Jean was not single, and Wolverine's come-on was more aggressive and persistent -- telling her he knew better than what she was telling him, etc. Neither Jean nor Storm was in need of a chivalrous rescue, obviously.
I think in some ways you can read it as a "big brother" type of mentality with Warren. That he wanted to date Jean in the past, she went with Scott, Warren learned to live with Jean's decision. So, he took that back-up position of being protective of Jean (and Jean and Scott's relationship).
I don't think that was what Claremont really had in mind when he wrote the above scene, though. Jean was already dead and couldn't provide much grist for tension between Angel and Wolverine. Claremont had to pull that tension from somewhere else. "That guy's crazy!" was natural enough.
As Todd says, the Classic X-Men story came later and probably wasn't anything Claremont had considered yet, but i've added more scans from the Angel/Wolverine confrontation to the entry.
ChrisKafka hit the nail on the head with the mention of the Classic X-Men story. Yes, it's a retcon, but it's a retcon of his own stuff, so I'd count it. Warren had a crush on Jean Grey from the earliest issues of the series, didn't get her or have the nerve to pursue her after Scott "won" her - and then Wolverine (to whom I think Warren also had a natural, immediate antipathy based on their being complete opposites) comes along and on the very first day makes a move on her - and successfully so.
That can definitely be the basis of a lasting dislike between two people. It occurred on the first or second day they met.
Also, it's a misreading of the back-up story to say Wolverine was being "aggressive" or to say Angel was in any way justified. Within the story it was shown as the two being mutually attracted (maybe Jean was playing hard to get, but not too hard to get) and Warren freaked out and violently attacked Logan over it. Again, on the 1st or 2nd day they'd met. Claremont had a Logan/Jean thing, so there's no way he meant for her to not be interested or for Wolverine to come off as a creepy guy. Jean was not in need of a chivalrous rescue, nor did Warren give her one (or think he was giving her one, IMO). He was cockblocking Wolverine.
Also, I think Claremont liked Professor X but wanted him out of the way because he's so powerful he serves as a deus ex machina, and also because it's better if the X-Men operate independently and without a father figure. He's explained it before but I don't remember where. But he always wrote him well which is how you know he liked him. When he doesn't like a character (Iceman, Angel), you know.
In fnord's scan (which is all I have to go on), Wolverine is saying that he always gets what he wants; she's saying no; he's talking about what his senses tell him; she's still telling him he's mistaken; he's replying "Wanna bet?" etc. There was some mutual attraction, we know, but that *is* aggressive by the standards of the Storm/Angel (apparently one-sided) flirtation. He is not inclined to take several polite "no's" for an answer.
You say "Jean was not in need of a chivalrous rescue, nor did Warren give her one (or think he was giving her one, IMO)." I agree with the first part and quarrel with the latter half, based on "You heard the lady, shrimp -- BACK OFF!" and then his asking if "that creep" had hurt her. He does seem to instinctively dislike and distrust Wolverine, but I don't think this has a thing to do with some residual crush. He would have thrown Wolverine into the tree if Wolverine had been hitting on Lorna Dane too.
Warren's words were "The lady's spoken for. And even if she wasn't, she deserves better than the likes of you." Clearly, his feelings for Jean were coming into play.
Todd, I don't know what to tell you other than to read the whole story and see what you think about it.
The creep in that story - both in his actions towards Logan and in his come-on to Storm - is Warren. He flies up to Storm who's in the air by herself enjoying the weather, and he starts hitting on her extremely aggressively - and it's eventually made clear she doesn't really understand what he's even on about - let alone is into it. Seriously, the dialogue from Angel is so creepy and aggressive that it's fortunate he saw Wolverine putting the moves on Jean, or else he might have tried to force himself on Storm right then and there.
Logan on the other hand was shown being aggressive in his flirtation with Jean, but playfully rather than creepily aggressive - and with the big difference that she both knows what he's doing, and is into it - which he knows going in. Then Angel attacks him and (significantly) Jean gets really mad at him. "We were just talking!" She was flirting with Logan, too.
Warren comes off as a real creep in that little story.
@Michael: Looks a lot more like his feelings about Wolverine were coming into play, actually. The two of them just don't mix.
@Paul: You sure have a harsh opinion about Warren. I don't think it is supported by Claremont's own revisionism, even. He was simply being silly and would soon be repealed by Storm. Ororo was not a child; she knew what unwanted attention was, even if she wasn't up to the precise implications of Warren's language at first.
As for Jean being receptive to Logan, well, that is a retcon. A retcon coming from Claremont himself, unfortunately, but it still doesn't realy mesh very well with the actual issues of the time. In Claremont's defense, he _had_ to play fast and loose in those days, and did. That is why Wolverine is no longer implied to be an evolved animal, and why we never say those Ireland Elves again. Unfortunately, that is also why Wolverine was retconned into being appealing to Jean.
Just for the record, I did have all of this stuff in the 1980s, though it has been long sold. The scans and summaries are good in fortifying recollections, but I did at one point read most of what I comment on.
We probably have Zaprudered this little scene to death at this point, but I agree with Luis on the Angel/Storm part. I didn't find Angel particularly stalkerish or predatory here, and I didn't think Storm seemed uncomfortable with him. There was a cultural barrier, and his cheesy lines such as "a symphony of motion and emotion" were just confusing her. But (not in the scanned portion) she did tell him he was more beautiful than she, didn't she? And she initially implies she's happy for his company.
