Uncanny X-Men #174-175
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #174, Uncanny X-Men #175
This arc focuses on Madelyne Pryor. We start with Scott's dad and his randy skunk-woman girlfriend catching them making out:
Issue #174 is a downtime issue. Wolverine tries to find out from Mariko why she won't marry him.
Rogue moves in to Jean Grey's old room and Nightcrawler explains to her who Jean was. Kitty and Colossus make out in Storm's attack and get embarrassed when Storm comes home. They also realize that in addition to her new haircut and fashion sense, Storm has removed all the plants from her attic.
Cyclops finally works up the nerve to ask Madelyne if she's Phoenix, and is rewarded with a sock to the jaw.
But then she does seem to turn into the Phoenix.
However, it turns out that both Cyclops and Wolverine's love lives have been manipulated by Mastermind.
He's made Mariko think of Wolverine as a beast, and he's got everyone convinced that Madelyne is really Jean Grey reincarnated. Note that, two scans up, even though Mastermind is engaging in manipulation of others, even he sees the similarity between Jean and Madelyne.
Issue #175 is a big double-sized battle issue.
Mastermind cuts off the X-Men from the outside world, making them think that Phoenix has killed off all external sources of help, like the Starjammers and the Avengers.
During the course of the battle, there's a great scene where the rest of the X-Men become convinced that Cyclops is actually Phoenix due to Mastermind's illusion. Despite being outnumbered and overpowered, Scott is able to keep the rest of the team off balance because he knows their fighting styles so well... anticipating where Nightcrawler will teleport in from, etc. Just a little reminder that Cyclops deserves his field leadership status (and i don't mean that as a knock on Storm, btw).
After Mastermind is defeated...
...Scott says a goodbye at Jean Grey's grave...
...and then marries Madelyne.
One might wonder why Claremont teased the Madelyne/Jean connection so strongly. And it's very possible that the idea was to purge Scott's obsession with Jean's death, to allow him to move forward, by bringing those issues to the forefront. Therefore we might assume that the people so far that have been shocked by the similarity in appearance between Madelyne - Scott, his grandparents, Havok, Storm, and Lilandra - were due to Mastermind's influence. But the fact that Mastermind himself saw the connection is a point against that idea, and the fact that Maddie's plane crashed on the same day Jean became the Phoenix remains true and is just too weird to be a coincidence. And furthermore, Claremont won't end the "hints" showing connections between Jean and Maddie with the wedding. I read all of these issues so far as back-issues after Jean Grey was brought back from the dead, so i never had any connection with Maddie, but reading these issues i find it hard to accept her as a character in her own right. So many of her appearances are in the context of her relationship to Jean. But that's not a complaint about these issues, which resolve the situation nicely for the time being.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Lilandra receives word in #174 that Deathbird has seized the Shi'ar throne. Ideally, her appearance in Fantastic Four #261-262 takes place before this occurs; otherwise her authority in the trial of Reed Richards would be questionable. At Scott and Madelyne's wedding, a caption says "X-Men, old and new, join Xavier's younger students - the New Mutants - and friends and relatives to celebrate". The Beast is clearly shown. There's a blond guy that is most likely Havok (see comments).
The New Mutants are off in Brazil from New Mutants #7-13. So for the New Mutants to be at the wedding, all of those issues would have to take place before this arc.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: X-Men Classic #78, X-Men Classic #79
Inbound References (12): show
#175 was originally previewed as the wedding of Wolverine and Mariko. I wonder if Shooter or somebody else vetoed that and Claremont stuck in the Summers/Pryor wedding instead.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 16, 2013 5:10 PM
Paul Smith, at the time he quit, stated that he did so over major disagreements with Claremont over the book's direction and general lack of interest.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 21, 2013 5:11 PM
At about this time an X-Men/Cerebus crossover book was announced to be written by Claremont & Dave Sim with art by Sim. It was supposed to have the X-Men drop into Cerebus' world through a space warp, and Cerebus trying to hide them from everybody else in his cast. Presumably it wouldn't have any effect on X-Men continuity. The project probably got killed by Sim after Marvel legally objected to his Wolveroach parody character. An X-Men/Cerebus illustration by Sim did appear in Comics Journal #84.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 20, 2013 6:58 PM
I believe Jim Shooter has said the Wolverroach legal issues didn't scotch the crossover, but rather Sim just didn't pursue the project.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | July 20, 2013 7:14 PM
It's rare to show two total bad asses with different powers fighting and both being superbe at it, in this case Cyclops and Mastermind.
Posted by: David Banes | November 2, 2013 5:56 PM
Damn, Paul Smith is underrated. Much as I love John Romita Jr, somehow jumping from Smith to JR in the same issue comes across as... let's just call it jarring.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | November 2, 2013 6:08 PM
Maybe the issue is that Smith's run in the 1980s was fairly short. Positioned between Byrne and Romita, who have large fan bases, he was "a slender willow between two mighty oaks" (a phrase borrowed from something I read on a different topic). Cockrum was in that succession too, but I prefer to remember him from his earlier run.
I agree he is underrated. I love the dynamism of Madelyne decking Scott above. Also, his faces for the "nice" characters (Kitty, Peter) were always very endearing.
