Uncanny X-Men #235-238
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #235,m Uncanny X-Men #236, Uncanny X-Men #237, Uncanny X-Men #238
These important issues introduce the setting of Genosha and the related elements of the Magistrates, the Press Gang, the Genegineer, and the Genoshans mutates. The story presents a Days of Future Past type scenario except it's not an alternate future or dimension, it's the present day real world. The opening page makes that clear.
The story had the resonance that it did because the topic of South African apartheid was prominent at the time. And that provided a real world example of current oppression that made a nation that bred mutants as slaves plausible, and in turn allowed for the mutant metaphor to work as commentary for the real world problem.
We start with a mutant smuggling his baby onto an airplane so that it can grow up in Australia free from oppression. The mutant is shot down by pursuing Magistrates. The slur "genejoke" is introduced...
...and we're introduced to a little confusion where the character is referred to as a "mutant" but it's later said that he was bred by the Genegineer.
That will be cleared up when we see that the mutants are indeed natural born - although some are "latents" - but when they are identified they go through a bonding and brainwashing process, and in some cases the Genegineer tampers with their DNA, changing their powers to meet society's needs. Additionally, second generation mutants are bred directly from the first in labs. So there are a combination of mutants and mutates on the island, and even the mutants are potentially further altered.
The X-Men get involved because Madelyne Pryor has taken a job as a pilot with an Australian Flying Doctor Service. Which, i'm done trying to figure out the priorities of the X-Men during this period. I get that Madelyne doesn't have powers and therefore theoretically has downtime while the others are practicing or are on missions. But a big point continues to be made of the fact that she was mastering the Reavers' computer system, which you'd think would be enough of a thing for her to do, especially since we'll learn she's also using that to search for her missing baby. And then there's the question of the X-Men's secret identities. And how Madelyne has faked her way into this job considering it's impossible for her to even get a photo ID thanks to the spell that hides the X-Men from all technology. But i suppose if Wolverine can have solo adventures, Madelyne should also be allowed to.
The nurse Madelyne is flying, Jennifer Ransome, turns out to be a Genoshan, so their plane is attacked by a group of mutants. This one's called Punchout.
After they are captured, they are transferred back to Genosha by Pipeline, who is able to convert them to digital information and sent across a modem. Maddie is lucky that her immunity to technology didn't just get her lost in the ether.
The third member of the Press Gang is Hawkshaw, whose powers seem to be the ability to scan and detect mutants. The X-Men are immune to his powers possibly thanks to their anti-technology attribute.
The X-Men show up to investigate and trace them to Sydney, still in Australia, where they are now going for the smuggled baby.
Wolverine and Rogue take out Punchout...
...and then get shot down by Magistrates that are transferred in by Pipeline.
The other X-Men engage with the Magistrates.
And they manage to defeat a bunch and leave them behind for the Australian authorities. But the Press Gang get away with the baby and Wolverine and Rogue.
Genosha is said to be an island African nation north of Madagascar and Seychelles.
Wolverine and Rogue were transferred naked by Pipeline. And while they continue the fight in Genosha, some of the Magistrates touch Rogue's bare skin and get knocked out.
But before the fight continues much further, their powers are negated by another mutant named Wipeout.
The Genegineer is called to investigate them.
His real name is unfortunately Dr. Moreau. We also meet his son, Phillip, and we see the day to day life of the mutates.
The two captive X-Men are difficult to investigate, considering that they can't be viewed on camera and any records made of them are instantly deleted.
But now we get into the worst aspect of this story as Claremont returns yet again to his obession with rape. Rogue has been raped by the Magistrates.
It's getting old. Claremont has had several characters physically raped already. Karma, Barbara Bannister in Man-Thing, and Colleen Wing, who i guess was only "nearly" raped while being subjected to forced drug addiction. And had several more mentally dominated in a sexual way: Carol Danvers by MODOK, Dani Moonstar by Professor X's evil side in X-Men/Micronauts, even Jean Grey by Mastermind. Beyond that, both Mockingbird and Sharon Ventura were raped recently. So it's like, enough already. Rape is a real thing and we've seen the statistics that 1 in 3 women are subjected to some kind of sexual abuse. So it's a legitimate topic. But we don't need every female super-hero to have been raped. With Rogue it's especially cruel since her powers since her first kiss have prevented any kind of physical contact, and now she's subjected to this.
It's a wonder that this doesn't permanently crack her. As it is, she retreats into her psyche where she's confronted by everyone whose persona she has absorbed.
And she's "rescued" by Carol Danvers...
...and allows Carol to take over her body, just as the Magistrates return to rape her again.
As an aside, note that while Rogue and Carol are talking, it's said that the reason Carol got permanently absorbed was because she "fought too hard". Compare/contrast with Uncanny X-Men #203.
Anyway, with Carol Danvers now in control, Claremont gets to write a Wolverine/Danvers team-up, with the two of them escaping captivity and going into action together, reminiscing about past missions that we've never seen.
