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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #152

"The Hellfire Gambit"
December 1981 

In a Nutshell
Kitty and Storm-as-White-Queen help free the X-Men from the Hellfire Club.

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Bob McLeod
Inker: Josef Rubinstein
Letterer: Janice Chiang
Colorist: Don Warfield
Editor: Louise Jones
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
White Queen, in Storm's body and having learned of Storm's escape from the Massachusetts Academy, attacks the car being driven by Storm in White Queen's body. When the unconscious Kitty awakens and sees who she believes to be the White Queen driving, she phases out of the car, causing Storm-as-White Queen to crash. White Queen-as-Storm, clumsily reacting to the resulting fireball, flies away. Kitty comes across the unconscious body of Storm-as-White Queen and contemplates leaving her to die, but ultimately saves her and eventually accepts that Storm's consciousness is trapped in the body. At the mansion, Sebastian Shaw and White Queen-as-Storm gloat over the captured X-Men, with Harry Leland and a trio of guards mercilessly beating Wolverine to death.


Meanwhile, Kitty and Storm have been picked up by Stevie Hunter, and they arrive on the mansion grounds. As Storm and Kitty work together to sneak into the hangar, they are attacked by Shaw and White Queen, but manage to escape. Kitty reaches the mansion and encounters a still-alive Wolverine, whose death was faked by Amanda's magic. Kitty phases through the X-Men's power-inhibiting restraints, freeing them, and they attack the Hellfire Club, quickly gaining the upper hand. However, White Queen loses control of Storm's powers and accidentally injures Shaw. Storm must use White Queen's telepathy to help her calm the storm she's created, before using the purloined Persona Exchange Gun to switch their consciousnesses back to their original bodies. In the end, the X-Men allow the Hellfire Club to leave, unable to expose the club without also exposing themselves, though White Queen agrees to let Kitty remain at Xavier's school.

Firsts and Other Notables
Cole, Macon and Reese, the three Hellfire Club guards Wolverine attacked in issue #133, turn up alive, having survived Wolverine's attack thanks to a series of bionic implants that give them super-human strength and durability. They will eventually join the Reavers, a team of cyborgs that serve as one the principal antagonists for the X-Men towards the end of Claremont's run. It's also revealed that Harry Leland, last seen being taken away from the Hellfire Club by paramedics in issue #135, is alive and well.


A Work in Progress
Not realizing that Storm is trapped in White Queen's body, Kitty debates leaving her to die but ultimately decides to save her from the car wreck.


Storm helps establish her identity by easily slipping out of a knot she taught Kitty.


At the issue's end, White Queen agrees to let Kitty stay with the X-Men, even though last issue established that her parents were sending her to the Massachusetts Academy of their own free will, meaning neither Xavier nor White Queen have any say over where Kitty goes to school.

I Love the 80s
It is revealed that the Storm/White Queen mind swap was facilitated by a persona exchange gun.


Later, after scuffling with White Queen-as-Storm, Storm-as-White Queen retrieves the gun off panel, it's existence and location gleaned telepathically from the White Queen's mind, making it's sudden appearance at issue's end seem rather random and/or rushed.

After their minds are switched back, Storm is able to resist White Queen's telepathic attack for...some reason.


The X-Men are forced to let the Hellfire Club go, because they can't turn them into the authorities without revealing themselves. It makes sense, but still seems...sketchy.


The Awesome and Terrible Power of Cyclops
Cyclops displays a nice bit of strategy by having Colossus toss Shaw into the lake so he has to burn off his excess energy swimming to shore.


The Best There Is At What He Does 
Wolverine argues with Storm about why, essentially, it's okay for him to kill but she shouldn't, beginning a complex relationship between the two dealing with the morality of killing. 


For Sale
Not that you could miss it on the cover, but Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends debuted around this time.



