Uncanny X-Men #192
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #192
Professor X, Storm (who i guess decided to stick around a little longer after the Kulan Gath incident derailed her travel plans), Magik (with a stowaway Lockheed), and Rachel Summers are at the airport waiting to greet Wolverine and Kitty Pryde.
Colossus stays behind because he's avoiding seeing Kitty again after their break-up, and Rogue and Nightcrawler keep him company by setting up an outdoor training scenario.
During the training, Nightcrawler raises the possibility that Rogue may have inherited Ms. Marvel's Seventh Sense when she absorbed the rest of her powers. It's semi-proven when Nightcrawler tests her...
...and then it's borne out again in the big fight of the issue, but despite the revelation, it's something that will be rarely used in the future, even by Claremont.
After the training session, Warlock's father, Magus, shows up.
It's something that the X-Men should have been much more prepared for; Warlock told them his father was coming after him. But it turns out that too much preparation wasn't really necessary. From what i've seen, Warlock alone should be able to take on all of the X-Men. His father was shown to be much more powerful. However, in this issue, it's just Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Rogue vs. the Magus, and they more or less win.
The fight is won in part by Nightcrawler teleporting a piece of the Magus away, and then Rogue uses her power absorbing attack. And while it's said that the Magus is far too powerful to be susceptible to Rogue's attack...
...after that incident, the Magus withdraws from the battle.
After the battle is over, the Magus thinks to himself:
Truly, this orb is exceptional. Never have my sensors encountered such a confluence of major celestial forces and entities. And the inhabitants of this world are no less formidable -- in their recent past, they have defeated Galactus!
Based on that, and the fact that the X-Men nearly defeated him, the Magus decides to change tactics. He kills and absorbs the likeness of a policeman and decides to approach things more cautiously. Quite a shift for a guy that we've seen tear a star apart not long ago.
It's a cool fight, and Romita does a decent job Sienkiewicz-ing it up, but it's still a little unbelievable that the conflict ends so easily.
I've wondered for years if there's any external connection to the names Warlock and Magus, since both Jim Starlin's Magus and Claremont's represent evil sides of their respective Warlocks. But as far as i can tell, there's nothing. Maybe the names were just kept alive for copyright reasons.
It's stated in this issue that Nightcrawler is the current team leader as if it's something that had already been decided. When Wolverine returns, Nightcrawler tries to pass the buck to him but Wolverine says "No way. Bein' boss ain't my style."
We also learn in this issue that the reason Rachel Summers is in our timeline is because her timeline's version of Kate Pryde figured out that instead of just switching minds, it's possible to actually send physical bodies across the timestream, and she programmed Rachel with a post-hypnotic suggestion to send her to our timeline in case things got worse in their dimension. Kate and Rachel were infiltrating a government facility to stop "Project Nimrod" when Kate triggered the transfer by saying the code phrase "Dark Phoenix".
At the end of this issue, which takes place "some months later" (why would you do that?!?), Professor Xavier is walking outside after a class he's been teaching at Colombia University, when he's confronted by an anti-mutant mob, some of which are his students. They think he's a mutant sympathizer, and not necessarily a mutant himself, until he tries to use his powers to restrain them. Then they beat him within an inch of his life.
An unseen individual pulls Xavier into an alley after the mob leaves the scene.
Below is what i had originally written regarding this incident. As you can see from Michael's comment below, i was misremembering what came next (by quite a bit!). Still, this is what should have happened, dammit!
This incident will re-cripple Professor X. I don't know if it was the intention all along, but the reason for Professor X's original handicapping was not thematically a very good one. A random fight with an alien with an unfortunate name doesn't really have anything to do with the X-Men's themes. So it may have been the plan all along to "fix" that story by having Xavier crippled a second time.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Wolverine and Kitty Pryde return to the X-Men this issue. I have the placement of this issue and Alpha Flight #16-17 reversed from what the MCP has. I think Wolverine would go directly to Canada to be with Heather Hudson after hearing the news of Guardian's death instead of first returning home. Since Wolverine and Kitty arrive at the airport together in this issue, we can assume that she went with Wolvie to Canada but stayed back at the hotel while Wolverine visited Heather. Colossus does say that Kitty is due home "from Japan" but that doesn't necessarily mean they didn't have a stop-over. More importantly, Wolverine and Kitty shouldn't appear with the X-Men in guest appearances (like ROM #65-66) until after this issue. As for the "some months" gap, i'm more or less ignoring it.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (11): show
Xavier isn't re-crippled this issue. He has trouble using his powers for the next few issues until he's healed by the Starjammers in issues 200-201. He's recrippled in issue 280 when the Shadow King breaks his back.