The rest of the X-Men are not yet in Genosha. They go back to the Magistrates that are being held in Australia and Psylocke mind-scans them, getting the scoop on what's going on in Genosha.
And it turns out that Phillip Moreau was engaged to Jennifer Ransome, and he finds out that the reason she's disappeared is because she's "gene positive".
And here's where we learn that Dr. Moreau sometimes further mutates the mutants.
Madelyne is still a prisoner, and the Genoshans continue to try to investigate her. But meanwhile, N'astirh has been trying to contact her, first going to the Reavers' computer...
...and eventually catching up with her in Genosha.
N'astirh's brief visit causes a power failure that helps Wolverine and Rogue/Carol escape. They're still powerless, however, and Wolverine's lack of a healing factor is actually slowly killing him.
And it also means that his hands don't heal after popping his claws out.
As they roam Genosha, we see more of its society.
They eventually start a bar fight so that they can steal some IDs in the chaos, and then they wind up following Phillip Moreau, who also started trouble at the bar. Some of the Magistrates decide to get rid of Moreau by putting him on the mutant train where mutants are sent to where they are processed into mutates, and Wolverine and Carol follow.
If it seems like there are just way too many mutants on this tiny island nation, well, it's said to be an island of ten million serviced by "a few hundred" mutants. I guess the fact that they're able to activate latents like Jennifer Ransome and also breed second generation mutates accounts for what's still a large number. Outside of the now (mostly) dead Morlocks, i don't think we've seen a few hundred mutants in all of the Marvel universe so far. But as you can see, the idea is useful for the sake of the metaphor. Since, unlike blacks in South Africa, mutants are the minority in Genosha, the description does sound more like slavery than apartheid, but the idea that the oppressed group would rise up and destroy their oppressors was a common fear in both real world scenarios.
The majority of the X-Men don't make it into Genosha until late into issue #237.
Nearly the first thing that happens is Psylocke feels a psychic backlash from Madelyne when the Genoshans try to probe her mind with a telepath.
The backlash also devastates the lab where Madelyne was being probed.
Meanwhile, Wolverine and Carol locate Phillip on the train.
They start to get in trouble with the mutants on the train, and are "rescued" by Magistrates. Disguised as Magistrates themselves, when they're questioned about what they're doing on a mutant-only train, they identify Phillip as the Genegineer's son, and that's enough to get them off.
But Wolverine swears to take the country down.
Issue #238 opens with scenes from Madelyne's mind.
Notice the reference to Steeleye Span. That's the band with the lead singer Madelyne Prior, which is where Chris Claremont got the name for our Madelyne Pryor. And in this dream Maddy says, "I was sick. But I got better.", a callback to a similar line from Avengers annual #10 that had a young Maddy Pryor that until now we never had reason to think there was any connection with Cyclops' love interest.
As Madelyne's dream continues, we see her transform into a Phoenix-like entity...
...while the Genegineer is re-imagined in a Mr. Sinister costume.
She also tells the Genegineer that "men like you have made me". And she's next seen in the outfit we saw in her dream with S'ym (and also the ads for Inferno).
Wipeout is unable to affect her.
Despite all this, she's still able to articulate a criticism of Genosha, and seems sane and also still powerless.
Phillip Moreau, meanwhile, begins to question his society.
Wolverine and Carol are discovered thanks to the fact that they don't register on camera. They use the aliases Patch and Ace.
Silvestri's art on #238 is rougher and darker than i'm used to from him. It's actually a nice effect but i wonder if the bi-weekly schedule was, in addition to the fill-ins by Leonardi, requiring him to leave more to inker Dan Green.
Wolverine says that he was once a slave himself. Not sure if that was meant to be a reference to anything we were supposed to know about yet, but his (not yet published) time under the control of the Weapon X program might, in retrospect, be what he was referring to.
The rest of the X-Men catch up with Wolverine and Carol and start to turn the tide. Meanwhile, Madelyne winds up in the "creche" where the Genegineer grows the second generation babies, and finds it familiar.
The Genegineer shows up to shoot her but he's stopped by his son Phillip. With that, it's all over. Psylocke forces Wipeout to restore Wolverine and Rogue's powers, and Phillip is reunited with Jennifer and vows to change his society. The X-Men therefore agree to not tear it down, but leave a warning that they're the alternative to Phillip's way.
Although since they also wipe everyone's minds of their identities, i imagine that warning becomes a little vague.
Note also that Madelyne had located the baby that started all of this, but she now only says that "That's all been taken care of". She gave that baby to a demon!
She and Alex are pretty close to officially being an item, and i wonder how much of that is due to her unconscious influence since you'd think Havok would otherwise still have loyalty to his girlfriend, who is still out there possessed by the Marauder, Malice. But all of this is build up to Inferno, which is being done well. Claremont does a great job working through this story and illustrating the mutant oppression themes while also building up to the next story arc.