Teebore's Take
In his analysis of this issue, Jason Powell argues that Kitty's dilemma regarding and ultimate rescue of Storm-as-White Queen can be read as an anti-death penalty argument cast in the form of superhero comics: in a world of body-swapping ray guns and whatnot, it's hard to know if the person you're about to kill (or allow to die) is actually that person, just as sentencing someone to death runs the risk of killing a potentially good person. His reading of that scene is, frankly, the best thing to come out this issue, which brings a rushed conclusion to a lackluster story. The only real bit of characterization comes in the opening pages via Kitty's aforementioned dilemma regarding whether or not to save the woman she believes to be the villainous White Queen (and a good follow-up lesson on killing from Wolverine at the end).

Without any other significant character bits to cover for the generic plot, the rest of the issue is rather dull and poorly constructed. The "persona exchange gun" is pure Silver Age gimmickry. I'd call it a MacGuffin, but it barely factors into the plot at all, as the whole White Queen/Storm swap seems to exist for no other reason than "sure, why the hell not?". The Hellfire Club has no clear plan for the captured X-Men (they're going to loot the X-Men's databanks and then imprison them) and are defeated with relative ease. And the plot point which kicked this whole thing off - Kitty transferring to the Massachusetts Academy - is resolved with a hand wave from White Queen, even though she had nothing to do with the transfer in the first place (Kitty's transfer, then, falls somewhere between "massive coincidence" and "dropped plot point"). In short, this issue is rather a mess, and that's without discussing the slightly-better-than-last-issue-but-still-lackluster art. Best to forget this eminently forgettable story and move on.     

Next Issue
Dave Cockrum cuts loose with "Kitty's Fairy Tale".

21 comments:

Jason said...

"At the issue's end, White Queen agrees to let Kitty stay with the X-Men, even though last issue established that her parents were sending her to the Massachusetts Academy of their own free will, meaning neither Xavier nor White Queen have any say over where Kitty goes to school."

Well, sort of. Emma runs the Massachussetts Academy, so she certainly has some say over what students attend.

To put it another way, she can expel Kitty. (After one day Kitty attending the place. Might take some explanation, but hey ... !)

"Cole, Macon and Reese, the three Hellfire Club guards Wolverine attacked in issue #133, turn up alive, having survived Wolverine's attack thanks to a series of bionic implants that give them super-human strength and durability. "

Am I crazy, or do only two of the three guards show up here? It's a little weird, 'cause in the next appearance of the Hellfire mercenaries (the New Mutants Graphic Novel), there are four.

The number didn't settle to -- and remain at -- three until they teamed up with Deathstrike in UXM 205.

"After their minds are switched back, Storm is able to resist White Queen's telepathic attack for...some reason."

I figured that to mean some of her telepathic prowess that she learned while in the White Queen's body carried over. Enough at least to protect her from Emma's telepathy.

"I'd call it a MacGuffin, but it barely factors into the plot at all, as the whole White Queen/Storm swap seems to exist for no other reason than "sure, why the hell not?"."

I still say it was because Shaw and Emma wanted to do some sexual role-playing.

Joan Crawford said...

Aaahahahaha! The cover! I'll be back later but LOL - the internet has a term for that that even I am shy to use.

Chris K said...

Kitty's staying at Xavier's is covered a couple of issues later: Scott & Ororo have a scene where they get the mail, and a letter from the Massachusetts Academy registrar's office says they can't process Kitty's transfer for some bureaucratic reason. Scott & Ororo then comment that it's Emma pulling strings to keep her word to the X-Men.
(I have no idea why I remember that.)

Matt said...

PART 1 OF A TWO-PART COMMENT

Like I said last week, you could probably skip this two-parter and not feel like you missed much. I might even argue that you should skip it, given the choice. The whole thing just overflows with Silver Age trappings, from the Hellfire Club's full frontal assault on the X-Mansion to the "persona exchange gun" to the whole thing being wrapped tidily up by the final page... And don't get me wrong; I like the Silver Age -- but Claremont had moved so far beyond it by this point that it just seems especially ridiculous when surrounded by the stories before and after.

Regarding the "persona exchange gun", even Magneto's earthquake machine in issue #150 wasn't as hokey this thing. It just feels wrong and out of place, and it seems like a weird choice considering that Claremont could have just as easily said that the White Queen somehow used her telepathic powers to effect the transfer. Then just say that by the story's end, Storm has figured out how to do the same thing, and that's how she restores them. It would've still been "out there", but not as silly as the gun was. I could probably swallow the whole story better with that one little change.

