Uncanny X-Men #297
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #297
Caliban's attack on Cyclops and Jean at the start of the crossover happened at Harry's Hideaway, a spot near Xavier's school that Chris Claremont introduced. The building was destroyed, so the issue opens with Beast and Archangel going there to repair it...
...and they wind up talking about old times.
One thing i would have liked to have seen addressed here is that Angel's behavior towards Apocalypse during the crossover showed that he still had unresolved thoughts of vengeance and bitterness. I didn't feel like that reached resolution during the crossover. There's also the matter of Angel accidentally killing Kamikaze. Beast talks to Angel in general terms about what Apocalypse did to him, but it would have been great to see one or both of those points addressed more specifically.
Meanwhile, Rogue has not yet recovered from being blinded by Strobe. She wants to be left alone, but Gambit stays with her. He says he has feelings for her, and she says the same about him, but she doesn't trust his intentions. Their mutant powers work as a metaphor.
But he does stay with her.
And probably the most poignant thread is about Professor X, who, as a side effect of the technovirus he was infected with, is able to walk again for just a limited amount of time. He spends that time with Jubilee, the youngest X-Man and one that he hasn't yet had time to connect with. And vice versa.
Really nice stuff.
I thought Brandon Peterson was the weakest of the artists in the X-Cutioner's Song crossover (allowing that appreciation of Jae Lee's style is a matter of preference), but what he does here in these quiet moments is really good.
Storywise, it may be a little sappy, and the impact of Xavier's brief period of being able to walk is somewhat lessened by the periods prior and after this that he can walk again, and the Gambit/Rogue stuff is certainly soapy. But i still think it's nice to do character focused stories after a big crossover, and Lobdell mostly does well with this one.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: It's not said exactly how long it's been since X-Cutioner's Song, and Xavier doesn't know how long it will be until his legs give out again. So i could potentially put some space between the crossover and this. But i think it makes more sense for it to occur directly afterwards.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAngel, Beast, Gambit, Jubilee, Professor X, Rogue
Even as a kid, I knew this was a great issue.
Posted by: Thanos6 | May 7, 2016 3:53 PM
There's a joke in this issue about the time Jubilee replaced Scott's ruby quartz glasses with a pair of Foster Grants. That's the kind of joke that seems funny if you don't think about it but makes Jubilee look almost sociopathic if you do, considering that Scott could have killed someone.
Posted by: Michael | May 7, 2016 4:16 PM
This sounds like a better issue than most of what Claremont wrote.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | May 7, 2016 10:02 PM
Post-crossover "downtime" isdues was always considered Lobdell's forte (well within the X-books anyway) Also, I know Lobdell gets a lot of complaints for his writing (most of it valid) but his take on Professor X is top-notch.
Also, is it me or are the best Jubilee stories where she's paired up with an "unlikely" patner dhe ordinarily wouldn't hang with (Professor X, Illyana, X-23, etc.)
About Warren, this is a petiod where the creators apparently tired of the "Archangek" ps
Posted by: Jon Dubya | May 8, 2016 3:46 AM
Pressed "post" too fast. Whoops.
I meant to say that this is when the creators were apparently tired of the "Archangel" persona and were backtracking at a rather steadily pace from that stuff. Just before this crossover, a rather definitive line was drawn under the long-running subplot about Warren's metal wings (even if a few other writers haven't quire gotten the memo yet). We've also establish since the '91 Reconfiguration of the teams, that Warren's "skin" was actually a costume, and that his bald head gave way to a thick luxurious blonde mullet. I think Michael mention in other part of the crossover that he got his fortune back. And of course a few years later his metal wings will fall off and his feathered ones will grow back. All of this is "subtle" way to get the "original" Angel through back door. Lobdell and company CLEARLY trying to de-emphasize "Archangel" whenever posdible.
Posted by: Jon Dubya | May 8, 2016 4:02 AM
One of my favorite X-Men issues ever and probably my favorite not written by Claremont or Whedon. It does a great job of balancing the humor and the pathos. It makes great use of two characters, Jubilee and Xavier, that I normally don't care for.
I agree with Michael - the joke about the Foster Grants is hilarious (one of my all-time favorite lines) as long as you don't think too hard about it.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 18, 2016 12:00 PM
I think Jubilee gets a lot of grief, when she really has quite a few good stories when you consider the overall quality of the X-books in the 90s. The Legacy virus issue with Illy, this one, the issue where Wolverine leaves after Fatal Attractions, Age of Apocalypse.
I really think she's most tedious around Wolverine, actually, now that I think about it.
Posted by: FF3 | June 7, 2016 12:01 AM
Scott Lobdell is such a contradiction. He can write such hacky glib nonsense for a bunch of issues, but then just absolutely knock it out of the park with an issue like this, which is the probably the best single issue of a core X-book since at least Inferno.
The night sky art is weird for the Angel / Beast plot though. The star density keeps making me think they're in space somewhere.
Posted by: Greg T | October 26, 2016 7:02 PM
I really enjoyed this issue as well, I don't mind a downtime issue if it's done properly, like this one.
However, I'd trade the Rogue/Gambit part (all their discussions about their relationship feel the same to me anyway), for a Cyclops/Jean reactions of the events in the crossover.
I mean, chronologically, they go from the X-Cutioner's Song to that Spider-man guest appearance where they seem really happy...doesn't really work for me.
Posted by: Bibs | March 22, 2018 5:57 AM
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