The story is marred for me by the rape of Rogue, especially since it's only functions in this arc are to show how nasty the Magistrates are and to allow Carol Danvers to come to the front. There's no time devoted to Rogue coming to grips with it here. I should note that according to Comic Book Urban Legends, Rogue was not actually raped because it doesn't literally describe the rape in the captions. And someone in the comments there says that Claremont once confirmed that Rogue wasn't actually raped. And that may be why we don't see any examination of it from Rogue's point of view here. But these are Code books. It's pretty clear what the implication is, and if that's not the intention it sure was a misfire creatively, since most people, myself included, seem to come away from this with that impression. But if you like, feel free to downgrade "rape" to "rape-like abuse".
Despite my rape concern, it's a powerful story that works really well with the mutant themes and blends them with real world concerns. And of course it's in important arc since it introduces the Genosha setting, which will go through several evolutions but remain a key location in the Marvel universe.
Quality Rating: A-
Chronological Placement Considerations: We'll see in X-Terminators #2 that this takes place soon after X-Factor #34 (and concurrent with X-Terminators #2). See the Considerations for Uncanny X-Men annual #12 regarding placement of that issue vs. this.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (9): show
FNORD - When you wrote - "Havok would otherwise still have loyalty to his wife,", I thought they were only boyfriend & girlfriend.
Posted by: CLYDE | August 6, 2014 7:04 PM
You're correct, Clyde. Just a slip since they've been together so long. Fixed it.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 6, 2014 7:26 PM
Fnord, I never read that scene as Rogue bieng raped. Look at the caption- "All they did was touch her. Rude hands, ruder glances- taunting promises of worse to come." That's clearly meant to Rogue being groped, not raped.
Posted by: Michael | August 6, 2014 9:41 PM
Michael, the problem I have with the Maddie/Alex affair is that of all the people to go after, she went to her brother-in-law. I just feel like that's very romance-novel kind of stuff. She never got a divorce, so legally she's still married to Scott. Not that Scott was any better as a husband when he went back to Jean.
Posted by: CLYDE | August 6, 2014 9:54 PM
Actually, I don't think Maddie did anything to the telepaths. N'astirh mentions he needs to check in on her with a footnote to this issue in X-Factor #32 (I believe it was off the top of my head. I'll double check tomorrow.) which means tha's actually N'astirh probably shredding them with a spell.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | August 6, 2014 10:56 PM
Michael's right about the rape-disclaimer caption this is an instance where the whole setup so clearly signals one thing that the fact the text says something different didn't register for a lot of readers. It seems like Claremont and the editors are trying to have it both ways: get the effect of a rape scene while staying within Comics Code guidelines.
Of course, we also get a Genoshan telepath forcing himself into into Maddie's mind, but she turns the tables. Not as bad as the Rogue stuff, but this is getting thematically relentless. By the way, the guy dressed up as Sinister is not the Genegineer, he's the Genoshan telepath, I'm pretty sure.
I'm also pretty sure Maddie kills the Genoshans herself--she dismisses N'Astirh in the scans above. I hadn't thought that the Goblyn Queen might be an alternate personality, but that might be so. We are seeing Maddie get twisted in stages: first in her dreams by Sym, where she makes a deal with the devil(s) to find her child, next in these issues, when she defends herself with lethal force and begins to understand who and what she is. The last straw comes when Sinister reveals just what she was made for.
Claremont kind of botches his characterization of the Genoshans. He tries to make the Genegineer and later Chief Magistrate Anderson semi-sympathetic. You can see what he's going for, but he's constructed such a nightmare scenario in Genosha, a scenario for which Moreau is responsible, that the attempt at humanization can't work. Moreau is basically Mengele. The scenario isn't just Apartheid, it's also slavery, and it's also the Holocaust, with the trains, camps, and tattoos. There's something bordering on exploitative about all this.
Claremont has wanted to explore mutants-as-commodities since around X-Men 100, when it's said to be the Council of Chosen's interst in mutants (as opposed to Lang's extermination it's bigotry.) The Hellfire Club had a bit if this but mostly just turned into a nastier version of Xavier's school: the a Hellions aren't treated like commodities. Claremont has also hinted at mutants-as-weapons and a superhuman arms race, with a dropped subplot about a Soviet program. So Genosha makes good on some mutant themes Claremont has wants to try out for a long time.
There's more here, too: Claremont's sci-if idea of mutant and machine evolving together, which is suggested by Pipeline's tech-dependent power and by various captions that say Genosha's futuristic tech is the product of mutant labor (engineering?).
Unfortunately, not only does the massive increase in the number of mutants pose some management problems, but as others have pointed our, how could the X-Mem, a and especially Magneto, not have known about this? How can they walk off at the end just hoping things are going to change? The concepts introduced here are heavy enough that they could completely reorient the series and the mutant concept. They can't do that, of course, so instead Genosha becomes an unresolved and unresolvable mess until Grant Morrison just kills everyone.
