The Small Lebowski:
Issue(s): X-Factor #39
Mr. Sinister has blasted the majority of the X-Men and X-Factor, but Longshot has arrived before they can be killed.
Mr. Sinister shows himself to actually be more familiar with Longshot than he let on at the end of Uncanny X-Men #243. He's aware that Longshot's luck powers have been failing him thanks to N'astirh's attack and the subsequent corruption.
But Longshot is actually acting with pure motives again, and he's working with the Beast.
As Michael says in the comments, the Beast is actually seen laying among the rubble in the opening splash, and that can only be an art error and not, like, the Beast playing possum, since Sinister says that he's noted the Beast's absence.
Cyclops is the next one to wake up, and that's when things get interesting. First, he finds he can't use his optic blast against Mr. Sinister.
And second, Sinister calls him a "sissy" and Cyclops thinks that they're fighting like a couple of kids.
Psylocke and Rogue wake up next and try to help Cyclops out. Rogue tries to absorb Sinister, but she should know by now not to do that against "boss" villains because they always wind up dominating her instead.
And that's when Cyclops starts remembering Sinister from his days at the orphanage...
Despite their relation, Sinister has taken no special measures against Havok, and we see that Havok's powers don't affect him.
Havok is trapped by Malice, who is still not at all swayed by the Polaris persona inside her. But Polaris' powers are very strong, allowing her to get very specific and cruel in attacking Colossus (who should have known better).
Back to the flashbacks.
Eventually all the remaining characters wake up and Psylocke forms a mind-link so they can formulate a strategy. They figure out that Cyclops being able to use his power on Mr. Sinister is key.
The others attack Mr. Sinister (we'll come back to Angel's comments about Scott)...
...and Wolverine also quickly takes care of Sabretooth. This guy has not had a great showing during Inferno.
But all of this is a distraction while sassy Havok riles up and powers up his brother.
That plus Mr. Sinister kissing Jean...
...gets Cyclops past whatever mental block Mr. Sinister put on him and allows him to blast away. And blast he does, reducing Sinister to bones.
So that's a wrap!
Malice/Polaris gets away, leaving something for Chris Claremont to deal with later. And note the reference to "twelve" X-Men, here in the context of a jury for Sinister.
The Summers brothers reconcile...
...and then the X-Men teleport home. It seems that they, or at least their costumes, still haven't reverted back to normal.
Also in that image above, Cyclops starts to talk about how he's felt that something was wrong with him ever since he joined Xavier's school. And it's said that his feelings about that, and the way he failed Madelyne, were all because of Mr. Sinister.
Couple that with the comments from Angel earlier, and we are really getting hit over the head with the idea that Scott is absolved for his behavior. Last issue we saw that Madelyne was an artificial construct, and that made it possible for her to be discarded as a character so that Cyclops and Jean could be a couple. This issue takes it much further and explains away all his bad behavior as being the result of Mr. Sinister, going back all the way to X-Men #1, and i wonder if the idea was to even explain his shyness and inability to ask Jean out in those issues with this. It's much more than is necessary. I liked that Scott took the blame for his actions last issue; it wasn't necessary to completely absolve him of everything. His behavior in the early issues of X-Factor was easily explained as him being paralyzed by the return of Jean, and we had the further explanation that Hodge was manipulating him. That would have been enough.
We're also left with some questions about Mr. Sinister and his motives. In this it's all about controlling Scott and then getting a child with his genetic potential ("who will be more powerful than either parent") via Jean or Maddie. But how does that fit in with his pro-mutant / anti-human agenda that we saw in Uncanny X-Men #239, let alone his being behind the Mutant Massacre? But it's almost besides the point. "Mr. Sinister" is by design a cartoonish parody of a super-villain, hence the over the top name and look. Silvestri and Simonson have both made him look good, but in the end he's a bogeyman of a character that we shouldn't have expected to see again (Havok says, "He's gone... forever", and Cyclops blasted him into bones, after all). His job is to be the villain for this story. More importantly, on a meta level, i think he represents the external factors that have been causing problems for both X-Men and X-Factor from the beginning, and to me that's what Inferno is really about: two creators (Claremont and Simonson) making the most of the muddled situation of the past few years and settings things right in a way that doesn't ignore the past and doesn't just hit a reboot button. They definitely had to make sacrifices and they may have overreached (i think Simonson does here) but they managed to resolve a lot of problems in the X-books while delivering an entertaining story.
