Uncanny X-Men #309
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #309
But the issue starts with Xavier talking about the events of X-Men Unlimited #1. He says he thought he would die and felt relieved about it. He then remembers for the first time that the mysterious person that rescued him was Magneto. The sequence also tries (but fails, IMO) to address the fact that Xavier called Magneto "Eric" for the first time at Illyana's funeral.
We don't know who Xavier is talking to at first, and it turns out to be a dream where Xavier is talking to Magneto.
Xavier tells Magneto that Magneto can be defined by his abuse of his powers. Magneto challenges Xavier, saying that surely there's been a case where Xavier abused his powers. And instead of pointing to every Silver Age Professor X appearance (and beyond), Xavier tells us about Amelia Voght. Actually we start with the idea from last issue, that Xavier had some unspecified reservations about Jean and Scott's upcoming marriage. Magneto suggests now that the reservation is because Xavier resents their happiness, because it represents something that he can never have. Magneto then brings up the fact that Xavier's mother was abused by Xavier's step-father (Juggernaut's dad), and says that Xavier's failure to do anything about that led to Xavier developing a psychosis, need to protect women, starting with Gabriel Haller. Magneto notes that Xavier's relationship with Haller ended "shortly after she stopped needing you", and says that Xavier's relationship with Moira MacTaggert was a "text book example of co-dependency". Magneto also notes that Xavier's current girlfriend is a galaxy away. Then we get to Amelia Voght.
It turns out that after Professor X's loss of his legs after his fight with Lucifer, he was recovering in India and Amelia Voght helped him recover.
They fell in love, a love that survived the revelation that they were both mutants (Voght initially got suspicious that Xavier was only with her because he was searching for mutants). But Voght didn't approve of Xavier's goal of forming a mutant team. She tolerated his sessions with Jean Grey, but put her foot down when Xavier brought Cyclops from the orphanage. And now the key moment: when she tried to leave him, Xavier briefly used his powers to make her stay.
"Magneto" then tells Xavier that it should still be possible to be true to his goals for mutants while pursuing his own personal happiness.
With that, Xavier wakes up from his dream and fully endorses Jean and Scott's marriage.
Unlike a lot of Lobdell's downtime issues, this fails, in large part because who the #@*$@ cares about some barely developed continuity insert character like Amelia Voght. This issue doesn't even bother to demonstrate her powers - the closest we get is this panel which just makes her look gassey.
The larger idea that Xavier resented Scott and Jean getting married falls flat for me, too. I'm not even sold on the idea that he'd resent the idea at all, but resenting it because he's been hurt in his own love life feels especially wrong. Not only has he had a longstanding relationship with Lilandra (regardless of the distance), but i would have attributed his previous bachelorhood to his dedication to his dream, not to some emotional scarring and/or a one time and extremely brief loss of self-control. I actually resent getting sucked into arguing about this depiction at all; the truth is that i just don't care about it. It feels like pointless make-work drama for the sake of this issue. And the fact that it "resolves" here and yet we'll still get Onslaught not long afterwards makes me think that this wasn't thought out at all.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 714,675. Single issue closest to filing date = 551,400.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: It's said that Jean and Cyclops' wedding, which will happen in X-Men #30, will happen "two Saturdays from now".
Due to the appearance of Magneto in Xavier's "dream", i'm listing Onslaught as a character appearing (he's technically behind the scenes in all Xavier appearances).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
This was my final issue of X-comics in real time. Just couldn't take the depressing and boring anymore. Horrible book.
Posted by: Matt | October 4, 2017 6:08 PM
I came to this from a different angle - I hadn't done more than flicked through an X-Men issue since Claremont left, occasionally picking one up & rolling my eyes at Colossus' brother appearing or some new character that was supposed to be cool, & then returning the book to the shelf. Everything felt soulless to me & I wasn't happy with any of the new plotlines I saw. So when I saw from the cover that this was essentially being sold as a "special issue", I flicked through it, saw a general absence of attempts at "cool" and bought the book for the first time in years, thinking they were at least trying to do a Claremont downtime issue. (Probably a similar reaction to if they'd all been playing baseball on the cover - I'd have thought "at least they've realised what they're doing wrong & are trying to go back to the classics.")
