Uncanny X-Men #244
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #244
To deal with their mutant threat, the security guards call in M-Squad, a kind of parody of X-Factor consisting of the inept scientists we saw during Inferno.
Meanwhile, back at the X-Men's Australian base, some of the X-Men are getting antsy about being cooped up away from civilization. Dazzler is the one able to articulate that best...
...but it's Rogue who is feeling the worst of the effects because the stress is adding to the strain of sharing a mind with Carol Danvers. Since Genosha, Carol has been asserting herself more and more, to the point where she remodeled Rogue's home.
Storm considers Rogue's situation her just desserts, and even Psylocke seems to consider it unethical to erase Carol from Rogue's mind.
This gets to the question of what Claremont intended with the Rogue/Carol situation. It's possible my impression has been colored by Carol Danvers' later return to prominence as a separate character, but even beginning with the story where Rogue absorbed Carol, Carol more or less had her own identity back by the end of it, even before she took on a new life as Binary. My understanding is that the personality in Rogue's head is just a duplicate, and clearing it out, if possible, should be a welcome development for all concerned (even Carol, i'd imagine!). But Storm's "You are stuck with each other" acts like the Carol in Rogue's head is "real", and even if you write that off as Storm being vindictive (odd considering her seeming acceptance of Rogue in Uncanny X-Men #185), Psylocke saying "it would not be right" seems to suggest that Claremont thinks it would be murder to wipe out the Carol persona.
In fact, Claremont continues the trend of using Carol as a real character here. When faced with the lack of support from her teammates, Rogue tries to fly off in a rage, but Carol then reasserts herself again.
So it's Carol Danvers, not Rogue, that will participate in the rest of this story. And the idea is that the female X-Men need a ladies night out, so they have Gateway teleport them to the mall in LA where Jubilee and M-Squad are.
So, a lot of scenes like this.
From having seen a lot of movies and sitcoms, i know that this is exactly what it is like when women go shopping.
Meanwhile, here's M-Squad explaining that they are a parody of early X-Factor, and also that their equipment got altered during Inferno.
So when they locate Jubilee, things get out of control.
The X-Women destroy M-Squad's equipment, but they never make contact with Jubilee. However, Jubilee has been observing them the whole time, and when they leave, the portal lingers a bit longer (Gateway inviting her?), and she jumps through.
A fun goofball story. There's a good character moment in here for Dazzler explaining how the life of an X-Man is difficult on people who didn't sign up to be full time soldiers. I do wish the Carol/Rogue thing was explored a bit more here; the idea that the X-Women would just go shopping with Carol Danvers while leaving Rogue to stew inside her own brain seems pretty unfeeling. It also might have been interesting to see the M-Squad character be more directly satirical (we'll see with next issue that Claremont doesn't mind a little parody). But for the most part the issue is meant to be a lighthearted downtime issue, and it works in that regard.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Dazzler is under the impression that Wolverine has "been going walkabout" a lot lately. Not sure if she's not really aware that Wolverine has been appearing in Punisher War Journal and his own solo series. But next issue Storm will complain to him about his absences. Wolverine doesn't appear in this issue, but the MCP places Punisher War Journal #6-7 and Wolverine #4-16 (!) between last issue and next one.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showColossus, Dazzler, Dr. Martin, Dr. Milan, Dr. Snodgrass, Gateway, George Shiner, Jubilee, Psylocke, Rogue, Storm
So Storm has no problem mind-wiping Havok (a heroic x-man), but won't condone helping out Rogue (a rehabilitated current x-man)?
Posted by: clyde | September 23, 2014 6:49 PM
Fnord, you don't have Rogue appearing as a character (maybe it's more of that "invisibility to cameras" stuff?)
Also Jubilee isn't a runaway. She's an orphan.
And apparently Dazzler is a big fan of both meta-commentary (her big speech has been interpreted as Claremont's lament about the ever-incresing crossover schedule getting in the way of characterization arcs) and Jersey Shore (her skin is almost the same shade as Ororo's! Ease up on the bronzer there, Dazz!)
