Uncanny X-Men #270
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #270
For this issue and part #2 (New Mutants #95), i have second printings with bronze colored covers. I assume the need for second printings was due to the initial print runs selling out, (i got my copies in bargain bins).
The story merges elements from X-Men and X-Factor by returning to Genosha where Cameron Hodge has situated himself. This issue contains the set-up, and is interesting for showing the interactions between the three X-Teams.
Let's get one subplot out of the way first, though. There is a scene where Strong Guy chases away Freddie Stanachek, the guy that convinced Dazzler to do promotion for her movie. Dazzler herself has disappeared. And in the same scene, Lila Cheney shows up after her teleportation last issue.
Ok, now let's see these inter-team interactions. Jean Grey is representing X-Factor here, and the issue starts with her having a Danger Room sequence with Storm. The goal is to test Storm's abilities now that she is in a child's body.
Jean Grey starts off winning but Storm rallies and has Jean on the ropes. But Stevie Hunter stops the fight, realizing that Storm is pushing her body to the limits. The sequence ends just as Storm is losing control. So i guess we can say that she's at full power with reduced endurance.
Then the most awesome Cable-ish Cable sequence happens when Cable bursts into the Danger Room because it's his team's turn to train. Schedules? He don't need no stinkin' schedules.
It's so absurd i love it.
Storm and Jean then go out for lunch. Jean's earlier romantic interest in Wolverine in mentioned (the kiss she describes does not seem to be a reference to any specific scene from a previous issue). This is foreshadowing for a scene in a later part of this crossover.
There are two inkers on this issue, and at times the art looks different than what i think of as "typical" Jim Lee art. More... curly, somehow? A lot of detail in the above panel, too.
Jean mentions the fact that she's absorbed the memories of Phoenix and Madelyne and that they were really just extensions of herself. Storm notes that her current body is at an age where it should be going through all sorts of changes, she's actually stuck at that exact age, "Peter Pan" style. Which makes sense, since Nanny's goal was to preserve her victims as children.
It's nice that at the beginning of a big crossover, there's time for two old friends to sit together and compare notes on how crazy their lives are.
A less pleasant conversation is when Wolfsbane catches up with Storm. Wolfsbane is not taking the fact that the X-Men faked their deaths without telling the New Mutants very well.
Wolfsbane's anger is well deserved, but it may also be setting her up for a change in personality that comes later in this story.
Stevie Hunter talks with Storm after Wolfsbane leaves. I may have doctored this scan a little.
And now it's time for the Genoshans to show up. The Genoshans have it in for the X-Men after their previous interferences, and the New Mutants and X-Factor are just as much X-Men for their purposes.
On the mutant's side, though, there are definite schisms between the teams.
Storm makes what will turn out to be a fatal tactical miscalculation, throwing Stevie Hunter into the hatch to the X-Men's underground base and then sealing it closed with lightning. Storm thinks that she's protecting the rest of the X-Men, but it prevents a contingent led by Cable from getting out and helping the others (and note that the hatch was also a target of the Magistrates in one of the scans above).
Storm recognizes Havok amongst the Magistrates. We haven't seen him since the X-Men went through the Siege Perilous, but a note in one of the X-Men's lettercols said that Havok was in Genosha working with the resistance. If that was the case, it's not any more.
By the time the team led by Cable finds a different way out of the subbasement, the Magistrates have captured Storm and several of the New Mutants (Boom Boom, Rictor, Warlock, and Wolfsbane), and teleported them to Genosha thanks to Pipeline.
I like this issue for the character interactions. Seeing someone yell at Storm for the X-Men faking their deaths was appreciated. I like seeing the friction between Cable and the X-Men. And it's nice to see X-Factor and the X-Men (or at least Jean and Storm) talking again. This issue also concludes the post-Siege Perilous appearances of the X-Men by showing where Havok wound up. So it's nice to see all of that in what is otherwise a set-up for the crossover.
This issue is the one that has someone writing in to say "Please get your mess sorted out" listing a few open plot points, and then "Please get your stories sorted out". The response is "We're trying, we're trying. When you have a mess this big, it takes a while to sort it out!" This is all in good humor, even the letter writer is saying this amidst a number of compliments. But the general sense that the stories are good but things are getting out of control is reflected in other letters from this and surrounding issues as well (and at least one corespondent definitely did not like the fill-in art on issues #262-264). You wouldn't think a crossover interruption would be useful for getting the "mess" under control, but as with Inferno, the opposite actually seems to be the case. In addition to following up on Havok and the Genoshans, just having the teams come together has allowed for some much needed level setting. I'm glad this issue started off slow so there was time for the human interactions.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Regarding Lila Cheney's appearance, i always allow time to pass in between teleportations unless it's specifically said otherwise, so i'm allowing space between this and last issue. This is the first part of X-Tinction Agenda. New Mutants #95 is next. All parts of this crossover continue directly from the previous part.