I have some guesses as to what Claremont wanted to do with Genosha, which I'll talk about when we get to the X-Tinction Agenda.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | August 7, 2014 1:48 AM
(That should be "Lang's exterminationist bigotry")
Posted by: Walter Lawson | August 7, 2014 1:53 AM
Actually, Walter, there were high-ranking Nazis and Stalinists that were angry when their minions raped and killed without permission, even though they were part of a system founded on the oppression and extermination of entire groups. That might be what Claremont was thinking of with Moreau.
Posted by: Michael | August 7, 2014 8:09 AM
Sorry, I meant X-Factor #34, bit 32.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | August 7, 2014 1:28 PM
I know the Michael, but this isn't history, it's drama, and Claremont isn't getting the balance right: he wants Moreau to have a little bit of FW deKlerk or Gorbachev in him, but Moreau isn't even just a high-ranking guy in an evil system, he's literally the engineer of the system, who enabled and oversees the sterilization, lobotomizing, and enslavement of an entire population. His role in the system is that of a Mengele or Himmler. Claremont wants to avoid writing a cartoon Hitler, but what we get instead doesn't seem like a realistic mix of evil and twisted, situational decency, but rather one character with two dramatically us reconciled functions, as both a cog in the machine and the machine's driving force.
If Claremont had been able to develop Genosha more deeply he might have painted a more plausible character study--just how did this system get started, what drove its creation, how did Moreau justify it at the time? But there's too much crammed in here.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | August 7, 2014 9:34 PM
'Dani Moonstar by Baron Karza'
That was the Entity, a split personality within Charles Xavier which had taken over his body. Baron Karza's mind was in Kitty's body.
Posted by: Harry | August 8, 2014 3:28 PM
Right, thanks Harry. Fixed it.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 8, 2014 3:59 PM
I basically agree with Walter, to the extent I understand what he's getting at. Genosha, in and of itself, is a decent idea, and certainly in line with what Claremont had been trying to do for years at this point. But it's not developed, it was never set up properly. Artistically, the constant switch between Rick Leonardi and Marc Silvestri makes the overall effect confusing and unimportant as a story. I'm blanking on whether or not Wolverine had ever been depowered before, but it was never established that his claws ripped through his flesh. [A stupid idea itself, made worse once those gawdawful claw bones were introduced. I quit reading the mutant titles just in time.]
At the very least, Magneto and/or the X-Men would have been talking about this country before it actually showed up, and its agents kidnapped Madelyne [who, as was pointed out, was flying planes on a job that had nothing to do with anything we'd ever seen prior to #235.] If they cared so much, wouldn't they at least have noticed it while, I dunno, searching for the Marauders before Fall of the Mutants?
This is trying to give superheroes something to fight in a way that superheroes have no place, where unrealistic powers and colorful costumes don't belong. And it's doing the job badly, especially considering Claremont's other successes in slowly-developing plots [Proteus, Dark Phoenix, the first Brood story, and all the messes that will soon spark an Inferno.]
Except for the development of Maddie that will lead to Inferno, and the basically-decent concept of Genosha [which I never liked, even in X-Tinction Agenda] this story was the low-point of the X-Men's move to Australia.
Posted by: ChrisW | August 8, 2014 9:08 PM
Hawkshaw's name and talents may be a nod to the old comic strip "Hawkshaw the Detective".
The red-haired lady on the TV screen could be a nod to a similar person in "Dark Knight".
About Rogue being raped: It's true that these issues were code-approved, but at this point in the code's existence, what got through and what didn't were arbitrary in the extreme.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 9, 2014 3:17 PM
Regarding the 'rape' of Rogue, that's one of the worst examples of Claremont being Claremont. He gets to have it, not just both ways, but every way possible.
Certainly, it was done with an eye towards Comics Code Approval. However effective it was, the CCA was still the CCA, and Marvel was whole-heartedly behind the CCA.
"Rude hands, ruder glances, taunting promises of worse to come," that isn't rape, that's a bad encounter at a club. BUT we also know how isolated Rogue is by her powers (and I think Rogue is one of the most original supercharacters in comic book history) that we can believe even under those limitations, it would/could be a potentially-traumatic experience.
BUT Rogue has long proven herself a superhero, and she can certainly take a little exposure. How many times has she flown around naked because her costume blew apart? BUT looking is not the same as touching. Unwelcome glances should not be treated the same as unwelcome touches. The former requires other people to turn off their eyesight at your command, the latter requires them to keep their hands to themselves, a much simpler task.
BUT reading the story (and Carol's post-facto exposition in #244) from Rogue's devastated withdrawal from reality, and the nasty gleers on the Magistrates' faces when they come into assault her again, there's no doubt what they intend to do, and it's not Code-approved. If a "ruder glance" is all it takes to make her collapse like this, then she's not much of a superhero. A MAN would be expected to handle a rude glance.
BUT there's also the point Claremont is trying to make of being an organized nation, with political and military structures with a recognized chain-of-command. The Magistrates aren't just random mutant-hating goons, they are authorized by [whatever document/constitution makes Genosha a recognized nation] to implement specific tasks, and use military force when needed. Chief Anderson is very clear that those who took liberties with Rogue have been disciplined, because discipline is the main part of her job, and they went beyond the requirements of their mission. BUT this is ignored when they show up a few pages later to torment Rogue again.
