Uncanny X-Men #251-253
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #251, Uncanny X-Men #252, Uncanny X-Men #253
Issue #251 is, to my cranky mind, the last "classic" X-Men issue, with maybe #268 getting an honorable mention of sorts. And i'm sure many think we're way past anything really classic. But in #251 we have an iconic cover and the genuinely surprising premise of Wolverine having been defeated by his foes, the Reavers. Wolverine has become more and more invincible, directly correlated with his popularity, as writers, including Claremont, have forgotten that having a healing factor doesn't automatically make you immortal. So seeing him soundly defeated here is unexpected. That said, the fact that he's still alive means that we kind of understand the anxiousness that the Reavers have about him still being out there, because we kind of "know" that Wolverine is eventually going to escape and come and kill them all.
Except, by the end of these issues, Wolverine actually doesn't get his revenge. He escapes with his life, but that's about it. So maybe that makes me a Wolverine fanboy, but i think the unusual scenario makes for a pretty cool story.
#251 with Wolverine begins with him already caught.
Then, as the Reavers search the X-Men's compound for what we know is Jubilee...
...Gateway contacts Wolverine via Dreamtime and shows him what's been going on. Or it's just a fever dream (per the issue's title). It's definitely not the most pleasant way to convey information, and some of the narration is done by other Wolverine foes, Sabretooth, Ogun, and the Brood Queen...
...as well as (lady) friends like Kitty, Storm (whose face transforms into a child's), Jean Grey (or actually Dark Phoenix), Mariko, and Carol Danvers.
"Sabertooth" notes the fact that Gateway didn't teleport Wolverine directly back to the X-Men's Australia base, as we saw in Wolverine #23, and says that should have been a warning.
We then get to see a bit of the actual fight where Wolverine was defeated.
We also see the X-Men teleporting in from the Savage Land, with Psylocke knowing that something is wrong...
...and convincing everyone to go through the Siege Perilous.
It's a quick about-face for Havok, who had been advocating going back for Zaladane, and he starts to doubt himself. We then see Psylocke give him a kiss and it's said that she used her telepathy to trick everyone into the crystal.
In real life, we see Pierce smash the Siege Perilous.
Later that night, perhaps not coincidentally after Wolverine has a vision of the child-like Storm, it begins to rain. The rain seems to wake Wolverine up, and he manages to free himself before calling to Jubilee for help.
With that ending, you might expect issue #252 to be Wolverine's rampage through the Reavers. But in fact he's still too weak to do any fighting, so #252 is really all about him and Jubilee hiding. Which is especially understandable since Donald Pierce has apparently turned into Belasco.
One thing that doesn't seem to be acknowledged in this story is that the Reavers that were originally Hellfire Club guards were with Lady Deathstrike when she was transformed in Uncanny X-Men #205. Pierce talks like he has no idea how Lady Deathstrike got her enhancements. Are the other guys just not telling? That also raises the question of how long Deathstrike has been allied with Pierce. Did he lend his goons to her in that story, or was it through them that she got introduced to Pierce?
I'm not sure whose living quarters this is (i imagine all the female X-Men have to live on mineral water and fruit juice to fit into their costumes), but it's interesting to see that at least some of the X-Men had their own refrigerators. Not exactly communal living.
It's during the Reaver's search for Wolverine that we get that sense that they're as much scared as eager to find him.
The Reavers also fight amongst themselves. Pretty Boy and Lady Deathstrike fight over who gets to keep Wolverine's Yashida sword.
The Reavers also discover that their computer system has evolved while they were away. Since it's not something that they were expecting, it's something that changed about it after they left. Which to my mind says it was changes made by Madelyne Pryor while she was in Goblin Queen mode.
With the computer not helping, Pierce instead releases the dingos.
We saw one of these things in Uncanny X-Men annual #13. So did Pierce send that one ahead as a scout at that time, or did the Reavers have them stored here somewhere the X-Men didn't know about?
Meanwhile, Jubilee has brought Wolverine to her sleeping area. He's still injured and continues to hallucinate: images of Carol Danvers and Nick Fury that eventually convince him to accept Jubilee's help.
