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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #145

"Kidnapped!
May 1981

In a Nutshell 
The X-Men vs. Dr. Doom

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Dave Cockrum
Inker: Joe Rubinstein
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: GlynisWein
Editor: Louise Jones
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Stevie Hunter and Storm, sitting in for an ill Kitty, attend the ballet at Lincoln Center when Arcade's assistant, Miss Locke, enters their box, drugging both women. As they pass out, she explains that Dr. Doom has captured Arcade, so Miss Locke has kidnapped the X-Men's friends and family, including Moira MacTaggert, Amanda Sefton, Candy Southern, Illyana Rasputin and Jean Grey's parents, and is holding them hostage in Murderworld. If the X-Men don't free Arcade, their loved ones will die. When Storm awakens, Stevie is gone, taken by Locke, and Storm scouts the city, quickly confirming Miss Locke's claims. At the mansion, Storm informs the other X-Men of the situation and announces she has a plan. Professor X telepathically contacts former X-Men Havok, Polaris, Iceman and Banshee and asks them to return to the mansion.


Meanwhile, in the wake of storm that capsized their boat, Cyclops and Lee Forrester awaken on a seemingly-deserted island in the Bahamas. Back at the X-Mansion, with the former X-Men in attendance, Storm announces her plan to send the reserve X-Men to Murderworld to rescue the hostages while Storm takes the rest of the team to negotiate with Dr. Doom. Arriving at Doom's castle in the Adirondack Mountains, Storm sits down to dinner with the villain while Angel, Nightcrawler, Wolverine and Colossus sneak into the castle. They reach the dungeons and find Acade's cell empty, at which point they are attacked by goons in high tech armor. Upstairs, Arcade reveals himself to Storm not as Doom's prisoner but his ally. Storm attacks, but Doom encases her in chrome. The rest of the X-Men burst in and attack Doom, but he quickly knocks them all out and stands triumphant.

Firsts and Other Notables
This issue marks Dave Cockrum's return as regular penciller of the book, meaning that, for some time to come, X-Men has remarkably had only two regular pencillers in its post-reprint history.

Arcade returns, alongside Dr. Doom, arguably Marvel's greatest villain (and arguably superhero comics' greatest villain), though John Byrne, who left X-Men to write and draw Fantastic Four, was so bothered by Claremont's use of Doom in this story that in an issue of FF he retconned Doom's appearance in this story to be a faulty Doombot instead of the real Doom. You can read more about it here.


This issue functions as a reunion of sorts for the old X-Men, as the original team appears in one form or another throughout, with Angel an active member of the team, Havok, Polaris and Iceman (his first appearance in the book, sans his silent cameo in issue #138, since #94) returning to help form the second squad of X-Men, Beast appearing via monitor as Xavier asks him for information about Dr. Doom, Cyclops popping up in a subplot, and Jean appearing via the holoempathic matrix crystal Lilandra gave her parents.


Colossus' younger sister Illyana is amongst the hostages taken by Arcade, marking the beginning of her increased presence in the book and her tenure as one of the significant X-Men characters of the 80s.

Kitty is sidelined by the flu throughout this story. Dave Cockrum has said he wasn't a fan of the character initially, and didn't know how to use her, so he had her taken out of the picture until he could get a handle on her. Before long, it becomes clear that he works things out and Kitty becomes one of his favorite characters on the team. 


A Work in Progress
If you wanted to read any sexual tension into Stevie Hunter and Storm's relationship, this panel is a good place to start.


Claremont, to his credit, at least addresses the fact that kidnapping Amanda Sefton should be difficult considering she's a powerful sorceress.


Amanda has what will come to be known as a "Bamf" doll.


Banshee, to his credit, is already en route to the mansion, Moira having been kidnapped, when Professor X contacts him for help. Though perhaps a phone call prior to boarding the plane would have been a good idea, as it might have alerted the X-Men to the threat sooner (also, Professor X mentally appears seated next to Banshee on the plane, just as he appeared seated next to him in a theater when he recruited him for the team in Giant Size X-Men #1). 

Professor X mentions a shift in the magnetic field of the planet that makes long-range telepathic contact difficult, likely the work of Magneto.


Professor X declines Beast's offer of the Avengers help, preferring to keep the matter "in the family", which is a pretty lame excuse for not bringing in Earth's Mightiest Heroes, but I can appreciate that Claremont took the time to explain why the Avengers aren't helping out.