Posted by: Michael | March 7, 2012 8:00 PM
Thanks Michael. Hazards of reviewing things issue-by-issue since i'm clearly misremembering stuff. I'll have to update this entry.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 7, 2012 8:19 PM
Quite enjoying your run-through of Claremont's X-Men. I don't know if it has any place in this article, but fifty issues later, we learn that Rogue has gained immunity to the techno-organic virus thanks to this battle with Magus. Much like Ms. Marvel's seventh sense, that's another talent she picked up which doesn't get referenced often (although it was a big help in #242.)
Posted by: ChrisW | November 4, 2013 6:25 PM
Claremont's comments in Amazing Heroes Preview Special #1 confirm that 4 months separate the Magus attack and Xavier's mugging,that AF/XM does happen in that period, and that #200 happens 7 months after AF/XM.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 21, 2014 5:02 PM
Yes, certainly don't ignore the time gap at the end of this issue. The X-Men Alpha Flight Mini does indeed occur between those panels.
However, when it says "months" ... take that with a grain of salt, because while time does pass (more likely "weeks" or "a few weeks"), it may not be months. Because of Secret Wars I and II, The time passed between Uncanny X-Men 182-195 have to be roughly the same as the corresponding issues of the other SW I/II participants -- Avengers, ASM, FF, Iron Man, Thor, Cap, Hulk and PPTSSM.
On the plus side of that argument, you have a title like Thor where a 12-issue story arc might take place over a weekend ... but then the next issue they don't tell you how much time has passed and you can use that gap to shove a year's worth of Thor appearances in. On the negative side of that is a title like ASM, where Peter's every movement is plotted carefully by every Marvel editor so there may not be room for down time, especially as he appears in 3 titles a month at this point.
Posted by: Jeff | September 12, 2014 1:38 PM
"It's stated in this issue that Nightcrawler is the current team leader as if it's something that had already been decided. When Wolverine returns, Nightcrawler tries to pass the buck to him but Wolverine says "No way. Bein' boss ain't my style.""
It does seem the best choice. Rogue is still fairly new to the team, Rachel is very new (and not really yet on the team), Peter has never shown much in the way of leadership, Logan won't do it (later he will try to defer to Rogue when Storm goes off to get her powers back but she will make him do it). Kitty is, in some ways, the best choice, but she's still only 15 at this point, just coming off her issues in Japan and her relationship with Peter. That really does leave it up to Kurt.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 24, 2015 12:41 PM
The months long gap works very well in view of Dazzler. The Millie the Model issue takes place over a few weeks and after time has passed since the previous issue. Then the garphic novel (between issues) throws out "next week"s "days later"s and "weeks later"s like they are going out of style culminating (after the Kulan Gath story) with Dazzler making an entire movie to a viewable state. THEN she spends time in hiding being depressed and the Beauty and the Beast series kicks in (still between the same two issues) which is also littered with massive time jumps. THEN there's all the catching up with the regular series, all before Secret Wars II (in which she's been roadying for a while!).
All in all, Dazzler single handed distorts the fabric of time and getting a "months later" reference here is a relief for a foolish man who's been trying to plot a timeline of all this stuff(!)
There are handy excuses for gaps in most cases. Spider-man has no story arc after the end of the Pink Hat Saga and most issues are context free for months. Captain America is recovering from his ordeal with the Red Skull. Thor is mourning his father. The Richards' are spending quality time together instead of figuring out what to do about Terminus (in character at this point), Wyatt Wingfoot is doing the wild thang with She-Hulk and Johnny Storm is doing the same with his best friend's girlfriend (who, luckily, is a skrull).
(Though that requires nitpicky reordering)
Posted by: Benway | July 6, 2017 11:18 PM
Interesting that Xavier is clearly not trying to keep Ororo's thoughts private, and then he wonders what Illyana is doing. Illyana is hiding Lockheed, and trying to keep him from being visible to the Prof.
And Illyana is wearing a "Buckaroo Banzai" hat. I've never seen the movie, but I've seen spoiler warnings indicating that [SPOILER WARNING] Orson Welles' 1938 "War of the Worlds" broadcast was the truth, that aliens were invading and conquering the world that night, it's just that they got away with it.
Posted by: ChrisW | July 7, 2017 1:47 AM
Off topic, I know, but Buckaroo Banzai is worth seeing at least once if only for the sheer, deliberate wackiness of the movie. And it's got a helluva cast. "Buckaroo, I don't know what to say. Lectroids? Planet 10? Nuclear extortion? A girl named John?"
