Issue(s): X-Men #9
The reason for her sudden loyalty shift is the arrival of a Brood-infected Ghost Rider, who Jim Lee depicts as much more Brood-like than Ron Wagner did in Ghost Rider #26. This was actually part of a sideways double-page spread.
Granted, Lee chose to do more of a profile, allowing for the full depiction of Ghost Rider's now elongated skull, while Wagner went for a full frontal shot. But that's the point; that was a weird choice for Wagner to make.
By the way, for what it is worth, i'm not trying to contemplate how a skeletal, flaming, demonic entity can get injected with a Brood egg. I'm taking the creators' word for it that it can happen.
I mentioned in the preceding Ghost Rider segment that all the thieves in the Thieves Guild had super-powers. That's apparently a new development that has surprised Gambit.
We have two choices now. We can enjoy Jim Lee drawing the X-Men and Ghost Rider and the Brood...
...or we can listen to Gambit and Bella Donna argue in comical N'Orleans accents about whether or not they love each other.
I choose option A.
Of course we also have to contend with this.
Ok, Cyclops staring at Psylocke last issue is one thing. But Psylocke, in the middle of a battle, is now encouraging it. Can they both be mind-controlled, please?
As for the thieves' and assassins' super-powers, Ghost Brooder has some exposition for you.
I love that the powers have nothing to do with the current story. It's just random info being dumped on us that has no bearing on anything.
Here's more on the subject, but only if you c'n understand what dat Belle Donna be sayin'.
Psylocke uses her powers to reach out to Ghost Rider, sensing the essence of Danny Ketch inside his head. Bella Donna follows. Is there no end to your plot convenient powers?
They manage to free Ghost Rider of the Brood's control, but it seemingly costs Belle Donna her life. Time for a group shot before the final part of this story.
This is all pure fluff, not that there's anything wrong with that.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Continues directly from Ghost Rider #26 and continues in Ghost Rider #27.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showBeast, Bella Donna Boudreaux, Cyclops, Gambit, Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch), Jubilee, Noble Kale, Psylocke, Rogue, Wolverine
The dialogue in this is just classic '90s garbage. All that mangled Southern accent crap and my personal favorite "That information will not be forthcoming!" But hey at least the art is better than average for the time.
Posted by: Robert | February 18, 2016 2:53 PM
"Jubilee wants to join the New Warriors. I wouldn't be against that."
She would. Especially later on when she "changes teams". That's why I was surprised she would say this, even in jest.
Posted by: clyde | February 18, 2016 2:53 PM
I remember well that image of Wolverine as he leaps toward the Brood -- it was used on the X-Men Tiger Electronics handheld game that I played a lot as a kid. They took his claws out of the image for some reason, though.
Posted by: TCP | February 18, 2016 2:58 PM
OK, the thing with Psylocke and Cyclops, I was confused back then and still confused now. Can someone clear this up for me, because Scott's attraction to Betsy seems to come out of nowhere.
Posted by: Haywerth | February 18, 2016 4:10 PM
I never understood the Cyclops/Psylocke thing. Can Cyclops be attracted to a non-telepath? I always thought this attraction out of nowhere thing made him look weak willed; like he's too easily manipulated by any female telepath.
Posted by: Bill | February 18, 2016 6:56 PM
He tried with Lee and Maddie, I guess he knows what he wants. "Boobs, personality, common interests may be enough for some men, but I need a telepath to really be attracted." Doesn't explain why he never put the moves on Rachel. It's not like they're related or anything.
Notice that Betsy never really says or does anything to indicate what he would be attracted to, and never has at any time they've been on-screen together. She's showing off her assets to the reader, not to Scott. Going back to their first meeting in "Inferno," they've never had any interaction to indicate that her mere presence turns him into a tongue-tied teenager.