Crossover: X-Tinction Agenda
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): showBanshee, Boom Boom, Cable (Adult), Cannonball, Forge, Freddie Stanachek, Gambit, Havok, House, Jean Grey, Lila Cheney, Pipeline, Rictor, Stevie Hunter, Storm, Strong Guy, Sunspot, Tam, Trish Tilby, Warlock, Wolfsbane
One thing I do have to admit: Jim Lee drawing Cable knocking the door down is hilariously awesome. Now THAT is how you draw a foot.
Posted by: Ataru320 | July 6, 2015 10:57 AM
The story was definitely editorial-driven. Bob Harras admitted in Amazing Heroes Preview Special #11(Summer 1990) that the ulterior point of the story was to get all the X-Men back in Westchester again, and to get new blood into the New Mutants. Weirdly, Marvel then put a news blackout on the crossover AFTER Harras spilled the beans...
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 6, 2015 11:12 AM
Rhane yelling at Storm was great. It always bothered me that the X-Men never even acknowledged Doug's death or what the New Mutants might be going through. Sure they're pretending to be dead, but it's just pretend. Meanwhile Doug is a corpse, and more than anyone else he was just dragged into this mess. The X-Men signed up for it. Jean Grey volunteered. Thunderbird chose to be a superhero. Doug... came home one morning and told his parents that he was forced to go to private school.
Anyway, long overdue telling off of the X-Men from one of the New Mutants.
Posted by: ChrisW | July 6, 2015 11:39 AM
Fnord12, you forgot a pretty hilarious scene where the editors admitted they couldn't remember when Stevie Hunter's last appearance was (boy is THAT an indication of things to come). It makes you wonder why they bothered dredging up this now-obscure character back in the first place.
Posted by: Jon Dubya | July 6, 2015 1:28 PM
I'm fairly certain that this matter of kisses and romantic interest from Jean towards Wolverine is retconned, perhaps in the continuity inserts from Classic X-Men. Even Phoenix never really gave Wolverine much attention in the actual stories themselves, and this Jean is supposed to have only dilluted memories from Phoenix.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | July 6, 2015 3:04 PM
I think bringing Stevie back was part of the X-Men returning to the mansion and reconnecting with their long history.
There's a fair amount of that in the Claremont-written issues of this storyline. Jean and Ororo go to Harry's, Rhane releases her pent-up frustration about Doug's death, Gambit copies Storm's lock-picking trick, there's still the computer virus they input into Pentagon computers over 100 issues earlier. [I guess that's why Cable stops being a legend to average soldiers; even Val/Mystique had no objections to sending a guy who "went rogue" for this mission. And the computer virus didn't even need to be told to add him.]
And yes, the Wolvie-Jean thing is entirely retconned. Her last act before flying the shuttle was screaming at him about how unlikeable he is. After the shuttle crashes and she's in the hospital, only then does he show the slightest interest. He buys her flowers, then throws them away after discovering the X-Men have all been staying close to their friend. The narration points out that Wolverine wouldn't know they would do this because he's never had any friends.
Basically early Wolverine was a lot closer to the stereotype of a comic book geek than he was to a secret agent ladykiller capable of tricking a girl [who's in love with another guy] under some mistletoe. The only insert from "Classic X-Men" that I recall was the first issue, the night everybody got back from Krakoa, where he was blunt about what he wanted. That much is believable, but it's definitely a retcon, never mind Jean supposedly returning the interest.
Posted by: ChrisW | July 6, 2015 5:03 PM
Oooh, X-Tinction Agenda. That story was sooo butchered when it was published in my country: only the UXM parts of the crossover were released. As you can imagine, it led to a.. very incoherent reading.
Anyway: as much as I hate to admit it, I'm impressed with how good Jim Lee's art looks here. I'm not a fan of his, as I think his art became too manga-like later on (and these women with almost the same face and sexed-up poses..!), but at this stage, it's quite pleasing to the eye. If only he stuck with this style, he might've been an awesome artist today...
Also, he manages to make Cable look believeable. For once, he doesn't make him wear pillows on his shoulders :)
Posted by: Piotr W | July 6, 2015 6:44 PM
Stevie's makeover is intense. Anyway, it's nice, if sort of inexplicable, to see her again here.
Posted by: ben | July 6, 2015 7:25 PM
Brian Cronin of Comics Should Be Good mocked the rationale for Stevie's appearance here "What's up with Storm's powers? I know, let's have the kids' old dance teacher watch her on the Danger Room monitors. She's clearly an expert in the field".
