Time Traveling Bunny:
Uncanny X-Men #169-171
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #169, Uncanny X-Men #170, Uncanny X-Men #171
They call themselves Morlocks. Their leader, Callisto, i guess has decided that she wants a trophy husband and has chosen Angel.
Angel's girlfriend Candy Southern (and it's worth noting that he's still dating Candy, even as he's been pursuing Dazzler over in her book) alerts Professor Xavier of the kidnapping. The X-Men, who are down to Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Kitty Pryde, fight their way down in to the Morlock lair...
...and rescue them (Cyclops is in Alaska and Wolverine is in Japan). Storm considers taking Wolfsbane as a tracker, but Xavier nixes the idea.
The end fight is a no-powers duel between Storm and Callisto that shows Storm willing to be much more of a ruthless killer than anyone expected.
Kitty gets separated from the group and made sick by the Morlock called Plague.
She is rescued by Caliban...
...and she promises to marry him if she'll help her help the X-Men, a promise she won't fulfill.
Most of the Morlocks don't seem to have any powers. They seem to just be homeless people and punks.
If the goal was to introduce an entire society of mutants, it wasn't executed very well. Even Callisto seems to just be a better than average fighter with no actual powers.
If indeed enhanced fighting abilities is her power, then the no-powers duel between her and Storm doesn't make much sense. Of the hordes of Morlocks shown, only Sunder (super-strength), Plague (makes people sick) and Masque (makes people ugly) seem to have actual powers...
...and there's also reference to a Morlock Healer. Additionally, there's Caliban, who we've met before and who doesn't seem to get along with the rest of the group.
Kitty Pryde has a new costume - the yellow and green one with the domino mask. Looks good with Paul Smith's art.
She's still going by the name "Sprite", but she doesn't like it.
In a subplot, the White Queen is rendered unconscious by a psychic attack.
Sebastian Shaw rules out Professor Xavier as the attacker. Mystique and Destiny are also plagued with visions indicating that Rogue is in danger (as Nathan notes in the comments, the narration panel here belies the later idea that Mystique is significantly older than she looks).
Mystique's dreams involve Mastermind and Jean Grey.
Meanwhile, Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor start to become romantically involved. Scott reveals that he's a mutant.
He's still concerned about the fact that Maddy (supposedly) looks so much like Jean Grey, however.
To be fair, we'll soon learn that he's being manipulated by Mastermind. Maddy even tells him that she was in a plane crash the same day that Jean died.
Issue #171 is drawn by Walt Simonson, but it's still not "full Simonson" either due to the inker or the fact that he was attempting to maintain continuity with Paul Smith. It's still nice art.
Having defeated Callisto, Storm is now the leader of the Morlocks, and she orders them to not prey on humans any more.
Back at the X-Mansion, Rogue shows up looking for help.
This is the "Welcome to the X-Men, Rogue.
Hope you survive the experience" issue. She's going crazy dealing with the fact that she's permanently absorbed Carol Danvers' persona. Xavier is unable to read her mind due to her dual persona which is half alien (Kree), but he decides to trust her. Over the protests of most of the team...
...Xavier allows Rogue to stay with the X-Men. On cue, Carol Danvers shows up and flips out over the fact that the X-Men have accepted her.
As Todd notes in the comments, Angel is completely objectified in these issues - no dialogue and unable to participate in his rescue. Interesting gender-reversal from Claremont.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place after Wolverine leaves for his mini series in Japan. Takes place after Dazzler #28. Takes place before Defenders #120-125, because Angel references the events of this arc in that storyline. Issue #171 begins with the X-Men still in the Morlock tunnels so it's part of this arc even though the rest of the issue is unrelated to the Morlock story.
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: X-Men Classic #73, X-Men Classic #74, X-Men Classic #75
Inbound References (8): show
I think the Morlock healer was just called Healer.
There is an interesting scene here in Uncanny X-Men #170 with Mystique in the fox-hunt "dream sequence" where she notes she won't be born for another 170 years from 1783 (i.e. 1953).
This provides proof positive that Mystique is nowhere near as old as later scenes written by Claremont suggest.
So what is up?
Did Mystique travel in time and team-up with Irene to help ensure the negative visions imposed upon her by the Shadow King come true?
Angel had so much great dialogue in this story, didn't he?
I couldn't tell if Todd was being sarcastic or not so i checked: it turns out Angel doesn't speak a word in these three issues.
Yeah, I thought it was odd. I know he was Callisto's "object" in this story, sort of a gender reverse on a damsel-in-distress scenario, but he could have been better used. Even the damsel in distress usually gets to be conscious and participating somewhat, even if it's just to yell warnings to the would-be rescuer(s). Claremont usually didn't bring back important characters only to have them be mute.
