Uncanny X-Men #206
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #206
Chris Claremont has utilized the X-Men's move to San Francisco to allow Rogue to re-explore her fateful attack on Ms. Marvel, as we saw in issue #203, and to check in with the cast of Spider-Woman, as we'll see in this issue. This issue also has a nice fight with Freedom Force, and includes a new member, the new Spider-Woman previously seen in Secret Wars. If anything, the issue is just a little cluttered; we don't get to see how the new Spider-Woman joined the team or anything about how she feels about being added to a group that turns out to be composed of not-really reformed villains. And while there is a meeting between the new and old Spider-Woman, it's not particularly revelatory.
Backing up, though, we start with Storm out in the streets, picking a fight with a street gang...
...and then running into Sabrina Morrel, the police lieutenant from the Spider-Woman series.
Later, Kitty Pryde gets all decked out to go to a Lila Cheney concert with David Ishima...
...and Rachel Summers throws a fit after it's suggested that the X-Men go to Alaska to visit the Summers.
It's after Kitty and David are returning home that Freedom Force attacks.
Spiral takes Rachel Summers out early.
But when Pyro attacks with a phoenix-like flame, Rachel wakes up to help Storm pretend like she's still got her powers.
As you can see above, Mystique is not on this particular venture, and the lack of her leadership is affecting Freedom Force's coordination. That said, Spiral is immensely powerful in her own right, to the point where when Rogue touches her, she gains control of Rogue instead of the other way around.
This isn't the first time this happened. We saw something along these lines when she fought the Magus, and again in the Heroes For Hope one-shot.
Here's Kitty being possibly a little less diplomatic about David Ishima being human than you'd think she'd be trained to be.
The fight is eventually broken up when Lt. Morrel shows up with the police. Freedom Force don't have any papers proving their authority, and so she sends them away. With the destruction caused by this fight, however, Morrel rescinds her earlier invitation for the X-Men to stay in San Francisco.
Which is unfortunate for Madelyne Pryor, who for unexplained reasons shows up at the San Francisco Memorial Hospital as a Jane Doe, suffering from likely fatal gunshot wounds.
I love Rogue's "Yo, Spiral... later!" as the X-Men and Freedom Force part ways. So schoolyard, but it works for Rogue.
At the very end of the issue, we see Nightcrawler saying goodbye to Judith Rassendyll.
A fun fight issue...
...and it's nice to have John Romita Jr. back and be done with the Secret Wars II tie-ins.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Amanda Sefton says that she has been "calling all week" after her fight with Nightcrawler in issue #204. Due to sequencing with Madelyne Pryor, this takes place before X-Factor #2 when Cyclops calls their home in Alaska and finds the phones disconnected.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: X-Men Classic #110
Inbound References (9): show
At the time, I had no idea the person on the hospital gurney was Madeline. Not only is the hair coloring slightly wrong, her old appearances didn't prepare me to recognize that it was supposed to be her (just was her first appearance as an identical doppleganger of Jean didn't actually match how Jean Grey looked before). Perhaps if the earlier photo of Maddy and Scott in Alaska mirrored this photo, it would have been better.
Weird conclusion to the fight. None of the fights between the X-Men and the Brotherhood during Claremont's tenure was satisfying to me.
Posted by: Chris | December 8, 2013 11:11 PM
I think the image of Kitty being undiplomatic about David Ishima is missing. I just see a gap between that paragraph and the next, but no scan.
Posted by: Dermie | December 9, 2013 11:47 PM
Fixed the image. Thanks, Dermie.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 10, 2013 7:04 AM
Is this the battle where Wolverine finds a way to move a sitting Blob off of him? By stabbing him in the butt, which shouldn't work, but rule of funny for this one.
Posted by: David Banes | February 7, 2014 5:53 PM
That scene with the Blob is from X-Men #225. Wolverine actually isn't in this fight.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 7, 2014 6:18 PM
Oh that's right, that must have been Fall of Mutants. They sure did fight Brotherhood/Freedom Force a lot, considering Claremont had most enemies be 'less is more.'
Posted by: David Banes | February 7, 2014 6:34 PM
I'd been with the X-Men since 1980; when it was good, it was very good, and I'd been hoping those days would return for years...
...And this issue is when I finally stopped throwing away my money on a book that had disappointed w/o fail for years. This hadn't been my X-Men for a long time - I didn't know these people anymore.
[shakes head] The point where you came in for the first time can really fix your picture of a thing. Claremont does his best work with a strong collaborator, that's for sure.
Posted by: BU | July 28, 2014 11:34 PM
I mean- I know the sexualization of Kitty is nothing new and all, but Mr. Ishima (judging by his Spider-Woman) appearances) is clearly 18 +. Was statutory just not a big deal in 1986?
Posted by: gfsdf gfbd | September 11, 2014 11:27 PM
I'm with Chris - I actually thought Madeline was supposed to be Amanda, given the hair coloring (yes, Amanda was blonde in 204, but that's much more like the orangish hair she had been drawn with for ages). Not good work by Romita on that one in what was otherwise a really well-drawn issue.
Posted by: Erik Beck | June 19, 2015 8:48 AM
I enjoyed this fight issue. After a string of issues of inconsistent (at best) quality, and simultaneously the very boring Layton X-Factor, this issue, the subsequent three issues, and X-Factor 6-8 seem to be both restoring some quality and good sense to the two titles while also setting up nicely for Mutant Massacre. I don't know if I read this as a kid after buying it as the final issue of XMC, but on my recent reading, it felt like a breath of fresh air after two Secret Wars II tie-ins (one of which I thought was absolutely terrible), a forgettable if almost fun Nightcrawler story, and a BWS Wolverine story I also found quite forgettable. Add to this some interesting developments for both the Hellfire Club and Nimrod in the next arc, plus the first Apocalypse, dealing with some conceptual problems, and an X-Factor/Freedom Force clash, and I feel like this was a few months of righting the ship and returning to form for both books, which now seem ready to exist in the same story in MM, even if they don't actually meet.
Posted by: J-Rod | February 20, 2017 3:55 PM
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