Colossus is wearing what I believe is supposed to be a sweatshirt with an X-Men logo on it, the first appearance of such logo-ed clothing that isn't part of their superhero attire, and a precursor to the 90s leather X-Men jackets.


Despite last being seen living on Muir Island, Havok and Polaris are back to living in the southwest when Xavier calls for help.

Havok is put in charge of the reserve X-Men team, the first indication of his own leadership skills.

Dr. Doom, currently ousted as monarch of Latveria and trying to reclaim his throne, is operating out of his castle in the Adirondack mountains which, I believe, first appeared in an early issue of Amazing Spider-Man (to explain why the New York bound Spidey was tussling with the European monarch) and, according to a helpful caption, was recently turned into an amusement park by Toad in an issue of Marvel Two-in-One.


Cyclops refers to Lee Forester as "Al" throughout this issue; while that's certainly short for her given name of Aleytys, it's the only time he refers to her as such. Seems like Claremont pulled a Stan Lee and forgot which nickname he was using.  


I Love the 80s
Bobby's dorm room is filled with great pop culture references for the time. Also, he is a college sophomore who, in a neat bit, uses his power to chill a beer. I'm not sure what the drinking age in 1981 in whatever state Bobby's in was, but it was either lower than 21, or Bobby, like many college kids, is drinking illicitly.


It's never quite clear how Arcade knows enough about the X-Men to know who their family and friends are for the sake of taking hostages. None of the X-Men are terribly protective of secret identities, but it isn't like they've told Arcade their real names or anything. Moira's kidnapping makes sense, as does Candy's (Angel's ID is public) and Amanda Sefton (whom Arcade kidnapped the last time out, recognizing her as Nightcrawler's girlfriend) and Stevie is a victim of proximity. But how does Arcade know who Colossus' little sister is (and then, why not also kidnap his parents), or who the parents of Jean Grey, a deceased member of the team whom he's never faced, are?

Claremontisms
Doom finds himself attracted to Storm, and she to him, beginning a trend in which a villain is attracted to Storm and Storm, despite her better judgment, shares the attraction (first suggested back in Annual #3, with Arkon).


The Awesome and Terrible Power of Cyclops
Shipwrecked and without his visor or glasses, Cyclops fashions a blindfold to keep his eyes shut and, not wanting Lee to know he's a mutant, tells her he's injured his eyes. 


For Sale
Help your parents stop smoking! Or, get told to mind your own business and quit leaving your damn stickers lying around!


It's in the Mail
An editorial from Claremont announces that X-Men won 8 (out of 14) Eagle Awards, with Wolverine winning best character and the Proteus saga winning Favorite Continued Story. He also welcomes back Dave Cockrum, and promises Magneto around the corner and the Starjammers down the road. 

There's also a letter reacting to John Lennon's death.


Dave Cockrum on returning to the book
"Al Milgrom had got this book going, Marvel Fanfare, and there was a Mike Golden story with Spider-Man and the Angel. I think it started out to be a [Marvel] Team-Up...And he decided he wanted to have an X-Men follow-up for that and just kind of idly he asked me if I wanted to do it, and I think I was about ready to do some more X-Men stuff and I said, "Yeah," so lo and behold, he gave me the plot, I started doing it, and not only was it easy to do, it was actually fun, as opposed to the misery of the Star Trek stuff. This was on a Saturday; I called up, I had already got ten pages of this done, and was moving right along, and I was really enjoying it, and I called up Chris and said, "You know, if Byrne ever wants to get off the book, I think I'd like to have it back." And that following Monday Byrne announced he was leaving the book. It was really strange timing, you know. So I got it. I had already put in my bid. There were no hassles, no doubts, or anything. "He's off, you got it.""

Sanderson, Peter. The X-Men Companion. Stamford: Fantagraphics Books, 1982. p78

Teebore's Take
This issue marks the beginning of perhaps Claremont's most traditional super-hero story to date, pitting the X-Men against one of the classic Marvel villains. Unfortunately, unlike some of his earlier collaborations with Cockrum and Byrne, in which traditional super-heroic tropes were upended, manipulated or otherwise commented upon even while a traditional super-hero story unfolded, this story just kind of...exists. There is no subtextual commentary on the nature of the genre, very little in the way of character development, no playing around with form or function. Even Cockrum's art, while vastly different in its way from Byrne's but still possessing its own charm, lacks the energy which characterized his earlier run, as though the artist is still finding his groove, phoning it in,or largely uninspired by the material. The best thing this issue has going for it is getting to see some old characters who haven't been around much, but their story is mostly relegated to the next issue. Whether struggling in the wake of Byrne's departure or simply choosing to take a breather with a by-the-numbers story, Claremont gives us with this issue an inauspicious start to an inauspicious story.   

