Issue(s): X-Men #8
No one is worried about Bishop changing his timeline (e.g. calling Forge "Genesis", which may influence him into taking that name sooner than he might have otherwise). And note that Storm bristles a bit at Bishop sayings that Cyclops is considered the X-Men's greatest leader in his era.
Bishop doesn't recognize Gambit as the "LeBeau" from his future until he speaks.
And speaking of not being worried about Bishop's future, the X-Men's reaction to Bishop's claims about him are somewhere between alarmingly complacent and hilarious.
Dude, you don't understand. We get people from alternate futures 3 times a week. They're not all going to come true. In your future Gambit becomes a bad guy. In another, he becomes Santa Claus. You really can't worry about it.
In fact, at the picnic, after another fight between Bishop and Gambit (where we learn that Bishop was raised by Gambit), Rogue pretty much makes the same point.
Also at the picnic, Cyclops starts checking out Psylocke, in an obvious enough way that Jean notices immediately.
Based on Psylocke's grin, some fans got the idea that she was mentally manipulating Cyclops, but that won't turn out to be the case.
Gambit also continues to put the moves on Rogue.
But that's before we find out that he's married.
Gambit's wife, Bella Donna Boudreaux was in the Assassin's Guild, which was always at war with the Thieves' Guild. Someone tried to broker a peace between the guilds by having someone from the Thieves' Guild, Gambit, marry Bella Donna. But Bella Donna's brother didn't like the union, and attacked Gambit, and Gambit killed him. After that, it was decided that Gambit should be executed, even though it was acknowledged that it wasn't his fault. Gambit's exile maintained the peace between guilds, but now war has broken out again, which is why Bella Donna is seeking Gambit's help. And the X-Men are going to help.
C'mon, Beast. We know that it's always Mardi Gras in New Orleans in the Marvel universe.
People have noted in the comments here that Gambit suddenly became a lot less... sinister starting with the previous arc (the first post-Claremont issues). And now we have this Thief and Assassin Guild business. I think to younger readers, who started around this time or later, the Guilds are just what Gambit was always about, and the Guilds might even be thought of as a valuable contribution to the Marvel universe. To me, it's always seemed like something that was borrowed from the likes of Dungeons and Dragons without much thought for how it would work in the Marvel universe. It seems kind of cheesy to me. Part of the problem is that the upcoming issues don't really explore how these Guilds operate, because things immediately go off on a tangent.
Speaking of which, someone just found out about a recently launched series, which means a new book for him to guest star in.
I like the idea of this issue. It's sort of a downtime issue, with the team meeting Bishop and vice-versa and then going on a picnic. But i find the way the rest of the team reacts, or doesn't react, to Bishop's warning to be kind of silly, especially when the picnic is interrupted by a huge knock-down fight between Bishop and Gambit. Most of the X-Men don't even seem to notice. In general, the interactions between characters (Jean/Scott/Psylocke, Gambit/Rogue) seem kind of clumsy. But i do like Lobdell's scripting of Jubilee, at least, and Lee's art isn't bad when he's not indulging in cheesecake.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: For "three days", Wolverine has been using the X-Mansion's computer system to try to access information, learning only the word "Barrington" (i'm not sure exactly what he's trying to access; i assume not Xavier's files). His decision to try to access these files was triggered by the things he learned about his history in the previous arc in this series. But i don't interpret the scene to mean that Wolverine began working since the end of last issue, only that he's spent the last three days making this effort (i.e. it isn't necessarily only three days since last issue, and Wolverine could have appeared elsewhere in between).
A footnote at the beginning of this issue points to Uncanny X-Men #288 when Storm mentions Xavier placing Bishop "among us". It's possible "us" in this case means the Gold Team specifically or something, but i think she is just referring to Professor X making Bishop an X-Man, which occurs at the end of #287, not in #288. And in #288 Bishop is already on speaking terms with Cyclops and Beast, while in this issue he is meeting them for the first time. So this seems to occur before UX #288, and i'll assume the footnote is a typo (although a counter-argument is that #287 is correctly cited for a different purpose later in the issue).
This issue is a set-up for a crossover with Ghost Rider, and Ghost Rider #26 is next.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): showBeast, Bella Donna Boudreaux, Bishop, Cyclops, Forge, Gambit, Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch), Jean Grey, Jubilee, Noble Kale, Professor X, Psylocke, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine
Psylocke as a creation is pretty much nothing but fetish fuel.
I have a hard time seeing this and accepting it is the same character that Alan Moore wrote in Captain Britain. But hey that's what Chris Claremont does to characters.
Honestly, had Jim Lee left the X-Men series at the same time as Claremont, I definitely could've seen Psylocke being shunted off into retirement (or at the least having the body swap thing undone). But Jim Lee cemented the character and this became her status quo; stuck as a exploitative cheesecake (slightly racist) pin-up forever.
Posted by: AF | February 18, 2016 1:48 PM
"Speaking of which, someone just found out about a recently launched series, which means a new book for him to guest star in."
Posted by: clyde | February 18, 2016 2:23 PM
To be fair, Chris Claremont was actually the one who created Psylocke.
