Uncanny X-Men #298
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #298
Corsi does manage to kill one of the Acolytes in this story - one of three triplets known as the Kleinstock Brothers.
The remaining twins are able to merge into a single body.
To go back to Corsi for a second, he is surprisingly calm under pressure, which is i guess how he's able to keep bouncing back.
The reason for the Acolytes' attack is that they are trying to capture a pre-adolescent student at the school where Friedlander and Corsi were working. They're also not above massacring any "flatscans" along the way. And i'll note that Frenzy is among the Acolytes and doesn't seem to have any problem with the killings.
That's not a stretch from what we've seen of the characters so far (although she's become quite the zealot), but since Frenzy eventually becomes a good guy i thought it was worth noting.
Jean of course recognizes Frenzy from the X-Factor days.
And, more surprisingly, Gambit also seems to know her.
It turns out that the latent mutant the Acolytes were after has Down's Syndrome, which to the Acolytes means that he's "obviously flawed" and needs to be purged. But the X-Men are "far more worthy opponents than Cortez" led the Acolytes to believe, so they wind up getting driven off.
In the aftermath, Senator Robert Kelly blames it all on the "liberal media".
Early in this issue, Bishop tries to resign from the X-Men since he's been having trouble adjusting to their less "direct" ways. Xavier tells him dude, this is the 90s. We need you in the book to keep our body count high. Ok, he actually tells him that the X-Men are as much about being a school for learning as they are about fighting, but either way he doesn't accept the resignation.
Lobdell gets some mileage out of contrasting the Acolytes penchant for "purging" and the fact that their supposed idol Magneto saw his family killed by Nazis in a concentration camp. And in general this is a good plot for the X-Men, fighting evil mutants over new mutants as a metaphor for larger issues of discrimination. The Acolytes are kind of faceless as a group so when new ones pop up it's hard to care, but the ones introduced here do continue to have appearances.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 731,425. Single issue closest to filing date = 605,900.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Next issue, Forge will say that the events of this issue happened "yesterday", so not too much time should pass between issues (although he's in a completely different timezone - Kuwait - when he says it, so it could be more like two days). The team composition suggests that this takes place around the same time as X-Men #17-19 (Gambit is here, Colossus is in adjectiveless), but there's nothing definitive about that, and we have bigger dependencies regarding Illyana; see the Considerations for Uncanny X-Men #299-300 for more.
I guess i need to mention that Frenzy appears in the story in Captain America #411-414 in a very generic way that doesn't really fit with her having become an Acolyte. So despite saying in that entry that i'm not going to worry about the villains' appearances, i've placed this after the Captain America story.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAngel, Bishop, Carmella Unuscione, Charlotte Jones, Frenzy, Gambit, Harlan Kleinstock, Jean Grey, Professor X, Senator Kelly, Sharon Friedlander, Storm, Sven Kleinstock, Teddy Matson, Tom Corsi, Trish Tilby
I'm guessing Unuscione is Unus' daughter? How... original.
Posted by: ChrisW | September 15, 2016 6:46 PM
I see they are wearing Liefeld-like ear devices.
Posted by: EHH | September 15, 2016 7:01 PM
I think there was either a trading card or an interview with Scott Lobdell or something that suggested that Unuscione was Unus' daughter but for the life of me I cannot recall if it was ever canonically confirmed on-panel.
Posted by: Jeff | September 15, 2016 7:31 PM
When I first read this I assumed that it took place during X-Men 17-19 for two reasons (a) Bobby and Peter are absent and Remy is present and (b) Jean is said to be in charge of the Danger Room training session in Scott's absence. Now that I'm a little older I realize those aren't completely definitive, since the three men could be absent because of an untold story. The major consideration is that X-Men 299 has to take place circa Moira's appearance in X-Factor 88-90, since she's said to be leaving Genosha in X-Men 299, and X-Men 299 takes place a day or two after this story.
Posted by: Michael | September 15, 2016 7:51 PM
The art is still stuck under the "Try to make your stuff look like Portaciao's" editorial edict.
Posted by: Bob | September 15, 2016 10:27 PM
Never truer words were spoken Bob. It was a travesty.
Think of the unimaginable opportunity cost incurred in the '90s and since. If only Shooter, Claremont, Stern, Byrne etc continued. What would Marvel be now. We, and our children, have lost worlds and heroes and dreams ...
Posted by: Grom | September 16, 2016 12:38 AM
Echoing Michael, I also had no idea when I first read this issue that Sharon had actually died. Neither the art nor the script made that clear.
Posted by: Erik Beck | September 16, 2016 2:57 PM
According to the original OHOTMU, Unus' real name is Angelo Unuscione.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 16, 2016 3:01 PM
... I really can't see this art being similar to Portacio's. Yes, it's still scratchy, but it's the 90s. Overall, this art is quite clear and relatively realistic, the opposite of Portacio...
Speaking of Frenzy - don't you hate that all of the classic villains have been turning good in the last few years?
Posted by: Piotr W | September 16, 2016 3:02 PM
To be fair, Frenzy joined the team:
1) During the "No More Mutants" era, where, as Professor X explai ed in X-Men Legacy, there was no point having "mutant oecking order sqaubbles" when there are so few of them. (And a team that, at this point had Magneto, Emma Frost, and Namor couldn't really afford to be self-righteousness about membership) and speaking of which...
2) When the X-men were already in the midst of quite a few morally ambivalent, not-all-that-ethical shenanigans themselves (looking your way, Cyclops and Wolverine). Indeed one of the freque t comments about this period was that Cyclops was starting to act more like Magneto than a Profressor Xavier disciple. So it's less like Joanna Cargill "changed" as much as the X-men's philopsphy became better to accompany her temperament.
Actually the one that seems a bit out of character is Senator Robert Kelly. Right after this (next issue in fact) Sen Kelly will be portrayed as much more of a "moderate." (Indeed, when he runs for president he will apparently do so as an Independent.) But he becomes more "ambivalent" about mutantkind. Certainly not the "Fox News-y" portrayal here.
Also I think Brandon Peterson art looks pretty good for 90s standards. I think it's quite a bit above Portacio standards.
Posted by: Jon Dubya | September 16, 2016 9:09 PM
I don't believe the Unus/Unuscione connection has ever been made explicit (Wikipedia says it's "rumored"). It seems pretty obvious she's meant to be his daughter: same/similar last name and similar force field-ish powers, but nobody has ever written it into an issue to make it definitive.
Agreed that the art here is better than Portacio. Petersen's work would get better down the line, but his little six month run on UNCANNY isn't terrible.
Posted by: Austin Gorton | September 19, 2016 10:58 PM
Actually, I find Peterson's art closer to Liefeld than Portacio.
Posted by: Bibs | March 26, 2018 5:06 AM
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