Uncanny X-Men #224
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #224
Storm fights through a horde of demons...
...and eventually makes it to Forge, whose metal leg, thanks to Marc Silvestri's art style, has more than a passing resemblance to Scalphunter's armor.
Forge is legitimately happy to see Storm, but thanks to all of the Adversary's manipulations, Storm really believes that Forge is responsible for the demons and such, so she stabs him.
In fact, Forge was trying to stop the demons, and Storm has just unwittingly helped out the Adversary.
The Adversary is going to be the main threat of the X-Men's portion of the Fall of the Mutants saga, which begins next issue.
But this story about mysticism, chaos, and Native American folklore has nothing to do with mutant themes. So also in this issue, a really big development. In the aftermath of the battle between the Marauders and the X-Men in San Francisco, Valerie Cooper arrives with Freedom Force to announce the passage of the Mutant Registration Act.
A debate about safety vs. civil liberties is raised, familiar to those of us who have lived through the 2001 World Trade Center attacks and the rise of the Patriot Act and the NSA.
Rogue is in a gym that has acquired some of the Thing's former weightlifting gear while the announcement is being made...
...and Mystique shows up to warn Rogue about Destiny's vision from last issue.
Already you can see the bait and switch - Mystique isn't here about the Registration Act and maybe trying to get Rogue to join up with Freedom Force. Instead, Destiny's vision serves to get the X-Men involved in Storm's storyline.
Meanwhile, Dazzler is once again shown torn between her singing career and her participation in the X-Men.
In a world where the government is passing a Mutant Registration Act, the X-Men might have better served the mutant cause to let Dazzler win approval by going public with her powers instead of running off to the latest unrelated mystical end of the world threat (at least i can't say they should have called up Doctor Strange to deal with that, since he's very occupied with his own troubles at the moment).
From Dazzler we move on to Havok and Longshot. They've just come out of the Raiders of the Lost Temple movie, which Longshot and his friend Ricochet Rita performed in as stunt people. But Longshot does not remember that at all, and thinks the person "with the same name as me" was just someone else. Havok is too depressed to notice.
Havok's funk continues through a scene where some thugs shoot a police officer.
After Longshot prevents them from getting away...
...Havok asks these cop killers if they would be willing to "pack it in".
Odd phrasing, to say the least. At least police lieutenant Sabrina Morrel shows up to arrest the criminals. I was half afraid Havok was going to let them go.
Later, the X-Men huddle and decide that they have to act on Destiny's vision and go to Dallas. Even Madelyne Pryor demands to go with the group.
It continues to feel like Chris Claremont takes a lot for granted and almost has trouble emphasizing the right things in his stories. The Mutant Massacre and subsequent search for the Marauders felt like a background concern for most of the past year, and the X-Men don't react at all to the passage of the Mutant Registration Act in this issue, which ought to be seen as a huge failure on the part of the X-Men and their stewardship of Professor X's dream. Instead, they're ready to run off to address vague visions from an enemy of theirs. I've mentioned a few times something that John Byrne once said, which was that they'd have plotting conversations on the phone and then Byrne would find that Claremont was scripting scenes as if events that they'd only talked about had already happened. I never really found any specific examples of that. But what i do find is that Claremont has no problem letting items sit and stew for a long period of time without development (the Adversary was first seen in Uncanny X-Men #188, the Mutant Registration Act in Uncanny X-Men #181). I imagine that a lot of development was going on in his head, but by the time it came to putting it into a plot, he was on to other things. In the meantime, each individual issue and story arc is enjoyable, and we're lucky that Claremont remained on the book long enough to eventually get to most of this stuff so that it didn't just all turn into dangling plotlines. But it's still a little weird seeing this Adversary plotline getting so much space all of the sudden, especially going into the Fall of the Mutants "crossover", and especially with a much more on-topic event like the Registration Act occurring here. More on that beginning next issue, of course.
To coincide with the announcement of the Mutant Registration Act in this issue, there's a post card attached that allows you to "register" your mutant power with the government, and also promotes the upcoming Fall of the Mutants crossover. Sorry it's a little cut off, but that's the way it is with my issue; i'd have to pull the staple out to fully scan it.
On the other side of the card there's a promo for the upcoming Excalibur book.
The post card is a little annoying because it makes it harder for the book to stay open.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: The X-Men appear in Hulk #340 before the Fall of the Mutants begins next issue. I'm pushing this forward in publication time to get it closer to Fall of the Mutants, since the X-Men get ready to leave for Dallas in this issue, and this should also take place after Hulk #339 and Fantastic Four #308 (the latter due to Eye of the Camera #5).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): showAdversary, Crimson Commando, Dazzler, Destiny, Forge, Havok, Longshot, Madelyne Pryor, Mystique, Psylocke, Rogue, Sabrina Morrel, Storm, Valerie Cooper, Wolverine
Fnord, you cut out the punch line- after Alex asks them nicely and politely to change their lives, he melts their car and threatens to do the same to them. Of course Alex wasn't going to let attempted rapists go. Who do you think he is,Peter Parker?
Posted by: Michael | April 20, 2014 3:46 PM
The Adversary did not quite announce that it is really him in Naze's guise (and mind you, IIRC Storm had never even met Naze before this storyline anyway), but he came close.
