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.
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