Inferno isn't quite over (officially, we still have aftermath issues in Cloak and Dagger, Power Pack, and Damage Control, and unofficially we'll be seeing more of the aftermath in some of the X-Books), and i actually think it's cool that the status quo isn't instantly restored when the last bad guy is defeated, but after this issue we are definitely in mop-up mode as far as the crossover is concerned.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Continues directly from Uncanny X-Men #243. The MCP give Gateway a behind the scenes appearance since he's teleporting them home, and i'm doing the same.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: X-Men: Inferno TPB
Inbound References (6): showAngel, Beast, Colossus, Cyclops, Dazzler, Gateway, Havok, Iceman, Jean Grey, Longshot, Malice (Marauder), Mr. Sinister, Polaris, Psylocke, Rogue, Sabretooth, Storm, Wolverine
On the first page of the issue, Beast is lying unconscious at Sinister's feet. But a couple of couple pages later, Beast attacks Sinister who claims "I noted your absence and wondered when you would arrive".
Posted by: Michael | August 30, 2014 5:55 PM
Sinister's childish fight with Scott, and the fact that he likes to call opponents and minions "child," is a clue to his real nature, as is the fact that when he possesses Rogue he's impressed by how strong her body is. That didn't make sense when I read these issues in real time as a ten-year-old myself--Sinister's body obviously has plenty of physical power in this story, so why would he be impressed by Rogue?--but now that I know what Claremont intended, I assume that while Nathan's mind inhabits the Sinister android (or whatever it is), the android doesn't have any much capacity for feeling. There has to be a mind in it, or else Rogue's power wouldn't work, but if it's a marionette without living feeling, that would explain why Nathan's mind is impressed to feel what it's like to have Rogue's body.
I've heard this actually ties in with what Claremont intended for Gambit, but we'll cover that in 1990.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | August 30, 2014 7:18 PM
Also, the fragments of motivation we've seen for Sinister so far actually do connect, but the connection hasn't been spelled out clearly--presumably that was to be fodder for a different story.
Nathan has a lifespan of a thousand years or more. So he can take a long-term approach to wiping out humanity. His strategy seems to be to acquire and crossbreed powerful mutants. He's breeding an army. Perhaps he wiped out the Morlocks because, as a large mutant community, they could be the beginnings of a rival mutant army or a rival source of mutant solidarity and leadership. They might not be a threat to Nathan for thirty years, or a hundred years, but he might as well eliminate the potential threat while it's still very small.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | August 30, 2014 7:27 PM
Why would Sinister not want Havok? Just imagine how much faster the Mutant Massacre would have been if Alex had been a Marauder.
Posted by: ChrisW | August 31, 2014 12:55 PM
One problem with the efficient wrapping up of so many plot lines is that after this issues, X-Factor has no direction at all. The mutant hunter theme and its fallout supplied the direction through issue 26, along with Scott's angst about Jean, Maddie, and the baby. From 26 until this issue, the missing baby and Warren's transformation have been the directional plots. Now the baby's safe and Warren is redeemed, and Louise S. (or Harras) has no idea where to go next. We get a pointless, overlong space "epic" that just retreads some of the Jean/Maddie/Phoenix and Dark Angel stuff, and then we get a year of killing time with Caliban and vampires until it's time for the next crossover and then, at long last, the merger with the X-Men, which could have happened any time after this issue.
This is Walt S.'s last issue as well, so the art takes a dive. (I love Paul Smith, but Milgrom inking him is not a good combo.) X-Factor ceases to be compelling pretty much for the rest of its run, depending on your taste for PAD-Factor.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | August 31, 2014 6:01 PM
Which is why, to beat a dead horse into the ground, it might not have been a good idea to get rid of Maddie if they didn't have a new direction in mind.
Posted by: Michael | August 31, 2014 6:16 PM
I wish this issue happened in X-Men and not X-Factor since I'm not loving the artist.
I remember reading this last year, getting to the part with Mr. Sinister kissing Jean Grey and I was having flashbacks to Berserk's Eclipse, except this ends a lot better and causes less trauma to the characters and reader.
Posted by: david banes | September 5, 2014 12:15 AM
I graduated from Transformers & GI Joe to the X-books with Inferno and I read this particular issue so much I think it may have fallen apart. Seeing you guys raise your intelligent and reasonable points sure takes the shine off that apple.