There's also more than naming coincidence tying this Warlock/Magus pair to the other one. Starlin's Warlock discovered that he wold one day turn into the Magus, and fought against that; here, the techno-organic race -- much later to be dubbed the Technarchy -- woks by having sons kill fathers and assume their roles. So in both cases the Magus character represents a dark possible future for the Warlock character, but Claremont's version of this idea is metaphorcial where Starlin's is literal.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | July 7, 2017 6:39 AM
A few years ago, I made an extensive list of the lies, deceptions and omissions the X-characters inflicted on themselves and each other which only caused problems in the future. I'm posting the link on this issue because, other than the extended Illyana subplot, it seems like the most egregious example of willful blindness on everybody's part.
#192 - After Kulan Gath, after the craziness of the New Mutants’ slumber party, nobody asks Warlock about his powers. Warlock never said he’s fleeing his father who can rip stars apart. Nobody asked why Illyana suddenly left that night before reappearing in space armor.
Ok, given these obvious questions, after fighting Warlock’s father in this issue, why didn’t Rogue, Peter and Kurt ask the X-Babies about Warlock’s father? He might destroy Earth. That’s kinda sorta a thing they should care about. Charley mucks with peoples’ heads for the first time in ages, then gets mugged three panels later. Can you say “Karma” boys and girls?
Posted by: ChrisW | November 19, 2017 11:32 AM
Marvel had published a Buckaroo Banzai adaptation in Marvel Super Special and as a mini some months earlier.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | November 19, 2017 1:30 PM
I've wondered for years if there's any external connection to the names Warlock and Magus. But as far as i can tell, there's nothing.
Warlock and Magus mean both Sorcerer. "Magus" (from which comes the word "magic") is Latin for Wizard.
Posted by: Christian | November 19, 2017 3:49 PM
Perhaps Claremont had in mind Arthur C. Clarke's aphorism "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic".
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | November 19, 2017 4:42 PM
In New Mutants #22, Xavier and Moira examine Warlock in order to learn more about him, so the subject was brought up. As a writer of serialized stories, Claremont had many subjects to handle, in two books, and that one probably became less of a priority until much later, when Magus re-appeared after the Morlock Massacre. Unlike self-contained stories, and like life, serial stories always have loose ends and things dropped.
Cypher learns of the Magus' desire to kill Warlock in #21, and tells the other kids. Presumably, the X-Men were told at some point.
Posted by: James | November 19, 2017 6:01 PM
"Presumably" they had learned Wolverine's adamantium claws were part of his body at some point before they were kidnapped by Sentinels to a space-station in an issue that specifies that the new team had been together almost a year and training daily.
"Presumably" they had learned Wolverine's first name was Logan at some point before Jean died, long after they had been kidnapped by Sentinels to a space-station.
"Presumably" they asked Illyana what happened in Limbo to age her so much and... "Presumably" Xavier would tell the X-Men that he was mugged, or being brain-scanned by an omnipotent alien... "Presumably" the X-Men would tell Cyclops that they were going to invade the Pentagon...
My point is that many many obvious questions are not asked in Claremont's "X-Men," and many many times very important information is not volunteered. Next to Illyana, the Magus/Warlock subplot sticks out as the worst example.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 21, 2017 10:26 PM
I read Uncanny X-Men #145-148 by Claremont and Cockrum the other day, while looking for non-existent references to Dr. Doom's time machine, that I was misled by wiki into believing I would find there. The stories were so loosely scripted that it sort of startled me. Made me wonder how much Claremont depended on his pencilers for the story plotting. Comparing it to his work with Byrne up to #143, it seemed almost like it was not only penciled, but also written, by different people.
Buckaroo Banzai: I'd love to read the fictionally long-running comic series that was featured in the movie, on Earth-(John Buckaroo), in Dimension 3. I haven't read the Earth-616 Marvel Buckaroo adaptation(s) yet, but they couldn't possibly be as good.
Posted by: Holt | November 22, 2017 12:38 AM
@Holt - In "Comics Creators On X-Men", all of the artists confirm they would receive overly detailed plots from Claremont. (Byrne: "Chris used to write fifteen-page plots for seventeen-page stories and that's not an exaggeration." Cockrum: "Sometimes they contained a lot more material than I really needed. When we got to X-Men #150 and found out it was going to be double-sized, he still came up with more material than we could possibly fit in and we had to strip a lot of it out." Silvestri: "They were novels! (...) you're going to get page after page of fifty characters doing fifty frames' worth of stuff on each page."
For Cockrum's 1st run & the Byrne run (from about #113 onwards, before that Claremont was doing full plot), they were co-plotting with Claremont, essentially working Marvel method. Same thing for the last half dozen or so issues with Jim Lee. I think the difference is Byrne is a tight plotter while Cockrum was more casual. Everyone else in between (with the exception of Windsor-Smith) will have got encyclopaedia-size plots, & editorial warned the artists in advance of the giant plots they would be receiving. It seems they would never be broken down by panel, but instead lots of background detail on the characters (I think Byrne commented that it was lots of stuff he didn't need to know).