We later see him communicating in Dreamtime with Gateway.
You can see why some people find Jubilee annoying.
If Wolverine got any more information from Gateway, we don't find out about it, and Wolverine and Jubilee return to the real world now that the hunt is on in earnest.
The fact that the Reavers are spooked by Wolverine is the biggest component in their downfall.
They wind up flooding a tunnel.
They're also hampered by Lady Deathstrike's sense of honor.
Of course Wolverine is no slouch on his own, even injured. I don't love Rick Leonardi's wild cartoony art here.
Jubilee also gets directly involved.
With issue #253, we shift the focus away from Wolverine and the Reavers. We do see Deathstrike letting Wolvie and Jubilee get away.
We are also back to art by Marc Silvestri, and inked (or possibly finished; the credits just list both as artists) by Stephen Leialoha, it's looking really good for the most part.
So issue #253 jumps around a bit. We learn that Storm isn't dead, but she's definitely been changed. She appears in Mississippi during a torrential flooding, and she stops the rain.
But she's been transformed into a child (and taken to Cairo Memorial Hospital).
This isn't too surprising to those of us who know Nanny's MO, of course. But there's a lot about Storm that befuddles the doctors, including Dr. Lian Shen, who will be a repeat character.
Related to this, Forge has a vision of Amahl Farouk and child-Storm.
From the vision, he knows that Storm is alive, and he begins to look for her. But we'll see next issue that he'll get interrupted. Meanwhile, the police officer that took Storm to the hospital, who was also seen in Forge's vision, starts acting funny.
Meanwhile, Magneto visits Moira MacTaggert. I don't know what prompted the visit. Maybe he was hoping the New Mutants were there. But Moira berates him for having lost them, and he acknowledges that he wasn't suited for the task Professor Xavier put him up to.
When he gets abusive, Callisto bursts into the room. I don't know what the heck she's wearing but it may relate to the warped costumes that we'll see in the next arc.
The real point of this scene is to allow Claremont to suggest that Magneto's recent heel turn is perhaps a ruse. He also reminded us above that it was as much Storm's idea as his own to join the Hellfire Club.
It's also worth noting that Claremont is acknowledging the status of both X-Factor and the New Mutants, which is something of a rarity. It suggests that there was indeed a coordinated plan to keep the other mutant teams (Excalibur too; see below) off planet. Because of Claremont's upcoming "All New X-Men" story in the next arc? Because Bob Harras had big plans but wasn't ready to implement them? Because everyone was at a loss for what to do now that Inferno brought everyone back together so they needed to stall for time? Don't know.
After Magneto leaves, Moira realizes that no one is watching over Xavier's mansion any more, so she comes up with a plan. First order of business is to secure the mansion; we'll see that she sends Callisto to do that. Second is locating the New Mutants and bringing them to Muir Island; that'll never come to fruition. And the third is to secure Muir Island from a possible attack. We'll see soon that the third option probably should have been the first.
We next check in with Polaris who, i should make clear, was left in the Savage Land when Gateway teleported the X-Men back to Australia at the end of issue #250. We now see her on a ship in the Atlantic, and her presence is very clearly causing infighting amongst the sailors, and that's surely related to her new powers.
Banshee, revealing that his powers are working again (which, as Michael notes in the Comments, we first saw in Marvel Comics Presents #24, although it was said there that it might be temporary, and when he first uses them here, Moira asks "Are you sure you're up to this?"), goes to rescue her (or rescue the sailors from her, depending on how you look at it).
Another jump, this time to Amanda Sefton, who is looking for Nightcrawler at Excalibur's lighthouse. She runs into Alysande Stuart, who tells her that Excalibur (like New Mutants and X-Factor) have vanished.
Back to the Reavers. First, a new look for Pretty Boy.
But more importantly, Pierce gets Lady Deathstrike thinking about where Wolverine might have gone...
...and they settle on Muir Island. Incorrectly, as it turns out, but that's our set-up for the next two issues.