BUT doesn't Rogue have a cute butt? And she's naked! And powerless! What I wouldn't do to that!!!
Basically, this is the worst example of Claremont being Claremont. John Byrne is still complaining about the incestuous lesbian kiss Kitty gave herself at the end of "Days of Future Past," a story which told us Kate Pryde was given an "intentionally-humiliating examination" before she entered the concentration camp. This is someone we only know as a 13-year old girl. Really, if Claremont's subtext isn't disgusting you on a fundamental level, he's not doing his job.
Posted by: ChrisW | August 9, 2014 10:24 PM
And Wolvie was certainly depowered when the team arrived on Magneto's island, and he used his claws. Yet he wasn't stricken with adamantium poisoning. Go figure.
Posted by: ChrisW | August 9, 2014 10:33 PM
I was wrong about the footnote referencing N'astirh contacting Madelyne being in X-Factor. He does it in X-Terminators #2 and the footnote says see The Uncanny X-Men #238. He doesn't appear anywhere in that issue but does appear in The Uncanny X-Men #236 in a medical monitor in Genosha and Madelyne tells him "Later". This may be a mistake or N'astirh may have given Madelyne a behind the scenes magical boost in the "Thirteen seconds" at the beginning of #238 when she massacres the telepaths.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | August 10, 2014 5:41 AM
Logan calls Rogue/Carol "Ace," but in Uncanny 182, "Ace" is Carol's nickname for Rossi.
Anyone looking for an escape hatch to say Maddie wasn't totally evil all along (troubled, spiteful toward Scott and X-Factor, eventually willing to work with demons to find her baby, but not an outright villainess) can find it in the dialogue of 238. There's Maddie's line that the Genoshans' meddling has sparked "an Inferno," and there's her subsequent line that she was "condemned" from the moment she arrived in Genosha, which may not be a reference to just what the Genoshans planned for her but also to her self-chosen fate once she had to embrace her Goblin Queen power to survive/retaliate. She starts acting more overtly vengeful afte the psychic interrogation--that, I'd say, is the moment the Goblin Queen, already conceived by Sym, is actually born.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | September 4, 2014 1:19 AM
At a convention in 1983 I asked Claremont if there was a connection between the kid in the Avengers Annual and Madeline Pryor. (This was back in the days when you could just walk up to a major creator at a con...) He smiled and said "Maybe". Several years later, and this is the best he could come up with. The man plants seeds, but doesn't water them.
Posted by: Andrew | March 20, 2015 5:41 PM
Andrew, Claremont has said in interviews that he honestly didn't realize that he had reused the name until fans pointed it out to him. (How many Delgados were there in Claremont's stories?) So his smiling and saying "Maybe" was probably a way of hiding "Oh crap, I reused the name?!"
Posted by: Michael | March 20, 2015 7:52 PM
Madelyne Pryor appeared to have a version of the Orb of Agamotto fastened to her Goblin Queen outfit. So just how long was she in Limbo for, and did she obtain it from S'ym or N'astirh; or did she travel to a side-reality from Limbo to acquire it? It would be interesting to see more of her tutelage under S'ym.
Posted by: Nathan Adler | June 3, 2015 5:08 AM
You mean the Eye of Agamotto. Dr. Strange still has that. The Orb, however, was believed to have been destroyed earlier in his fight with Urthona, and it turned out Agamotto had it all along.
Posted by: ChrisW | June 3, 2015 11:36 AM
@ChrisW: Yep meant the Eye. So what was up with Madelyne wearing it? It seems her Goblin Queen outfit came with her title, so how did the Eye figure into this?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | June 3, 2015 4:39 PM
There have definitely been other examples before this of Wolverine being depowered and we see no blood when he pops his claws (e.g. Scrambler zapping him in #222 or so), but it's a good development that he bleeds when the claws pop out.
This story also made nice use of Carol Danvers once they brought her out. I never read it as Rogue being raped because of the text, but that being said, she clearly goes through severe emotional trauma and so it's cutting a fine line if we need to decide if she was technically "raped" - no matter what, she was abused and traumatized.
I thought Genosha was a fantastic concept and it was nice how they managed to develop it out over the next few years at the same time that South Africa was undergoing such fundamental changes itself.
Posted by: Erik Beck | August 11, 2015 12:02 PM
Under the creator info, you have it saying that Rick Leonardi and Terry Austin are on #237 only. But Leonardi and P. Craig Russell were responsible for the pencils and inks respectively on #235.
Posted by: Simon | October 16, 2015 5:37 PM
In one of the panels taking place inside Rogue's mind, there's someone in the crowd that looks like Havok. When did she absorb his personality? Must have been a trivial moment, just to get his power or something, since I forgot it.
Posted by: Nate Wolf | February 7, 2017 2:28 PM
@ Nate Wolf -
She kissed him in #219. It was one of the things that Havok remembered.