Also, I was thinking after last week's issue... I feel like the Claremont of a few years hence would have gotten much more mileage out of this body swap. I could easily see him writing Storm and the White Queen in each other's bodies for over a year, exploring a lot of interesting ground with the concept. That makes this particular story seem like even more of a waste.

On the plus side, I think the artwork in this issue is much better than last. This is the Bob McLeod that I like!

Also, what was the deal with Shaw and the White Queen? I don't believe the previous storyline hinted at any romantic relationship between them... though they didn't share much "screen time" together. But you'd think Shaw might've been a little upset with Phoenix for killing his special lady. Besides that, were they ever depicted as having anything going on after this issue? Or do we infer that they're just "friends with benefits"?

(To be honest, given what we know of the Hellfire Club and what we see later, I wouldn't be surprised if they're all sharing "benefits" with each other...)

Matt said...

PART 2 OF A TWO-PART COMMENT

"Cole, Macon and Reese, the three Hellfire Club guards Wolverine attacked in issue #133, turn up alive..."

I know we discussed this in issue #133's comments, but for the record: this is supposedly Jim Shooter at work, wanting Wolverine to be "softened" somewhat. The retroactive "un-killing" of the Hellfire goons was the first step in that process. Maybe Wolverine's speech at the end is, too... if Shooter told Claremont he didn't want Wolverine to be a killer, perhaps in the same issue where Claremont brought back three (or two... or four...) of his victims, he also decided to give Wolverine an anti-anyone-but-him-doing-the-killing stance.

I think they should've stayed dead. For that matter, I think Leland should've been dead too, another thing we talked about in previous comments. Post "Dark Phoenix", he's pretty much a non-entity right up until his (admittedly spectacular) real death.

"...making it's sudden appearance at issue's end seem rather random and/or rushed."

That seems to be a common observation lately... Claremont himself admitted that the Dr. Doom story "ran out of room", and I believe we both, Teebore, agreed that issue #150 seemed to have a rushed ending too. This seems like another instance of Claremont needing a strong editor and/or collaborator to keep him on task and on pace.

"The Awesome and Terrible Power of Cyclops"

I like that the Hellfire Club has Cyclops back in the exact same helmet they put him in during "Dark Phoenix". Good reference work by Bob McLeod! Also, is this one of the earliest instances of Cyclops in costume, wearing a visor, with his hair exposed? Young Jim Lee must have read this issue...

(I actually don't know who first drew Cyclops with an official "exposed hair" costume... I think it debuted in X-Factor, so maybe it was Whilce Portacio?)

"...Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends debuted around this time"

I loved that show when I was a kid. And to this day, I still believe that Dan "Bumblebee" Gilvezan remains the best animated Spider-Man voice of all time. I still "hear" him in my head when I read Spidey comics. His cadences and line readings were pitch-perfect, and he just sounded like you'd expect college-age Peter Parker to sound.

Jason said...

"Besides that, were they ever depicted as having anything going on after this issue? Or do we infer that they're just "friends with benefits"?

(To be honest, given what we know of the Hellfire Club and what we see later, I wouldn't be surprised if they're all sharing "benefits" with each other...) "

That's exactly what I take from it. I don't know if that says something weird about me ...

Teebore said...

@Jason: Emma runs the Massachussetts Academy, so she certainly has some say over what students attend.

Yeah, that was worded awkwardly. The implication in Emma's agreement was that she was responsible for Kitty's transfer, when it was stated in the previous issue that she wasn't.

Am I crazy, or do only two of the three guards show up here?

It's not entirely clear. I went with all three cuz that's what the Marvel Index does.

I figured that to mean some of her telepathic prowess that she learned while in the White Queen's body carried over.

There's definitely some No-Prize explanations readily available, I just found the comment very random.

I still say it was because Shaw and Emma wanted to do some sexual role-playing.