At least the art's still great. That's one thing about Inferno, we've got Silvestri, Simonson, Bogdonove, Romita, and the Buscemas. Even with rushed schedules and bad inkers all these scans look pretty great to me, especially considering the dark age that was fast approaching.
Posted by: Alex F | September 6, 2014 11:57 PM
That bit about the twelve X-Men always made me think that it was a reference back to "What are we going to do with thirteen X-Men?", especially as so many of those 13 are here.
I wish Sinister had just stayed dead. This is a pretty awesome death scene. Too bad they basically have to bring it back to use it again with Apocalypse.
I agree with Walter Lawson that X-Factor pretty much lost its focus after this. I don't think I had any other non-crossover issues after this one.
Posted by: Erik Beck | August 21, 2015 7:15 AM
Erik, Sinister's death was never meant to be permanent- the intended point was that Sinister's real body was that of a child that aged slowly.
Posted by: Michael | August 21, 2015 8:00 AM
Well, sure, we know that now. But, since the "slowly aging child" concept being fleshed out by Claremont in the Vignettes never really was made clear, it only lead to ridiculous overlapping ideas of his origin until the point where it took Nathan Adler to sort them out for us. No matter what Marvel says, that's the origin I'm going with.
But if he had just stayed dead none of that would have been necessary.
As much as Claremont is a better writer than Simonson, Claremont never really fleshed out what Sinister could do and what his actual powers were other than that he was incredibly powerful in a variety of ways. To her credit, Weezy at least defined Apocalypse's powers, which is part of why he was so much a more interesting and cooler villain.
Posted by: Erik Beck | August 21, 2015 9:07 AM
The trouble of ending Mr. Sinister's run in this particular issue is that it leaves waaaay too many questions unanswered.
The trouble of bringing him back for plot conveniences is that it creates many more.
Mr. Sinister is the kind of character whose meaning and intentions are never clear to his creators and therefore spirals out of control. They think, "well, we have no fucking clue as to what he is and what he wants so every time a plot gets stuck in a rut, we'll just say it was all Mr. Sinister's doing in the name of his terribly mysterious masterplan."
Of course, being sloppy, careless and unfettered, writers get carried away so far that they can't even keep track of what they've done to the character and what he's done to the story. So they keep tossing him like a hot potato in the hopes someone else will explain what they've done, except everyone does the same. It snowballs so badly that some poor schmuck eventually wraps the whole shit up with even worse results. This was one of the curses of Spider-Man's Clone Saga. No one knew who the fuck Scrier and Judas Traveller were, what they wanted and what were their powers. You write yourself into a corner and never figure a way out without insulting your audience's intelligence. When the whole Spider-Clone melee turned out to be a meandering, directionless, overtly complicated, cockamamie scheme of Rube Goldberg-type impracticality from LONG DEAD Norman Osborn (once a practical and direct roof-crasher), I thought "This is it. Marvel will be worthless forever."
I guess 'Civil War', 'Reign', Emma + Cyclops, 'Secret Invasion', 'One More Day', 'Necrosha', 'The Revenge of the Green Goblin', 'The Initiative', 'House of M', and that ludicrous nauseating, story of Gwen Stacy's grownup goblin-children with Norman Osborn made a freakin' prophet out of me.
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | August 22, 2015 5:05 AM
@Transparent Fox- what was wrong with "Revenge of the Green Goblin"? It was just a typical "villain drugs hero" story.
Posted by: Michael | August 22, 2015 8:52 AM
You're right, Michael, to an extent, it's a "villain drugs hero" story but that's part of the problem. It's a "drive Spider-Man crazy story". We've had way too many stories about villains trying to drive Spider-Man crazy and it gets tiresome. The big baddy has Spidey at his mercy but tries to play mind games, and then Spidey comes through. It's about playing games and this is Mr. Sinister's schtick as well. Except we know nothing about Mr. Sinister, so we can't really say the "playing games" bit is out of character. Spider-Man's game players are much worse.
We've had Kraven drug Spider-Man and bury him. He defeats him thanks to a poor use of Spider-sense, has him at his mercy, but doesn't kill him. Although he didn't really mean to drive Spider-Man crazy, it does make him grim 'n' gritty for a while. At least the story was relatively well-done and involved other themes, so it stood out anyhow. We can say this game-playing is in Kraven's character because the leopard-garbed lion-puncher has been going insane. Anyway, in the story Spidey lost control, went raging for a while, but pulled himself together.