Next Issue
The reserve X-Men infiltrate Murderworld.

14 comments:

  1. Let me get this straight. Did you say that Miss Locke entered Stevie Hunter and Storm's box?

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  2. The best thing about this arc are the covers of the Classic X-Men reprints.

    I do enjoy however Claremont's take on Doom. Regal, imperious, evil yet noble. If only he had left out that one little scene with the matchstick, Byrne wouldn't have freaked out and retconned it. In my world, this is actually Doom and he was just playacting with the Doombot to save face.

    I appreciate Cockrum's creations and design, but his first stint was also a bi-monthly comic, and this second collection just seems rushed and strangely apathetic. Maybe that's why I love Paul Smith's work so much. (Or maybe because he's like me a graphic designer that dabbles in comic art.)

    -mortsleam

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  3. Reading back through this issue/arc, I still like the two squads, each on a different task, the prof. doing the astral summons, and seeing some of the old team back in the back. Esp. Bobby cracking a beer in his dorm.
    Still the plot is rather weak. Rescue Arcade from Doom to free hostages from Murderworld being held by Arcade's cronies? Mostly an excuse to have Doom in the book.

    I know some parts of the country still had the drinking age at 18 at that time, not sure when it went to 21 nationwide.
    That letter was the first I'd heard of Lennon's death, I'm also pretty sure i didn't know who he was until then.

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  4. @Dr. Bitz: Let me get this straight. Did you say that Miss Locke entered Stevie Hunter and Storm's box?

    I wrote that sentence intentionally to see if anyone picked up on it. I had the sinking suspicion you would. ;)

    @mortsleam: I do enjoy however Claremont's take on Doom. Regal, imperious, evil yet noble.

    As with many such things, I feel like Byrne overreacted a bit, as I never noticed any glaring differences with Claremont's version of Doom. Yes, it's ridiculous that Doom is hanging out with a C-lister like Arcade and yes, that upcoming matchstick bit was a little much, but this is comics, and it isn't like Claremont single-handedly destroyed the character for all time.

    Or, to put it another way, I'm pretty sure there have been worse (from Byrne's perspective) depictions of Doom through the years, and that's just the nature of the game when you're dealing with a shared universe.

    I appreciate Cockrum's creations and design, but his first stint was also a bi-monthly comic, and this second collection just seems rushed and strangely apathetic.

    I do think he warms up a bit later on (I'm not the world's biggest "Kitty's Fairy Tale" fan, but the art is lovely, and the second part of the Brood story is pretty good), but this second run definitely doesn't hit quite the same notes as his first, and you're right that the monthly schedule probably has a lot to do with it.

    Though I did read something recently (on the Grand Comics Database) that Cockrum left a lot of the finished pencil work to Rubinstein (at least on this initial arc), possibly because of the monthly grind, so perhaps we're seeing more of Rubinstein than Cockrum in the pencils and that accounts for the difference?

    @Chris: I still like the two squads, each on a different task, the prof. doing the astral summons, and seeing some of the old team back in the back.

    Definitely (I especially like the focus on the split squad next issue), I just wish, like you said, it was in service to a stronger plot.

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  5. "back in the back."

    back in the book, that is.

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  6. I seem to be in the minority, but I like Cockrum's second run on the X-Men. A lot of people tend to just jump from Byrne to Smith without giving these issues much regard. Strangely, I think part of the reason I like it is becuase, as you noted, it's somewhat pedestrian. After all the "epic-ness" of the Byrne period, it's nice for me to see the X-Men return to some simple -- almost quaint -- four-color superhero action for a while. Especially in hindsight, knowing that Claremont will soon take them very far away from these sorts of stories for a very long time.

    I never really registered that all five of the original X-Men appear in this issue in one form or another. Good catch!

    "Claremont, to his credit, at least addresses the fact that kidnapping Amanda Sefton should be difficult..."