Posted by: Erik Beck | February 7, 2017 4:27 PM
Oh, yeah. Man, #219 was a weird issue. Probably one of the most convoluted ways for someone to (re)join a team in all of Marvel's history.
Posted by: Nate Wolf | February 9, 2017 5:17 AM
I am curious why Carol isn't listed as one of the characters appearing.
Posted by: ChrisW | February 10, 2017 10:50 PM
Because it's not really her; it's just the residue of her personality in Rogue's mind.
Posted by: Andrew | February 11, 2017 8:10 PM
I'd swear I've asked this before and fnord gave an answer that I may not have agreed with, but it's his site and his rules. I'll probably forget and ask again in a year or two.
But she's in charge. I know there's a walking, talking Binary out there, and Ms. Marvel will be back in a few years, but come on. Silvestri and Leonardi drawing Rogue is the only thing that's not explicitly Carol Danvers. Carol isn't listed in #182, #244, #246-7 or #269, when she's clearly a major participant in each issue.
Posted by: ChrisW | February 11, 2017 10:08 PM
The most you could do is create a separate entry for the Danvers personality in Rogue's mind, because at best it's a separate character. The purpose of the character tags is to follow the continuity of a character relatively seamlessly from issue to issue, and having the Carol Danvers character page bouncing between her Binary and Rogue halves defeats that purpose.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | February 12, 2017 12:41 AM
He doesn't track Bruce Banner and Hulk separately, why would he track Rogue and one of her absorbed personalities separately.
Posted by: AF | February 12, 2017 6:35 AM
Imagine if fnord had to track all of Legion's personalities as separate characters. Or the voices in Deadpool's head (which he may actually have to do, God help us). The only place it gets tricky is body-mind-switch stories. If we had a single issue with nothing but Jack Norriss's mind in Chondu's brain in Nighthawk's body, which characters would count as having appeared? (I'm guessing all three, as if Chondu and Nighthawk were present but sleeping.)
Posted by: Andrew | February 12, 2017 10:20 AM
Banner and the Hulk are the same person, Legion's personalities have been part of his mind since his first appearance, and I don't know enough about Deadpool to respond to that. Body-mind-switch stories are tricky in this regard, but with Carol and Rogue, the point is that she really is Carol (Binary notwithstanding.)
"If that proves an 'inconvenience,' then consider it fair punishment for a crime that was itself the next best thing to murder."
Posted by: ChrisW | February 12, 2017 5:14 PM
Does Rogue!Carol ever make her way back to Carol Danvers' body? Is anything else ever done with her other than one or two Easter egg stories where she's separated from Rogue (which wouldn't count as making her a separate character any more than the countless times Bruce Banner and the Hulk have been separated)? No? Then she's not Carol Danvers no matter what Claremont's intention is at the time. Even in the first case the tag can only follow one version of Danvers at a time, so you're going to have to start arguing why the version of Carol in Rogue's head is more real than Binary, even taking into account later developments to the characters.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | February 13, 2017 4:21 AM
One thing worth noting is the Genegineer says that Wolverine's sickness here is due to low red blood cell count, because his bone marrow is fused with metal, not due to adamantium poisoning.
Posted by: Andrew | February 13, 2017 7:50 PM
I believe Carol does become herself again. My knowledge comes entirely from the "JLA/Avengers" miniseries, where Ms. Marvel is clearly Carol Danvers, and I have no idea how Binary was worked into the mix. Take this for what it is since my knowledge is almost entirely Claremont-centered, but the Carol inside Rogue's head is Ms. Marvel, Kree heritage and all.
Carol-as-Binary was just another Phoenix retread, and it suddenly occurs to me that Binary was completely absent from the 'rescue Xavier' Starjammers/Deathbird story at the end of Claremont's run. I don't know how or if this was ever retconned, but Magneto had literally just chosen Rogue over Carol when the two couldn't survive with two bodies. This reinforces my point that Carol as Ms. Marvel was in Rogue's head the whole time, and Binary was something else.
Like I say, I'd swear I've asked this before and fnord had a sensible answer, but if it were my decision, Carol Danvers (Ms. Marvel) would be tagged in most of her appearances, including the relevant issues of "X-Men" like these, and Carol Danvers (Binary) would be tagged for her appearances, starting with "Avengers" Annual #10. Or "Avengers" #200, if you have a particularly good explanation for it.
Posted by: ChrisW | February 14, 2017 9:13 PM
So ChrisW, what you're saying is that Rogue absorbed all of Carol's essence before Avengers Annual 10 and that she is now stuck in Rogue's mind? Then in your opinion, who or what is operating Carol's body when she appears in Avengers Annual 10?
Posted by: D09 | February 14, 2017 10:00 PM
The "Carol" personality here does not, in fact, re-merge with the physical form of Carol Danvers. A few scenes in Kurt Busiek's Iron Man and Avengers runs show that Carol has rebuilt her life the hard way and made efforts to reconnect with her parents (ands slipped into alcoholism as a result).