Then we have the Nocenti story where his institutionalized. It was bad. But ok, it didn't involve arachnophobe super-villains who had him at their mercy and didn't kill him. He lost control but pulled himself together.
Then we had Torment. Very stylish, creepy, dramatic, but ultimately went nowhere and not a whole lot was explained. He kinda killed the Lizard twice, but the firefighters showed up and the fight was over. Was it in character for Calypso to play mind games? Who the fuck knows.
Then we had The Child Within. Very well-written, dealt quite nicely with a number of relevant themes, guilt, shame, death, madness, child abuse, identity problems. And at least the Green Goblin had a good, insane reason to fuck with Spider-Man's mind: he suffered all his life and wanted to pass it on to Peter (with a little help of a bit of poor use of Spider-sense). And even though he wanted to kill him he ultimately couldn't, so there's a reason for not offing him when he had the chance. Spider-Man almost killed the Vermin but pulled himself together.
Then J.M. De Matteis did something along those lines in The Death of Vermin. Baron Zemo could've killed Spider-Man but preferred to wear his mask. Is ihe acting in character? Let's hope. It's ok, though, J.M. does this sort of thing well. It was very touching, yet again with poignant psychological insight, almost philosophical. And an interesting story through Ashley Kafka's point of view. And Spidey doesn't lost control, although them monsters creep him out a bit.
Then J.M. does it AGAIN with the Death of the Green Goblin. It's the same old, same old. His enemy is back, know who he is, says he's gonna out him, Spider-Man loses control, almost kills a mugger, but pulls himself together. But the villain keeps his schtick: I know who you are, I'll taunt you a bit and then I'm gonna kill you. Yes, now I finally get the nerve to kill, so it's a totally different story this time around. But in the end I don't because I find the hero within me. And I die.>sigh
And then we get to Lifetheft. Oh, boy. This time we want to make Spider-Man grim 'n' gritty FOR GOOD. Courtesy of poor use of Spider-sense. Hey, these parents of yours, back from the dead and all? Yeah, they're 'bio-constructs' meant to have PETER PARKER reveal SPIDER-MAN's true identity. And they become monsters and try to kill you. It's an impractical ruse by the Chameleon, who is generally very clever and a good strategist.
Which brings us to Pursuit. Spider-Man wants revenge for the Lifetheft thingy and goes totally raging trying to find and kill the Chameleon. And the Chameleon is coming up with all sorts of bad guys to kill Spider-Man because he's to blame for Kraven's suicide. Spider-Man is so grim 'n' gritty he almost kills a tiger. But no, whew, he almost pulls himself together, maybe he can save his soul! But actually what he REALLY wants is to kill the Chameleon. And wow, he's going to crush the Chameleon with a giant tombstone but the Chameleon starts to whine, wail, and wallow in self-pity, and BECAUSE OF THAT Spider-Man feels sorry for him and spares him. Too bad for Chameleon who used to be a mastermind criminal, equal parts spy and crime boss, but Spidey seems like he's pulling himself together.
But not entirely: he STILL wants to kill somebody, because, you know, he's raging. And he finds out the Green Goblin WHO IS ALREADY DEAD is behind the whole fucking elaborate scheme! You know, 'coz he wants to fuck with Spider-Man's mind. Yes, the Chameleon's elaborate ruse was itself someone else's elaborate ruse.
And now Spider-Man is reeeeally raging, because what's the point of wrapping this up in less than twelve issues? So he fights Shriek and Carrion, he almost loses control, but he pulls himself together. Anyways, they defeat him because of his slightly poor use of Spider-sense and he's at their mercy. But they don't kill him, despite their personal vendettas against him. No, THEY want to drive him crazy. But in the end, Carrion finds the hero within him. And Shriek finds the heroine within her.
Of course, Spider-Man is still raging, so he fights the Demogoblin, almost loses control and kills him but pulls himself together. Then he fights a non-powered Scorpion and almost loses control and kills him but pulls himself together. Then we have Power and Responsibility. Spider-Man is raging. Judas Traveller defeats him. He has Spider-Man at his mercy. But doesn't kill him. He tries to DRIVE HIM CRAZY. But Spider-Man pulls himself together.