Purely speculation, but I would guess that this was editorially-driven. Bob Harras decided they were selling these books to tongue-tied teenagers, and mandated Lee and Lobdell to do a storyline just like that. Betsy's the obvious choice for the female lead, Scott's the most-likely candidate for the male lead. Founding X-Man, the leader, and Harras had probably internalized Claremont's points that the guy ditched his wife and baby, he's a complete dick. So why not turn him into a babbling idiot by the mere presence of large Asian boobs?
Which led to Scott becoming the character that he is today, which I know almost-entirely by reputation. Lee and Kirby's creation deserved better than that.
Posted by: ChrisW | February 18, 2016 7:29 PM
@Haywerth- they eventually explained that Betsy was attracted to Scott but would have never acted on it if not for Kwannon's personality influencing her to take what she wanted. That doesn't explain Scott's attraction, though.
Posted by: Michael | February 18, 2016 9:37 PM
I believe Jubilee does eventually join the New Warriors, but it is a very different Jubilee and a very different New Warriors (thanks to M-Day and Stamford)
Posted by: Erik Robbins | February 18, 2016 10:05 PM
Thanks, Michael! :-)
Posted by: Haywerth | February 18, 2016 11:11 PM
I thought Scott/Betsy thing, to the degree that there was any thought behind it, was a clumsy effort at putting Scott in a situation where he was tempted by another woman before ultimately deciding that Jean was his one true love, leading to their engagement in UX #308. Jean and Scott's marriage was a topic at the end of Simonson's X-Factor run but then it was said in the lettercol that it had been delayed, so this seemed like a bad way of inserting some drama into their relationship while stretching things out.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 19, 2016 9:16 AM
I must be misremembering, I only read the Kwannon storyline once but I'd remembered the explanation being that the Kwannon side of Betsy had been tampering with Scott's mind.
To be honest that's the only explanation that makes sense to me. Scott completely loses the power of speech in both this issue and the last, and it does go past a comedy "tongue tied by hot girl" to him seeming brain damaged. It just felt like a re-run of Moondragon making Angel and Iceman lust after her in the Defenders.
As I'm sure others have pointed out, I always thought it was dumb that Scott suddenly found her attractive when she came out the water last issue in a swimsuit, since it doesn't really reveal any more of her than the ninja swimsuit she wears the whole time.
Posted by: Jonathan | February 19, 2016 9:47 PM
@fnord- Harras claimed that the original trigger for Scott and Jean getting married was a story in the animated series in 1993- he had been asking for years to get them married and DeFalco kept saying no.
Posted by: Michael | February 20, 2016 9:30 AM
Really? There is something wrong when comic book characters get married because other mediums demand it. Stan Lee wanted Peter and MJ to marry for the newspaper strip. The producers of "Lois and Clark" wanted Superman to get married, a couple of years after Superman died. And now Scott and Jean get married to match up with the cartoon series?
#*@&$^(!!!! Britney f*cking Spears had a better reason to get married than that. She was getting plastered with some guy in Las Vegas, that's all the excuse they need. Producers of similar work in a different medium wanted a marriage and the comic book characters just jump through the hoops? Yeah, that'll be a happy marriage
Oh wait, none of the above marriages had any lasting quality. Never mind.
Posted by: ChrisW | February 22, 2016 2:05 AM
Oh wait, none of the above marriages had any lasting quality. Never mind.
ChrisW, I think I understand how you meant that but I do want to respond because it struck a nerve (mainly due to my irritation with how at least a couple of those marriages were ended). I always find these discussions are tricky to get into because all it takes is one side pointing out what one or two shitty writers did as "evidence" that something isn't working, but here I go nonetheless. I think the Peter/MJ marriage worked up until the point that the Spider titles in general stopped working and then it became a convenient scapegoat for many. The Clark/Lois marriage sure-as-hell worked until the company higher-ups decided to muck with them for reasons that had jack to do with quality or fans clamoring for it to end. Both of these relationships began and ended due to sales gimmicks and publicity stunts. But I would argue that both were natural progessions of their romances and, in the Clark & Lois case, they were long overdue for some progression on a formula that had grown stale decades before. As for Jean/Scott, they're the couple I'm least interested in of the three but there was history to back up the idea and, correct me if I'm wrong, they are the only one to not have their marriage dissolved by editorial bullshit. I am assuming on that because my knowledge of post-Heroes Reborn Marvel is spotty. There are other entries here I know that go into more detail on the Peter/MJ debate and this is probably not the place for the DC debate, so I'll leave it at me chiming in with my two cents unless you ask a question or something that requires additional comment.