Posted by: Todd | November 2, 2013 7:32 PM
The blond guy with Beast in that one panel may also be Angel as he'd joined the Defenders at that point. That means Iceman may also be there as he was a member of the Defenders along with them. There is a brown haired guy standing behind Beast with his back to us that might be him.
Isn't the blond chap standing beside Cyclops at the altar Havok? The guy talking to Beast has much lighter blond hair.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | November 25, 2013 5:15 PM
I think the red-headed "Havok" at the altar and the blond guy with Beast might be the same guy, but the colorist didn't realize it. If it is Angel, he's hiding his wings well, and seemingly unnecessarily considering the presence of obvious mutants like Beast and Nightcrawler.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 25, 2013 5:27 PM
Angel has been shown to hide his wings very well back in the early X-Men era but you're right, it is odd for him to hide them as he'd pretty much come out as a mutant in The Champions #1 and wasn't bothered about hiding his wings anymore until he joined X-Factor. Maybe he wasn't able to get a tux which had openings for his wings in time? Still, it would be odd for the Beast to go to the wedding and not take Angel & Iceman with him as they were all in the Defenders together at that point.
Also odd that Polaris wasn't shown on panel either as she would have come with Havok.
My ability to see subtle colour differences isn't great so I didn't realize Havok's hair was reddish in the "at the altar" panel. Probably why I prefer brightly coloured comics much more than the murky coloured ones. lol!
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | November 25, 2013 5:53 PM
The panel mentions "Xavier's younger students, the New Mutants," so I thought Romita would logically draw one of them in the foreground with Beast. I assumed the blond guy (who looks as though Romita intended him to read as young and slight) was Doug Ramsey.
Angel was a conspicuous omission from this issue (weren't Warren and Scott close friends?), but the wardrobe of Maybe-Cypher is not what puts me off the trail. Angel hid his wings well in DEFENDERS and DAZZLER once in a while too, not just early X-MEN. He sometimes had them folded against his back and strapped down. On formal occasions, he usually did hide them, whether there was strong reason or not. For example, check out fnord's scans for the DEFENDERS issue (131) in which Warren claims to be McCoy's booking agent, and Bobby pipes up, "And I'm Lance, his boyfriend." Obviously, he's in the presence of Beast there too, but he's being discreet with the wings. He's also wearing a suit to escort Dazzler's mother to the Carnegie Hall concert, and when he initially stalks Dazzler.
Posted by: Todd | November 25, 2013 8:16 PM
The continuity may not work, on Ramsey; I think he was introduced a little later. So never mind me.
Posted by: Todd | November 25, 2013 8:21 PM
I wonder if it would have been better at this time to reveal that Madelyne being identical to Jean Grey was a trick of Mastermind. Instead, she may vaguely resemble her as being a beautiful redhead of the same height and weight. It would have done more to sell the idea that Cyclops had moved on from Jean and loved Maddie for who she was.
I never thought Maddie looked the same as Jean, but that's probably just the fault of us never having seen Paul Smith draw Jean Grey first. But subsequent artists always had her look differently anyway. I never liked these kind of contrived soap opera antics. Claremont loved them, but to me the contrivance took away the idea that this was a real world with real people and made it obviously fictional.
All of which would still have been blown up once X-Factor was published.
Posted by: Chris | April 6, 2014 2:54 PM
Alex is clearly at the wedding- Scott refers to him as Alex when he asks for the ring.
Posted by: Michael | August 19, 2014 5:18 PM
So what are we all talking about, then?! ;-) I see that the MCP has updated the character listings for this issue and now includes Havok and the New Mutants and gives a BTS for Polaris since she must have been there if Havok was. (I also see they list Magma as BTS which i'm not so sure about.)
Posted by: fnord12 | August 19, 2014 6:34 PM
I'm not saying the blond guy is the Angel, but I could easily see Warren covering up his wings at parties and weddings, just to avoid taking up space and inconveniencing other guests. I do wish JRjr had included more of the supporting cast in the wedding pictures. We have only one caption indicating the New Mutants are there at all, no Lorna, only the Beast and Banshee as clearly-identifiable former X-Men.
Apparently when he left the title, Paul Smith gave a fairly-scathing account to The Comics Journal about an argument he had with Claremont. I didn't read that article, but after it was printed, he sent a retraction of sorts, explaining that he had spoken in the heat of the moment. Although the argument was real, it didn't contribute to his leaving the title, because he had already intended to leave with #175.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 16, 2014 2:53 PM
Kitty's notion of phasing and running is pretty damn funny when you consider what happens 20 years later when she and Peter finally do consummate their relationship.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 13, 2015 10:24 PM
I've been pretty sure for years that the two people talking to Beast in the foreground were intended to be Angel and (a miscolored) Iceman. I thought the one could have been Colossus, however Colossus is clearly in the center of the panel (identifiable by height) so I'm going with Iceman. It also makes sense for them to draw the three original X-Men together.
Posted by: Jeff | May 19, 2015 3:14 PM
"I've been pretty sure for years that the two people talking to Beast in the foreground were intended to be Angel and (a miscolored) Iceman."
Wouldn't they both be miscolored? Iceman has never been shown as taller than Angel, which would mean Angel is the taller one. And he'd have to be mis-inked as well since he was definitely inked to be a darker-haired person and not a blonde. He was most likely pencilled that way as well since it'd be a weird thing for an inker to introduce.