And theeeen we get Smoke and Mirrors: THE JACKAL COMES BACK FROM THE DEAD. But he doesn't try to kill Spider-Man OR the Scarlet Spider. He just wants to drive them crazy. But you see, this time it's TWO Spider-Men he wants to drive crazy, so it's really original. And Spider-Man, loses control, almost kills him, but with Scarlet Spider's help he pulls himself together. Yet again Judas Traveller, the Spider-books' Mr. Sinister, returns, captures Spider-Man, and though he has him at his mercy he puts him through a trial in Ravencroft Institute (which is actually pretty cool). This is almost refreshing, because Spider-Man hardly loses control!
Alas, it was not to be. He finds out he is a clone. And it drives him crazy. He loses control, hits Mary Jane (let's say he gave her a nudge to handwave the whole thing). So we arrive to Maximum Clonage where he becomes the Jackal's ally. You know, because he is raging. Which is probably why there must've been some poor use of Spider-sense. But in the end, who'da thunk? He pulls himself together. And the whole shit ends and he's done with being Spider-Man and decides to become a father.
But whaddaya know! The Spider-staff has learned to do nothing else, so we HAVE to drive Spider-Man crazy. Wouldja look at that, the Jackal's elaborate ruse was ITSELF someone else's elaborate ruse! Guess whose: the Green Goblin's! But not Harry's, the ORIGINAL's, the one who always wanted to kill Spider-Man but spent five years doing none of that. After all, Green Goblins are not meant to pumpkin-bomb, they're meant to cook up elaborate ruses! It doesn't even matter WHICH Green Goblin it is. It just comes with the uniform.
So the Green Goblin drugs Spider-Man, thanks to a really really really really poor use of Spider-sense. He has him at his mercy BUT he's nooooot gonna kill him right away. No, he kills his pregnant wife's baby. He goes to the maternity ward and kills the baby BUT NOT THE WIFE. For some reason. And then after FIVE YEARS of sitting in the shadows playing Mr. Sinister-type games, he suddenly dresses like the Green Goblin, starts to pumpkin-bomb and is defeated. Because Spider-Mans always pulls himself together.
But never fear! The Chameleon gets outta the insane asylum and fights Spider-Man. And thanks to a VERY poor use of Spider-sense (and regular common sense, because Spidey was duped by a hologram of an enemy--Doctor Octopus--who was supposed to be dead), the hero is defeated. Chameleon? Drugs him. And? Has him at his mercy. But? Doesn't kill him. Tries? To drive him crazy. Spider-Man? Loses control. In the end? Pulls himself together.
All the while, the original Green Goblin was alive and well and not killing Spider-Man. He wants to destroy Spider-Man, but he won't dress up as the Green Goblin because a Green Goblin has no business dressing up as a Green Goblin. No, he purchases the Daily Bugle in a manner neither green nor goblin. Heaven forbid he'll use his wealth to kill Spider-Man, he just wants to drive him crazy! So we get to the grim 'n' gritty all over again. Spider-Man? Control? Loses it. And beats the living shit out of the Green-Goblin-not-dressed-as-the-Green-Goblin with a RIDICULOUSLY POOR USE OF SPIDER-SENSE, because he's caught on camera. So he's wanted by the police and has to fight lotsa people. Meanwhile, the non-Green non-Goblin puts holograms of the Green Goblin all around town (to drive Spider-Man crazy) because that is so much better than, you know, BEING the Green Goblin. And KILLING Spider-Man.
After months and months of that shit, the Green Goblin realizes he's supposed to be a Green Goblin and goes through an embarrassing story arc about mystic stones in order to become omnipotent because it suddenly became a Green Goblin prerequisite. That and creating a genetic bomb, cuz genetic-driven Spider-stories have such a great rep. So he He tries to drive Spider-Man crazy and at the same time kill him (whew!). And guess what? He actually does!! But it was all a dream. The worst deus ex machina prior to "One More Day".
So Michael, to make a long story even longer, and before we resume the debate on the Mr. Sinister precedent for fucking up Marvel, "The Revenge of the Green Goblin" wasn't simply a rehashed, worn-out, overdone story. If it were about two different characters, two totally new characters, it would've been a derivative story. But when it comes to Spider-Man and the Green Goblin, it's sledgehammer on the nail on the coffin. The Green Goblin's premise, that of a millionaire who decides to become a pied, flamboyant, costumed criminal, is problematic. But we can chalk it up to insanity. But the Spider-staff brought him back after 24 years because they couldn't think of anything else to do. All of a sudden, they DON'T have to think of anything to do because instead of writers we get manatees making plots out of balls that represent variations on story elements to tie in with [GREEN GOBLIN] [CONVOLUTED PLAN] [SPIDER-MAN] [AT HIS MERCY] [DRIVE HIM CRAZY] [PULLS HIMSELF TOGETHER].