I can buy that, but if the ONLY reason they swapped minds was for Shaw and Emma's sexual edification, the whole situation seemed to get an awful lot of pages devoted to it. That is, the whole situation was setup like it was a big part of the Hellfire Club's plan, and if, in the end, it was only ever about Shaw and Emma spicing up their love life, it seems odd that it received so much build-up.

@Chris K.: (I have no idea why I remember that.)

I have no idea why I don't remember that, but thanks for mentioning it, and kudos to Claremont for making the effort to tie up that loose end.

I could probably swallow the whole story better with that one little change.

I found myself thinking the same thing, that "telepathically" would have been a much easier/elegant explanation. And while yes, that would have potentially left the door open for future uses, as it is, there's no reason the Hellfire Club couldn't just build another persona exchange gun...

Maybe Wolverine's speech at the end is, too

I wouldn't be surprised if that wasn't Claremont on his own. I fully accept that bringing back the guards was a Shooter edict, but Claremont, especially later in his run, does a lot of work with the Storm/Wolverine relationship and their individual perspectives on the morality of killing, and how that affects their relationship (such as Wolverine serving as Storm's enforcer during "Mutant Massacre"). Plus, Claremont seems to have been thinking about the morality of Wolverine's character a lot around this time (this is but one of several recent issues that deal with the matter), which makes it seem like it was a road Claremont was already going down before Shooter intervened.

Then again, it's entirely possible that Shooter stepped in and Claremont was intrigued enough by the dichotomy in Wolverine's character created by Shooter's edict that he just ran with it.

Also, is this one of the earliest instances of Cyclops in costume, wearing a visor, with his hair exposed?

Yeah, I think you're right (and it was Whilce Portacio in X-Factor that drew him in his first official "exposed hair" costume, but I have no idea if he actually designed them - I could imagine Lee might have done the designs even if he wasn't the regularly penciller on the book).

I loved that show when I was a kid.

Me too. Definitely one of my big gateways into comics.

Joan Crawford said...

Aw, I love how Wolverine uses flippant terms like "Princess" with Storm while having a deep, meaningful conversation with her. He really is the best there is...
Listen here, Doll Face, I really admire the work you put into this thing - enjoyable even for completely out-of-the-know people like me :)

@Matt - (To be honest, given what we know of the Hellfire Club and what we see later, I wouldn't be surprised if they're all sharing "benefits" with each other...)

And you just guaranteed readership from this little lady.

@Jason - That's exactly what I take from it. I don't know if that says something weird about me ...

Well, it's not that on it's own, you see... it's when you gather it all up into a bigger picture that the weirdy-tendencies can be seen :)

Jason said...

"Jason - That's exactly what I take from it. I don't know if that says something weird about me ...

Well, it's not that on it's own, you see... it's when you gather it all up into a bigger picture that the weirdy-tendencies can be seen :)"

So I like to speculate on the sex lives of characters in children's funnybooks, and it maybe even turns me on a little. SO WHAT, IT DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING.

Teebore,
I should say, I really do appreciate when you give me a shout-out for some of my observations on these issues, and the links are really appreciated as well. I should've said that earlier, so -- thank you. In all sincerity.

Blam said...


Nice cover... I like the layout and colors — the wash-like gray on the women in the sky, especially, and how they in B&W contrast with the color around them — more than the rendering of the figures on the ground (which again include a too-tall, too-lean Wolverine). And, of course, there's the gymnastic scissoring that Joan's reading into it.



I'm aware that Emma traded bodies with Ororo willingly and consciously, but it still seems strange for her not to feel the lack of her psychic abilities more. Jean Grey was overwhelmed by the loss of her connection in the alternate #137, and there's been other examples over the years in X-Men and elsewhere of telepaths' sense of loss when they're "trapped" within just their own heads.

Also, I love that Shaw actually calls the device a "persona-exchange gun".

So now comes the revelation (or retcon) that Wolverine didn't kill the Hellfire goons in the basement.

Emma/Ororo: "If you've heard no word from the X-Men by sunrise, contact Charles' associate, Moira MacTaggart, and tell her everything I've told you."

