Characters Appearing: Angel, Apocalypse, Barrage, Beast, Bishop, Cable (Adult), Cannonball, Cyclops, Feral, Foxbat, Gauntlet (Dark Rider), Hardrive, Havok, Jean Grey, Moira MacTaggert, Polaris, Professor (Prosh), Professor X, Psynapse, Rictor, Shatterstar, Siryn, Storm, Stryfe, Sunspot, Tusk, Warpath, Wolverine, Zero
Uncanny X-Men #296
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #296
...but that's actually a ruse. Jean is pretending to be unconscious and is holding back Cyclops' optic blast. When the Dark Riders get close enough, Cyke blasts them.
Another Dark Rider suggests that they've actually been in this base before.
Jean calls him Mainframe, but that's actually Hardrive. As far as i know, Mainframe is a Deathlok villain.
I wanted to show this scan of Jean using her telekinesis like a rope to swing on:
In part because i think that's an odd way for telekinesis to be used. Jean can normally just use it to float. I'm not sure if the scene is meant to be a Star Wars tribute or if i missed a line of dialogue explaining that she's not at full strength and can only do stuff like this or if it's just Brandon Peterson getting creative.
But i also wanted to show it because the narration talks about Jean like she was the Phoenix. And it's ok to talk like that because Jean absorbed the Phoenix memories along with the Madelyne Pryor memories during Inferno. And that's why i like the Inferno retcon. In fact, the whole subtext of this crossover is that Jean is Styfe's mother, which is not technically accurate; she's not Stryfe's (or Cable's) biological mother. But the point of the Inferno retcon was to say that all three characters really are Jean in all the ways that matter going forward. That's obviously very strange, the sort of thing that can only happen in a comic book, but it simplifies things and makes stories like this possible without a bunch of qualifiers.
In the end it turns out that Stryfe has been watching Jean and Scott's escape attempt the whole time. He makes sure they come across a baby integrated into the base's technology.
And he tells them that if they kill the baby, it'll kill Stryfe and all the Dark Riders. Stryfe is sure that they'll do it.
And he's legitimately surprised when they don't.
On Cable's satellite, Bishop tells a story about how mutants used to hide from the Nimrods by pretending to be human.
This gives them the idea that Stryfe might be hiding somewhere in "plain sight", and they eventually realize that it's Apocalypse's base on the moon. At the same time, Jean and Scott find that out for themselves by fleeing Stryfe's base by blasting a hole in the wall and winding up in the vacuum of space.
Meanwhile, Moira and the Beast are not having any luck curing Professor X.
So Apocalypse offers to do it. Archangel vouches for him, but he also tells Apocalypse that one day he's going to make him suffer and then kill him.
It really seems that Archangel did not take the speech from Jean Grey in Uncanny X-Men #293 to heart. Assuming Jean's right and Archangel's wings are not possessed by an evil entity, then all Apocalypse did was save his life and give him a semblance of his wings back. Albeit while turning him blue, but is that so terrible? Some of Warren's best friends are blue.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part nine of X-Cutioner's Song. Part ten is in X-Factor #86.
Crossover: X-Cutioner's Song
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
At the same time, Jean and Scott find that out for themselves by fleeing Stryfe's base by blasting a hole in the wall and winding up in the vacuum of space."
"Assuming Jean's right and Archangel's wings are not possessed by an evil entity, then all Apocalypse did was save his life and give him a semblance of his wings back."
Posted by: clyde | May 6, 2016 2:24 PM
I love Beast's line about being pissed at Stryfe.
Posted by: Thanos6 | May 6, 2016 8:20 PM
Warren wasn't suicidal over the loss of his wings: Hodge blew up his plane. That said,, the scenes in which Warren is revived and has his wings regrown by Apocalypse make it clear that the process feels like torture. And of course Apocalypse brainwashes Warren into trying to kill his teammates and stuff. So even apart from the evil wings--and Jean is surely wrong, the wings are evil, as Rogue found out when she absorbed Warren's psyche during Inferno--Warren has a few reasons to hate Apocalypse.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | May 6, 2016 8:27 PM
I have to wonder if there was some sort of miscommunication regarding Jean and Scott among the writers- in X-Factor 85, Scott mistakenly zaps Jean. In X-Force 17, Jean and Scott escape but there's no scene where Jean is seemingly injured. And this issue opens with Jean seemingly injured in Scott's arms.