Bottom line: Both women could handle themselves; neither guy was doing anything that bad. I just think Angel's attack on Wolverine was less about romantic feelings for Jean than about distrust of Wolverine ("I knew that little lowlife roughneck creep was trouble!"), plus the theme of "old versus new" Claremont is heavy-handedly featuring elsewhere in the story, with Iceman's xenophobic verbal abuse of Colossus.
Warren had always been written as a playboy type in the early issues of X-Men. He was the arrogant member of the X-Men, and if I remember correctly, he was more hot-headed.
I do not have a harsh opinion about Warren. Warren Worthington is not a real person. In the Stan Lee stories, he's completely innocuous. I'm commenting on how a character in a particular story is written.
And no he wasn't being silly, imo.
And Jean being receptive to Logan is NOT a retcon in the issue we're discussing, because the scene hadn't existed until Claremont wrote it.
Angel ends his comments to Storm, also, after his lame motion and emotion spiel, by saying let's kiss. By that point she has long stopped showing appreciation for his company. And Storm "knew how to handle herself," but she was brand new to civilization at that point. This is the same woman who in subsequent issues (of Classic back-ups, I believe) was shown to not understood cultural mores about nudity and so on. She's basically a child.
And the idea that Wolverine is being written as a "rougher version of the original characterization of Warren", ie a playboy, is a poor reading. Wolverine is not a womanizer, though he does rack up a few in his time. He is hitting on Jean because he likes her in particular, not because she's a woman and he's a womanizer.
You have to remember that Claremont had been writing Wolverine for over a decade by this point. He had established the character. To suggest he was trying to go back and randomly portray him as a womanizer is - odd.
No, that's not what I meant (i.e. that Logan was a "womanizer").
I was saying that I feel that the "Warren dislikes Logan" angle shows nuance by Claremont, and not just one level.
And, yes, it was one of the very early Classic X-Men strips where Storm was shown to be naive about "Western-customs", like nudity.
Storm's lack of comprehension of Western customs and propensity towards nudity had been addressed even before that CLASSIC X-MEN backup. Early in their run Claremont and Cockrum did the exact same bit, with Colossus throwing a shirt over her. After that Claremont and Byrne had a scene in which the X-Men spent a day at the lake and Storm complained about having to wear a bathing suit (and pouted about "this country's silly taboos"). The lake scene was in the same issue as Guardians first appearance.
For all his reputation, I find Claremont a very weak writer, at least far as characterization goes. He did a lot to try and present Wolverine as likeable... yet he was so blunt at it and present so little to support the idea that it backfired major time with me.
He is much better with plots. But his characters tend to suck awfully.
Aw, I disagree. Claremont had his ticks, and marvel in the eighties dictated the (very sensible) policy that characters be easily accessible in each issue (which led to oft repeated catch phrases and redundant explanations of powers) but his dialogue was pretty sharp (if wordy) and he definitely made sure each character spoke in their own "voice". YMMV of course, but I think characterization was one of his strengths, not weaknesses.
I find Claremont to be great with characterization as well.
Wolverine's characterization grew leaps and bounds as the series progressed too. The character has usually been presented as one-dimensional since Claremont stopped writing him.
I thought he was above average at characterization for a comic-book writer in the 1970s and 1980s. There was a certain sameness that set in as he was handling more books, with more and more mutants coming and going from the various teams. In the later 1980s, I began to feel that a lot of those Claremont women sounded and acted just like each other, that the artists were just putting different faces and clothes on a set of CC archetypes (The Sexy One, The Sensitive One, The Fun-Loving One, The Underconfident One, etc.). But...as I said, above average, and he could shine when he got a crack at something off his usual path. His handling of the Fantastic Four in that miniseries with the X-Men was affecting. I was gone by the time he wrote their actual title.
Claremont is known primarily for two things - his characterization and his plotting.
If he's weak at characterization, nobody's ever been good. He singlehandedly defined a cast of characters so interesting that they ended up overwhelming Marvel's entire line.
And he never wrote types - even his bit players (the Sharon Friedlanders of the world) were unique, distinct personalities. His trick (according to him) was to write as a method actor - take on the voice of each character and try to see things as each character. It sounds like something everyone would have to do to write, but I bet most of them didn't. It's writing from inside the character out rather than from outside in, which I believe is the usual.
And ChrisKafka, I agree. The only other passable Wolverine I've read was from Larry Hama's long run in the 90s, and even that (because it existed in the 90s) was somewhat more cartoonish and cliche, and a little less living, than Claremont's.
And he actually did very little to present Wolverine as likable. As in - nothing.
"I do not have a harsh opinion about Warren. Warren Worthington is not a real person. In the Stan Lee stories, he's completely innocuous. I'm commenting on how a character in a particular story is written."
You're forgetting that Warren's character did develop in the hands of other writers after Stan Lee and before Claremont. He gained more personality during the Roy Thomas/Neal Adams era.
Just thought I'd clarify my above post. It was in support of what Chris Kafka wrote about Angel. He was describing Warren's character as developed by Roy Thomas & Neal Adams (hot headed) and comparing him to Wolverine. I quoted Paul's reply because he seemed to be saying that Angel never had a personality before Claremont wrote him (Sorry if I'm wrong!). Paul specifically mentioned this post upsetting him in the Uncanny X-Men #136-137 thread so I thought I'd try and explain. Again, I didn't mean it as any kind of attack on Paul and I'm very sorry he took it that way. :(
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