Posted by: Jon Dubya | September 23, 2014 7:07 PM
Thanks on both corrections, Jon.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 23, 2014 7:16 PM
Note that Betsy fails to detect Jubilee at the end of this issue and in issue 249 for some reason.
Posted by: Michael | September 23, 2014 8:33 PM
Should get a higher historical significance for first appearance of the Grey Dazzler.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | September 23, 2014 9:32 PM
I dunno, as unethical as removing some recent memories might be, I think its a completely different ballgame to removing an entire persona.
Posted by: Max_Spider | September 23, 2014 10:36 PM
Claremont's on panel debates on topics like erasing the memory of Carol Danver's personality leads to the same sense of being infuriated I felt at similarly debates on the Prime Directive on Star Trek: the Next Generation. They were often so forced or weighted to lead to only one acceptable conclusion, and the arguments against self-serving or ham handed. Seldom were points brought up that I would have made or believed.
Carol Danvers is alive and totally independent of Rogue. What happens to Rogue won't affect her at all. The "persona" of Carol is simply a leftover experience and isn't a real person at all. In many ways, it can be seen as a form of psychological illness in Rogue, a kind of multiple personality disorder in the same way a traumatic experience can flair up in someone with PTSD.
If Carol Danvers was dead or comatose, AND there was some idea that the persona inside Rogue was the only thing left of a real "soul" of Carol stolen from her "stuck" in Rogue, I can see some moral dilemma. Not in this situation.
Never care for Jubilee either.
Posted by: Chris | September 23, 2014 10:50 PM
Except that the Siege was able to give Carol's persona its own body. My opinion in this matter is the same as with Maddie and the Vision- if magic affects it, reflects its deepest desires, then it's real.
Posted by: Michael | September 23, 2014 11:28 PM
Rogue's situation was the ultimate legitimate conflict IMO.
Sure, Carol Danvers existed independently at that time. But that is poor consolation for her aspect in Rogue, who had no voice in the whole situation and can't at all attempt to merge with the original Carol or anything. She has in essence been comatose for at least a few months, and suffered the terrible loss of being denied even the hope of returning to her true body.
It is too bad that she and Rogue can only exist at each other's expense, but it is also clear that Carol both drew the short stick and played no role in creating that situation.
As for the other Carol, the one in the original body, by this point she is a completely different person. It has even been established that they have distinct emotional responses, making them less than, say, twins. Even the powers are assymetric; whatever remnant of Miss Marvel's Seventh Sense still exists has clearly remained with Rogue.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | September 24, 2014 12:49 AM
To me, the main problem - besides the obvious 'why is Carol still walking and talking if Rogue absorbed her permanently?' - is that there's never been any real sense of Carol as a persona in Rogue's mind.
To the extent it was ever remotely defined, I do think the point was that Rogue stole Carol's "soul" Carol existed as a shadow in the back of her mind and could *SOMETIMES* overwhelm Rogue. But put it down to the histrionics of Claremont and/or a young woman incapable of feeling personal contact with another human being, there's no way for the blurring of personalities to be so blatant. Rogue was pretty good at maintaining her personality and memories, and Carol is explicit in this issue that the two of them have completely different tastes in everything. ["Ah'm drinkin' a cappuccino without cinnamon! Ah always need cinnamon in my cappuccino!!!"] Carol never worried about Rogue interfering when she (they?) and Wolverine were escaping Genosha.
Where it gets ridiculous is here, where Carol starts unilaterally taking control of Rogue's body. As Storm points out, what Rogue did was the next best thing to murder, so if Carol was capable of making Rogue the subordinate personality, wouldn't she do so as much as possible? Superhero or not, she'd be justified, and Rogue certainly never objected to using strength, flight or invulnerability that she hadn't earned. And here she just up and redecorates Rogue's room, knowing that Rogue's going to see it. What's the point in that?