Posted by: Michael | May 6, 2016 9:45 PM
And it was a sign of Phoenix' power back when she just wanted to see his face.
Posted by: ChrisW | May 7, 2016 2:58 AM
DC Comics editors on Superman throughout the 1990's had the same problem concerning continuity errors. During Death of Superman, for example, the hero's costume is torn and magically repaired across the different parts. In Man of Steel #19 Superman is slashed across the stomach, yet in Superman #75 it's surprising to Clark when Doomsday cuts him across the chin and cheek.
Why this would happen was due to the creative staff of each book giving a layout of the issue they were working on and the final two pages of the issue to the next creative team. This was supposed to give a feeling of consistency, but with a simple layout and only two pages to go on, added to the time crunch, writers were free to do whatever and artists the same, leading to minor or massive errors within the story. I'm almost positive Marvel was doing the same thing here.
Posted by: Darren Hood | May 10, 2016 4:22 PM
Oh yeah that reminded me how Doomsdays damaged costume would change as the fight went on. When half his face is revealed his hair is free. Next issue mostly the same but then his hair wasn't free. Issue after that mostly the same, maybe slighly less damaged costume. After some kind of habitat falls on Doomsday he still looks colored like he has his suit but the issue after has him down to the shorts, boots and a few extra rags.
That slightly bothered me as a kid so I think that's my earliest OCD sign.
Posted by: david banes | May 10, 2016 5:12 PM
Stryfe's computer taunt reminds me of Dennis Nedry's.
"Ah ah ah, you didn't say the magic word!"
Yet I see this issue was released a bit before the Jurassic Park film (and the scene wasn't in the novel).
Posted by: Mortificator | May 10, 2016 7:30 PM
The crossover error that most bothered me out of DC's early '90s crossovers happened in Knight's End- there were 8 ninja masters after Bruce but he only defeated 7.
Posted by: Michael | May 10, 2016 8:58 PM
I would not rank Brandon Peterson among my favorite artists, but his pencils here look amazing when inked by Terry Austin. Of course, Austin's inks make almost anyone's work look better.
Posted by: Ben Herman | May 10, 2016 10:31 PM
One thing about KnightsEnd was how rushed it was. Bruce had to be back in the costume prior to the Zero Hour crossover and origin specific -0- issues as per DC mandate, and as such KnightsEnd wasn't completely fleshed out. So while it is said that 8 masters were after Bruce, only 7 were shown because they had to get Bruce into the costume quickly and overthrow the mad imposter. DC even utilized the entire spectrum of Bat books including the year one type stories reserved for Legends of the Dark Knight, and the Catwoman and Robin solo books.
Posted by: Darren Hood | May 11, 2016 9:23 PM
I never liked Bishop's explanation of mutants hiding with non-mutants. How would hiding help? The Sentinels can always scan for you. Yes, they might be less inclined to scan a non-mutant home, but still, I don't think it works.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 17, 2016 7:27 AM
I don't think there's miscommunication at all between the last chapter and this one.
I admit that seeing Jean KOed confused me at first, but it is clearly explained that it was a ruse and she was just pretending, so the Dark Riders would be more vulnerable to an attack.
Posted by: Bibs | March 21, 2018 7:06 AM
That panel with Stryfe's shocked expression, reacting to Jean and Scott's decision to spare the baby and fight back (and what a weird-looking baby it is!) distresses me. He mask looks really, really strange. Like there's a snout converging towards the edge above the mouth. It makes him look kinda stupid.
Then again, the whole scene does.
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | May 17, 2018 5:49 PM
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