I guess it's possible it was a mistake but it would be a strange one. That whole panel looks strange to me, though - Storm, Wolverine and Colossus all hanging out together by the Professor. Not sure who the person they're talking to is supposed to be but it's strange that they wouldn't be mixing with the other guests instead of cliquing it up in a closed circle. Likewise, while Nightcrawler and Amanda being together makes sense, they aren't "coupled" at all. It's a very formal and artificial pose for two people who are involved to be standing in while they're at a wedding reception among friends.
Then again, that's probably not even supposed to be Amanda in that scene, since her neckline is different and her hair is styled in exactly the opposite direction from when she is seated with Kurt during the ceremony.
Posted by: Dan H. | October 25, 2015 4:34 PM
The Byrne era gets a lot of love but I think the Paul Smith era just may be the peak of Claremont's run.
So many memorable moments in those short ten issues. Storm's mohawk debut. Kitty tagging Xavier as a jerk. Rogue sacrificing herself for Mariko. And Wolverine in tears, an image his poopularity would never allow for nowadays.
Never knew Smith and Claremont weren't getting along, a shame considering the quality of work they were putting out. Then again Claremont and Byrne didn't get along either and look at how that turned out.
Posted by: JC | January 12, 2016 8:22 AM
We'll never know what Claremont intended for Maddy considering Jim Shooter's out of the blue resurrection of Jean Grey. That said I found it odd to describe her as an "unacceptable character in her own right".
Outside of the Dark Phoenix Saga (DPS) and her being the first female X-Man, Jean has never struck me as a particularly strong or interesting character. She's interested in doing good becuz she's a good person... annnddd that's it really. She doesn't have the forceful personality of say Storm, the confusing desire off fitting in like Rogue, the stubborness of Kitty, or the deviousness of Psylocke.
Compare this with Maddy who's suffered so much tragedy. Who takes the initiation in her relationship with Scott. Who speaks to the X-Men on their own level despite being out of her depth as a 'normie'.
The Scott-Jean relationship had become this defining moment, not just for the X-Men as a title but as a part of the greater Marvel universe, almost entirely in part to the last scene in DPS as well as the one where Scott talks her down and "proposes'. For Scott and the readers to move on the issue of his genre defining love for Jean had to be addressed. Hence the not so subtle transformation of Maddy into the Phoenix here. By having Scott succeed in defeating-rescuing her here and not so coincidentally repeating the exact exchange of lines from when he rescued Jean, he's able to find closure and acceptance of a new love.
Posted by: JC | January 12, 2016 8:48 AM
How did Mastermind fake those illusions to tell the X-Men they were on their own? Maybe he could fake his way through Captain America's dialogue [although one assumes Xavier and Stark would have considered that] but how did he even know the Starjammers existed, much less made a convincing illusion?
Posted by: ChrisW | February 1, 2016 1:11 AM
@ChrisW: In Marvel Super Heroes Special (1992)#11 p.66, Carol Danvers dreams she was dressed as a Hellfire Club Black Queen and dancing with a shadowy figure who told her that she must kill Rogue or "she'll strip from you everything you are, everyone you've ever loved." In the dream, Ms. Marvel unhesitatingly snaps Rogue's neck and it is known that at their first actual encounter, she almost killed her.
All this is almost identical to the Mastermind's seduction of Phoenix through vivid dreams in the stories leading up to the Dark Phoenix Saga.
It is not improbable that Mastermind stage-managed the confrontation between Ms. Marvel and the Brotherhood, and he must have pulled the strings when shortly after Hong Kong Rogue and Ms. Marvel clashed for the first time, in the hope that Carol’s power and personality would be absorbed by Rogue, but due to Carol being stronger, that she would become the more dominant and add Rogue’s powers to her own so that she could then serve the Shadow King that much better (for in Uncanny X-Men #269 (p. 27) Carol tells Rogue that the Shadow King managed to finally track her down, and once her powers were added to Carol’s, Carol would be able to serve the Shadow King.
Later, after Rogue had absorbed the powers and personality from Carol Danvers, she not only had to live with being unable to control her power, but the personality she had absorbed from Ms. Marvel began to assert “herself”, causing additional psychological problems. Now after Mastermind recovered from his Phoenix-induced coma he set out to settle old scores with Mystique and Destiny as his plans for Carol backfired and Rogue managed to maintain dominance.
Among other things, Mastermind appears to give Mystique vivid nightmares and clouds Destiny's perceptions sufficiently for them fail to realise Rogue's anguish so that he could set some contingency plan into place. And so one night, before her family got up, Rogue boards a coach and left Washington (which Mastermind probably intended) for Westchester. Rogue subsequently turns up at Xavier’s School asking for help to control her powers.
So did Mastermind intend (for if Rogue hadn’t absorbed Ms. Marvel’s powers, causing her to be unable to control the Carol Danvers personality within her, she would never have left the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants to join the X-Men in the first place), to set Rogue up within the Mansion as a “Sleeper”, to finally betray and kill all the X-Men.
Anyway, it must have been his intention after Carol failed to absorb Rogue’s powers and personality, to control a being that has Rogue’s absorption power and a split personality, so he can more readily control it so as to have it take the X-Men totally unaware and decimate them.