Issue #251 has a long letter from a writer asking about a ton of still-dangling plotlines. The list includes (i'm paraphrasing):
Inferno did a lot of work to tie up the more pressing open issues, but the letter writer is correct that Claremont still had a lot of stuff dangling. Some of the above questions are less plot holes and more a commentary on the decline of characterization in the book, but they're equally valid points. The trend very much seems to be just running from one adventure to the next. I quoted a letter writer in the New Mutants' Asgard entry making a similar point. Claremont had a better ability than Louise Simonson to fit some character development in around the margins of action stories (and was blessed with better artists to work with) but there really is a similar problem here. As i said above, i think #251 really is the last classic X-Men story, and from here it's going to seem like we're running against the wind until we get to Claremont's departure.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Continues soon after Wolverine #23 and, if we believe Wolverine's fever dreams, Uncanny X-Men #250. I also want to keep the X-Men appearances pretty compressed in this period to catch up to the Acts of Vengeance (since Wolverine's solo Acts of Vengeance issues were in #19-20). Gateway never appears physically but he's seen in the Dreamtime with Wolverine. The New Mutants are said to be in Asgard (per a footnote) and X-Factor has "vanished" during Magneto's visit to Muir Island, and Excalibur have also "vanished".
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): showAlysande Stuart, Amanda Sefton, Angelo Macon, Banshee, Bonebreaker, Callisto, Forge, Gateway, Jubilee, Lady Deathstrike, Lian Shen, Magneto, Moira MacTaggert, Murray Reese, Polaris, Pretty Boy, Shadow King, Skullbuster, Wade Cole, White Bishop (Donald Pierce), Wolverine
I agree about issue 251 being the last classic x-men issue. When I read as a teenager around this time, it was shortly after this issue that I stopped reading comics all together. Until now being 39, I started reading them (all the x-books) all a year ago and have since collected all the issues and side books up until 2000. I am a couple years ahead of this site but love reading these summaries so I can recall any past events that I may have forgotten. One question, why don't you show the covers of each issue that you review, I find it easier to remember covers over numbers. Thank you for this site, it truly is amazing.
Posted by: Matt | November 12, 2014 2:56 PM
I actually think of UXM 249-250 and Wolv 19-23 as occurring near the beginning of AoV, with UXM 251-255 occurring shortly thereafter, so references to freedom force casualties make sense. Magneto is explains to Moira how he got mixed up with the other villains, essentially.
But I'd put UXM 256-258 somewhat later, definitely after all other AoV issues and aftermath. The Wolvie/Jubilee/Psylocke story with the Mandarin really has no relationship to anything in the crossover, just a shared theme (revenge) and the cover stamp.
Posted by: Matt | November 12, 2014 3:29 PM
This is not the first time Donald Pierce is presented as a former White King, but I'm not sure this is accurate. What evidence do we have one way or the other?
Posted by: Luis Dantas | November 12, 2014 3:33 PM
The site for covers is: http://www.comics.org/issue/46988/cover/4/
That's just an example. But, this is the site that FNORD uses.
Posted by: clyde | November 12, 2014 3:34 PM
Luis - here's the information from his wiki entry:
"Donald Pierce was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pierce first appears as a high-ranking member of the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club, where he holds the position of White Bishop."
Posted by: clyde | November 12, 2014 3:36 PM
Yes, Bishop, not King. Magneto was (mis?)named White Bishop as opposed to White King once, sometime around Inferno, as well.
Is there some story I missed, or maybe it is just a confusion of titles?
Posted by: Luis Dantas | November 12, 2014 4:25 PM
Pierce is referred to as the renegade White King in #245, I believe. Claremont may have misremembered his original rank or retcon promoted him.
I used to wonder about Jubilee's invisibility to the computer's sensors, but now I think I get it: the computer was deliberately concealing her.
Deathstrike was said to be unlike the Hellfire mercy in terms of her Spiral-granted upgrades in #205 or whatever the issue was when she first got cyberized. I think Pierce is interested that her upgrades are more impressive than the mercs', so even if he knows the "Body Shoppe" worked on them all, her enhancements might be the only ones that lead him to wonder just what the Body Shoppe really was.