"... but there's no point in contacting her before sunrise. I mean, I totally expect us to be able to handle whatever's going on. Not only are caution and reinforcements for pussies, we have a longstanding tradition of not communicating properly with anyone on Muir Island vis-a-vis surprise daughters or whether certain people are still alive and so forth."

At the end even Frost herself calls the Club's inner circle "evil" — which is both old-fashioned.

Not that you could miss it on the cover, but Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends debuted around this time.

I really liked the series. It was probably the last Saturday-morning superhero cartoon that I enjoyed as a kid before becoming too critical or jaded; I did watch some Masters of the Universe after school, and always had a soft spot for Super Friends repeats, but never got into G.I. Joe or Transformers. By the time the 1990s X-Men animated series showed up I was in college and it aired fairly contemporaneously with the awesome Batman; the latter was so much better that I really couldn't get into the former — although I really do want to watch it one day, after we cover more stories here that I've never read and that it probably adapts.

Blam said...


Jason: I figured that to mean some of her telepathic prowess that she learned while in the White Queen's body carried over. Enough at least to protect her from Emma's telepathy.

Ditto.

Matt: it seems like a weird choice considering that Claremont could have just as easily said that the White Queen somehow used her telepathic powers to effect the transfer

Yeah, I was surprised at that too; I didn't remember this story particularly well, but the "persona-exchange gun" especially was a bit of whiplash — although really I just chuckled at the absurdity.

Matt: you'd think Shaw might've been a little upset with Phoenix for killing his special lady

I thought that Frost supposedly died at the malt shop in #131 before the X-Men ever had their big throw-down with the rest of the Inner Circle at the Club. Did we really see Frost and Shaw together when all the Wyngarde / Black Queen stuff was brewing?

Teebore: the whole situation was setup like it was a big part of the Hellfire Club's plan, and if, in the end, it was only ever about Shaw and Emma spicing up their love life, it seems odd that it received so much build-up.

My take was that Frost took over Storm's body to infiltrate the group, short-term at least, so that the Inner Circle could catch the X-Men unawares, but Shaw, Leland, and the goons jumped the gun with their Sentinel-led attack on the mansion — there's even some thought-bubble "dialogue" of Emma-as-Ororo to this effect.

Teebore: Claremont, especially later in his run, does a lot of work with the Storm/Wolverine relationship and their individual perspectives on the morality of killing

I know nothing of this later "Mutant Massacre" stuff, but way back in #109 we got that scene (always one of my favorites) of Wolverine explaining to Storm about his style of hunting deer; furthermore, while I can't point to any specifics, I think of the comparisons between Logan and Ororo, both possessed of a "noble savage" and/or "savage noble" element, as a hallmark of the New/Uncanny X-Men.

Jason said...

"I know nothing of this later "Mutant Massacre" stuff, but way back in #109 we got that scene (always one of my favorites) of Wolverine explaining to Storm about his style of hunting deer; furthermore, while I can't point to any specifics, I think of the comparisons between Logan and Ororo, both possessed of a "noble savage" and/or "savage noble" element, as a hallmark of the New/Uncanny X-Men."

That was also very much highlighted in the Savage Land arc. Logan and Ororo are both very, very at home there.

(I also found it very interesting that of the four main "new" X-Men -- Wolverine, Storm, Colossus and Nightcrawler -- three of them were very much ill-at-ease in the "big city." Only Kurt -- ironically the "outcast" of the team -- unreservedly loved his new environs much more than his old ones.

Blam said...


Me: At the end even Frost herself calls the Club's inner circle "evil" — which is both old-fashioned.

Clearly, I was going to say something about that in addition to it being old-fashioned, but to be honest I'd forgot that I'd even left that part in. 8^) "Old-fashioned" isn't quite the right phrase — I meant "black-and-white, absolutist, good-guy / bad-guy pre-Bronze-Age-comic-book"; rarely do antagonists today consider themselves villains let alone "evil". As for the rest, I'm pretty sure that it had to do with being yet another indicator that Emma Frost was b-a-d- (not that we needed one) and therefore Exhibit, oh, J that it was hard to swallow her later being part of the X-Men. Then again, I still think of Punisher as a vigilante assassin with a widow's peak who worked for The Jackal.

