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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #161

"Gold Rush!"
September 1982 

In a Nutshell 
A flash back to the first meeting between Professor X and Magneto.

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Dave Cockrum
Inker: Bob Wiacek
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Editor: Louise Jones
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
As Professor X struggles within his mind to overcome the alien evil growing inside him, the Starjammers' medic Sikorsky informs the X-Men that if Xavier loses the battle, he will die. Outside, Cyclops berates Storm for the incident at the Pentagon, pointing to an increase in anti-mutant sentiment in the government as a result. Storm rebuffs him, and he apologies, admitting that Xavier's condition is wearing on him. At his bedside, Lilandra tries to reach out to him, but Xavier's mind is reliving events from twenty years ago, in which he arrives in Israel to help psychiatric patients recovering from the Holocaust. At the hospital, he meets a young Magneto, calling himself Magnus, who is similarly working at the hospital, as well as a young woman named Gabby Haller. Xavier is able to telepathically help Gabby emerge from the catatonic state she entered as a protection against the horrors she suffered in the concentration camp. In the ensuing weeks, Xavier and Magnus debate the growing mutant situation while Xavier and Gabby fall in love, but one night the hospital is attacked by armored troops.


During the attack Magnus comes to Xavier's aid, revealing his magnetic powers, but Gabby is kidnapped by Nazi war criminal Baron Von Strucker. Gabby had unknowingly been programmed with the location of a secret cache of Nazi gold, with which Stucker hopes to fund his nascent terrorist group, Hydra. Xavier and Magnus track Gabby to Kenya, where Strucker discovers the gold. Together, the two mutants shut down Strucker and the rest of Hydra, rescuing Gabby, but Magnus departs with the gold, intending to put it to use in service of his own agenda. In the present, Xavier awakens, regaining consciousness because of Lilandra, just as Xavier had helped Gabby escape from  the horrors of her own mind. Lilandra and the X-Men celebrate Xavier's recovery aboard her starship, but the party is interrupted by Deathbird and the Brood, who quickly manage to capture the X-Men, intending to use them as hosts for their queen.    

Firsts and Other Notables
The flashback in this issue depicts the first meeting between Xavier and Magneto, and establishes the notion that the two were once friends who disagreed over the best course of action for mutants regarding their relationship with humans. Magneto is also referred to as "Magnus" for the first time, though a series of retcons through the years will reveal this to be yet another pseudonym and not his real name.


This issue is also the first appearance of Gabrielle "Gabby" Haller, an old flame of Xavier's who will eventually be revealed to be his baby mama and become a minor supporting character in he book. And, of much less significance, this is also the first appearance of Daniel Shomron, the psychiatric colleague of Xavier's who introduces him to Gabby.   


Deathbird and the Brood return, with the former declaring herself the new Shi'ar empress. Though the Brood stick around for the next several issues to wrap up their long running story, this is the final appearance of Deathbird in X-Men for quite some time.


In the flashback, Xavier and Magnus face off against Baron Von Strucker, leader of the Neo Nazi terrorist group Hydra and an old Captain America foe. His children will later show up as minor X-Men villains. 


The events of the flashback in this issue will be revisited in the "Legion Quest" story, which kicked off the massive mid 90s "Age of Apocalypse" event.

It is worth noting that when the X-Men are celebrating with Lilandra aboard her ship (and are subsequently attacked by the Brood), both the Starjammers and Professor X stayed behind, while Carol Danvers is with them.  

Jason Powell's analysis of this issue is another fantastic and insightful one, including observations about how Storm and Cyclops in the present could mirror Magneto and Xavier in the past, and that Xavier's power makes him naturally empathic with humanity, whereas Magneto's power only gives him a connection to cold, unfeeling metal, further cementing their respective positions. Give it a read.  

Never one to pass up an opportunity to put my minor in German to good use, it should be noted that Xavier's line about how he can speak German (Ich sprechen Deutsch) is improperly conjugated. It should be "Ich spreche Deutsch", or even "Ich kann Deutsch sprechen".