Now some may ask what did Mastermind have against all of the X-Men, perhaps his constant defeat at their hands, but I think it goes a lot further than that. It is more, what did Mastermind have against Professor X to destroy him and all of his students, for this is more a motive belonging to and promised by the Shadow King (however what did he hope to gain by having Mariko put off her engagement to Wolverine, perhaps to mentally defeat him hoping to induce his feral state). The Shadow King is well known for taking possession of beings, and when taking possession of beings with power, increasing their ability tenfold, thus it seems likely he possessed Wyngarde (because, since when did Mastermind's power increase re: defeating the White Queen, and since when did he have the ability to influence dreams and operate on all levels of space and time), increasing his powers to the level of a major player (recall SK was later referred to by Mystique as Master of Minds).
Posted by: Nathan Adler | February 1, 2016 3:22 AM
There's a simpler explanation- either he went through the X-Men's files around the same time that he sabotaged Cerebro or since he was spying on the X-Men since issue 172, he was there when the X-Men met with the Starjammers and overheard their conversation.
Posted by: Michael | February 1, 2016 7:58 AM
The motivation for Mastermind to take such complete vengeance on the X-Men are given in the panel where he talks to Madelyne; it's basically a post-mortem vengeance on Jean Grey through her friends, for linking his consciousness to the universe, resulting in his catatonia. He's basically miffed for getting a taste of godhood, not being able to handle it, and not being able to attain it ever again. He happily overlooks the fact that this was done in retaliation to his thoroughly mind-screwing Jean into his catspaw. Also, he should be glad he recovered from his ordeal at all. Silly villains!
Posted by: Mormel | February 1, 2016 10:18 AM
@Dan H., the girl who's standing with Peter, Ororo, and Logan is likely Kitty. The hairstyle matches hers, you can almost discern her headband.
Posted by: Mormel | February 1, 2016 10:23 AM
To support Michael's notion, we know Mastermind was around at the time of Logan's failed wedding, so he could have seen the interactions between Scott and his father.
Posted by: Erik Beck | February 1, 2016 11:34 AM
But Corsair had already left Earth by the time of Logan's failed wedding. Corsair's only appearance in these issues was off-Earth, with Scott showing Maddie the view from the Starjammer.
Whatever Mastermind was spying on, it didn't include the Starjammers, in costume, with full exposition, to the point where Scott might have gotten suspicious. Captain America vanishes in a painful scream, and two panels later the X-Men see Phoenix has taken Manhattan. It's not totally believable, but it makes sense. But picking up on Corsair's mannerisms and slang [which even Jean found suspicious] while the X-Men go through computer dialogue to reach him in the first place. I can mentally fool you into thinking you speak Spanish, and send you through hoops which can only be solved if you speak Spanish, and help you pass through those hoops, but that doesn't mean you actually know Spanish.
Nothing we know about Mastermind suggests he knew anything about Corsair and the Starjammers [other than Phoenix making him one with the universe] so how could he possibly fake that? Cerebro or the other computers might have had the files, but where would they have gotten the pictures?
Posted by: ChrisW | February 1, 2016 10:41 PM
One of the people at Logan's failed wedding in issue 173 is Corsair. He appears 3 panels before Lilandra tries to stab Maddie. Note that the only Starjammer which appears is Corsair. And Corsair is the only Starjammer who appears in Mastermind's illusion. Now granted, Corsair was in civvies at the wedding, but it's possible that Mastermind followed him, and either saw him in costume or found his costume or whatever.
Posted by: Michael | February 1, 2016 11:04 PM
Another thing that's always bothered me and I've only just realized what it is, how exactly does making Madelyne look like Dark Phoenix let Mastermind defeat the X-Men?
Just look at the scans here. You can make Madelyne look like Dark Phoenix or you can create the illusion of Dark Phoenix, but either way, there is zero telekinesis going on to cripple Peter with. This isn't a Three Stooges routine where Curly or Larry knew exactly where they were going and at what pace when they *pretended* Moe grabbed their nose and *pretended* to be pulled along at the right pace until Moe *pretended* to bonk them on the head.
Maddie/Dark Phoenix/Mastermind's illusion holds out her hand, closes it and Colossus immediately crumbles? That doesn't even qualify as psychosomatic. And then Kitty gets zapped as she phases through Phoenix? And at the same time Lockheed is blasting full-flame? If that was Madelyne, she'd be a charred cinder. If that was an illusion, the mansion would be burning down, and it would be really tough to keep the X-Men from noticing that. Especially with someone who can smell smoke, someone else who can create rain and modulate temperatures, and two other people who are invulnerable. "Ah thought this chair was comfortable when ah sat down, but now mah clothes are burned off. Stay back, or else ah might absorb your powers an' personalities with mah touch!"
Posted by: ChrisW | March 2, 2016 2:33 AM
This isn't the first time one of Mastermind's illusions have been able to beat people up- one of his illusions beat up the Defenders in Defenders 15.
Posted by: Michael | March 2, 2016 8:17 PM
Exactly! The events you describe aren't entirely realistic, and I expect realism from my superhero comics. Particularly the ones featuring alien dragons written by Chris Claremont. I think that's actually a law, although I don't remember if it's state or federal.
