Uncanny X-Men #158
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #158
...after the big Brood battle from the previous few issues, the main plot has Carol Danvers, Wolverine, and Storm infiltrating the Pentagon in order to erase their records of the X-Men and Ms. Marvel. While they are there, they run into Rogue and Mystique. (Remember that, in her Raven Darkholme persona, Mystique works at the Pentagon).
We're told that anti-mutant sentiment is on the rise. Of course, attacking the Pentagon can't have helped.
Also in this issue, more hints are dropped that Xavier's got a Brood in his belly.
And Cyclops takes Corsair to meet Havok.
Good writing, marred a bit (for me) by Cockrum's art style.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: X-Men Classic #61
Inbound References (6): show
Minor character appearing: BBC reporter "John Cheever," here as host of Panorama and interviewing Robert Kelly.
For a whole I thought this was somehow supposed to be the real-life American novelist John Cheever, but I'm now sure Claremont was just appropriating the name for this British character who crops up in several Claremont stories. The MCP lists his appearances as:
Posted by: Walter Lawson | May 17, 2014 9:25 PM
I need my eyes checked: you do list Cheever here, although your index doesn't list him for UX 113 or 184.
Posted by: Walter "Whoops" Lawson | May 17, 2014 9:27 PM
Thanks, Walter. I've added him for those two issues.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 17, 2014 10:43 PM
I thought the Brood appearance in early issues of "New Mutants" were where Xavier was implanted with an egg. How does this work in the timeline, because the eggs were implanted in the X-Men far later, and came to gestation far earlier than the one in Xavier, if he's actually been implanted. This would also make Wolverine's assumption that Xavier is hosting a Queen egg at the end of #166 more sensible [if only because he has a subscription to other Marvel comics and gets his books weeks earlier than the newsstand readers; otherwise how does he know Tony Stark isn't hosting a Queen egg after all the time the X-Men spent off-planet? Or Bill Fischman, that guy down the street who runs a 7/11?]
I don't specifically recall any other Queen eggs implanted (and am too lazy to look it up) but, well, even they took less time to gestate than the one Xavier supposedly has here. He goes into a coma for [Marvel time] ages. I agree the implication here is that he's implanted with a Brood egg - and how's that for a disgusting Claremontism, the female implants her egg in an other-species male and, based on evidence, it takes different amounts of time for it to gestate - but when did it happen, and why did all the other eggs gestate in much less time?
I'm beginning to think superhero comics aren't actually true-to-life.
Posted by: ChrisW | October 8, 2014 11:49 PM
No, that's just crazy talk.
Posted by: ChrisW | October 8, 2014 11:51 PM
First post here. Stumbled across the site hoping to fine placement for reading the marvel fanfare strange tales GN I got on the clearance rack at my local comic shop. Just finished reading xmen 150-159 and noted the reference to fanfare in 158. This post helped answer if in fact those stories were connected. Doesn't seem so as nothing in the fanfare novel is connected to these characters. I might have to snag those marvel super hero issues to inform my chronological x men reading order. Thanks fnord! I'll be back as I go through the complicated 80's!
Posted by: Yert 1981 | September 24, 2015 8:56 PM
Posted by: fnord12 | September 24, 2015 10:05 PM
Xavier got implanted with the egg behind-the-scenes in UNCANNY X-MEN #155, after Colossus was taken out. By the next issue, he's already having dreams about it while a prisoner of Deathbird. Unsure why his egg took longer to gestate, other than maybe it's because it's a queen.
Posted by: Andrew Burke | June 24, 2016 1:13 PM
I can't really blame Claremont of wanting to sever the X-Men's ties to the government and at least attempting to address them in this story. But it takes some willing suspension of disbelief once we consider the established backgrounds.
For one thing, it sounds a bit optimistic to assume that a home-bred computer virus might succeed quite so throughly in that respect. One would expect the Pentagon computers to have functional backup serves, digital archives, even hardcopies. Even besides that, as Moira briefly mentions, the X-Men used to have a FBI liaison in Fred Duncan. The team even disbanded by government request back in #46. And it is not believable that the US Government would not know exactly where those military issue Blackbirds are hangared, nor who they belong to. I guess those seemed more futuristic than military back in the 1960s.
In retrospect, it seems clear that early on the X-Men were supposed to actually be a government-supported initiative to some extent. Claremont did the best he could to change the background quite so deeply. The end result still demands a healthy dose of suspension of disbelief regardless.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | October 1, 2016 9:56 AM
Roger Stern tried to explain in the X-Men: Odd Men Out story that Duncan hid the hardcopies from the rest of the government.
Posted by: Michael | October 1, 2016 11:53 AM
Laudable effort, but I still think it is not altogether believable that the X-Men could cover their tracks all that well. That was probably one reason why Claremont put them undercover for such a long time. Having the X-Men acting openly would make _someone_ remember Fred Duncan and ask him: "Hey, Agent Duncan, haven't you visited the headquarters of Cyclops' team once or twice? May you point them out on the map so that we may investigate their participation in the attempts on Senator Kelly and their link with Magneto? And, yeah, how they destroyed their own files and whether they might decide to further compromise our intelligence?"
Posted by: Luis Dantas | October 1, 2016 12:24 PM
"home-bred computer virus" I have seen the virus as being credited as a collaboration between Kitty and the Starjammers. I don't know where that is actually established as I don't remember it being shown in the issue. If it were created by Kitty on her own, that would be ridiculous to me, but if it was created by Shi'ar technology, that is no problem as the Shi'ar are many, many times more advanced than Earth.
That said, this is one of my least favourite issues of the Claremont run. The idea of invading the Pentagon in an attempt to make sure the Pentagon lose interest in them always seemed an incredibly stupid risk to take, even if they couldn't have guessed the exact way it would go wrong.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | October 1, 2016 2:09 PM
While the Starjammers connection would make sense, I think it carries its own bag of worms. It may even have been a partial inspiration for Byrne's "white Vision" story in WCA some years later.
I mean, sure, it is conceivable that the Starjammers might have the proper technology by way of the Shiar. But how do you explain the Pentagon's lack of interest in payback in the aftermath? As you say, the risks are just not worth it.
In the end, I see it as being a bit of a meta move, a signal from Claremont that he does not intend to pursue the plot points involving the government for a fair while. It is probably no coincidence that the same story revisited Carol's own pending plot threads and put those in the backburner as well.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | October 1, 2016 4:40 PM
I'm guessing Carol's decision to erase her past - possibly the inspiration for this plot device in the first place? - was long-term reaction by Claremont to "Avengers" #200. "Wipe it out. Wipe it all out. Then I'll give her the powers of a star. No, two stars!"
Wolverine's not wearing gloves when he punches Rogue in the face, yet her mutant power does nothing.
I don't care if she's Carol Danvers, that MP is in serious trouble for letting her steal his pistol so easily. Also, Carol may have worked at the level of a Colonel, but that does not remotely entitle her to wear the rank. It may not qualify as Stolen Valor, but she is definitely committing a crime. Beyond breaking into the Pentagon anyway.
And Alex and Lorna live in the middle of nowhere, how many visitors do they get when things get interesting?
Posted by: ChrisW | October 2, 2016 10:06 PM
The whole "erase the X-Men" thing really comes back to bite them in the X-Tinction Agenda story.
Posted by: Jeff | January 17, 2017 2:08 PM
There's an odd bit during the fight sequence wherein Wolverine manages to punch Rogue through a wall as if he's got far greater strength than he's usually portrayed as having.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | June 29, 2018 8:45 PM
Comments are now closed.
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