[Sudden thought! I'm going for a No-Prize with this one. The Siege Perilous could have given Carol her own body back the first time Rogue went through it, at least if it worked like a technological creation. Flip a light switch and, if everything works, the light turns on. But the Siege was a creation of magic as established throughout the Omniverse, so in response to future events - perhaps knowing about Gateway, Nimrod and "Inferno" - it kept the two of them in one body after "Fall of the Mutants." Carol started showing up regularly after all the X-Men died the first time, right? The Siege knew that Rogue would go through it again, and that would be the event where Rogue and Carol get permanently separated. Magic wasn't reflecting anyone's deepest desires so much as it was connecting this circuit to that power source and 'turning on a mystical light switch.']
I always enjoyed this issue by the way, being this was about it for the well-drawn 'character' stories for Claremont's run. [The following issue is probably my favorite Rob Liefeld comic ever, not exactly a high bar.] And I did like Jubilee. I was young enough that she wasn't as irritating as older readers probably found her, I never understood why she didn't just walk up to the X-Men and introduce herself, but I thought she made a very good sidekick for Wolverine, especially once she started wearing the Robin costume.
Posted by: ChrisW | September 24, 2014 8:40 PM
The X-Men never went through the Siege in Fall of the Mutants. That was a mistaken explanation by Nicieza in X-Men 32.
Posted by: Michael | September 24, 2014 8:51 PM
While I was never the greatest Claremont fan, and certainly not of his Australian outbacks phase, this shattered personality plot is one of his most interesting ideas IMO.
Sure it is a variation of his overused mind control trope, but this has more promise than most. There is real doubt about whether Rogue can ever even have a whole psyche ever.
While it has been a while since her psyche had fractured quite this much, it did happen before; that was implicitly part of her reason for joining the X-Men in the first place, and Carol had taken over when she rescued Carol's former boyfriend Michael Rossi right after Secret Wars.
I assume this latest fracture is one of several manifestations of the emotional degeneration of the X-Men. In the last few years they lost quite a lot of their emotional safeguards, after all, and it shows.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | September 24, 2014 9:56 PM
The X-Men died and were reborn according to the magic laws of Otherworld, as summarized by Roma who brought the X-Men back to life and gave them the Siege Perilous (also subject to the magic laws of Otherworld) in case it would be useful on further missions. Omniversal rules, not mine. Anyway, they probably did go through the Siege Perilous, it just wasn't caught on camera. Why are you trying to deny me a No-Prize? Haters gotta hate, I guess. :P
Posted by: ChrisW | September 24, 2014 10:13 PM
Luis, that's kinda my point, that the degeneration of the X-Men was well-established through Claremont's last several years. Somewhere on the internet, I have an essay citing "X-Men" #108 (or the "Classic X-Men" equivalent) where Colossus is specifically the base of the Kabballistic "Tree of Life" Phoenix formed while saving the universe, and Peter remained the rock of the mutant titles [Catholic reference] and literally, the page where Claremont left "X-Men" after 15 years was when Xavier freed Peter from the Shadow King's control. I don't expect people to believe me or agree with me - I only offer it as an interesting idea that I don't even agree with, but find interesting anyway - but from a certain point of view ["Star Wars" reference] it makes perfect sense.
Rogue, Carol, mutants, Phoenix, Binary, throw those terms together with the right magic spell, and you've got yourself an epic comic book series. Like issues of "Dr. Strange" haven't been built on less.