I also meant to mention that Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends brought us the first TV appearance(s) of the X-Men, Iceman and the made-up-for-the-series Firestar being former members of the group, in an episode infamous for making Wolverine Australian. Later came the one-off "Pryde of the X-Men" pilot/short from the same incarnation of Marvel Productions. And of course Firestar then got a miniseries and became a Hellion in the comic-book continuity.

Matt said...

Blam -- "Did we really see Frost and Shaw together when all the Wyngarde / Black Queen stuff was brewing?"

No, I was trying to say that if Shaw and Frost were involved in some sort of romantic relationship, then you'd think he might've made some passing comment someplace in issues 132-134 about the fact that Phoenix, who he was inducting as the new Black Queen, had killed his lover just a few issues before.

The fact that there was no such line would seem to point out that Shaw and Frost having any sort of entanglement is a ret-con as of this issue.

(Though if it was just a physical thing, as we seem to have determined to be the case, then it's a bit more understandable that an evil jerk like Shaw wouldn't care much that his sex-buddy was gone, since he could just find another.)

Jason said...

"(Though if it was just a physical thing, as we seem to have determined to be the case, then it's a bit more understandable that an evil jerk like Shaw wouldn't care much that his sex-buddy was gone, since he could just find another.)"

I think the implication is that they're just Villains With Benefits. Though there's nothing to say that Shaw didn't already know that the Queen had survived.

"The fact that there was no such line would seem to point out that Shaw and Frost having any sort of entanglement is a ret-con as of this issue."

It's only a ret-con if they say explicitly that the two were involved back circa 131-132. For all we know, the "romance" began in between that appearance and this current one.

(Although later appearances don't really have this dynamic between Shaw and Frost either. I think it really is meant to read that everybody in the Club is free-wheeling and doing it with everybody else. That's pretty much the implication in the narration whenever the Club shows up, where they talk about being "freed from social mores," etc.

Jason said...

"I also meant to mention that Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends brought us the first TV appearance(s) of the X-Men, Iceman and the made-up-for-the-series Firestar being former members of the group, in an episode infamous for making Wolverine Australian. Later came the one-off "Pryde of the X-Men" pilot/short from the same incarnation of Marvel Productions"

And the "Pryde of the X-Men" pilot ALSO gave Wolverine an Australian accent? What was their problem?

Oh well. At least they didn't have an Aussie play him in the movies ... wait ...

Blam said...


Me: I also meant to mention that Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends brought us the first TV appearance(s) of the X-Men

I stand corrected.

Doing some research on the 1966 Grantray-Lawrence Marvel Super-Heroes series, I've discovered that the original X-Men appeared in a Sub-Mariner episode adapted from an issue of Fantastic Four. Since Hanna-Barbera owned the animation rights to the FF, however, for a series that would debut the following year, the X-Men were swapped in — but called "Allies for Peace" rather than "X-Men" (although the individual characters' names were kept).

You gots to love the Interwebs. My first paid professional writing circa 1990 was a series of articles about superheroes on television, which I later started turning into a book (still and now woefully incomplete and unpublished), yet written research and videotape was sparse enough back then that this is totally news to me.

Excelsior!

Teebore said...

@Joan: Aw, I love how Wolverine uses flippant terms like "Princess" with Storm while having a deep, meaningful conversation with her. He really is the best there is...

...at getting away with a lot. :) Yeah, Wolverine likes his pet names for people.

@Jason: I should've said that earlier, so -- thank you. In all sincerity.

You're most welcome. Your work has had a huge impact on my reading of Claremont, and it's only right to give credit where credit's due.

@Blam: there's been other examples over the years in X-Men and elsewhere of telepaths' sense of loss when they're "trapped" within just their own heads

Yeah, it is a bit surprising that Emma didn't react to that at all, especially given later stories that make it clear how much she likes being a telepath.