Posted by: ChrisW | March 2, 2016 10:31 PM
It's probably a state law. Federal laws got changed thanks to someone hacking into Pentagon computers back in 1982.
Posted by: ChrisW | March 2, 2016 10:33 PM
During this time, Mastermind was under the control of the Shadow King, which explains where the telekinesis came from during the battle,as well as the other discrepancies.
Claremont has said it was his intention to have the Shadow King take control of Mastermind during the time when Wyngarde was a captive of the Secret Empire saga. So, from that moment forth, Mastermind was a pawn of the Shadow King. However, to be fair, this plot point was never even remotely hinted at in the comics. So, let's go with what was actually shown and told in the stories themselves.
MS. MARVEL #25: Under the control of the Shadow King, Mastermind first attempted to seduce Carol Danvers, as a part of the Shadow King's plans for placing Rogue within the X-Men as his sleeper agent. She was to be his Shadow Queen. However, this ploy failed. But he didn't abandon his plans.
During this story, Mystique turned on her "Lord" (Who was the Shadow King) and used her Brotherhood to interfere in the arms deal between the Hellfire Club and Peter Coelho. This is why the Shadow King wanted her dead in UNCANNY X-MEN #267. This is also why Mastermind wanted revenge on Mystique and Destiny (which is hinted at by Wyngarde himself in UNCANNY X-MEN #175).
Moving on, the Shadow King influences Mastermind into seducing Jean Grey, a bid to control the Phoenix Force,something the Shadow King has been after for a long, long time. A hint of this was shown in UNCANNY X-MEN #117 via the Phoenix insignia shown on Farouk's astral helmet.
Another sign of the Shadow King's influence is Mastermind himself. Wyndgarde has always been nothing but a cheap, sleey illusionist. However, during the Dark Phoenix Saga, he is shown to be something more...something more than he really was. Wyngarde claimed it was this "mind tap" device given to him by Emma Frost that enhanced his power, and it did just that, but that was all it did (and he says this himself). The mind tap device gave him the ability to cast his illusions within Jean Grey's mind itself, and it also enhanced his illusions, nothing more. It most certainly didn't give him the ability to enter the astral plane, as he did in UNCANNY X-MEN #133 when he nearly killed Cyclops there in a duel. That was the Shadow King's doing. And notice how frightened Wyngarde suddenly became when confronted by Jean. Certainly he had reason to be afraid, but the Shadow King wouldn't have been. He would have attempted to reassert his control over her, using his superior telepathic skills. Instead, after realizing things have gotten out of hand, the Shadow King abandoned Mastermind, leaving him to Jean's mercy. Wyngarde, now on his own, was twisted psychically by Jean's superior power. The end...for now.
Then came UNCANNY X-MEN #169-175. Once again, the Shadow King took control of Mastermind, feeding Wyngarde's desire for revenge against his enemies, both in the Brotherhood and in the X-Men. It always seemed odd to me that he took out Emma Frost so easily, to the point that Emma went into a coma. The mind tap device had been destroyed, so he wasn't using that. It makes sense that it was the power of the Shadow King that took Emma out of play, and that is likely what happened.
Mastermind continued his revenge against Mystique and Destiny, whom he harbored ill will because of the incident in MS. MARVEL #25, a story that was supposed to have been published at the time that series was going (but didn't because of cancellation) or at the very least in an issue of MARVEL FANFARE that would have been published not long after UX #158 and before #175. In any case, this story once again showed that there was more to Wyngarde than met the eye.
In UNCANNY X-MEN #170, Mastermind messed around with Mystique's head. Note that Destiny said in the same issue that "the entity operates on fundamental levels of space and time itself". That's not describing someone like Jason Wyngarde. Not even close. That's a firm description of the Shadow King. Destiny's perceptions were also clouded, something Mastermind had no ability to accomplish. He's an illusionist, not a powerful telepath.
Mastermind then maneuvers Rogue into leaving Raven and Irene and go to Xavier and the X-Men. While this was a good way to hurt the two women, enough to satisfy Wyngarde's thirst for revenge, it served the Shadow King more, as he was positioning his forthcoming Shadow Queen into her position as a sleeper agent. He even manipulated Professor X rather subtly into accepting Rogue into his school, something the X-Men were against. All of this is later revealed in X-TREME X-MEN ANNUAL 2001.
The Shadow King obviously helped Wyngarde fight against the X-Men in UNCANNY X-MEN #175. He even helped enhance Wyngarde's illusions regarding the scenes with Captain America and Corsair. But once again, the Shadow King abandoned Mastermind when things started going bad, but he didn't need him anymore at that point. He had accomplished his primary goals.
The Shadow King's influence with Rogue, however, continued. One prominent thing to be mentioned is all the problems Rogue had with Carol's presence inside her mind. This was a sign of the Shadow King's influence within her mind. All of her problems period throughout her entire life were subtle manipulations created by the Shadow King. This was revealed in X-TREME X-MEN ANNUAL 2001.
I should mention that the Shadow King's interest in Rogue was also shown in UNCANNY X-MEN #269.