    Well he's already done it once before! He probably has sorceress-napping down to a science by now.

    "Colossus is wearing what I believe is supposed to be a sweatshirt with an X-Men logo on it..."

    Cockrum's X-Men were all about getting their brand out there. Remember, in his first run he drew the tailfins of the Blackbird with not just an "X", but the name of the team emblazoned proudly upon them!

    "...his castle in the Adirondack mountains which, I believe, first appeared in an early issue of Amazing Spider-Man..."

    You may be right, but for some reason I thought it was in an early Fantastic Four first. The issue that first introduces Doom's time machine. I could be wrong, though.

    I like that Dr. Doom has a castle in New York. It's appeared fairly often over the years, especially during this period, as Doom had been exiled from Latveria in F.F. #200 and didn't make it back till around #250. I believe it appears in the time travel story from Iron Man #150, too.

    "But how does Arcade know who Colossus' little sister is...?"

    Arcade's Colonel Vazhin robot knew an awful lot about Colossus in the first Murderworld storyline. How Arcade got the info, we may never know. I would theorize that Black Tom and Juggernaut gave him dossiers on the X-Men, but they barely knew anything about this team either.

    Come to think of it, between his ability to kidnap sorceresses and his ability to know private details about his targets, there seems to be much more to Arcade than meets the eye!

    "Cyclops fashions a blindfold to keep his eyes shut..."

    How does that work? Seriously? I've seen that bit in TV shows and movies (and comics) and I will never understand how tying on a blindfold keeps you from opening your eyes. It's not like the blindfold seals your eyes shut somehow! And especially in this case, all Cyclops has to do is open his eyes a tiny fraction to blast the blindfold off his face.

    This is slightly off-topic, but the blindfold thing reminds me of when someone shoves a sock in a hostage's mouth to keep them from speaking. With a little tongue dexterity, can't they just spit it out?

    "Dave Cockrum on returning to the book..."

    Interesting that Marvel Fanfare #1 was published in March of 1982, almost a year after this issue, but Cockrum drew it first. I had always thought the Spider-Man/Angel stuff might have been originally intended for Marvel Team-Up, and Cockrum basically confirms it here.

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  7. Regarding Cockrum's art here -- it does seem more... clinical, I guess, and not as "raw" as it looked during his first run. I would attribute that mostly to Rubenstein's inking style, plus the fact (which I didn't know till Teebore just said it) that Cockrum was providing very light pencils. I think Cockrum's inkers the first time around fit his style better than Rubenstein does on this second run. Though I would have loved to have seen Terry Austin stay. I'm not sure how well his style would fit with Cockrum's, but it would have added some artistic continuity between Byrne and Cockrum, at least.

    And speaking of artistic continuity, I really feel like -- for the first few issues of this run, at least -- Cockrum was trying to emulate Byrne's style somewhat. Look at the headshots on page one -- it really looks like Cockrum is "doing" a Byrne Wolverine and Colossus.

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  8. @Matt: I don't necessarily dislike Cockrum's second run, I just don't necessarily like it either.

    Then again, I've only read it straight through once, so maybe I'll find more to like this time around.

    after all the "epic-ness" of the Byrne period, it's nice for me to see the X-Men return to some simple -- almost quaint -- four-color superhero action for a while.

    I agree with what you're saying, but I'd argue that the Paul Smith to "Mutant Massacre" run does exactly that: straightforward superhero action, just with stronger characterization and art (but then again, I am very biased and influenced by nostalgia when it comes to the Smith/Jrjr stuff).

    I never really registered that all five of the original X-Men appear in this issue in one form or another.

    I can't take credit for that; I've read it pointed out in a couple different places.

    Remember, in his first run he drew the tailfins of the Blackbird with not just an "X", but the name of the team emblazoned proudly upon them!

    Ah, that's right, I'd forgotten that.

    You may be right, but for some reason I thought it was in an early Fantastic Four first. The issue that first introduces Doom's time machine.

    Could be, though I think the issue that introduced Doom's time machine was his first appearance, since Thing went back in time and became Blackbeard in that issue.

    I like that Dr. Doom has a castle in New York.

    It is a nice detail that helps account for his frequent presence
    in America.

    I would theorize that Black Tom and Juggernaut gave him dossiers on the X-Men, but they barely knew anything about this team either.

    I've seen that idea suggested in places before too, but have always shot down the idea for the same reason you do.