Posted by: Red Comet | February 18, 2016 2:51 PM
Wait...isn't Mardi Gras normally in February or March? If so, where was this summertime picnic?? Certainly not around the X-mansion in upstate New York.
Posted by: Bill | February 18, 2016 6:47 PM
Rogue is awfully willing to throw her bare skin right next to Gambit's bare skin. I get that her clothes are always being blown off in battle (which didn't happen nearly as often to Storm, Betsy, Ali, etc, talk about fetish fuel) but it's never made the slightest amount of sense why she would willfully show off so much skin for any reason whatsoever.
Rogue almost always wore her costume, which has gloves, full sleeves and leggings. I'm probably forgetting a couple, but I can only think of few times she actually wore normal clothes. Two of those times Carol was in charge (the shopping trip and then the Siege/Master Mold/Nimrod issues) where Carol had the sense to bundle up and put on gloves. In #210, Rogue played dress-up and stayed fairly-well covered, and in "FF vs. X-men" she treated herself to a shopping trip in Latveria, again staying fully covered (until Doom's robots blew her clothes off anyway.)
She did wear a string bikini in #185, but she was actively hiding from everyone and didn't think there'd be much danger of accidental touching. The following issue, she was in civvies without gloves, but she intended to steal Val Cooper's mind and find out what had happened to Storm.
Rogue has one of the most original superpowers in comics history, and it's to Claremont's credit that it was so traumatic for her, a teenage girl who can't touch anybody. Kurt's practically the only person in the mansion she can relate to as far as not being able to turn her power off - I'm talking the main Claremont run, not including Beast or Archangel - and at least Kurt hides behind a flamboyant attitude, and has a girlfriend he can share a hot tub with.
I'm aware that I'm in the minority for liking the third "X-Men" movie, but one of the things I liked was how they used Rogue through the whole trilogy as an example of a mutant who very believably wanted to be cured.
As fetish fuel, Betsy's bad enough, but to add the complete negation of Rogue's personality and history just to become a pin-up, me no like. At the time, I was in puberty so a Jim Lee pin-up was a good-enough excuse. Heck, they probably kept me buying the series because I was rapidly getting tired of these unrecognizable characters and ridiculous storylines. Now, not impressed.
That Betsy/Scott thing for instance. Even in puberty I thought that was incredibly stupid. Jean had every right to dump his ass right then and there, and Xavier would have every right to remove him as leader of the X-Men for such bumbling behavior. The X-Men should not be led by someone who can be defeated by a group of evil, flirtatious strippers.
Posted by: ChrisW | February 18, 2016 6:53 PM
Bill, you do know Ororo has her powers back, right? ;)
Posted by: ChrisW | February 18, 2016 6:54 PM
So Rogue, whose touch knocks people out, goes out wearing next to nothing and then just casually hangs off Gambit without a thought?
Posted by: Bob | February 18, 2016 6:57 PM
Re:Rogue wearing next to nothing- she also dressed skimpily in Uncanny X-Men 201.
Posted by: Michael | February 18, 2016 9:11 PM
The baseball game, right? I'm not saying it's 100% consistent (and I did say I'd probably forgotten a few examples) but wasn't she playing outfield? Especially with Peter up to bat, not really a big chance that someone's going to slide into her. [Can't think of a better way to put that.] I'd like to think she'd have changed clothes when it was her turn at bat.
I think it's totally believable that she would take every chance to let her skin feel the sun and the wind that she's so often denied (didn't Carol describe her as a hothouse flower, made for sultry nights and warm temperatures?) but for her own sanity, I think she'd work to minimize the dangers. Or the other X-Men would do it for her. What if Pick-a-villain shows up all of a sudden and throws Whoever right at Rogue, and Whoever is wearing equally skimpy clothing? Bam, two X-Men potentially neutralized just as Pick-a-villain is embarking on an evil scheme.
Rogue could have been the same pin-up with jeans and a frilly long-sleeved shirt. This is idiotic.
Posted by: ChrisW | February 18, 2016 9:44 PM
Just compare her skin color with Gambit's. By all rights, her skin should be pasty white in comparison. Heck, she's the same color as everybody but Storm and Bishop (and Betsy, but it's hardly noticeable.)
Posted by: ChrisW | February 18, 2016 9:51 PM
Rogue was also dressed skimpy in X-Men 240, when she was flirting with Longshot.
Posted by: Michael | February 18, 2016 11:28 PM
I said I'd probably forgotten a few examples, sheesh. She also dressed skimpy in the Savage Land where she didn't have any humans or mutants to run into. We're talking about a character with over 100 appearances in a single title, never mind cross-overs ["Secret Wars," etc.] in the onslaught of exploitative pin-up poses. Compared to Storm, Betsy, Ali, Mary Jane, Sue Richards, etc, Rogue was remarkably consistent for a long time. And then threw it all away to go on a picnic with Gambit.