A Work in Progress
Xavier emerges from the coma he's been in since issue #157, presumably cured. 

Wolverine mentions that he and Cyclops are a lot alike.


The burgeoning Storm/Cyclops friendship from issue #154 is touched on again, and the pair once more discusses who should be leading the X-Men.


In the flashback, Xavier is arriving in Israel from Cairo, after his battle with Shadow King, picking up where issue #117 left off. 

Meeting Magneto for the first time, Xavier notes that his mind is naturally resistant to his telepathy.


Strucker's Hydra soldiers are wearing odd helmets in this issue; I don't remember seeing them in other Hydra stories, though perhaps my Silver Age Captain America reading is simply lacking.


Magneto notes that in addition to magnetism, he can control other "natural" forces, which presumably accounts for how he's able to "magnetically" carry off all that Nazi gold despite gold not being, you know, magnetic...


Though her story is left untouched this issue, Illyana's experiences from last issue are noted.

I Love the 80s
Putting aside the last bit about turning into gold (which ties into the plot of this issue), Xavier's journey through Gabby's mind makes for a striking depiction of the Holocaust.


Xavier cures the catatonic Gabby using his telepathy, but I wonder how it looks to David and Magnus? From their perspective, Xavier is just staring at Gabby for awhile before she suddenly wakes up. 

The Nazi's scheme involving hiding Hitler's gold in Africa and imprinting a map on a Jewish girl in a concentration camp seems unnecessarily complicated, even for Nazis in these kinds of stories.


Needless to say, the events of the flashback in this issue occurring twenty years ago, specifically the notion that the Holocaust was then a "happened not that long ago" thing, have been massaged a bit by Marvel's ever-sliding timeline. 

Claremontisms
Storm says to Corsair, "I do not ask this lightly", another favorite phrase of Claremont's. He also drops another "nigh irresistible" at one point. 

In the flashback, Xavier uses his telepathy to turn Strucker's men against one another by manipulating their preexisting emotions towards and perceptions of each other, a pretty clever use of telepathy on Claremont's part.


Artistic Achievements
Cockrum and Wiacek turn in a gorgeous transition on this page, as the waterfall along the side carries our eye towards the bottom of the page. 


"Professor Xavier is a Jerk!"
Xavier scoffs to himself at Gabby's declaration of love, and decides, even though he doesn't love her, that both of them could use a little comfort. And that's a skeevy move even before we remember that she's technically his patient. 


Young Love
Peter and Kitty attend Lilandra's celebration arm in arm. 


The Awesome and Terrible Power of Cyclops
Scott gets some good old fashioned (and well-depicted) angst in as he worries about losing Professor X. 


Human/Mutant Relations
In the wake of the X-Men's battle with Rogue inside the Pentagon in issue #158, the government is more convinced than ever that the X-Men are villainous outlaws. 


For Sale
The 80s action movie classic/flop MegaForce is advertised on the back cover of the issue. 


Bullpen Bulletins
John Belushi's then-recent death is mentioned.


There are also mentions of Wolverine's limited series (which went on sale this month, and which we'll be covering a little further down the road), as well as a comic book adaptation of Blade Runner, which I've never read and, being a huge Blade Runner fan, would love to get my hands on someday. 


It's in the Mail
There's a letter, presumably from the creators, written as though one of the Elfquest characters is sending in a letter. 


Just to prove some things never change, this issue contains a letter which the first paragraph of could have been lifted word for word from a message board today:


Teebore's Take
While the idea of Professor X and Magneto being old friends driven apart by conflicting beliefs in human/mutant relations has become a fundamental part of the X-Men mythos, aside from a few vague hints, that idea wasn't established until this issue. And it is a stroke of genius on Claremont's part, as it both continues the deepening of Magneto's character begun in issue #150 (his past as a survivor of Auschwitz, first established in that issue, is an important element of this story) and adds considerable dimension to the conflict between Magneto and the X-Men (even retroactively). For the way this idea will inform so many stories moving forward, and for the way it has been adapted in almost every take on the X-Men outside of comics, this becomes arguably the most significant issue in the title's history since "Days of Future Past".