    Come to think of it, between his ability to kidnap sorceresses and his ability to know private details about his targets, there seems to be much more to Arcade than meets the eye!

    Good point. He'd think he'd be tougher to defeat. ;)

    How does that work? Seriously?

    I have no idea. The only thing I can think of is that he ties it so tight as to mash his eyelids closed, but it seems unlikely that he could maintain that tight of a tie.

    With a little tongue dexterity, can't they just spit it out?

    I think the idea is that the sock gets shoved far enough into the mouth that the tongue can't push it out, but I could be wrong.

    Interesting that Marvel Fanfare #1 was published in March of 1982, almost a year after this issue, but Cockrum drew it first.

    That always struck me as odd too. I always thought of Marvel Fanfare as the series where Marvel burned off old inventory stories, but if Milgrom was out soliciting material for it, maybe it didn't start that way.

    it does seem more... clinical, I guess, and not as "raw" as it looked during his first run.

    "Clinical" is a good term for it.

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  9. Given that Arcade was able to brainwash Colossus so easily earlier on AND had a convincing Colonel Vazhin robot on hand, maybe that's his "day job"... he kidnaps various government / intelligence officials, captains of industry, etc, not to run them through Murderworld, but to extract information, and to gain financing. It's all to subsidize his first love, running his games against superheroes. He's always shown as happy to lose in the name of a good game; maybe this is how he can afford to do it AND how he gains the intel to plan his attacks...

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  10. I love the sexual tension between Stevie and Storm. I wish someone had gone back to that in 90s or 00s, after Marvel got a little less homophobic.

    That said, I am not a fan of this story. Not because it is standard superhero fare, as Teebore points out, but because it's dull superhero fare. It just has so much missed potential -- it's almost criminal.

    I mean, really now, it's the X-Men vs. Doctor Doom for cryin' out loud. You don't need Arcade. You don't need the reserve X-Men. I want to see the X-Men take on Marvel's most iconic villain. Sure, Claremont and Cockrum would have needed to work a little harder to justify Doom's presence in the book, but it would have paid off with a much better story.

    I will say -- the reserve X-Men are a nice touch. I actually really quite like having all the characters here for the first time since Krakoa -- it's a nice little nod to Cockrum's return and how far Claremont has come since Cockrum first left the book. I just think they're a little misplaced in this particular story and serve mostly as a distraction from what should be an epic story. (I'll say it again -- it's the X-Men vs. Doctor Doom for cryin' out loud.)

    Claremont and Cockrum did such a fantastic introduction to Doom in the book. He is, as Anonymous said, "regal, imperious, evil yet noble." Then they have him rubbing elbows with quite possibly the least threatening and most annoying villain that the X-Men have encountered thus far -- Arcade. It completely ruins the story me. I am not a diehard F4 fan, but I know enough about the Marvel Universe to know that Doom and Arcade are not just hanging out together. That is, quite simply, beneath Doom. I am totally on Byrne's side in retconning this to be a malfunctioning Doombot.

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  11. @Chris K: He's always shown as happy to lose in the name of a good game; maybe this is how he can afford to do it AND how he gains the intel to plan his attacks...

    Could be, though that suggests a level of caginess that seems beyond Arcade as portrayed. Still, I think it's good enough for a No-Prize.

    @Michael: I love the sexual tension between Stevie and Storm. I wish someone had gone back to that in 90s or 00s, after Marvel got a little less homophobic.

    Heck, I wish someone had gone back to Stevie Hunter, period, after Claremont left. Not that she was a terribly compelling character or anything, but I always hate when those supporting characters get stuck hanging in limbo.

    It just has so much missed potential -- it's almost criminal.

    Agreed.

    it's a nice little nod to Cockrum's return and how far Claremont has come since Cockrum first left the book.

    Good point. I've never really thought of it in those terms before, but it does make a nice retrospective for Cockrum's return. Even Beast-on-the-monitor is straight out of #94.

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  12. If you wanted to read any sexual tension into Stevie Hunter and Storm's relationship, this panel is a good place to start.

    Yeah. I don't remember who brought it up — Matt? — but now I'm totally unable to see Ororo and Stevie together without lesbian subtext. Which of course makes Ororo a 10-year-old boy, because she has all those thought balloons about not liking Stevie even though she's fascinated by her and they're hanging out all the time.