I think it's noticeable in some issues that a guest artist (#160 for example) is struggling to work out what to fit in or leave out.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | November 22, 2017 3:25 AM
That might help explain why some subplots seemed to get dropped, or extended almost indefinitely. There was some slow development of a subplot involving the crystal ball portrait of Jean at her parents' house, for instance, in #143 p.6 pan.5-7. That subplot seemed to go on for a long long time, over many issues. I was always intrigued, but can no longer remember how or if that subplot ever worked itself out. If Claremont was writing plots with "fifty characters doing fifty frames' worth of stuff on each page," so much, in fact, that they "had to strip a lot of it out," and it was "never broken down panel by panel," artists are going to have to constantly be making choices about which plot "frames" to use, and which to strip out. Then it would be Claremont's job to read the finished pages and figure out which stripped-out plot points he wanted to cram into his future oversized plots, and when. Must have been exhausting all around.
Posted by: Holt | November 22, 2017 7:20 AM
"There was some slow development of a subplot involving the crystal ball portrait of Jean at her parents' house, for instance, in #143 p.6 pan.5-7. That subplot seemed to go on for a long long time, over many issues. I was always intrigued, but can no longer remember how or if that subplot ever worked itself out."
Look at Fantastic Four 286 - http://www.supermegamonkey.net/chronocomic/entries/fantastic_four_286.shtml
Posted by: clyde | November 22, 2017 10:58 AM
Okay, sure, but to me that's not much better or different than no resolution at all. At least it's not where Claremont originally intended to go with it-- if he even knew at the time where he wanted to go with it. (*insert resigned frustration smiley here*) I loved the Jean/Phoenix story while it was still in motion-- before "she" was killed on the moon, and before "she" was retconed back to life-- but ever since, it's just been one big headache after another for me. But I'm happy for other people if they're still able to enjoy it.
Posted by: Holt | November 22, 2017 4:45 PM
Have any of Claremont's plots ever surfaced? I've often wondered how many 'missing pieces' those could fill if they were available. Alan Moore put in a ton of extraneous detail into his scripts, but he wrote 'Page one, Panel one' style. The script for the first issue of "Watchmen" was 100 single-spaced pages. Eddie Campbell eventually handled "From Hell" by getting his wife to skim the script and highlight whatever actually needed to be drawn in a given panel so he could ignore the rest.
For decades, Claremont's advice to wanna-be comics writers is 'learn to draw.' Even if you never become remotely professional, it does at least allow you to deal with John Byrne and Marc Silvestri and Jim Lee and Dave Cockrum on their own terms. I suspect seeing Claremont's more excessive plots would show that he had no real control over where the story went, the Marvel Method left a lot of decisions up to the artists, and the editors know how the work is divided. Telling Chris to rewrite ten pages of dialogue is a lot easier than telling John, Marc or Jim to redraw ten pages of art.
So we wind up with tons of extraneous storylines, very few of which ever came remotely close to a genuine conclusion. Alan Moore didn't have that problem.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 23, 2017 12:41 AM
To be fair, Alan Moore didn't write one title for nearly 20 years
Posted by: Mark Black | November 23, 2017 1:06 AM
True, but Moore has done one, two, three or four year-runs on titles and he almost always gets to a *FINAL* issue, at which point nothing feels 'unfinished.' Maybe there's some ideas in, say, "Swamp Thing" that he didn't follow up on, and obviously more could be done with Captain Britain and co. without Moore, but when Alan Moore reaches the last panel of the last page of his last installment, it's "THE END!!!"
I'm developing a theory that Moore and Claremont were opposite sides of the same coin, considering how much they both influenced 21st Century pop culture. I don't mean to reduce two complex human beings/writers down to minor contradictory details, but since I'm doing it anyway, the main differences are that (a) Moore lived way out in England where he had barely any contact with his editor and artists, much less fandom and the company he worked for, while Claremont started off at Marvel as a gofer and worked his way up to writing a few books to bring in extra cash while he waited for his acting career to take off and (b) Claremont was brought up in the 'Marvel Method' where Jim Shooter, Ann Nocenti, Weezie and John Byrne combined couldn't make him plot a story to a strong conclusion. Moore doesn't write the greatest plots in the world, and often focused on something other than the title heroes - this is not a bad thing - but he was better than Claremont, and wrote full script, so that the artists didn't have to figure out who was doing what in each panel.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 26, 2017 2:09 AM
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