Not only do we never learn how Lady D connected with the mercy and when she first met Pierce--who was already under house arrest in #205, so I doubt they would have met then--but how did she and the mercs get connected with Spiral? And what's the connection between the "original" Reavers and Pierce? He says at one point, I think in 253, that he thought he made the Reavers out of sterner stuff, and it's softly implied that he did indeed create them. But why?
Posted by: Walter Lawson | November 12, 2014 4:30 PM
Magneto was called White Bishop in New Mutants #61. Chris noted in the comments that it seemed like a common mistake.
Matt, i don't display covers just because, as i've badly joked before, the internet already that covered. I'd rather devote my time and server bandwidth to interior scans that aren't readily available elsewhere. Thanks for your other feedback. I'll fill in the rest of Acts of Vengeance when i come back to this point in a few months.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 12, 2014 4:42 PM
Callisto's ridiculous outfit probably isn't related to the s&m outfits next ish, as the latter are, I think, a result of Lorna's presence. Callisto has never had a real costume, so maybe this was just the firm improvisation took. With Claremont, it's almost to be expected.
Gateway's presence in Forge's vision seems significant--if he's a living index, he could be facilitating both Forge and the Shadow King (and Reisz) finding Storm via Dreamtime, which, if my theory is right, is a realm that SK could access from the astral plane and others might access from sleep (Reisz?) or meditation (Forge). Maybe Dreamtime itself is the "index."
Posted by: Walter Lawson | November 12, 2014 4:43 PM
Claremont has said in interviews that the Shadow King's presence in the saloon was supposed to indicate that the Shadow King was telepathically manipulating Pierce. I don't know anyone who understood that when reading it in real time.
Posted by: Michael | November 12, 2014 9:26 PM
Note the "appears to be Black" line in the Dr Shen, scan. This issue offers a much-welcomed explanation for Storm's look (that she's deliberately made to have various other ethinic features to look "exotic" and not just a case of inadvertent "Black Barbie Doll Syndrome.")
Doesn't THIS Callisto look like her Nazi doppelganger from Excalibur? (Also just like her eventual protege, Callisto is now officially pretty, even BEFORE her transformation.)
Posted by: Jon Dubya | November 13, 2014 10:32 AM
Note that we now get a third Carol Danvers: after Binary and the one in Rogue's head, we now get Wolverine's hallucination. I assume Claremont would have tied the Wolvie Carol in with the resolution to Rogue Carol somehow. Also, while Carol and Nick may be just hallucinations, they might also have something to do with Dreamtime. I'm not suggesting their time-travelers, but some kind of semi-real dream selves of the people Wolvie knew.
Amid all the other mysteries and dropped plots, I regret we never do get to see what Pretty Boy's revenge on Pierce would have looked like.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | November 13, 2014 6:23 PM
As Michael says, Pierce's hatred for Wolverine seems undermotivated. But depending on how far ahead Claremont had plotted--and the saloon dream does seem to hint at Gateway already being in the Shadow King's hands, just as he's in the Reavers'--the answer to Pierce's obsession might lie with the Shadow King. And what does he have to do with Wolverine? Wolverine thwarted him on the eve of WWII, as shown in the X-Men:True Friends LS. Not only that, but Wolverine's experiences in that story make him more aware than anyone else but perhaps Xavier of just who and what SK is. Claremont has said in subsequent interviews that Wolverine prompted Xavier to find Kitty Pryde, based on his time-travel encounter with her in True Friends, and that Kitty's role in thwarting Days of Future Past was thus no accident.
I don't altogether like this retconning and over complication of his own stories that Claremont seemed to be planning, but if this is the backstory he was working with in 1989/90, it helps account for a few oddities such as Pierce's Wolverine obsession. (In fact, Lady D's obsession never made any sense either, nor does her change of personality tom her Daredevil appearances to Alpha Flight and X-Men.)
