Issue(s): Firestar #1
I was somewhat surprised to actually enjoy the writing in these issues considering it's Tom DeFalco, but i remembered that, years later, DeFalco will write a Spider-Girl series that has garnered a very loyal following (i've never read it), so it's possible he just has a knack for writing teen girls. I don't mean that as snark at all; maybe he has daughters.
But a good portion of these issues are devoted to dealing with an awkward teenage girl, and he writes it well.
Which isn't to say there aren't some clunky bits.
These issues also depict the competition between Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters and the White Queen's Massachusetts Academy, something that's been a bit neglected in the main X-Books.
More so than the conflict between Xavier and Magneto, the rivalry between Xavier's integrationist philosophy and the Hellfire Club's "we should use our powers to take over the world from behind the scenes" represents an interesting and realistic distinction that the mutant books should have explored more.
The White Queen is faster this time, so Angelica Jones is recruited to the Massachusetts Academy.
Infrequent Marvel Universe contributor Mary Wilshire handles the art for this series, and it's good.
Professor X and Kitty Pryde, per the discussion in the comments:
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: A footnote in issue #1 states that "this story" takes place before Uncanny X-Men #193. The mini-series spans a sizeable period of time, and X-Men #193 actually takes place between issues #2-3, but it's said in Firestar #4 that it's been "three years" since issue #1 here, so i'm pushing this way back in publication time (as Michael notes in the comments, prior to one of the White Queen's several comas).
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBart Jones, Cannonball, Firestar, Mirage (Dani Moonstar), Nightcrawler, Professor X, Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde), Sunspot, White Queen (Emma Frost), Wolfsbane
The MCP placed issue 1 prior to Emma's coma in Uncanny 169. (I like the fact that I have to specify which of Emma's several comas I'm talking about.)The reason for this placement is that Professor X appears to be in a wheelchair on page 7 in issue 1.
Posted by: Michael | March 31, 2012 5:12 PM
Xavier is also in a wheel chair in ROM #65. I still say these wheelchair appearances are due to the beating he took in UX #192! ;-)
These two issues definitely span a long period of time. I could argue that in the same scene with Xavier, Kitty's wearing clothes very similar to her post-Kitty Pryde and Wolverine mini (added the scan), and he's also arguably shown driving a car at the end of the issue, but i think the MCP's probably right (i guess the car had hand controls for gas and brake?). Still, for readability i'd rather not split this mini-series up too much, so i'm treating it as a retrospective and focusing on the final scenes for placement.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 31, 2012 5:37 PM
Years later, Firestar would have the unwanted distinction of being the subject of the most horribly written article ever to appear in "Back Issue". The piece tried to "investigate" why Firestar never became a hit at Marvel, but it read like a product of deeply creepy obsession.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 1, 2012 2:50 PM
I've actually come around to Michael and the MCP's way of thinking on the placement of Firestar #1, so i've split it out from issue #2 and moved #1 back prior to Uncanny #169.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 15, 2012 11:55 AM
Considering placement problems: the Firestar mini was first announced in very late 1983 and at least partially drawn then.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 8, 2013 4:19 PM
I've read the Firestar stuff a few times and something bothers me, namely the "three years" stuff. Firestar can't conceivably have been at Frost's Academy for that long if Kitty is already at Xavier's for the recruit, because that would put Kitty at 16 or 17 by the time of "Uncanny" 193 -- but Kitty wasn't that old until Excalibur.
With the New Mutants' placement in issues 2 and 3, it makes it seem like over a year takes place between issues 15 and 26 of "New Mutants," which it certainly doesn't. I'm surprised DeFalco didn't seem to understand "comic book time" by this point.
Basically, if he wanted to have Firestar spend three years in Massachusetts, the scenes with Xavier would have to be at least pre-Dark Phoenix.
Posted by: Jeff | June 1, 2015 1:01 PM
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