Characters Appearing: Angel, Beast, Bishop, Colossus, Cyclops, Forge, Iceman, Jean Grey, Jubilee, Opal Tanaka, Professor X, Storm, Styglut
Uncanny X-Men #288
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #288
This issue focuses on Bishop, with some downtime scenes for other members of the cast. I'll cover the downtime scenes first. The book actually opens with the male members of the original X-Men engaging in what turns out to be some horseplay with Cyclops. The Kubert/Sienkiewicz art combination doesn't work very well.
Jean is also nearby, and overhears Iceman ask Cyclops if Psylocke "is as gorgeous in person as she is on the training videos".
Later, Iceman's girlfriend Opal gets a letter from her other love interest, Hiro, indicating that he'll be coming to America. And Archangel is apparently struggling to hold on to his human side by ripping up his costume and flying around naked.
But the main story is about Bishop. He initially bristles at the idea of having to engage in training sessions, since he's already a trained professional. Later, he goes out on the town with the X-Men and sees Styglut, the one remaining mutant that Trevor Fitzroy brought from the future. Bishop engages in a fight with him.
The other X-Men stand back, at his request.
The X-Men are unhappy to see Bishop kill Styglut (although he is an admitted mass murderer), but the bigger idea is that Bishop engages in fights without concern for the civilians around him, because that wasn't something he had to worry about in his time period.
Based on this, Bishop removes the insignia from his costume and agrees that he needs to be trained for the new world he's living in.
I like the basic idea, but it would have been better if the X-Men had a history of practicing in the Danger Room to limit civilian casualties, which could have at least been set up in this issue. It seems more like a conflict that should have happened with some experienced character joining the Avengers, as opposed to the X-Men. Not that the X-Men never stop to rescue civilians, but it just doesn't feel like the main focus for them. And in any event, this may mean that Bishop may need to take a couple courses on Civilian Safety, but it's a leap to conclude that all of his experience is worthless in the present day. And nothing here really addresses the "no killing" edict. I'm probably nitpicking a bit; the basic idea that Bishop is a fish out of water in the present day works fine. The conclusion just feels overly dramatic to me. That plus the fact that Kubert's art has the same kind of messy storytelling problems as Whilce Portacio (ok, maybe not that bad), and that Sienkiewicz's inks don't really compliment him, make this an underwhelming issue, despite the fact that i think in a broad sense the book makes the right moves in focusing on Bishop and showing him adjust to joining the X-Men.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Bishop shakes Cyclops' hand this issue almost as if he's meeting him for the first time, but it's not conclusive. And later he goes out on the town with several X-Men, including some (e.g. Forge) that he definitely meets for the first time in X-Men #8. So this should come after X-Men #8.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Cyclops have a third leg in that first panel?
Posted by: JC | February 22, 2016 10:40 AM
I've never cared for Sienkiewicz as an inker on certain artists. Andy Kubert's pencils only look right to me when the inking is cleaner looking.
Posted by: Red Comet | February 22, 2016 12:22 PM
I've never cared for Sienkiewicz. Period.
Posted by: BU | February 22, 2016 12:37 PM
I think an alien is trying to burst out of Scott's chest in the first scan.
Posted by: david banes | February 22, 2016 7:06 PM
I was confused by this issue since I originally thought the battle with Styglut was supposed to be a Danger Room simulation- we see Bishop ending a Danger Room simulation on the next page and I thought that meant the battle never took place- it was only a Danger Room simulation. Apparently, it was real, since Bishop says in the first issue of the Bishop limited series Bishop says that of all the mutants Fitzroy brought with him, only Bantam and Mountjoy remain alive, so unless Styglut got hit by a bus...
Posted by: Michael | February 22, 2016 7:57 PM
I find this art actually above average for the time period. It is certainly better at storytelling than most that we had from Jim Lee, Whilce Portacio or, going back a little, Todd McFarlanne or even Erik Larsen.
And it can't even be compared to Rob Liefeld's work.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | February 22, 2016 10:09 PM
I'm gonna have to disagree with Luis Dantas. This is the first issue where I really see what fnord is talking about with the lack of storytelling in the art. I remember reading this the first time and not being able to tell what had happened with Styglut and the women. When the script has to make clear what has happened (Bishop explaining how Styglut absorbed the women), that's just terrible storytelling with the art.
I also agree that Sienkiewicz's inks over Kubert are terrible. I'll like Kubert's work much better in X-Men when he takes over after Lee leaves.
Posted by: Erik Beck | March 18, 2016 10:12 AM
I can't imagine after finding out from Terry Austin(who found out at a Berni Wrightson party where friends of Lobdell's attended) that he had lost the job of scripting both X-Men books that Byrne would come back. Since this issue was penciled by someone who could make a schedule, I'd imagine this issue's pencils got completed during the previous 2 issues and were the last pages Byrne scripted before Harras stopped sending him pages. The sad thing is if he could have held on, Byrne would have been plotting and scripting 288 instead of Lobdell. But, I can't imagine Byrne wanting to deal with characters that had become so popular like Apocalypse, Cable and Stryfe, much less do crossovers with PAD. Lobdell's ability and willingness to plot for other X-books is what made him head X-writer, as little as that might have meant after Claremont. Byrne would have said no. I can't imagine Harras without someone malleable to write what he thought of as X-Men. Even Nicieza got pushed out after a few years.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | June 17, 2016 9:12 PM
"The X-Men do not kill!" Um, Storm, what about that Wolverine guy who has been a member of the team for almost 200 issues?
Posted by: Ben Herman | June 17, 2016 10:28 PM
Ben, I would point out that "The team argues with Wolvie about killing" has been a common stock subplot among the X-books (and the the Avengers books too, after the mid-2000s) for a while now. At best thdy might have turned a "blind eye" to Logan doing it in his solo missions, but when he's right in front of the team they generally tell him to put the claws away.
Brian, apparently even Lobdell has some limits to his mallebility because eventually he bristles at editorial demands enough to be fired too.
Fnord, I suspect that oart of the purpose of this issue (besides "subtle-as-a-brick-to-the-face" character shilling) was to differentiate Bishop enough so that he'd still have the "90s edge" but slightly sanded down so that he doesn't come off as a "black" version of you-know-who (and you know HE wouldn't have deferred to any of Storm's speeches or concerns whatsoever...at keast at this point.)
Posted by: Jon Dubya | June 24, 2016 10:58 AM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|