Posted by: Walter Lawson | November 14, 2014 3:13 AM
Issue #175 was my first and #251 the last one I truly enjoyed. So I can safely say that #251 was the final "classic" issue for me.
I continued to collect Uncanny off and on until the Red/Blue split, Claremont's departure, and the aborted Byrne/Lee run, but after the X-Tinction Agenda saga (which nicely brought everyone together while wrapping up several story arcs) the X-Books became the franchise that ruled the 90's scene and my interest in the characters died with its ascent.
Posted by: Clutch | November 14, 2014 8:23 PM
Notice how Storm gets her Dave Cockrum cat's eyes back upon being de-aged?
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 14, 2014 11:47 PM
Somewhat contrary to my post above, in #149 Pierce is interested in all the X-Men, in contrast to Lady D's fixation only on Wolvie.
In 252 the Hellfire mercs talk about the Siege Perilous, which Pierce has explained to them, and they wonder how Pierce could have known about it. I took this to be Claremont just glossing over a plot hole--one not much bigger than when the Muir Island X-Men know all the Reavers' names in 255--but maybe Pierce knew all about the Siege because the Shadow King told him. It's not really a strong enough signal to count as a clue, though.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | November 16, 2014 10:13 PM
Michael and Walter, is Pierce's hatred for Wolverine unmotivated? We know very little about Donald's background so there is nothing to say Claremont didn't plan to reveal he had come a cropper of Wolvie's claws. Recall he was cyborgised so was this out of necessity due to a previous encounter with a mutant that left him an amputee. Most likely suspect... Wolverine! So the remaining question now is how a mining magnate ended up on the pointy end of Wolvie's claws? And where?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | November 18, 2014 1:10 AM
Pierce does say that all the Reavers have felt Wolverine's claws, yet I dont recall Pierce himself ever getting cut in any stories we've seen--so perhaps there is an untold tale here.
Two more pieces of evidence for Pierce as a Shadow King agent/puppet. First, even as a kid I wondered what was up with his purple cloak and necklace: his costume looks more like something a sorcerer would wear than the 18th century costumery of the Hellfire Club, let alone businessman ir even supervillain attire. Second, the uncontrollable lust Pierce exhibits toward Deathstrike here and in upcoming issues is strikingly similar to Lian Shen's enhanced libido after the Shadow King has turned her to the dark side. I think the parallel is another clue, rather than just more of Claremont's usual.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | April 4, 2015 3:40 AM
My mistake: Pierce did get his arm slashed by Wolverine in #132. I should have remembered that.
Posted by: Walter "In Error" Lawson | April 4, 2015 4:04 AM
@Walter: I agree with you about Pierce, and it was interesting that upon his returning to the Reavers he has an absolute mad-on for Wolverine. So is the pure obsession with punishing Wolvie Pierce-driven or Shadow King driven?
If SK, was it payback for X-Men: True Friends?
And the arm of Pierce's Wolvie slashed was his cybernetic one, which would not seem to be a big a deal as his slicing and dicing the other Hellfire Club mercenaries.
So I'd suggest Pierce's lust for vengeance on Wolverine is actually the Shadow King's, wouldn't you?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | April 4, 2015 4:58 AM
Ever since Inferno the X-Men have been (systematically?) tormented by visions. Dazzler sees death when she shines a light into the Siege Perilous (#246). Longshot leaves the team after a disturbing dream (#248). Colossus's artwork reflects an imagination so tortured that Deathstrike thinks death will be a mercy (#249). Then we get Psylocke's vision of the X-Men killed by the Reavers (#250) and Wolverine's crucifixion "fever dream" (in these issues).
These could be unrelated incidents--just Claremont over-indulging in a cheap form of foreshadowing and atmospherics.
But I wonder if there's not something more deliberate going on. Could Farouk be subtly attacking/corrupting the X-Men through Dreamtime or the astral plane? Forge, of course, will run into him in a vision in #253. But would Farouk be powerful enough to influence the Siege Perilous, in the case of Dazzler's vision, or would he warn Psylocke about the Reavers (who are probably his dupes)?