Posted by: ChrisW | September 24, 2014 10:36 PM
On the M-Squad poster, "Stray Toasters" refers to Bill Sienkiewicz' Epic miniseries.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 27, 2014 5:25 PM
This issue marks the end of the longest run of consecutive issues Silvestri would produce on the title, six issues from 239-244. Most of the rest of his 1987-1990 tenure is punctuated by breaks after three or four consecutive issues. This may be significant when we get to the end of Silvestri's run with #261-- that was a third Silvestri issue, and he would have been due for a break just as the title was about to go biweekly. Jim Lee had replaced Leonardi as the official fill-in artist, but his Lady Mandarin arc had been so well received that Harras perhaps took the opportunity afforded by Silvestri's regular pause to assign Lee as regular artist and transfer Wolverine to Silvestri. More on this as we get to 1990.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | November 21, 2014 2:02 AM
ChrisW, which essay can you provide a link?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | November 21, 2014 3:32 AM
Not sure if this is what was being referred to above, but Kabbalah and the Tree of Life as they relate to the X-Men are discussed here (http://www.therealgentlemenofleisure.com/2011/05/x-amining-x-men-108.html) and here (http://www.barbelith.com/topic.php?id=11457).
Posted by: TCP | November 21, 2014 12:57 PM
Nathan, sorry, I cannot. I posted it (and similar essays) for a few years on Rick Veitch's comicon.com message boards. As near as I can tell, that site is now down. I just tried to locate it with my computer and my phone, and neither worked. Fortunately I still have my own copies (digital and on paper.) If you can find anywhere, it has the title "Metaphys-X."
Of the links TCP provided, the first really has nothing to do with my essay, and the second is conducted by far better Kabbalist scholars than myself. My knowledge of Kabbala extends (maybe) a little further than Alan Moore's "Promethea" and the Alan Moore/Dave Sim dialogue about "From Hell," printed around the year 1998 in the back of "Cerebus."
I'm using elaborate mystic scholarship as a convenient point to make about Claremont's "X-Men" as a format for comics to follow for the next couple of decades, across years and publishing houses. A subsequent essay would follow the use of the word "Marvel" in comics, as in Captain Marvel (Fawcett) Marvelman (English comics) Marvel Comics #1 (first appearance of Namor and the Human Torch) Marvel Comics, Marvel Girl, the "Captain Marvel" title (M.F. Enterprises,) the black female that Marvel gave her own title, Ms. Marvel, and then-recent examples of "Marvel" in "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" Marvel's own title "Marville" and Peter David's run on "Captain Marvel."
Another essay looks for specific similarities between Steve Gerber's "Howard the Duck" and Dave Sim's "Cerebus," which concludes with an enormous amount of John Byrne-bashing. Another essay tells the history of DC Comics and the multiple universes therein, pinning it all on Jerry Siegel's "Death of Superman" in Superman #149, and "Flash of Two Worlds" in Flash #123. Based on the cover date, "Fantastic Four" #1 came out in between those issues.
In some ways, it's right up your alley, and in others, I'd say don't waste your time.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 21, 2014 8:07 PM
You might like to read through my comments after the article on my blog here about the X-gestalt from that period: http://fanfix.wordpress.com/2009/10/02/%E2%80%A6the-third-summers-brother-plot
If you have your own digital or paper copies can you scan and email?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | November 22, 2014 2:06 AM
I've read that article before. As soon as I saw the links to your website, I hung my head in shame as someone who doesn't care about this stuff nearly as much as you do.
As soon as possible, I'll email you the Word Document containing all my essays. It's just that, since this website is about Marvel Comics, I don't want to pollute it with references to DC, or EC, or Image, or Joe Snuffy's run on "Mucous Man," which is what my essays are about.
I think I've just posted my essays on your website. Let me know if it didn't work, and I'll email them or something.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 22, 2014 10:27 PM
Unfortunately nothing has come up on my comments ChrisW!?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | November 23, 2014 12:47 AM
I've tried again, on your 24 May "X-Men Forever" post. If that doesn't work, let me know, and send me an email address or something that I can just send a Word Document to.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 23, 2014 2:23 AM
No luck. nathan dot adler at fastmail dot com
Posted by: Nathan Adler | November 23, 2014 3:49 AM
Nathan, I've tried emailing, but yahoo tells me it's undeliverable as an attachment. I would see if it work as cut-and-paste, but I've actually been inspired to edit the work, since the first essay was written back in early 2001 and my writing has changed since then.
