Issue(s): X-Men #30
By the end of this issue, though, i was begging for a super-villain attack. Because without one, this is the most boring sappy slog of an issue imaginable. Weddings are nice...
...and yes, supervillains attacking every wedding is silly, but there has got to be a way to give us a story in an issue that also has a wedding. Both X-Men writers, Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza, have shown a penchant for downtime issues, but they've been overdoing it lately and it seems they've run out of things to do with all the downtime. That this issue was heavily promoted as a collectable event may have been part of the problem; in order to deliver something that felt appropriately "significant", any actual story was sacrificed.
The only tension in the issue comes from a vague sense of "apprehension" that comes from Professor Xavier, which only steps on the toes of the story in Uncanny X-Men #309 where Xavier came to grips with the reservation that he had about the wedding.
In any event, Xavier's apprehension doesn't last long as a problem.
A lot of other X-characters have come for the wedding.
I think it's interesting that characters like the Fantastic Four and the Avengers and Spider-Man aren't here (Crystal is an exception). Basically every Marvel hero went to Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Girl's wedding. But since then most wedding issues have been somewhat smaller affairs. On the other hand, Marvel heroes have been interacting more than ever in recent years (after the Infinity events alone...!), so it seems like more of a slight for other heroes to not have been included. Especially when you have the extended X-family here, it feels rude to not have invited the other major super-heroes. Beyond that, it's kind of sad how few civilian friends Jean and Scott have. It would have been nice to see Jean's former roommate Misty Knight included, or maybe even old flames like Ted Roberts or Lee Forrester.
Part of the issue seems to be that we're still somehow pretending that the X-Men are maintaining secret identities. I don't know how that's possible when a good percentage of the people at the ceremony are blue, but it's something that is brought up in what is nonetheless the emotional highlight of the issue.
At the end of this issue, Xavier goes through some correspondence, including a note from Wolverine telling him to "lighten up" and a note from Moira MacTaggert saying, "We were right. Cable might very well hold the key to a vaccine" to the Legacy virus. Just one more random teasing development that will go nowhere.
At this time, Marvel was promoting its Fleer trading cards with inserts. The inserts weren't quite free trading cards because they were just a single piece of cardboard (i.e. not separated into individual cards). The inserts are really annoying because they are much thicker than the comics pages. They make it hard to turn the pages. For most books they were Spider-Man cards, but in this issue they are in theme for the wedding.
I'd rather have the Mona Lisa than that off-model image of the Beast, personally.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: It's said that Havok is putting up a good front but still having problems dealing with the loss of Madrox, which helps explain any incongruities between his appearance here and his current state in X-Factor.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showAngel, Artie Maddicks, Banshee, Beast, Ben Locklin, Bishop, Boom Boom, Cable (Adult), Cannonball, Conal Duran, Crystal, Cyclops, Deborah Summers, Domino, Elaine Grey, Forge, Gailyn Bailey, Gambit, Grey Havero, Havok, Iceman, Jean Grey, Joey Bailey, John Grey, Jubilee, Leech, Lila Cheney, Luna, Moira MacTaggert, Nightcrawler, Philip Summers, Polaris, Professor X, Psylocke, Quicksilver, Rachel Summers, Rictor, Rogue, Sabretooth, Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde), Shatterstar, Siryn, Stevie Hunter, Storm, Strong Guy, Valerie Cooper, Warpath, Wolfsbane, Wolverine
Funny thing: back when I first read that issue, I assumed that the warning to Sabretooth was left by Sinister.
On another note: Marvel comparing a drawing of Beast to Mona Lisa? I know it's just marketing, but... sheesh. Talk about bravado...
And what were these Fleer cards anyway?
Posted by: Piotr Witkowski | October 9, 2017 6:03 PM
I had a copy of this issue, too, some years back. I remember enjoying it because it was the first down-time issue I read. Looking at the scans and seeing the endless word panels, though...sheesh. Maybe the "show-don't-tell-rule" should apply to comic books, too, a little bit.
Posted by: Jonathon | October 9, 2017 6:58 PM
Moira's note is a followup to Cable 9, where Moira wants to perform some sort of tests on Cable.
Posted by: Michael | October 9, 2017 8:12 PM
Marvel was still in Claremont-ian "The X-Men are too cool for school" mode and the Avengers and FF were rarely allowed to be in their clubhouse
Posted by: Bob | October 9, 2017 8:32 PM
What was the card insert in other books, a suggestion that the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel be repainted with the cover of ASM 375?
Posted by: Mortificator | October 9, 2017 8:59 PM
Oh god those X-Men cards.
When I was a kid my mom sent me and my brother to an after school church program while she worked. We used to keep our collection plate money and spend it on those same Fleer X-Men trading cards and tell the church we didn't have any money. So when they asked my mom about why her poor ass kids never had any money and if she needed financial help, it got out that we were stealing our church collection money to spend on those stupid ass X-Men cards. She was so pissed she threw away our card collection and grounded us. Good times.
Posted by: Bonez | October 9, 2017 10:32 PM
The wedding could have worked as an special event if we hadn’t seen this before with Cyclops and Maddie. The way his first marriage developed prevented any sane reader of taking his second one seriously. Having an adult son twice his age from the future didn’t help either.
Posted by: Lecen | October 9, 2017 11:58 PM
I remember this issue actually making mainstream news--and would possibly be the last positive mainstream news for Marvel until the new millennium. The market was about to crash, X-Mania on Saturday mornings was being supplanted by the Power Rangers, and the Jim Lee style would become the Joe Mads style. Kind of an an end of an era, right here.
Posted by: rabartlett | October 10, 2017 12:12 AM
The framing device for What If? vol 2 # 60 takes place during this story
Posted by: Mattkind | October 10, 2017 3:27 AM
I'm angry that Scarlet Witch wasn't invited to the wedding. Quicksilver and Crystal were present.
Posted by: Steven | October 10, 2017 11:37 AM
Does anyone know who did the artwork for those trading cards that were inserted in this issue?
Posted by: Ben Herman | October 11, 2017 4:03 PM
Ben, one of the Jean & Scott cards is signed by Bob Larkin, and the art for at least the three Jean & Scott cards looks the same. Not sure about the Beast card.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 12, 2017 10:29 AM
Thank you for the info, fnord. Yes, I now recall that Bob Larkin painted a number of trading cards, covers and posters for Marvel over the years. That includes for the X-Men "Ultra Collection" trading card set in 1994.
I just did a bit of searching online and discovered that Beast card was illustrated by Dan Brereton.
Posted by: Ben Herman | October 12, 2017 11:39 AM
I located an online checklist of the card set, with images...
This was certainly a nice card set, but it was also the point at which comic book trading cards were starting to become very expensive. I was still in high school at the time, so I decided to spend what money I had on actual comic books instead.
Posted by: Ben Herman | October 12, 2017 12:04 PM
Lecen, to be fair, Scott and Jean had a pretty good run of it, with their marriage lasting 9 relatively happy (real world) years. That's pretty long for a super-hero marriage (nowadays the marriage would have dissolved by issue 38. Heck, in the cartoon THEIR marriage was annulled.)
Posted by: Jon Dubya | November 15, 2017 8:40 AM
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