But aside from the thematic and historical significance, this issue is also a cracking good read. It's incredibly dense, packing in a ton of story in its twenty-two pages. The centerpiece, of course, is the Magneto/Xavier story, a swashbuckling Indiana Jones-style adventure featuring the duo teaming up against Nazis. Before that, Claremont and Cockrum give us some excellent character moments, as Cyclops struggles with the notion of losing Xavier and his friendship with Storm is touched on again, and in the closing pages, with the Xavier/Magneto yarn completed and Xavier seemingly cured, they bring Deathbird and the Brood back with a bang, setting up the conclusion to that arc, as well as Cockrum's swan song on the book.  

Next Issue
Wolverine takes center stage as the Brood return. 

22 comments:

  1. I always love how Claremont ties Xavier and Magneto's friendship into the early days of Israel. I don't think you could ask for a more appropriate real-world event to bring their competing views into focus.

    This issue does really illustrate the problem with a sliding time-scale as there is just no way it could still be considered canon. That would age Xavier and Magneto into their 90s at this point.

    This issue actually reminds me of one of my major issues with the first X-Men movies. I never found Ian McKellan appropriatley intimidating or fiery enough to be playing the Magneto we see here and throughout the comics. His acting was fine, it just wasn't Magneto in my mind. Not that anybody asked, but Rutger Hauer would have been my ideal choice. I really liked Fassbender.

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  2. @Jeff: I don't think you could ask for a more appropriate real-world event to bring their competing views into focus.

    That's a really good point. I probably overlook it because, as you mentioned, the sliding time-scale causes specific historical connections like that to be problematic, and having only ever read "in the future" I think my brain is automatically glossing over the details.

    But it's a fantastic bit of historical context on Claremont's part.

    I never found Ian McKellan appropriatley intimidating or fiery enough to be playing the Magneto we see here and throughout the comics.

    I can see that. I've always enjoyed McKellan's Magneto, but he definitely lacked the fiery intensity that Magneto so often displays. He certainly wasn't a case of slam dunk, it-couldn't-be-anyone-else casting, like Patrick Stewart.

    I thought Fassbender was fantastic. Really enjoyed both him and McAvoy, and I'm excited Fassbender will be back for the sequel.

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  3. PART ONE OF A 2-PART COMMENT

    I like this issue quite a bit. Any story where the main characters are searching for Nazi gold is a winner in my book. And this is an excellent return for Cockrum. If he'd been drawing like this for the preceding several issues, I wouldn't have had any of the complaints I leveled against him in recent weeks. That scene with Cyclops and Storm and the setting sun is fantastic. That conveys the sort of bleakness that I think Cockrum had thus far failed to show. And the page you showcased as an "Artistic Achievement" really is great!

    "The flashback in this issue depicts the first meeting between Xavier and Magneto"

    Ahh, it seems like only twelve issues ago that Xavier was thinking about how little he knew about Magneto's background.

    ...Oh wait, that was only twelve issues ago. A year is a very short time to effect such a large ret-con. I wonder if Claremont just forgot all the "unknown" stuff Xavier was listing off in issue #149. Anyway, I'll be interested to see if any No-Prize attempts pop up in the letters pages when they catch up with this issue.

    "Magneto is also referred to as "Magnus" for the first time, though a series of retcons through the years will reveal this to be yet another pseudonym and not his real name."

    I found the ret-con that did away with Erik Magnus Lenscherr to be unnecessary, but I will say that I've long felt like the real name "Magnus" was slightly too "on the nose" for a guy who just happened to have magnetic superpowers.

    "...this is also the first appearance of Daniel Shomron, the psychiatric colleague of Xavier's who introduces him to Gabby."

    ...he comes back??