Nathan, I think it's a mistake to pay too much or too careful attention to the details of anything X-related Claremont did after X-Men #3. He lost the thread(s) of his universe during the years off, and never got it back again. His X-Men Forever project is further proof of it. Besides being horrible, it's careless about continuity, etc.
And by that I mean, the idea of the project was to pick up where he left off, but it's clear reading it that he didn't really remember precisely where he left off, or what had been in his head at the time, or what the lay of the land had been at the time. Those things get away from you over the years, especially when they're as intricate as they were in this case.
When #170 was previewed, the Morlocks were called "Ugloids".
Given Claremont's reveal in Wizard #103 that Mystique was masquerading as the Xavier Institute's new staff member, and Tessa later turning out to be the new staff member, was this the original unrevealed mystery Claremont intended for Mystique - that she was undercover in the Hellfire Club as Shaw's aide?
Another aspect to think about with the disappointment of X-Men:Forever is that some of the plots Claremont planned to use with X-Men were picked up and reworked by later writers.
Claremont's request, alluded to by Shooter and Nocenti in Sean Howe's book, for Xavier to appear in women's clothes when he wakes up as Callisto's guest in #193 makes sense in light of what Claremont is doing with Cal in this issue, where she's effectively the groom and Angel is the bride (even dressed in white). I guess Cal was Claremont's means for deconstructing gender. Masque, of course, also becomes famously ambiguous as to whether he's meant to be drawn as a he or a she. Interestingly, Claremont's final Morlock story, in the 260s, ends with Cal made beautiful and feminine and paired up with the distinctly masculine Colossus. Later we get the tentacle stuff, but I haven't read those issues, and I'm not going there.
I'd overlooked that later scan of Cal dressed as a bride, and of course Angel is more UN-dressed in white than dressed. I think there's still something to my theory but its not quite as clear-cut as my earlier comment indicated.
Something nobody's mentioned: Angel here looks exactly like the blind Angel Pygar in the 1968 film "Barbarella". Callisto doesn't resemble Anita Pallenberg's character(whose name I don't recall) too much but they do both wear eyepatches.
fyi, Callisto's power(s) are superhman senses...think it's a nice touch with an eyepatch...which would you rather have? super eyesight with only one eye, or normal sight with two?
I see why you placed this so near Dazzler 27-28 (publication dates & Rogue's state of mind), but Angel certainly doesn't seem to be showing any evidence of a recent gunshot wound to the chest here. (& his chest is quite clearly shown.)
Maybe Callisto had her Healer cure the wound. But it might explain Angel (an experienced if not powerful fighter) being captured & held docilely if he was still damaged internally. Perhaps Callisto had Healer heal just the surface damage so she could have her pretty-boy.
In regards to Warren, Candy and Dazzler, I've been developing a theory while working through these issues on this site. Basically the thought is that Candy & Warren had a severe fight followed by a pseudo-breakup. On the rebound, Warren pursued Alison, but when Mystique shape-changed into Candy, it reminded him he loved her/was screwing things up, so went & patched things up. Not having actually read the issues, I don't know if thought bubbles & such would back that up.
In the DAZZLER issue after he gets shot, Allison tells him to stop squirming; it's just a "flesh wound," and he doesn't want to make it worse. I'm not sure it would be possible, even with the smallest-caliber handgun, to get a mere flesh wound from being shot the way it's drawn (and Springer both pencilled and wrote that scene), but there you are.
I have less of a problem with his being captured by powerful Morlocks off panel than with his getting taken out by an ordinary schmo with a gun in the DAZZLER issue. He isn't the most powerful mutant, but he's survived and prevailed in fights against powerful opponents. Here he just blunders in yelling "TRY ME!" and ends up having to be rescued by the person he's trying to rescue. Obviously, the idea was to have the book's star (Dazz) perform the real heroics, but it wasn't graceful writing.
The Warren/Candy relationship was always messy from title to title. Their closeness in DEFENDERS and in occasional Claremont X-MEN issues didn't seem to match up with DAZZLER, and let's not even talk about X-FACTOR yet. Your theory is not a bad one, Erik, but I don't think Fingeroth and Springer considered it that deeply. Warren does kiss Mystique-as-Candy (strange scene -- Allison is standing there but never warns him) in a way that makes one suppose he's still serious with Real Candy. But in the subsequent issue with the blackmailer and the shooting, before he goes to Allison and Lois's aid, he's happily flying around and talking about getting back to "Allison too, perhaps."
Angel, at least in this period, was just not the most well-defined recurring character. Sometimes he had a girlfriend; sometimes he was a playboy. Sometimes he was useful in fights against powerful opponents; other times he was overmatched by a non-powered bozo with a handgun. Sometimes his costume was red; sometimes it was blue. About all that everyone was consistent on was that he had a lot of money.
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