All of Claremont's plans for Rogue would have culminated in UNCANNY X-MEN #300, some 130 issues after they began. It was a long term plan. The Shadow King knew it would take several years for Rogue to absorb and "catalog" various powers, from her X-Men teammates (and other mutants) and from other heroes, like the Avengers. The more the merrier. However, Claremont was off the titles before then, but his plans -- albeit condensed -- finally saw fruition in X-TREME X-MEN ANNUAL 2001, which also revealed the plans the Shadow King had for Gateway, which was access to the Dreamscape. He finally unveiled his Shadow Queen in all her glory, but little did he know she was to be his own undoing (well, at the time).
Posted by: Andrew Burke | June 1, 2016 10:36 AM
That's not to say, fnord, that you need to put the Shadow King on the appearance list for every issue thatcontained Rogue (or even Mastermind). However, you should consider placing him in UNCANNY X-MEN #170-171 because it was shown in X-TREME X-MEN ANNUAL 2001 as fact that the Shadow King was influencing Mastermind into driving Rogue from Mystique and Destiny's arms and into those of the X-Men and also influencing Professor X into accepting her into his school, despite the rightful reservations of the X-Men. You should definitely read the issue to decide, I think. :)
Posted by: Andrew Burke | June 1, 2016 10:54 AM
Interesting seeing Andrew Burke's comments on this entry, and comments by him and others on various other X-Men related issues.
Back in the 1980s and 1990s, before the advent of social media, it was difficult for readers to get much in the way of "behind the scenes" info. For a long time I had little to no idea that Chris Claremont had been intending to utilize the Shadow King as this overarching "Big Bad" who was pulling the strings on various different schemes, manipulating a variety of characters throughout the years. Look at this now, a couple of things occur to me...
Claremont was at times overly ambitious, and he relied much to heavily on a slow burn development for his various subplots. If he intended for the Shadow King to be involved in various events, very little of that was evident in the actual stories. I feel that he spent too much time on a very gradual build-up for numerous storylines. Because he took so long, often his plans would become derailed, because the books' editors would change and the new big cheese would want to go in a different direction, or he would find out that characters he was planning to utilize were suddenly off-limits because other writers were already using them, or he just got distracted and spent too much time focusing on other subplots, things like that. It feels like after a while perhaps Claremont should have recognized the constraints of working with Marvel's toys and started to reel in some of his plans, taken a more modest approach to his extended plotting.
Claremont also appears to have been much too fond of the Shadow King. I really think it was a mistake to tie in the Shadow King with so many different other villains and plots, such as Mastermind and the Hellfire Club and Mystique and the Reavers and so on. Making the Shadow King the force behind "Days of Future Past" seems especially ill-considered. The whole point of that story is that simple human fear & bigotry is all too capable of destroying the world, and that is completely undermined if it's revealed that some mind-controlling demon is unmasked as the cause.
As I have said before, I really do like Claremont, but I also think that his best work occurred when he worked with editors who were sympathetic yet also firm enough to reel him in and keep him focused on a manageable number of characters and plotlines.
Posted by: Ben Herman | June 1, 2016 4:31 PM
I think another problem, one that a lot of writers share, is that while they are writing their stories and setting up others, they think of yet another plot and do that one first, which leads into another one, pushing their other set ups back. That, and they also have crossover stories forced on them by the editors.
I like Claremont so much because he did do lots of various set ups and such. It holds up better for me especially now because I can go back and re-read his entire run without having to wait between issues. I like long-term plotting, so it is fun for me now to see him set up something and then it takes 2 years to pick back up on it. Back in the day, I just read the book and enjoyed it, but now I enjoy looking at the run as a whole now that it's long since finished.
I do admit, though, that he did juggle too many plots, and he should have taken it easy. And I can see why some people don't care for his work for the reasons they do.
Claremont was fond of a great many characters, it seemed. I know he did want the Shadow King to be the X-Men's greatest adversary, a force of power that just wouldn't go down, no matter what anyone seemed to do. But admittedly, I wouldn't want him to be behind EVERYTHING. The Mastermind stuff, his plans for Rogue, and such are fine for me, but making him the force behind "Days of Future Past" was surely not a way to go, for the reasons you state.
Posted by: Andrew Burke | June 2, 2016 9:38 AM
@Andrew Burke: So which characters do you think Claremont wasn't fond of?
Posted by: D09 | June 11, 2016 6:14 PM
Characters he was fond of seemed to be Jean Grey (at least, prior to her return, although he did use her during his second UX run), Magneto, Rachel Summers, Kitty Pryde, Rogue, Cannonball, Psylocke, Sage/Tessa, the Shadow King, among a few others.
I heard Claremont didn't like Cyclops much, although he did write him well. I don't think he liked Angel and Iceman very much, either. Seems like he may not have liked Dazzler, but he later used her in NEW EXCALIBUR, especially with the storyline involving her repeated deaths and resurrections. I doubt he liked Marrow, as he just plain dropped her when he started his second run.
Posted by: Andrew Burke | June 13, 2016 11:46 AM
I think Claremont liked Cyclops a lot more before X-Factor yanked him from his control. After that, Claremont took most of his antipathy over X-Factor out on Scott, with his plans to have Jean go to Wolverine and Scott go to Psylocke. Of course, he only got to do a version of that story with Jean cheating on Scott with Logan, then after Wolverine got killed, she moved on to Beast who also got killed. Apparently, Scott's momentary lapse under another writer justified Jean going through X-Men like flipping a rolodex. I'm not sure if it was to get back at Scott or make Jean look just as bad.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | June 13, 2016 2:26 PM
I'm just now in the process of getting all the X-MEN FOREVER trades, although I did read the series when it had come out. Jean did not look very good jumping around from one character to the next. Sure, Logan got killed, so her move to the Beast wasn't cheating, but she did cheat on Scott with Logan, and that's just wrong in more ways than one.