Mr. Sinister represents the curse of the terribly mysterious character whose masterplan is unknown to Marvel herself. In the Spiderverse we've had Judas Traveller and it has been terrible. And yet, it's nothing compared to a villain whose premise and modus operandi (and hereabouts) has been long established and is constantly recalled and ruined simply because nothing else comes to mind. And not because there are new and exciting things to do with him, but because we can't get past the "at-his-mercy-doesn't-kill-him-drives-him-crazy-pulls-himself-together" and he seems to be the only option for this type of shit. Because the Chameleon is no fun anymore. I've gone through the trouble of recalling every use of this trope since the days of Kraven's Last Hunt to point out that it was use sporadically at first and it has infested the Spiderverse exponentially to the point of making it the entire premise of the series.
I've been boring the bejesus out of everybody at chronocomic with this endless rant because mankind must realize that, however frustrating and chimeric the Clone Saga was, tying up its loose ends was even worse. This is a PhD. thesis meant to prove that if creators don't know who their characters are, what they think and why they act, it grows like a tumor and the quagmire gets a life of his own. The things a creative team don't realize about their story becomes the tail that wags the dog they do. And sloppiness feeds sloppiness. Creating Mr. Sinister before conceiving Mr. Sinister may seem careless. Explaining things away by saying he's terribly mysterious, TERRIBLY mysterious is probably careless. The lesson here is not "simple is better" but "thoughtful is better", because the attempt to clean the mess by burning down the house creates more problems and raises more issues. They let it fester because they're irresponsible but the mess teaches them no lessons. They've gotten away with mucking things up by not giving a shit, and they've learned to not give a shit dealing with the muck.
Moral the story: the muck that slows you down is better than the muck that sweeps you forward.
The Transparent Fox
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | August 23, 2015 3:45 AM
I don't think some of these were poor uses of Peter's Spider-Sense. Norman's always had the Spider-Sense dulling gas, so it made sense that he could get the drop on him during the finale of the Clone Saga. And I could see Peter missing the hidden camera in Spectacular 250, because he was focused on the IMMEDIATE threat- Norman.
Posted by: Michael | August 23, 2015 9:12 AM
Michael, it is true that Norman Osborn had developed a gaseous neutralizer to the Spider-sense. The thing is, he didn't use it. Remember, the scumbag that actually got the drop on Peter Parker was Doctor Folsome, the prick who delivered Mary Jane's dead (murdered?) baby, instead of killing her with it--in the prime example of the unconvincing nature of Osborn's plan. The "drop" involved a needle injecting some drug through Peter's neck.
The interesting thing is, Spider-Man's Spider-sense was NOT neutralized on the occasion. The Spider-sense was fully functional, a John Romita Jr. 's art makes it crystal clear. What happened was that Spider-Man simply didn't move fast enough to dodge an obese doctor's attempt to needle him from the back.
Notably, drugging him instead of killing him, because Norman Osborn is apparently too stupid to learn from his quintessential mistake: don't blabber on and on about his life and plans as to allow Spider-Man to recover.
So it amounts to Spider-Man failing to use the best reflexes in Marveldom with the singular superpower he usually takes very seriously. Such ineptitude was not seen in his Ditko years of beginner inexperience, when there could have been an excuse.
As for the "missing the hidden camera", I beg to differ on the actual immediate threat. One of the most consistent aspects of the Spider-sense is it's ability to distinguish between the nature of the threats and vary the intensity by their size and speed. Norman Osborn was not the immediate threat, he was the bait--and had not the slightest intention of fighting Spider-Man. In fact, he didn't even plan on DEFENDING himself. The immediate threat was the actual hidden camera, the only threat, the one thing in the entire room that could harm him in ANY level.
In any case, Michael, I thank you for the pertinent Spider-sense related observations--it always accounts for some of my favorite discussion topics in Chronocomic. And I am immensely grateful to you for taking the time to read my entire sprawling diatribe. I hope we can go through some of its other elements, Spider-sense-related or otherwise.