Posted by: Michael | July 6, 2015 8:05 PM
I don't think Rahne's blaming Storm for Doug *has* to make sense. She's just a kid angry for the situation where her friend was killed, while other people were apparently granted a second chance...
Posted by: Piotr W | July 6, 2015 8:13 PM
Jean Grey did not show any romantic interest in Wolverine during Claremont's original run with Cockrum and Byrne (most of which, granted is already retconned as being Phoenix, not Jean herself). So this supposed love triangle is definitely a retcon. And it's one I never liked. Wolverine was certainly attracted to Jean, and he was very upset that Scott - a "wimp" - had her. There was no indication Jean thought anything of Wolverine.
Introducing this element is one of the major mistakes with the character (second only to her being resurrected).
Posted by: Chris | July 6, 2015 10:05 PM
That moment with Cable is hilarious--I'm sure he's supposed to seem bad-ass, but he just comes across as a melodramatic idiot.
For some reason Rictor wearing a speedo as his bathing suit surprises me. I'm not sure why. Maybe just because its usually the women characters who get put in skimpy clothes (like Boom Boom's bikini) but not the men.
Posted by: Dermie | July 6, 2015 11:56 PM
But guys we need the Wolverine angsting over Jean for all the X-Men movies!
Posted by: david banes | July 7, 2015 12:07 AM
Funny how it's clearly fall and jacket weather, based on Storm and Jean's clothing, yet they have the New Mutants and Stevie in gratuitous bikinis.
Posted by: Bob | July 7, 2015 7:22 PM
My brother and I loved this storyline. It was a step towards dealing with the mess of the past 20 + issues
Posted by: Grom | October 3, 2015 9:39 AM
Piotr - You only got the UXM issues? Given the art on the other issues, sounds like you get the better deal!
Like so many others, I love the scene with Rahne and Ororo. It's a long-needed moment and it's handled very well.
Posted by: Erik Beck | November 7, 2015 11:59 AM
I could be wrong, but my impression is that the originally intended "Mutant Wars" became the X-Tinction Agenda after Marvel saw how well Spider-Man #1 (August cover date) sold. Liefeld has discussed how his X-For e pitch was only greenlighted after that, http://robliefeldcreations.com/the-history-of-x-force/ , and it makes sense if that's also the point at which Harras decided there had to be a new X-Men #1. X-Tinction, which seems to involve a lit of arbitrary chamges to New Mutants and characters who will eventually appear in X-Factir, after tge original team re-merges with the X-Men, sets the first pieces in lace for the 1991 (re-)launches.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | January 25, 2016 2:04 AM
@Walter: It was odd that Mutant Wars was still being advertised in the letters page of this issue, if X-Tinction Agenda was what it was suggested to have become.
It must have been extremely tumultuous even then, with last minute changes constantly occurring. That is, Living Sentinels were even advertised for the Uncanny X-Men #271 chapter of this X-Tinction Agenda crossover in the solicits in Marvel Age #94 which was out at the same time as this issue. What made them "Living" I'd guess was the transmode virus, but when New Mutants #95 came out, Hodge failed to extract the virus despite killing Warlock. So...
Posted by: Nathan Adler | January 25, 2016 4:41 AM
Claremont had long been trying to make something out of "Mutant Wars," and just applying the notion of superpowers to global interactions. Obviously Alan Moore did this much better in "Watchmen" with Doctor Manhattan and the Comedian, but multiple times Val Cooper or Gyrich or someone would raise the point of a government using someone with the power of Thor or Magneto. Genosha was really the only part of that thinking which came through.
Come to think about it, this may also have been one reason he kept the X-Men and New Mutants coming from so many different countries. He jumped on the suggestion (I think it was Cockrum's) that Canada might not be happy about letting Wolverine get away, he certainly gave a lot of thought to Magneto if he'd had his powers back in the Holocaust, the Brotherhood becoming Freedom Force, etc.
Posted by: ChrisW | January 25, 2016 8:07 PM
I like the suggestion made in a previous entry that Mutant Wars likely evolved into X-Cutioner's Song. By this point, Harras and Jim Lee probably wanted to reform the X-Men more than anything, especially before a big deal Mutant Wars story. The changes over the next two years, with Claremont leaving, launching X-Men #1, and the rest of the mutant titles relaunches further postponed the story.
Or it could be they cancelled it outright at this point, and Marvel was left to scramble and pull out old story ideas once the Image exodus happened, and retrofitted whatever ideas they had for Mutant Wars into X-Cutioner's Song.
Posted by: Charles R | January 28, 2016 1:08 PM
And yet again, Rictor grows his hair long, after having a mohawk in the DoFP crossover, secondary mutation perhaps?
Posted by: Bibs | December 26, 2017 3:23 PM
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