Mojo turns up in yet another vision, the induced one experienced by Psylocke while the Hand is brainwashing her. If he found out the X-Men were alive sometime before that, could he have been twisting the dreamscape to cause mischief for them?
Or, lastly, is there something else altogether at the root of this, something about the mysterious nature of the X-men's Outback base and its computer system? The Reavers themselves seem baffled by the changes to the computer, and it's played a role in dangerous visions since #232, when it spontaneously showed a newscast of Jean Grey and Cyclops to Madelyne and kicked off the dream quest that led to her becoming the Goblin Queen. (How much of that, by the way, was Sym's doing, and how much might have been begun by whatever force was behind the computer?) Maddie subsequently has a vision (#238) in which she casts the Genegineer and his telepath as Mr. Sinister. I assumed that was just a repressed memory coming through, but it's worth wondering if it was part of a larger pattern.
Claremont had used visions and dreams as plot devices before, in #219 and #223, for example, but their frequency after Inferno (and arguably even in the lead-up with Maddy) is suggestive. It reminds me a little of the psychic attacks carried out by Mastermind during the "From the Ashes" arc. I'm about halfway convinced Claremont was setting up something big.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | April 12, 2015 3:37 AM
You're sure convincing me, Walter! We do know he had major SK plans for #300, and I never realized until reading all the comments how shifty Gateway really is (doesn't he end up helping Onslaught too later on?)
Is it possible that Mastermind and SK are teaming up somehow? Is Gateway a true character or is he a construct, a trap? How much of his plans was Claremont sharing with his editors? What if Gateway has sOmething to do with Mad Jim Jaspers?
I'm excited to see what else is coming up for Uncanny in the next 2 years before Claremont leaves just to find out if there are developments I missed back when I first read these.
Posted by: BeastCharming | April 12, 2015 4:16 AM
I think the visions had more to do with the fact that the Australian adventure was coming to an end (and good catch on noticing their frequency.) I'm definitely not of the mind that Farouk was behind all/most of the things going on, and I would speculate that this has more to do with Gateway, or at least the X-Men's presence around him and Claremont's eventual plan to have him replace Xavier.
What do their visions show? Dazzler was supposed to die, Longshot was supposed to have another miniseries, Betsy did send the X-Men back through the Siege, and Peter had nothing in Australia, which was really really getting to him. Notice his reincarnation came as a happy artist with a hot girlfriend. Banshee, Forge and Jean decided to leave him with his happy ending.
The Siege probably would have led to another connection to Otherworld, and possibly another attempt at Mad James Jaspers [interesting how Jaspers has the first name and similar powers to Captain Britain's brother.] But otherwise, I think the visions served as foreshadowing that this part of the story was ending. The X-Men did their duty, they'd served their time, they fulfilled whatever point there was to the Australian excursion.
Posted by: ChrisW | April 12, 2015 4:46 AM
@Walter: Interesting that the visions were the flipside of what they experienced in the Crystal of Ultimate Vision.
Just what was the significance of the Siege Perilous in relation to the Shadow King?
But don't forget Madelyne's vision before Inferno!? That was pretty analogous.
Perhaps Farouk was subtly attacking the X-Men through Dreamtime, given Gateway is shown to be shackled. If so, that would suggest it wasn't S'ym necessarily giving Madelyne her visions, but SK. Or is there some connection between the Dreamtime and Limbo? Mind you SK seemed surprised at the X-Men being alive until they returned through the Siege!?
The only way to answer if Farouk was powerful enough to influence the Siege Perilous, would be to work out just what that crystal was, and how Pierce was able to destroy it so easily. And why would he work against his own pawn, Pierce, by warning Betsy?
And re: the Dreamtime, just what were the outsign spirits? Were they allies of the SK? What is the significance of the term "outsign"?
Recall the crèches in Genosha were similar to those beneath the orphanage, and both were similar to the creches of the Technarch? And despite Warlock being the first transmode being on Earth, how did the Genoshans develop a transmodation process long before his arrival? Or had Magus infecting Limbo started to bleed the transmode virus back through time?