It looks like he was actually taunting her to become suspicious. Storm does not come out of out looking well.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | April 20, 2014 4:03 PM
She briefly met Naze during issue 187-188- the fact that she last saw him during a fight with shape-shifting black magicians and now isn't suspicious of him doesn't make Storm look much better.
Posted by: Michael | April 20, 2014 4:16 PM
Claremont manages to get away with do many dangling plotlines because the stuff he's writing is still compelling enough to bring the reader along for the ride. A lesser writer being as meandering would have been a recipe for disaster.
Posted by: Harry | April 21, 2014 11:08 AM
Fnord, I saw a much better copy of the post card in New Mutants #58 (if you're interested in the clear scan).
Posted by: clyde | April 23, 2014 4:20 PM
Longshot doesn't remember his movie work(or anything in his own miniseries) because, for him, that's all in his future. All his X-Men appearances occur after he was yanked from an earlier point in his timeline.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 26, 2014 11:47 PM
When Amazing Heroes Preview Special #5 announced this issue, Claremont stated outright that the Mutant Registration Act was unconstitutional, and as for why it didn't cover all super-powered beings:"To make a blanket prohibition would screw up every book in the Marvel line. This way we only screw up 30 or 40% of the line."
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 21, 2014 7:37 PM
"The post card is a little annoying because it makes it harder for the book to stay open."
Sez you. I didn't have that problem because I took the postcard out and mailed it in with my code name of Nighthawk and telekinetic powers.
Posted by: Erik Beck | July 23, 2015 12:03 PM
In a world where the government is passing a Mutant Registration Act, the X-Men might have better served the mutant cause to let Dazzler win approval by going public with her powers
But I thought she already went public with her powers...which is the reason she's stuck with the X-Men in the first place.
It's weird, but given the "minority metaphor" the X-Men are suppose to represent, this seems (roughly) equivalent to a gay person coming out and then going right back in the closet again. Honestly more should have been made of that outside of an increased presence of superheroics, especially in light of the MRA. I guess Claremont's disdain for the character couldn't bring her in that direction.
Posted by: Jon Dubya | January 5, 2017 9:25 PM
I don't think it's disdain for the character, I think it's being caught between the rock of what Dazzler is supposed to be as the superhero she doesn't want to be at all and the hard place of where Wolverine, Storm and Rogue (as the most senior X-Men at this point) are in their lives. All of this has to be done within the established superhero genre, and the established X-titles. [And editorial supervision, obviously.] Sure, there's a lot to criticize, but there's so many moving pieces that it would have been impossible for anyone else to make sense of it all.
Posted by: ChrisW | January 5, 2017 10:20 PM
"I've mentioned a few times something that John Byrne once said, which was that they'd have plotting conversations on the phone and then Byrne would find that Claremont was scripting scenes as if events that they'd only talked about had already happened."
I'd be willing to bet that Storm coming out of the mansion swimming pool naked was one of those.
Posted by: ChrisW | May 6, 2017 11:11 PM
That "Fall of the Mutants" ad has the same problem a lot of similar comic scenes do: it's supposed to be "Our heroes have all been knocked unconscious!", but it could just as easily be "Our heroes are sleeping off an awesome kegger!"
Posted by: Andrew | May 23, 2017 9:58 PM
You say that like it's a bad thing. Mutie-hater!
Posted by: ChrisW | May 23, 2017 10:48 PM
I have no real affection or interest in the Storm/Forge relationship. So here, it just looks like Storm is completely insane [drugged/hypnotized by the Adversary] when she sees Forge. "How strong he looks"? No, he looks like a skinny guy with a loincloth and a mechanical leg.
It does not help that Storm hasn't spent the last 50 issues or so dreaming about this guy. She's had to deal with important things like the Mutant Massacre, Loki, Farouk, Rachel and joining the Hellfire Club. The loss of her powers was a very big deal to her and we've seen her deal with the ramifications. The guy responsible for taking her powers away was a one-night stand, and an unconvincing one at that. By contrast, Johnny Storm and Crystal are a match made in heaven.
At least if we had a full-page spread of Forge in mystical combat before he kisses Storm and she stabs him, it would look dramatic. Here it look like she stabs someone and the narration reads "Sorry Storm, your Prince is on another world."
Posted by: ChrisW | May 23, 2017 10:58 PM
But more kudos to early Silvestri art. I would elaborate, just send Ali to sing for me. :)
Posted by: ChrisW | May 23, 2017 10:59 PM
@ChrisW: "Sorry Storm, your Prince is in another castle."
Fixed it for you.
Posted by: J-Rod | May 24, 2017 1:35 PM
Rogue here comments that Maddie is coming along, "we finally got ourselves a first class pilot" & that they don't have to put up with her anymore. Claremont had introduced Psylocke as being a charter pilot (something she'd surely have mentioned to the team since at first she seemed to worry whether the team had a use for her. Not sure if Claremont had forgotten, though he will make reference to it in #256) and Rogue has Carol Danvers' memories, who Claremont had established was a "topnotch pilot" in the Air Force.
I never pay much attention to who out of the X-Men is flying the Blackbird, whoever it is always seems competent at it, but at this point they have a surplus of first class pilots.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | July 20, 2018 1:05 AM
There was a discussion on this at the Gentlemen of Leisure website a while back- someone argued that while Rogue is in the driver's seat and not Carol, she has Carol's memories of flying but not her reflexes, which makes her a poor pilot.
Posted by: Michael | July 20, 2018 8:04 AM
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