Characters Appearing: Adam Destine, Angel, Argent (Samantha Destine), Beast, Cannonball, Colossus, Crimson Crusader (Rory Destine), Cuckoo, Cyclops, Forge, Gracie Destine, Hex (Dominic Destine), Iceman, Imp (Pandora Destine), Jean Grey, Newton Destine, Professor X, Storm, Wallop
X-Men: ClanDestine #1-2
Issue(s): X-Men: ClanDestine #1, X-Men: ClanDestine #2
The original ClanDestine series continues for four issues after Alan Davis left. The creative team was Glenn Dakin as the writer and mostly Pino Rinaldi as the artist (both Marvel UK guys, with all that implies). They are TERRIBLE (and i don't just mean because MODAM is the chosen villain).
On the basic quality merits they are, well, Marvel UK caliber. And they also felt free to make wild changes to the continuity that Davis has established. I mean, it brings back Lenz as a bad guy despite him getting redeemed in his initial story, it revealed that Kay/Cuckoo wasn't really related to the other Destines (and had her back in her old body), brought Vincent back from the dead and had him take over the clan, etc.. And that's why Alan Davis just writes the whole thing off as a dream at the start of this story.
Also issue #9 has one of my favorite ads of all time:
Hahahaha! Yep, the three classic eras of comics. This wasn't the only issue to carry that ad but i had to share it somewhere.
Ok now for these actual issues. It starts with a flashback; Professor X suddenly remembers a long-supressed memory of him and two members of ClanDestine driving back a demon called Synraith.
The two members are Gracie Gamble (this is her first appearance) and Cuckoo in a previous body. Gracie is the one who surpasses Xavier's memory of the incident.
The original X-Men were about to go out on the town for a one night comeback of Bernard the Poet. Cannonball wants to go with them but they give him the n00b treatment.
Gracie find that Synraith is pushing its way into our dimension again...
...and simultaneously there is a disturbance in the Danger Room.
It's said that Colossus' metal skin should protect him from magic, but it doesn't stop him and Professor X from getting pulled through the portal.
Meanwhile, the rest of ClanDestine is dealing with the usual problems: debating whether or not Rory and Pandora should get to be superheroes, a squabble between Wallop and Cuckoo that causes Wallop to go berserk, Dominic needing to separate himself from the others due to his hyper-senses. But then Adam and Cuckoo are also attacked by tentacles and pulled through a portal.
This sets up a situation where (seemingly) each team tries to follow through the portal but end up facing and blaming each other.
But things are out of control. As you can see from the above, a lot more X-Characters have shown up (including Shatterstar, etc.). And after the twins manage to settle things down, Domino detects that something is wrong. But he's disoriented, and he's gutted by Wolverine before he can figure things out.
As everyone is standing around letting Moira MacTaggert and Newton perform surgery on the wounded characters, things get even weirder. Gambit tries putting the moves on Argent, using the tried-and-true methods that worked on Rogue...
...and Storm similarly puts the moves on Newton.
And Wallop goes out of control again, and is attacked by... the Juggernaut??
And there's more (e.g. Wolverine shows up in his brown & tan costume).
Meanwhile, the characters that get pulled through the portal are attacked deal with Synraith.
During that fight, Adam gets thrown back to the "real" world. Except what he finds is the X-Men waiting in the Danger Room as if they'd never fought ClanDestine.
Wolverine knows Adam (of course) and vouches for him. It turns out that what the other characters were dealing with was Synraith having taken control of the Danger Room, and he'd been using its drones. Another way of putting it is Alan Davis wanted to draw ever dang X-Character, and why shouldn't he?
It also turns out that while the characters that were fighting Synraith thought they were keeping him out of our dimension, in fact it was already in our dimension and using the Danger Room to make it look like it was still in its own.
Xavier, Gracie, and Cuckoo kill it.
One permanent result of all of this is that Wallop has gained better control of his transformations. He'd always been afraid to fully embrace his powers, but after losing control in this story that's been purged.
Sadly for Newman, Storm's interest in him was not permanent.
There are a lot of fun little character moments mixed in with all of this, too. (One minor thing is that Davis keeps writing Cannonball like a complete newbie, and while he is new to the X-Men, the characterization seem to ignore how tough and jaded he should be after years of experience with the grim & gritty X-Force.)
One thought that struck me randomly was that instead of having Synraith be some random demon, it should have somehow been connected to the cairn on the X-Mansion grounds. Just to make it a little more rooted in continuity. Instead it's actually some ancient Aztec thing that Gracie and Cuckoo once stumbled upon. It might have been difference between this being a fun but disposable story and something that had some (deep breath and cue the dramatic music)... Historical Significance.
The back inside cover tells us to write to Marvel if we want to see more of ClanDestine. And... i don't really care about ClanDestine so much, but if that's what Alan Davis liked doing, i would have been all for him getting to do a ClanDestine Team-Up book or something. I'll take Davis any way i can get him.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Wolverine has bone claws but is hanging around inside the mansion. A footnote says "these events take place prior to Wolverine #100". Cannonball is an X-Man. Forge and Colossus are here (i.e. not with Excalibur). Beast is meant to be the real one, not the Dark Beast.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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