Uncanny X-Men #305
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #305
As for the soldiers, they turn into a kind of pink goo when captured.
Rogue questions the use of such a self-destruct mechanism, since it's known that the X-Men don't (usually?) kill. She tries to absorb the essence of one of the captives, "to her regret".
Bishop allows Rogue to touch him, which gives her the ability to pull her form back together. Rogue didn't get a lot of information from the soldier, which turns out to be a construct, but she did pick up a name: Hodge.
It's not said where Cyclops is, but Xavier and Storm are meeting up with a member of Xavier's "Mutant Underground" at a dinner party in Washington, DC. The contact is an Ambassador Louis St. Croix. St. Croix argues with Senator Kelly about initiating the Magneto Protocols (which is not explained here, but we've previously learned that it refers to the giant gun intended to shoot Magneto's asteroid out of space). St. Croix is against it, but only on the grounds that he doesn't think it'll be effective. It's not clear where St. Croix is an ambassador to/from, but he seems to be an American based on the dialogue from Kelly ("How can you-- How can any sane American -- argue against the initiation of the Magneto Protocols?").
When Xavier and Storm get St. Croix alone, we learn that he joined the Mutant Underground after his wife was killed in a car accident. She was hit by a drunk driver, and she belatedly displayed latent mutant abilities. The emergency workers wouldn't touch her, and so she died.
Louis St. Croix will only have one other appearance, but he'll turn out to be the grandfather of four mutants: Emplate/Marius, Penance/Monet, and the M-Twins Claudette and Nicole. (I'm not deep into the backgrounds of the Generation X characters, but oddly it seems like Louis' son Cartier was born of a different mother, not the mutant that Louis was married to in this story. It also seems like Cartier was an ambassador from Monaco, so presumably that's what Louis is as well despite Kelly's dialogue).
Xavier and Storm learn from St. Croix about the exo-skeleton from X-Men Unlimited #2 that was designed to allow Magneto to be approached without being detected. The suit is scheduled to be sent to Belgium for duplication, but Xavier wants to give it to Forge now, and he sends Storm to steal it. She questions being asked to steal, and furthermore starts wondering if, when she first met Xavier, he used his mental powers to manipulate her in some way.
The "mind-touch" was interrupted by the attack by the Shadow King, so she doesn't know if anything came of it.
Storm steals data on the suit, but declines to destroy the suit (which was apparently the unstated order), telling Xavier that she thinks humans have a right to defend themselves against Magneto. But she also tells Xavier not to ask her to steal for him again.
The idea that Storm might have been manipulated by Xavier in some way is a continued escalation in the depiction of Xavier as Machiavellian. It's not a new development but the writers are getting more overt about it (although even here it's open to interpretation). As for Storm, my initial thought was to bring up Storm's breaking into the Pentagon and of course the whole post-Mutant Massacre period. But we've already seen that Storm has reverted to a more "pure" form since Claremont's departure, and the suspicion that Xavier may have mentally pushed her somehow helps reinforce that reversion.
As for the plot of this issue, a hint about the return of Hodge fills me with despair. The idea that Xavier and Storm are acquiring the anti-Magneto suit is potentially an interesting way for the characters to be doing Magneto-related things instead of just totally treading water during the Fatal Attractions event. But it would have been nice if the data that Storm acquired was actually used later in the story. For Xavier's confrontation with Magneto, he will be wearing an exo-skeleton, but it's made from Shi'ar tech. It should have been said that the suit was bolstered with info from the data Storm stole, just to give this issue some relevance.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place after the soldier declined to use the exo-skeleton to kill Magneto in X-Men Unlimited #2 (which was said to have happened "several weeks ago"). A note at the end promotes the final battle between Xavier and Magneto in X-Men #25 ("on sale soon").
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
This issue was criticized online at the time for suggesting that Storm felt ashamed of her thieving heritage- some readers felt that was out of character.
Posted by: Michael | January 18, 2017 7:58 PM
I thought it was explicitly mentioned somewhere that this ambassador was NOT related to Monet (I think this story stated that he never had another love after the dead wife here. Also the St Croix's are Muslims from Algeria.)
I think "open to interpretation" is the best approach to Xavier. It allows him to have more shading and "depth" without totally ruining his character (looking your way, "Deadly Genesis"!)
Posted by: Jon Dubya | January 18, 2017 10:17 PM
@Jon, according to Marvel's wiki, Monet's father Cartier is the son of Louis here. Cartier was Monacoan but his wife was Algerian.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 19, 2017 7:25 AM
The idea that goons working for Hodge are targeting human associates of the X-Men fits with what we’ve seen before with Candy Southern and will see again with Sara Grey.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | January 19, 2018 9:12 PM
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