Posted by: Robert | February 22, 2016 2:38 AM
Robert, I'm less concerned about editorial interference in the marriages than the fact that none of them worked for more than a few years. These are three of the most classic couples in comics. Reed and Sue are the only ones in their league, and they were engaged from the start and married by their creators. [I do have a fondness for Ralph and Sue Dibny, but they are DC characters and I understand their marriage... didn't end well.]
You probably know more than I do about all of these characters currently. Scott got his happy ending with Madelyne, and marrying Jean is (dare I say it?) just a failed attempt at cloning the process. It's not the editorial fiat I'm complaining about (specifically) and certainly not in Scott and Jean's case. Getting them married, yes, as Michael said above, the company and the cartoon people are to blame for that. Fine. And I have no problem with Scott and Jean being together finally after all their trials and tribulations, and Scott's first wife can be easily forgotten.
But becoming a bumbling idiot because Betsy looks at him? Going on to cheat on Jean with Emma Frost [which I know only by reputation, I've never read the actual comics]? This is not the Cyclops that we've known for so long. It's like he's been replaced by an alien energy space form.
Peter/MJ and Clark/Lois are fine as far as they go, I was just using them as examples in my shock about learning that Scott and Jean married because the cartoon show wanted it. All three couples, it's not a bad idea. If they were real people, I'd wish them well, and *tsk tsk* when it doesn't work out. Such is life.
Robert, based on your comment, I'm pretty sure you know much more than I do how all of those marriages worked issue-to-issue. I'm not disagreeing with you about any of that. In fact, I don't think I'm disagreeing with you in general.
But Scott Summers is mentally (if not physically) cheating on his wife with one of the X-Men's greatest enemies, who wears an S&M outfit. That's not a happy marriage. Scott and Jean could spend the next fifty years together, that will still be a problem they haven't dealt with.
I'm not complaining about how the marriages began or ended. Fictional characters owned by vast corporations, they'll marry whoever they're told to marry. But three of the greatest couples in comics get married because of those vast corporation, with no regard for what it does to them as characters? That offends me. Britney Spears had a better reason to get married. She was drunk in Vegas. End of story.
[There actually is a good self-published comic where a Superman rip-off married a Wonder Woman rip-off after a drunken weekend in Vegas, and the story is about their respective supporting casts (and the Justice League rip-off) dealing with it. And Terry Moore had his main characters in "Strangers In Paradise" doing exactly the same thing. Maybe it was just in the air at the time.]
Posted by: ChrisW | February 22, 2016 3:44 AM
This thread has gone pretty far afield, but my two cents is I always felt that Scott with the girl who looked like his dead girlfriend was creepy, Alfred-Hitcock-type territory. It was never going to end well. And, Chris, I highly recommend both Morrison's New X-Men and Whedon's Astonishing X-Men. In context, Scott's relationship with Emma makes a lot of sense; a repressed guy like him needs a girl who's a little crazy to balance him out.
Posted by: Andrew | February 22, 2016 7:06 AM
@ChrisW- Maybe I didn't explain what happened clearly enough. Harras wanted the wedding to happen and used the wedding in the Animated Series to get DeFalco to agree:
Posted by: Michael | February 22, 2016 7:52 AM
About Maddie, she looks a lot like Jean, she lives in the Arctic like the Summers family, and she has a job flying planes like Corsair did. One coincidence is more than enough, three gives you the impression that something's rotten in Denmark.