Posted by: ChrisW | February 19, 2016 12:17 AM
And in #240, the X-Men were obviously really bored in Australia, so that doesn't count. :P
Posted by: ChrisW | February 19, 2016 12:20 AM
The X-Traitor storyline is basically forgotten about for a couple of years after this issue. Portacio has said that they didn't have a particular character in mind as the X-Traitor but they did consider the idea that it was Bishop in a self-fulfilling prophecy:
Posted by: Michael | February 19, 2016 8:19 AM
From the Wiki entry on Gambit - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambit_(comics)
"Remy Etienne LeBeau was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was kidnapped from the hospital where he was born, then raised by the LeBeau Clan Thieves' Guild, and given to the Antiquary as a tribute.
They referred to the child as "Le Diable Blanc" ("the White Devil") and believed he was prophesied to unite the warring Thieves' and Assassins' Guilds. Soon after, Remy was placed in the care of Fagan's Mob, a gang of street thieves who raised the child and taught him the ways of thievery. After living as an orphan on the streets, a 10-year-old Remy attempted to pick the pocket of Jean-Luc LeBeau, then patriarch of the Thieves' Guild. Jean-Luc took the boy off the streets and adopted him into his own family."
Posted by: clyde | February 19, 2016 8:36 AM
Zzzzzzzz... every single time the Thieves' Guild and Assassins' Guild have been mentioned over they years, starting from their very first appearance in this issue, I just get so totally bored to tears. The minute they pop up in a story, I mentally tune out, and the dialogue just becomes like one of Charlie Brown's teachers going "Wah wah wah." That literally just happened when I tried to read the excerpt from the Gambit entry from Wikipedia that clyde posted here. It's why every single time Gambit has gotten a solo series I have avoided it like the plague, because sooner or later those damn Guilds show up.
*Sigh!* I wish that the X-Men titles had stuck with Claremont's backstory for Gambit as a creation of Mister Sinister. It would have been much more preferable than this nonsense.
By the way, I am very much convinced that Jim Lee talked Claremont into turning Psylocke into a half-naked big-breasted ninja babe so that he'd have yet another sexy character to draw in fetishistic cheesecake poses. This issue just seems to confirm it.
Posted by: Ben Herman | February 19, 2016 3:13 PM
Funny that both Bishop and Belladonna independently reveal Gambit's last name to be LeBeau in this issue.
Posted by: Vincent Valenti | February 20, 2016 12:12 AM
@Ben-According to Claremont, it was his idea and was originally supposed to be short-term temporary, like a 3-issue arc, but the fans liked it so much it became permanent:
Posted by: Michael | February 20, 2016 12:51 PM
Doesn't that mean the first Asian Psylocke issue would have hit stands before they were even finished with the arc during a period UXM was biweekly? Doesn't seem right to me that they would have been finishing the books that close to shipping dates. I guess anything is possible given how notorious the Image guys were for cutting it close on deadlines or flat-out not being able to meet them. I'm sure her staying a hot Asian ninja chick was because it struck a chord with horny teenage boys, but it seems to me Claremont might be misremembering the timeline on when they started getting fan response and a decision was made to keep her that way.
Posted by: Robert | February 20, 2016 1:20 PM
Oh to have an edit button. Anyway, my grammatical gymnastics aside, what I'm saying is that by the time the first Asian Psylocke issue would have hit stands they should have been finished with that arc and onto the next, right? Unless they were really cutting it close with deadlines then. And, like I said, she was introduced during a period they were biweekly. So was the time a book was finished to the time it hit stands really less than a month then?
Posted by: Robert | February 20, 2016 1:25 PM
It was back to regular monthly then- according to dcindexes Uncanny X-Men 256 came out on 10/3 and issue 258 came out on 12/5. According to Gruenwald back then finished books were SUPPOSED to be sent to the printers 8 weeks in advance but could still be done in as little as 3 weeks. Considering Lee had a reputation for lateness, I wouldn't be surprised if it was 3 weeks.
Posted by: Michael | February 20, 2016 1:43 PM
Thx, Michael. I had checked and saw 256 was released with a Late Dec date and the others were back to normal but the first one is probably why I thought it was still on biweekly. Plus the issues after that didn't even feature Betsy so yeah there was enough time to get some fan reaction before they were done.
Posted by: Robert | February 20, 2016 1:54 PM
This was the second X-Men comic I bought in real time after a few years of buying only "X-Men Classic" (for the record, "Uncanny" 287 and 288 were the first and third ones I bought) and I always thought that 288 footnote was bungled as well, fnord.
We're now into the period of X-Men I have pretty much memorized, from here until the launch of "X-Treme X-Men," so I look forward to weighing in on these :D
One thing about at least the X-Men's chronology at this point we're now in a stretch of several years where "Uncanny" is released the first week of the month and "X-Men" is released the third. A lot of people take this to mean the chronology weaves in-and-out of both books every other issue, but that's not really the case. Despite the three (editorially mandated) crossovers we're about to encounter, the two books do have long stretches of 6-8 issues at a time of existing independently from each other, even when sharing and trading characters. The two really don't officially become an "every other issue" deal until Alan Davis' run ... after which Claremont separates them again.
Posted by: Jeff | February 22, 2016 12:14 PM
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