And Claremont used Cyclops on and off here, too, so he must have just disliked him during Scott's appearances in X-FACTOR.
Posted by: Andrew Burke | June 13, 2016 3:31 PM
No, Jean didn't cheat on Scott with Beast, sorry it read like that. Claremont seemed to be getting over his Cyclops issues towards the end, but it seemed really important that Cyclops stand aside and watch Jean go to someone else. Cheating with Logan was bad, but Beast & Jean right after Jean & Logan is just out of nowhere. I'm not sure what kind of wrong it is, but it ain't right.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | June 13, 2016 4:03 PM
How long did it take for Jean to move on with Beast? Issues? Off-panel?
Posted by: Andrew Burke | June 13, 2016 4:56 PM
Wolverine's burial was in X-Men Forever (2009) #10. Jean and Beast kissed in #14.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | June 13, 2016 5:15 PM
Here's some information from John Romita Jr. about UNCANNY X-MEN #175, particularly about why he did the final part of the issue. Interesting stuff!
Posted by: Andrew Burke | June 25, 2016 3:11 PM
Nooo Madeline, don't do it. Don't marry him!
He will leave you and your kid, and you will be turned evil retroactively.
You are better than this
Posted by: Karel | October 22, 2017 8:36 PM
Jokes aside, Madelyne is completely devoid of any personality or characteristic, other than "looks like Jean Grey and almost died the same day". I hope that will be better later (I am reading the issues again in published order).
Posted by: Karel | October 24, 2017 4:21 PM
Well,we know she's an airline pilot, a great cook and has a nasty right cross.
Posted by: ChrisW | October 24, 2017 8:08 PM
For the most part Claremont was very sparse on the developing the supporting cast of X-Men, which is not surprising given that team books already have a lot of characters to deal with. But much of the problem is that he's inconsistent on their appearances and undisciplined in his writing. They are there for plot and aren't really characters.
We learned little about other school staff members like Stevie Hunter, Sharon Friedlander, and Tom Corsi. They'd just show up one day for contrived plot purposes and then sporadically appear. Same thing with recurring cast like Col. Rossi or Peter Corbeau. They'd be around for a while and them mysteriously disappear despite supposedly having close relations with Xavier or someone else.
The other romantic interests of Cyclops and other X-Men were also seldom developed. Lee Forester and Amanda Sefton are equally enigmatic. We don't know why they're attracted to their X-Men lovers, we're just told they are. Mariko is a little more developed simply because as someone who is Japanese, she's distinctive to an American audience from other love interests. But we don't really see why she'd be attracted enough to Wolverine to marry him. Likewise, what Forge and Storm saw in each other is also mostly unknown. Claremont doesn't bother to develop the relationship in front of us, he just asserts it happens and continues with the new status quo.
Posted by: Chris | October 24, 2017 11:54 PM
In Maddie's case we DID understand why she was attracted to Scott- yes,they both liked planes but more importantly they both had to bear the burdens of leadership at too young an age and they both were scarred from their experiences (Maddie from her plane crash, Scott from Jean's death).
Posted by: Michael | October 25, 2017 12:29 AM
In fairness, most comic-book couples have a bit of this. There's generally a sense of why the initial attraction happens, but up until the late Bronze Age you're lucky if you get a good sense of how the regular relationship stuff develops. Generally what you get in the Silver Age is two people attracted to each other's impossibly noble qualities.
This is part of why Peter Parker and Mary-Jane were such a standout couple under Gerry Conway, for example. But prior to that, we got to see why Peter and Betty started dating, but not much of what kept them together; we got their relationship drama, their jealousies and suspicions, instead. And Gwen Stacy...well, she seemed to "sense" that there was more to Peter Parker than an aloof coward, but quite what told her that and how it turned into a relationship is somewhat vague.
The romances of characters like Thor and Iron Man can be hard to explain, too; Pepper's attraction top Tony was explained, but Tony's turn to mooning over Pepper (as opposed to just appreciating her makeover) was pretty undermotivated. And with Thor, Sif just sort of shows up as a Jane Foster substitute. And then, of course, we have the "you remind me of someone" romances, like Cap and Sharon or Hank and Jan.
Claremont's habit of having the relationships develop off-panel perhaps exacerbates this, but until relatively recently we rarely saw any of the "why it works" stuff on panel, nor much organic development of relationships.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 25, 2017 7:07 AM
"Well,we know she's an airline pilot, a great cook and has a nasty right cross." Yeah, that is actually more "personality" than 99% of love interests get in hero comics of this period or earlier. Also she has only appeared for a few panels in 7 issues of a teambook with a lot of other plotlines happening at the same time, she will be developed more in future storylines.