A lot of it felt strange to me - I didn't know who Amelia was, or why Magneto was now called Eric. I did think it was a decent enough story, if a bit forced, though I probably didn't think about it overly as I can't disagree with any of the criticism here. And I didn't buy another X-Men comic until Morrison's run, so clearly it didn't do the trick.
As far as the resolution here not being thought out, I doubt Lobdell had any idea about Onslaught at the time, he tended to improvise his arcs & when he came up with the idea of Onslaught attacking Juggernaut, he had no idea who Onslaught was going to be.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | October 4, 2017 7:07 PM
Also, while we've already had various secrets of Xavier - from Lucifer to his Nazi-hunting friendship with Magneto to his "bastard son" (originally vetoed by Byrne but eventually arriving in the form of Legion), this always seemed to me one of the first of a run of post-Claremont "dark secrets" (Onslaught, Deadly Genesis, others I've forgotten) where the previously saintly Xavier will be revealed to have feet of clay, until you start to wonder if he's actually more clay than saint.
This does as you point out overlook the Silver Age Xavier who had much less scruples on the use of his powers, & also the several "dark side of Xavier" stories already written by Claremont or Mantlo, but as far as I can recall none of that had been mentioned again since Xavier had been elevated to being the Martin Luther King of mutants, so any "dark side" at all will have been a surprise to younger readers who would have only seen him portrayed as a paragon.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | October 4, 2017 7:19 PM
I thought this issue was a pretty good look inside Xavier's head- and from some reviews I remember, I'm not the only one. I didn't think Xavier tampering with Amelia's mind was ignoring the Silver Age issues but rather a logical outgrowth of his behavior in those issues.
Posted by: Michael | October 4, 2017 9:09 PM
...for her it must have been like a boyfriend starting to rape her. It's questionable whether this would have been allowed today, with the increased concern about men violating women's boundaries.
Posted by: Michael | October 4, 2017 9:18 PM
With the endless revelations regarding his history of bedding beautiful women, it's a wonder why Charlie X was even interested in a teenage Jean Grey at all!
Posted by: Jonathon | October 5, 2017 1:06 AM
And with his endless revelations of being an awesome super-spy with a history of bedding beautiful women, the whole Logan-Jean Grey thing seems a bit questionable when you realise they first meet when he's about 100, and is telling a young woman barely out of her teens that he knows she wants it.
Clearly she skews to an older demographic.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | October 5, 2017 6:37 AM
Posted by: Jonathon | October 5, 2017 5:52 PM
Of all of the morally questionable actions that Xavier has take over the years, briefly using his powers for selfish reasons only to immediately realize that what he was doing was wrong and instantly stopping has to rank very low on the totem pole.
Posted by: Ben Herman | October 6, 2017 2:03 PM
I come down on the opposite side of this one - I quite like it, and place it amongst some of the better Lobdell quiet issues (though still well behind #297, #303 and #308, at least). The fact that, in the grand scheme of things, Xavier's violation of Amelia isn't as bad as, say, leading an entire team of X-Men to their deaths, then wiping their existence from everyone's memory, including that of one of the deceased's brother is part of what makes it work: Lobdell is giving Xavier some clay feet without taking it so far that, as Jonathan said, we're left wondering if Xavier is more clay than saint (which is what happens when later writers try to do this same thing).
Also, some really nice JRjr art.
Agree that Lobdell clearly wasn't thinking things out, which he's more or less admitted he never did, which is a detriment to much of his run. But the fact that "Onslaught" tramples over this issue I hold against "Onslaught" more than this issue.
Posted by: Austin Gorton | October 11, 2017 3:40 PM
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