Posted by: Omar Karindu | February 15, 2017 6:04 AM
Rogue absorbed Carol's memories, not Carol's existence.
You've not thought it through at all. Carol here is made from those memories. It's not Carol, it is a physical representation of her created based on those memories Rogue absorbed. Yes it is accurate and identical - because Rogue has all her memories to draw from. Best way to explain this is, look at Captain America #400, when the Supreme Intelligence uses Captain America's memories to recreate his rogues gallery. It can only build them based on Captain America's knowledge, so Batroc doesn't have a face because Captain America has supposedly never seen his face. Rogue's internal representation of Carol is identical to the real Carol Danvers because she has TOTAL knowledge of everything Carol.
And, if a character gets amnesia, they don't cease being that character, do they? The same is true of Carol Danvers, just because you think Binary is rubbish (and it is), it's still her. She basically has amnesia, and just because it's done in such a personal and defined way, doesn't mean that wherever those memories wound up is now her character.
Posted by: AF | February 15, 2017 2:01 PM
The question of how real or authentic the Carol in Rogue's head is meant to be in unanswerable for certain apart from asking Claremont what he intended. Even in real-world philosophy it's a debated question whether seaparating a mind and body creates two of the individual, or one new and one original person, or two new people derived from the original. We can at, though, that there are plenty of instances where people Rogue absorbs wind up controlling her--Mr Sinister and Spiral are two examples--and it's treated like a mind/soul/psyche transference, not just a memory capture and KO zap. My read on the Ms Marvel situation has always been that Rogue absorbed Carol's mind and memories, leaving Carol's body a shell whose mind had to be rebuilt by Xavier, with memories restored but not feeling emotionally connected. Rogue-Carol and Binary-Carol are both arguably authentically Carol, yet both incomplete. I wish we'd had a chance to see Claremont's resolution: I suspect he was going someplace with Shadow King-possessed Carol, SK wanting to take over the stars, and Wolverine having a third, hallucinatory Carol. But maybe he just liked using the character one way or another.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | February 15, 2017 11:36 PM
D09, I'm saying that the separation occurred during the issue. She starts off as Carol/Ms. Marvel, and whoever is walking and talking at the end of the issue is Carol/Binary. This would explain why she's able to walk and talk when no one else Rogue absorbs can do so.
Omar, so what happened to Binary? I assume Rogue still has her absorbed powers.
AF, in "X-Men" #194, Kitty voluntarily touches Rogue. Then she convinces/overwhelms Rogue to take Kurt and Peter's powers. It's not just memories and powers Rogue absorbs, her thoughts become noticeably similar to the other X-Men, and Kitty even starts taking notes on Nimrod, saying "neato" or something else that Rogue reacts negatively to. Like Carol taking control to redecorate Rogue's house, or buy a dress and doing her hair, this is more than just memories.
Posted by: ChrisW | February 16, 2017 1:15 AM
Walter, unlike everything else he ever wrote, Claremont was kinda vague on the Rogue/Carol relationship. The problem is that Carol is the major exception to Rogue's powers in every way. She touches someone, they fall into unconsciousness resembling a coma. Normal exceptions include that they're stronger and can possess her [Mr. Sinister] that there's just no end to them and it doesn't really work [Mojo] that she touches someone who cancels powers and they both drop [Scrambler] and I'd swear there was another form of exception that I'm blanking on.
In Carol's case, it was permanent, but she's still walking and talking in "Avengers" Annual 10. So in theory Xavier [or Rachel, or Betsy] could have reconstructed anyone. Storm or Cyclops would still have been in charge while Rogue is off using strength, flight, invulnerability and optic beams/weather control against whoever. That's really why I draw the line and say Carol/Binary is a distinct entity, and Carol/Ms. Marvel resides full-time in Rogue's head.
Obviously Marvel's had different ideas in the last mumble-mumble years since I was reading, so I'm not saying you should take this as gospel, but to my mind, Carol/Binary is the one who needs to be retconned, Carol/Ms. Marvel was a member of the X-Men from #171 through #269.
Posted by: ChrisW | February 16, 2017 1:28 AM
Also, I doubt Claremont was going anywhere with Carol and the Shadow King, except in the sense that all his subplots wound up long-term and never-finished. It's entirely possible there might have been some sort of fusion between whatever happened to Carol after Magneto chose Rogue and the hallucination in Wolvie's head, but I am convinced that Wolvie's hallucinations were just that, hallucinations, products of a fevered brain foreshadowing Logan's death.
He obviously liked using Carol, which is why he rescued her from "Avengers" #200, but even that begs the question of why, with the exception of #182, Carol was so inactive in Rogue's head until this Genosha storyline.
Posted by: ChrisW | February 16, 2017 1:33 AM
Also Walter, regarding your earlier comment, I would agree that this storyline is what really pushed Maddie over the edge in terms of becoming evil. In that sense, it's one of Claremont's better long-term plots, since he'd have to figure out something to do with her from the moment Jean Grey's return was inevitable. One can argue that there might have been better options for Maddie, but this was the superhero genre at late-1980s Marvel Comics, so turning her evil and finally bringing back Dark Phoenix really was the best option, story-wise.