"... but there's no point in contacting her before sunrise. I mean, I totally expect us to be able to handle whatever's going on. Not only are caution and reinforcements for pussies, we have a longstanding tradition of not communicating properly with anyone on Muir Island vis-a-vis surprise daughters or whether certain people are still alive and so forth."

Haha! That's just fantastic, from start to finish.

Hmm...maybe the X-Men think the phone only works on Muir Island at certain times of the day?

although I really do want to watch it one day, after we cover more stories here that I've never read and that it probably adapts

In my more "delusions of grandeur" moments, I imagine a time when I'd do an episode-by-episode review of that show on the blog. I'd need to find a good source for screencaps and, you know, more time, but maybe someday...

My take was that Frost took over Storm's body to infiltrate the group, short-term at least, so that the Inner Circle could catch the X-Men unawares, but Shaw, Leland, and the goons jumped the gun with their Sentinel-led attack on the mansion

Yeah, there's a line in issue #151 to that effect, but that's always sit wrong with me too (I probably should have drawn more attention to it). It just makes it very clear that Claremont is rushing through this story, but likes the idea of the White Queen/Storm swap so much that he's going to use it even though the plot doesn't really need it.

I think of the comparisons between Logan and Ororo, both possessed of a "noble savage" and/or "savage noble" element, as a hallmark of the New/Uncanny X-Men.

Good point. Even independent of the Storm/Wolverine dynamics, the idea of the noble savage/savage noble is clearly something Claremont likes to explore.

Teebore said...

Later came the one-off "Pryde of the X-Men" pilot/short from the same incarnation of Marvel Productions.

Man alive, I LOVE that pilot. It really was (airing as it did as part of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends) my first introduction to the X-Men, and I was completely hooked by it.

Funny story: when I first watched it, I was aware that in comic book terms "mutant" meant "someone born with their powers" but didn't yet know that Wolverine had a healing factor, so I spent a fair amount of time thinking, "no one could be born with metal claws" and thus wondering what Wolverine's actual power was.

And of course Firestar then got a miniseries and became a Hellion in the comic-book continuity.

Making her one of the earliest "debuted in another medium before debuting in comics" comic characters, a group which recently added Agent Coulson from the various Marvel Studios films to its ranks.

I've discovered that the original X-Men appeared in a Sub-Mariner episode adapted from an issue of Fantastic Four. Since Hanna-Barbera owned the animation rights to the FF, however, for a series that would debut the following year, the X-Men were swapped in — but called "Allies for Peace" rather than "X-Men"

A. I had no idea the X-Men appeared in one of those animated series from the 60s. That's pretty crazy.
B. "Allies for Peace" is a fantastically awful substitution for "X-Men". I love it.

@Jason: Only Kurt -- ironically the "outcast" of the team -- unreservedly loved his new environs much more than his old ones

Good point. I love that dichotomy almost as much as the "demonic swashbuckler" one.

Oh well. At least they didn't have an Aussie play him in the movies ... wait ...

Ha! At least he toned down the accent. ;)

Blam said...


@Teebore: "Allies for Peace" is a fantastically awful substitution for "X-Men". I love it.

Don't you though? I think it sounds like one of the names that DC and/or Marvel gave in the '70s to one-shot groups that they didn't want to waste a good name on, except way, way, way worse.

@Jason: Oh well. At least they didn't have an Aussie play him in the movies ... wait ...

@Teebore: Ha! At least he toned down the accent. ;)

I was overall really surprised by how spot-on Jackman's Wolverine has been given that physically the character is so defined by his short, stout nature that folks were like "Do you think Bob Hoskins could put on enough muscle?"

VW: sublikeh — A really creepy sotto voce comment made by Namor the first time he saw Sue Storm.

Teebore said...

@Blam: I was overall really surprised by how spot-on Jackman's Wolverine has been given that physically the character is so defined by his short, stout nature that folks were like "Do you think Bob Hoskins could put on enough muscle?"

Definitely a strong exhibit for not judging something until you've seen the final product (aka the Internet's favorite pastime). On paper, casting Jackman seemed, at best, way off the mark, but he ended up killing the role.