The previous visions were from the Adversary IIRC which makes Naze shown as a host of SK on the astral plane in #273 intriguing.
Mastermind's powers expanded way beyond what Emma's machine was capable of, which makes me think SK was involved that far back, and Magneto's claim in #275 gives credence to this. Claremont had something huge afoot.
@BeastCharming: Claremont let his assistant editor know about Gateway since the letters page of #229 (his first appearance) replies to a correspondent as follows: "And the full truth won't be known about Gateway for quite some time – which just might cost the X-Men dearly!"
Posted by: Nathan Adler | April 12, 2015 6:29 AM
Re: Betsy's eyes not sending footage to Mojo- I always assumed that was Roma's doing.
Posted by: Michael | April 12, 2015 8:58 AM
Re: Psylocke's vision of herself as a Reaver, and her earlier wish to be "Jocasta" when the team fought Horde in Annual #11, is if she'd played her cards right with Doug Ramsey she could have got to be the cyborg warrior in her visions through getting infected by him with the transmode virus (since wasn't it originally a metaphor for an STD;)
Posted by: Nathan Adler | April 17, 2015 10:19 PM
Comics Journal #134(2/90) had this to say about Claremont's dialogue: "Here, ladies and gentlemen, is a character who not only speaks to herself AND hisses at herself to be quiet, but who explains to herself even minor points about previously-obtained skills IN PARENTHETICAL ASIDES! It's frustrating to get this sort of nonsense from a writer who has already proven he can do better. Or could, many long years ago. To put it painfully, I think Chris Claremont has reached X-Menopause."
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 29, 2015 11:08 AM
"The New Mutants are said to be in Asgard (per a footnote) and X-Factor has "vanished" during Magneto's visit to Muir Island, and Excalibur have also "vanished"."
IMO, this only proves the point that Prof. X is the glue that holds the X-teams together. Once he came back, they had a unified group at the X-Mansion.
Posted by: clyde | July 23, 2015 3:39 PM
To have these three issues together really makes it glaringly obvious how dis-jarring the art in #252 was at the time. I hated it then. Still hate it.
Through all of AoV, and I was seeing him a lot in WCA, I clung to this version of Magneto that Claremont presents here. It's the "Get out of Jail Free" card for his reformation, which I still in my mind, hold to until the events of X-Men #1 force his hand in a different direction.
It was nice to see Amanda Sefton re-appear here. It made me think that Claremont might finally start tying things together.
Posted by: Erik Beck | September 22, 2015 7:27 AM
@Walter: The only time Gateway was referred as a living index was by Larry Hama in the Age of Apocalypse Weapon X title. That wasn't something suggested by Claremont.
Posted by: Nathan Adler | September 22, 2015 7:59 AM
"What the heck was up with Colonel Rossi?"
From what I can tell, he seemed to be doing secret investigative work for Xavier. At least, at the time.
It was later revealed in the second volume of MS. MARVEL that Michael Rossi was actually an enemy agent working with Ghazi Rashid, and his relationship with Carol was nothing but an attempt to get to operate as a mole within the AFSO. His presumed death in the plane crash in UNCANNY X-MEN #97 enabled him to do his work without the need to worry about the government. He was also working with Norman Osborn to obtain the Ascention Protocols.
Thankfully, Rick Mason assassinated the traitorous Rossi at the end of the storyline.
Posted by: Andrew Burke | June 9, 2016 9:34 AM
RE: The Hellfire Club titles... Magneto and Storm were permitted to "share" the title of White King, and at some point later Magneto was actually appointed "Grey" King.
Posted by: Jeff | January 23, 2017 2:52 PM
Just nit-picking, but Magneto unilaterally declared himself to be Grey King, and I don't recall it being specifically stated that he and Storm were officially 'sharing' the White King title. It makes sense that the White King's seat was essentially given to Xavier's school as personified by Magneto (with Storm) I just don't ever recall it being explicit.