It's clear at this point that Claremont just wanted a quick arc where Cyclops could be given a good send-off & live happily ever after, there was no real time to fully develop Madelyne here. Claremont should've known Cyclops wouldn't be retired forever, though he couldn't have known Jean would be brought back so quickly & ruin the ending he planned.
I do think the criticisms of Claremont as doing a lot more "telling" than "showing" is very accurate, but I do also think this being a teambook excuses him a little, this was back in the era where there was meant to be action (& hopefully a whole storyline) in every issue. There simply wasn't time to develop everyone's love interests in a teambook. Not that heroes who had their own book usually had love interests with unique personalities either.
Claremont does at least try to develop an on-panel courtship for Storm & Forge in "Lifedeath", which is clearly advertised as Claremont trying something unusual for the time. Though the problem there is that it's then left unmentioned for 30+ issues until suddenly being revived out of nowhere for Fall Of The Mutants.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | October 25, 2017 8:52 AM
I like everybody's points about the weakness in Claremont's "X-Men" supporting characters, the valid excuse that it's a team book and there are only so many pages to go around, and the points made about comic book relationships in general.
I think Maddie in her (ahem) original incarnation worked as a normal girl who didn't really belong in this superhero lifestyle. The page in #173 when she reacts to Kitty's request to hold Lockheed during Wolvie's wedding is perfect. The look on her face, the body language between her and Scott, Lockheed yawning to provide the punchline... Stuff like this more than makes up for what we're shown or told about off-panel.
Posted by: ChrisW | October 25, 2017 8:34 PM
Also, Maddie was unique in that her backstory involved being responsible for other people's deaths in a "normal" accident, not some dark past that never happens to normal people.
Posted by: Michael | October 25, 2017 10:51 PM
I think you're reaching there. Sole survivor of a plane crash is not something that happens to normal people, and having that plane crash occur at the exact moment her cosmic entity/physical duplicate died on the Moon is definitely not something that normal people can relate to.
Normal people could relate to 'she's cute, kinda reminds me of Jean, so Dad, what's this about me having grandparents?' or 'he's cute, better get on with the pre-flight check.' Instead, the next time we see Scott and Maddie, they're in each other's arms on a short trip to the altar. It really feels like we've skipped a lot of details. Other than vaguely dating Colleen Wing, I don't think Scott ever had a girlfriend who wasn't Jean in her various incarnations, and that still leaves Maddie a blank slate, with no past mistakes to come back for revenge.
Posted by: ChrisW | October 25, 2017 11:45 PM
@ChrisW didn't Lee Forrester count as Scott's girlfriend?
Posted by: Stevie G | October 26, 2017 12:08 AM
Um, no, because of the Beyonder or the Comic Cube or something. Maybe the Serpent Crown. Whatever it takes to keep me from being proven wrong. :P
Posted by: ChrisW | October 26, 2017 12:30 AM
I don't think you can compare the Silver Age romances with this era, there's just too much differences in audience expectations and sophistication. It is not a fair comparison. Claremont obviously was a skilled writer, and we shouldn't be too hard on him because of constraints of the media and genre. But I do think it's true he's prone to forget secondary characters and relies on certain cheats to establish love interests and relationships as a result. I think if he just had more discipline, we'd say this (and if he stopped making every normal person some kind of witch, alien, cyborg, time traveler, heir of a lost civilization, or whatever nonsense he'd do that complicated back stories).
Maddie is ultimately weak as a character because she is just TOO MUCH like Jean in appearance and in her survival from the air crash on the same day as Phoenix's death. I think these issues were a chance to break that connection and reveal the similarities were due to Mastermind and make her a separate character, and then Cyclops could have loved her for who she was, not who she seemed like. It would have made their love seem more real.
Posted by: Chris | October 26, 2017 4:49 AM
Chris, I don't really disagree with most of that. Mostly it's that when Claremont was god, he was mind-bogglingly good. There's a reason we're still arguing about Mystique, Destiny, Rogue, Madelyne, etc. and not Stevie Hunter or Sharon Friedlander.
The other thing I disagree with is that Maddie's weakness is just part of the serial nature of the comics medium. Even before Jean came back, Maddie had already been kidnapped by Mastermind, lost her husband to the Beyonder on her honeymoon, had him run back to that school for reasons he can't articulate, followed him back to that school while heavily pregnant, turned into a goddess by Loki and then Scott ditches her for a trip to Asgard. And that's just what we saw on-panel. A boring life by the standards of a Claremont female, but if this is the rom-com 'they lived happily ever after' life of Scott and Maddie, every instinct she has should be screaming 'get away from him, girl! Now! Before it's too late!'
Posted by: ChrisW | October 26, 2017 11:57 PM
And now that I've thought about it, what the hell was Lee Forrester's story arc about? That was Claremont showing how relationships between mutants and women work :P and she falls in love with Scott because the story requires it. Ok, fine, romance stories always win over every other kind of story except maybe Hero vs. Villain. We can believe that.
Then Lee and Scott are kidnapped by Magneto. Then the X-Men show up and beat Magneto. And a few years later (in publishing time) Lee hooks up with Magneto, making Madelyne look like the one who made sane believable choices every step of the way. And all of this is done while Jean Grey is totally dead forever.
I keep saying this, but if Claremont's subtext isn't creeping you out, he hasn't done his job.
Posted by: ChrisW | October 27, 2017 12:23 AM
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