When I finish the editing, I'll try sending it to you as a straight email, and if that doesn't work, I'll let you know here and we can try to figure out some other way.
And, having re-read the synopsis of this issue, I have two or three comments. One, M-Squad is more specifically a parody of (or at least reference to) the Ghostbusters. They're doing the mutant hunting thing, but the guns, the backpacks, the goofy attitudes, and instead of a little box for a containment unit, they have a giant device which of course malfunctions.
Two, I didn't notice it when the issues were new, but Ali keeps this new skin color for pretty much the rest of her time in the series, doesn't she. It skips the next few issues, but after that, she was consistently... dark bronzish-grey? Whatever, I've just checked the pages leading up through #251, and except for the Liefeld issue and the Master Mold fight, it's consistent. Comment about the post-Inferno X-Men? A detail intended to lead up to Ali going through the Seige Perilous but extended when Rogue wound up going through instead? No idea, but it was (mostly) consistent.
Three, I think Ali's 'when do we get to have fun?' speech was either Claremont's realization that this Australian adventure had taken the team far away from where they were supposed to be, or (my suspicion) that he knew they would reach this point in advance, and this was an intended plot point - dramatic or otherwise - to signify that the story would start changing, which it did.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 26, 2014 8:12 PM
In #246, page 4, panel 3 you can see a bottle of "Aussie Tan" in Dazzler's purse as she reaches for her U2 tape. I'd venture two guesses as to the tan's significance: 1.) some letter writer or editor might well have asked how everyone avoids getting tanned or sunburned in the Outback, and Ckaremont & crew respond with an over-the-top bottle tan for Dazz, or 2.) Claremint liked to change the looks of his heroines every so often--Storm's punk look and Psylocke's armor and later nimbo look are radical examples--and maybe the tan Dazzler was just a more modest alteration.
Havok gets somewhat tan in a few issues, or am I misremembering? Pete adopts designer stubble as Peter Nicholas, so maybe Claremont wanted to refresh the appearances of the whole cast for however long they'd remain around.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | November 26, 2014 9:09 PM
That makes as much sense as anything I can come up with. I'm right, you're right, we're both right, we're both wrong, or it's something else entirely. Let's just enjoy the comics as much as we can.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 26, 2014 10:56 PM
Psylocke missing as a character appearing.
Posted by: cullen | November 27, 2014 1:10 PM
Thanks, Cullen. Added her.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 27, 2014 1:40 PM
Nathan, I've tried emailing again. No luck. I think Loki's interfering somehow. Or Ozymandias. Meet me at the news stand at midnight to compare notes. Or perhaps you can get through to me to establish a link. show underscore me 68508 at yahoo dot com.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 29, 2014 7:25 PM
The Carol personality thing was interesting when it was first brought up in Genosha. But to suddenly have it almost be a breaking point for Rogue who's now been on the team for six years seemed suddenly out of the blue and bizarre. Not quite as bizarre as Dazzler suddenly being another color, but bizarre nonetheless.
It was a long time before I picked up that Jubilee was supposed to be Asian-American. That just never seemed clear to me early on.
I never really took to her very much, although she did provide half of one of my all-time favorite lines:
"Professor, can I confess something."
"Certainly. Is this about the two thousand dollars of damage which you caused when you replaced Scott's ruby quartz lenses with a pair of Foster Grants?"
Posted by: Erik Beck | August 26, 2015 10:33 PM
Yeah, although that's one of those gags you shouldn't think about too hard or you'll wonder how Jubes could be sure Scott wouldn't kill someone.
Posted by: Michael | August 26, 2015 11:08 PM
I''m still not certain, after all the great female characters the X-Men have provided in both ability and psyche, how a new character that sounds like a kids breakfast cereal can have any positive impact. Somehow Jubilee slipped by and became important.
Posted by: Rocknrollguitarplayer | March 8, 2017 11:24 PM
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