Also, idle thought, but the Reavers have presumably linked their circuitry with the underground computer since their return. They're certainly aware of it's ability to see the X-Men and they recognize that it's evolving its own systems. Yet it won't help them find Wolverine, and I'd bet that it's because Jubilee is protecting him.
By the way, wouldn't Wolvie have noticed that there were no fresh X-Men scents when he got back into town, but there were a lot of new ones, familiar ones, including gunpowder and grease?
Posted by: ChrisW | January 24, 2017 10:12 PM
Pretty Boy, Empath and Malice should go out for a wild night on the town, where they run into Farouk, Ogun and Mastermind. Wouldn't that be a fun adventure?
Why are you all looking at me like that?
Posted by: ChrisW | December 5, 2017 9:47 PM
I don't understand how the Reavers fail to locate Jubilee when they're scanning the complex...She's not part of Roma's enchantment, so, unless I'm overlooking something, it doesn't make sense.
Posted by: Bibs | December 18, 2017 6:55 AM
Psylocke didn't detect Jubilee either in issues 244 and 250- that was never adequately explained.
Posted by: Michael | December 18, 2017 1:04 PM
I choose to attribute Jubilee's non-detection to Gateway. It's completely possible Gateway knew how to operate the Outback's computers to clock Jubilee from it's sensors, after all Nanny didn't find her except by accident. As for Psylocke, well, she had trouble with scanning Jubliee earlier. Maybe Jubliee's maturation is at a point where her thoughts are too fast for Betsy to read. It's not like Betsy was as good a psi as Charles or Jean were.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | December 18, 2017 3:38 PM
From the wiki entry on Jubilee -
"In her early appearances, Jubilee also displayed an apparent immunity to telepathy, but this was soon abandoned by writers. She had, on occasion, used this ability to hide herself from telepathic scans and to block mental probes from Sentinels. Whether or not she knew of this ability remains unaddressed."
Posted by: clyde | December 18, 2017 3:49 PM
These were the last issues I enjoyed at the time I bought them with one exception (#268 with Cap in WWII) even though I'd continue to buy X-Men for the next three years.
I really like the new Reavers. The combination of the three original survivors, the former Hellfire goons, Lady Deathstrike, and Donald Pierce mae an intriguing team when it would have been so easy for all members to be generic in both powers and personalities. It was a bad mistake for the post-Claremont team to eliminate them. They could have made an excellent enemy faction.
The art though is sliding in quality. I am not sure why, but Marc Silvestri's art becomes less appealing starting here. For want of a better word, I would say it looks sloppy. Not as clean and attractive as it used to be, and this will continue. It's still good art, but I don't like it as much as I did between X-Men #220-242.
Posted by: Chris | December 18, 2017 8:42 PM
Perhaps the reason for the decline in the art is the fact that books started to come with more frequency, which means that artist would have less time for their craft. My 2 cents
Posted by: Bibs | December 19, 2017 9:53 AM
I agree that 3 years of a bi-weekly team book pretty much wore Marc Silvestri down. Marvel's greed meant for more fill-ins and less creative continuity.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | December 19, 2017 4:12 PM
Being this a team book, I'm wondering after the 4 X-Men go through the Siege Perilous in this issue, and up until the X-Tinction Agenda crossover, would should be considered part of the X-Men team?
Forge & Banshee?
Posted by: Bibs | December 26, 2017 6:07 AM
I think the overall point was that all of the various X-characters, major or minor, qualified as "X-Men." There was a very unheroic 'wiping the slate clean' of the current team, a couple issues getting Wolvie and Jubilee out of their current mess, and suddenly we're seeing characters we haven't seen in ages, at least not since Claremont wrote them. Magneto, Muir Isle, Amanda and Forge, just to name a few. Legion, Farouk, Freedom Force and Fenris would follow, and that's all before we've set up Charlie's return to Earth.
I also still think that the computer system, probably in concert with Gateway, were what hid Jubilee from discovery.
Posted by: ChrisW | December 27, 2017 9:52 PM
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