For good or bad, Maddie got an arc that showed her stumbling her way towards pure evil. She wakes up in a San Francisco hospital, she calls the few people she knows for help, the X-Men rescue her and get their first payback against the Marauders. Scott's brother has already joined the team after his life has fallen apart. They die and go to Australia, where Maddie does her best to be useful, including this one time where she flies planes for charity. Before she died, her last plea was that her estranged husband find their baby. She does her best to be useful to the X-Men since she has nothing else in her life.
Then Sy'm finds her, she hooks up with her husband's brother, she starts heading downhill rapidly and, because this is a late-80s Marvel superhero comic, we wind up with, well, you know how it ends.
Posted by: ChrisW | February 16, 2017 1:45 AM
Carol started losing her Binary level of power after Onslaught/Heroes Reborn/Heroes Return. It's explored when she decides to rejoin the Avengers in the Heroes Return era, Beast tests her power level, and Tony Stark notices she's developed a drinking problem.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | February 16, 2017 9:22 PM
Ms. Marvel still has the basic Binary powers, but for whatever reason she can draw on the "white holes" as a source, so her practical power level is much lower. She still absorbs various forms of energy to gain strength, flight, and energy projection powers.
The way she was written by Busiek and others in the 90s, Carol's basic personality is intact, but she doesn't have as much attachment to her old life because Rogue's powers somehow took away her "emotional connections" to those people and events. However, she has very detailed memories. There's a sequence in Avengers v.3 #6 where Carol very specifically remembers a trivial interaction with some random guard at Project: PEGASUS, and the Brian Reed Ms. Marvel series made a lot of hay out of Carol's past as an intelligence operative.
To a large extent, it works more as a metaphor for extreme psychological trauma than an actual mind-body split. That, plus a general lack of interest by post-Claremont writers in playing with Rogue having a set of Carol's memories and emotions mixed up with her own, meant that by the late 90s Carol was back to a version of her original personality and Rogue was more what we think of as her base personality.
Honestly, the whole Binary/Rogue-as-Carol thing feels like Claremont trying to get a) a new Phoenix-level character into the mix and b) getting to use 1970s-model Ms. Marvel one last time. Even Claremont pretty quickly puts Rogue back to her usual persona quickly enough.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | February 17, 2017 7:06 AM
Sorry, that first line should read "can't draw on the 'white holes' as a power source."
On a separate note, it's wort remembering that Rogue's first appearance portrays her powers and personality very differently than her later appearances in Uncanny. She's not a sympathetic character, there's no real sense that Carol's *personality* is any sort of influence on Rogue, and Rogue certainly doesn't seem to be any sort of "misled youth." She's mostly a device to write out Carol Danvers (again!) and make the Brotherhood powerful enough to fight the Avengers by taking out some of their heavy hitters.
And as to Carol, there's absolutely none of the "no emotional connections to her memories" idea that comes up when Claremont brings her back to remake her as Binary. Hell, she's *angry* at the Avengers' failure in that story, so clearly she feels betrayed by people she trusted and cared about. She knows that she "hated" the Avengers after Marcus died, and still feels some of that hate. That's emotional connection! No, Carol's lasting trauma in that story is that she'll "never regain all [her] memories." Oddly, Claremont essentially reversed the situation down the road: she had pretty much all of her memories, but none of the feelings associated with those memories. And Xavier notes that when he helped Carol recover these memories, he "shared her pain, her loss, her grief, her anger." Really, the whole "PTSD" metaphor does't work if we accept the later version.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | February 17, 2017 7:20 AM
Looking up Rogue's appearances before joining the X-Men and thinking freely:
I agree that Carol-as-Binary was Claremont's way of getting another Phoenix-level character, and probably restitution for what other writers put *his* character through. Overall, he didn't have too many plots that were firmly set in stone, and given all the genre-bending he'd already put the title through, adding Ms. Marvel to the X-Men, short-term or otherwise, probably made sense.
And Rogue is a very fluid character in her early appearances. She becomes the character we know immediately after joining the team. The Rogue in the Wolvie's Wedding 2-parter is basically the same Rogue who went through the Seige 70-some issues later. I think Claremont probably brought her onto the team as a way of keeping Carol/Ms. Marvel and the obvious tension that would cause with Binary, and then Binary simply stopped appearing. Early on, there was some business with Michael Rossi, and then Storm lost her powers and Rogue was simply 'one of the team.'
But looking at the scans of her earlier appearances, she's all over the map. In "Avengers" Annual 10, she's kept Cap and Thor's powers a lot longer than she ever would again. She thinks that she can't "lose control again" with Cap like she did with Carol, which implies that she ever had control, which immediately vanished in later appearances.
Posted by: ChrisW | February 18, 2017 5:38 PM
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