Posted by: D09 | February 24, 2016 1:46 AM
Michael, I'm not sure if you're confusing my comments with Robert's. If I read him correctly, he's bothered by how the marriages ended. I'm less bothered by the marriages themselves, or their endings, than by the notion that they all happened by editorial intervention. I certainly got your point that Harras had been trying to get Scott and Jean married for years.
That's my point, that instead of treating the characters like characters [fictional though they are, most writers have the enjoyable experience of characters deciding what they're going to do next] Scott and Jean joined MJ and Peter and Clark and Lois in characters whose romance we enjoyed but now they're going to get married, no if's, and's or but's.
Never mind the merits of the marriage, it's how they get there that I find dubious.
Posted by: ChrisW | February 26, 2016 6:02 AM
A distinct memory of walking back to Brandeis from Outer Limits reading this, realizing that there were issues of Ghost Rider that belonged both before and after it and deciding I didn't care. THis was enough. I had been out of comics for a year and hadn't realized that there even was a new Ghost Rider. Wasn't until coming to fnord's site that I discovered that the new GR had been around for a while before I quit comics in the first place. Still don't care. I enjoyed the Lee art and said, meh, I'm done with the story.
Posted by: Erik Beck | March 16, 2016 11:23 AM
Hee. I noticed that no one is ruminating on the broken marriage featured right in this issue. Poor phonetic-accented BellaDonna.
Also, why would the animated series inspire the comic marriage, when the cartoon quickly established that Scott and Jean weren't actually married? (Also, as a quick trivia tidbit, the Superman show actually delayed the marriage. Lois are Ckark were actually going to get married much earlier in the comics, but the upcoming ABC series pushed it back until it can occur concurrently. This is why the Death of Superman story occured to postpone the nuptials.)
As for for the Cyclops/Psylocke stuff (which I detest by the way, especially when it gets blended-in with the much-loathed "Revange" subplot), I suspect his becoming flustered at her presence is suppose to be an example of "informed attractiveness" in action. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/InformedAttractiveness). When you think about it there's supposed to be a sort of "Betty and Veronica" thing going on with Jean and Betsy (which is actually a trope too.) Of course the unmentioned gag there is that Archie's two paramours look pretty much the same except for different hair colors. Yet Veronica is somehow portrayed as the "sexy one" getting the lion's share of male attention. I think something similiar is happening in these books so that we "understand" that Psylocke is suppose to be the "uber-hottie" in-universe as well as out despite Jean wearing an equally skimpy swimsuit last issue and having a typical "Jim Lee body." A similar dynamic occurs when we get to the Jean/Emma/Scott triangle.
Posted by: Jon Dubya | May 5, 2016 12:07 AM
@Jon- Comics Should Be Good has a description of what happened with Jean's and Scott's wedding and the Animated Series in the link from from my previous post in this thread.
Posted by: Michael | May 5, 2016 12:22 AM
I've read about it a few times in the comments section and now that I'm reading these issues for the first time in a chronological order I'm realizing that indeed, long-term plotting went out of the window the minute Claremont left. Since his departure the stories are mostly 3-issues arc against a random threat, then at the end a new threat comes and here we go again...
Posted by: Bibs | January 29, 2018 6:12 PM
I don't think long-term plotting went out the window, just good long-term plotting. As fnord posts new post-Claremont issues, I recognize themes and ideas that look like they started with Claremont even years after he was gone - that thing with Cameron Hodge, Steven Lang and a few others as transmode beings, for instance - and to me it looks like there was a very deliberate attempt to maintain that approach, with Claremont's ideas or the few new things they could come up with.
When Claremont first returned to Marvel, he said he wouldn't be taking over an X-title because they were plotted years in advance, which I took to mean that he'd be taking over an X-title in a few years, which is what happened.
Posted by: ChrisW | January 29, 2018 7:31 PM
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