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | August 25, 2015 1:34 PM
According to Glenn Greenberg, yes, Peter's Spider-Sense WAS neutralized when the doctor got the drop on him as a result of the gas Stromm used on him in the previous chapter:
Posted by: Michael | August 25, 2015 7:38 PM
I think that, up to a point, the following years of explanation and retcons concerning Sinister have worked out alright. He wanted Scott and 'Jean's offspring as a weapon that could beat Apocalypse; he massacred the Morlocks either because he deemed them inferior, or because they were the work of a rival, or a combination of both; his overall aim is to advance humanity through genetic manipulation. I also think, though, that this overall story culminates in 2000 (or was it late '99), when Apocalypse is out of the way (for good!!!) and he gets his go at mutating the whole world. After that he's killed in revenge for that plan, but is then back for Messiah Complex, then 'dies' in a way that he only gets out of by becoming MISS Sinister, then drops that just because and decides what's best for the human race is that EVERYBODY should be Sinister. With added Phoenix power.
Posted by: Dave77 | April 18, 2016 9:41 PM
The main problem with Claremont's planned origin for Sinister is that it still doesn't give him any decent motivations, and it's internally incoherent to boot. If he's got an adult mind, intellect, and "urges" in a child's body, why are his ideas about heroes and villains so childish? And why does he become a murdering supervillain with a fixation on one particular mutant he met years ago? If he can create clones and transfer memories, why not create an adult body for himself and just transfer his own mind into it? It seems as if Claremont liked the basic gimmick of a powerful child who turns out to be "playing" supervillain, but never got much past being enamored of that gimmick to develop a consistent, workable character based on it.
The later version of his origin makes for a much more effective, comprehensible character, frankly.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | April 3, 2017 6:35 AM
Having this series of X-Factor issues intertwined with UXM doesn't work very well for poor Walt Simonson. His art compared to Silvestri's a total mess. I'm not sure he can handle so many characters at the same time... Look at Havok's pose when he's taunting Cyclops! And what's with Wolverine face being pitch black in the X-Factor issues?
Posted by: Bibs | December 5, 2017 6:20 PM
I love the panel where Scott pulverizes Sinister though
Posted by: Bibs | December 5, 2017 6:21 PM
Al Milgrim is the wrong inker for Walt. Walt’s art looked so much better with Bob Wiacek’s inks.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | December 6, 2017 1:31 AM
But his proportions often seem weird to me. Specially in the long distance. Small heads and huge arms and legs. Also, the way his characters pose seems unnatural to me.
Posted by: Bibs | December 6, 2017 2:58 AM
I would blame Al Milgrom. It would be a fun mental exercise to speculate where he would do a good job inking Walt Simonsen but this wasn't it.
I also think this was one of the places editorial broke away from the writers. Claremont and Silvestri's part of the crossover looked good and suitable to the story being told, Walt and Weezie's part just didn't fit. The characters didn't look right, the pacing was off, the inking was horrible. Are the X-Men still possessed by demons or are they just attacking X-Factor because superheroes always fight in Marvel comics? None of them care about Illyana, the X-Terminators or the kidnapped babies, they're all going after Mr. Sinister who they just learned existed a few pages ago.
Posted by: ChrisW | December 7, 2017 12:22 AM
Yep, no offence to Milgrom but Jay is right, compare any of the issues with Wiacek inking to the issues Milgrom inks, and it is clear that Milgrom's inking didn't suit Simonson's pencils.
That said, Simonson's pencils were likely not at their strongest this issue after having to do a double sized issue last month (plus he was also writing Avengers at the time). Come to think of it, I don't know if there was any reason Wiacek was replaced by Milgrom, perhaps by the time Walt's pencils arrived for #38, it was clear the inking needed to be done quickly? (One advantage modern writers/artists have is they are happy to delay books months if necessary, while back in the 80s their rush jobs had to be printed on time, especially for a major crossover where they couldn't just print a fill-in.)
Didn't help that Silvestri & Dan Green actually upped their game for X-Men's Inferno issues, looking flashier than ever. Perhaps helped by Leonardi filling in for Silvestri a few times in the lead-up, maybe that gave Silvestri a headstart?
The next mutant crossover X-Tinction Agenda will suffer from a similar clash of art, Jim Lee (for me, at his brief peak before he started cutting corners) alternating with Liefeld and Bogdanove, hard to make these X-crossovers seem like a unified story with such disparate artists.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | December 7, 2017 7:03 AM
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