    Who the heck is the chauffeur in the splash page? Does Xavier regularly hire and mind-wipe drivers? And why did I have to write the above paragraph before commenting on Stevie's muff?

    Kudos to the creative team for the fakeout of the dark-green hooded character with their back to us on Pg. 1, by the way.

    Ha! I love Jean's pissed face in the holomatrix in the last panel of Pg. 7. Why did she only start to frown after Storm's visit instead of when her parents were kidnapped?

    Kurt: "[Doom's] name is known and feared throughout central Europe."

    That's a nice touch.

    Xavier: "Had I a choice, child, I would respect your decision."

    "... but my only other alternative is to take Beast up on his offer for help from the Avenger, so of course I would rather impose on you."

    Storm: "My hand -- my forearm -- has turned to chrome! What has Doom done to me?!?

    I'll take a wild stab and say "turned your forearm to chrome". Did you not hear your own exposition?

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  13. Teebore: so perhaps we're seeing more of Rubinstein than Cockrum in the pencils and that accounts for the difference

    I think so. Rubenstein is a strong although not necessarily overpowering inker; him inking most of the entries to the original Marvel Handbook to provide continuity worked well from what I remember. I really like his blend with Cockrum on this run — their Nightcrawler is fairly definitive (at least for us older folks) but their Banshee is also, if not definitive, still my favorite rendition of the character, and I had forgotten how much I liked their Storm too.

    I'm with Matt that this is an enjoyable run precisely because it's good old-fashioned superhero stories — or, more properly, good newfangled old-fashioned superhero stories, in the Bronze Age vein, still obviously pre-Watchmen, before we got jaded by meta/postmodern examination of the genre but certainly more complex and character-oriented than what had come before.

    Matt: I like that Dr. Doom has a castle in New York.

    Ditto. Now if only Frank Castle had met his doom in Latveria...

    Matt: This is slightly off-topic, but the blindfold thing reminds me of when someone shoves a sock in a hostage's mouth to keep them from speaking.

    They might not be able to spit out the sock if it's really wedged in there. What I don't get is why nobody screams anyway, because all sorts of noise can come out of your throat.

    Matt: I had always thought the Spider-Man/Angel stuff might have been originally intended for Marvel Team-Up, and Cockrum basically confirms it here.

    Teebore: I always thought of Marvel Fanfare as the series where Marvel burned off old inventory stories, but if Milgrom was out soliciting material for it, maybe it didn't start that way.

    A lot of Fanfare was inventory material. Some of the best of that was held back once the idea for the series was hatched, or so Marvel would have liked us to believe, and of course there were some gems (like the BWS Thing story) created especially for such a glossy showcase, but there was definitely a fair amount of material produced as fill-in or unscheduled projects that ended up impossible to run in a normal title because continuity had overtaken it. Milgrom did the best with the mixture that he could, I think.

    Michael: Sure, Claremont and Cockrum would have needed to work a little harder to justify Doom's presence in the book

    I got this. Storm and Stevie are at Lincoln Center when Doom kidnaps the ballet troupe for a private command performance at his castle. Storm tries to stop him, fails, and is brought back to the castle because she intrigues him; we could still get the dinner scene that way. Stevie, freaked out by what she saw, alerts Xavier and friends back at the mansion, so they head off to rescue her.

    That was easy. 8^)

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  14. @Blam: but now I'm totally unable to see Ororo and Stevie together without lesbian subtext.

    Ditto. :)

    Does Xavier regularly hire and mind-wipe drivers?

    I completely missed the chauffeur, but I wouldn't put it past Xavier...

    Why did she only start to frown after Storm's visit instead of when her parents were kidnapped?

    I really should have drawn more attention to that, because I've long wondered the same thing.


    "... but my only other alternative is to take Beast up on his offer for help from the Avenger, so of course I would rather impose on you."


    Ha! I probably should have included that in the "Professor Xavier is a Jerk!" category.

    I'll take a wild stab and say "turned your forearm to chrome". Did you not hear your own exposition?

    Storm, of all the X-Men, I think, is the most deaf to her own exposition. :)

    Milgrom did the best with the mixture that he could, I think.

    I've actually put together a nice little run of Marvel Fanfare thanks to quarter bins at cons, since nothing but the very earliest issues have ever been reprinted. One of these days I'm going to sit down and plow through them.

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