    "It is worth noting that when the X-Men are celebrating with Lilandra aboard her ship (and are subsequently attacked by the Brood), both the Starjammers and Professor X stayed behind, while Carol Danvers is with them."

    That seems like a case of purposely omitting characters from a scene they probably should've been in just to set up the next story. I believe xavier stayed behind because he was still recovering, but is there a reason given why the Starjammers didn't attend? They played a pretty major part in rescuing Lilandra.

    "The burgeoning Storm/Cyclops friendship from issue #154 is touched on again, and the pair once more discusses who should be leading the X-Men."

    I love Cyclops's blunt "then perhaps it's time I took my old job back"; but I love even more Storm's bizarre, way out-of-proportion screaming hissy fit after he makes the suggestion. I guess maybe she's stressed too.

    "Meeting Magneto for the first time, Xavier notes that his mind is naturally resistant to his telepathy."

    I recall a while back we discussed just when the helmet became a telepathic shield... obviously it must have been after this issue (I think we actually settled on the first X-Men movie introducing the concept). I wonder if Magneto's natural resistance is ever touched anywhere besides this issue?

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  4. PART TWO OF A 2-PART COMMENT

    "Strucker's Hydra soldiers are wearing odd helmets in this issue. I don't remember seeing them in other Hydra stories, though perhaps my Silver Age Captain America reading is simply lacking"

    Knowing Cockrum, I wouldn't be surprised if he just made up the look because he thought it would be cool. If this was Byrne, on the other hand, they would be painstakingly accurate re-creations of exactly what Hydra agents looked like in the 60's.

    Either way, they remind of Destro's Annihilators from G.I. Joe. This issue predates that action figure, though.

    "Though her story is left untouched this issue, Illyana's experiences from last issue are noted."

    Following from last issue, this is another thing that kind of bugs me about the aging of Illyana. There's practically no fallout for a while, yet. I just feel like the whole thing was initially presented in a very casual manner. Shouldn't Illyana be going through some intense pyschological counseling right now? I guess maybe with Xavier in a coma, no one knew what to do, but still...! At the very least, you might think Colossus would take her home to see their parents or something, instead of going out on a date with Kitty!

    The entire group just seems very insensitive to what happened to her.

    "Xavier scoffs to himself at Gabby's declaration of love, and decides, even though he doesn't love her, that both of them could use a little comfort. And that's a skeevy move even before we remember that she's technically his patient."

    Yeesh, I always forget about that.

    But we have to remember that for a man who already sent a whole team of young mutants to die, then erased all knowledge of their existence from his friends' minds, this is but a minor offense.

    "Peter and Kitty attend Lilandra's celebration arm in arm."

    Again, because I feel this bears reiterating... really, Colossus? Your sister is probably traumatized in ways you can't even imagine, and you're cheerfully attending a party with your girlfriend?? Really!

    "There's a letter, presumably from the creators, written as though one of the Elfquest characters is sending in a letter."

    I think Richard and Wendy Pini were (are?) friends with Claremont. They're also friends with Byrne. Awkward!

    I believe the Simonsons are common friends of both Claremont and Byrne too, though I've always gotten the impression that possibly Walter is closer with Byrne while Louise is closer with Claremont. Curious if the Pinis have a similar situation.

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  5. @Matt: f he'd been drawing like this for the preceding several issues, I wouldn't have had any of the complaints I leveled against him in recent weeks.

    Agreed.

    I wonder if Claremont just forgot all the "unknown" stuff Xavier was listing off in issue #149.

    Probably. He strikes me as the type that isn't worried about details getting in the way of a good story. But it will be interesting to see if anyone calls him on it in the letters page.

    I found the ret-con that did away with Erik Magnus Lenscherr to be unnecessary, but I will say that I've long felt like the real name "Magnus" was slightly too "on the nose" for a guy who just happened to have magnetic superpowers.

    Agreed again. I'll freely admit it's because it was the name that was revealed during my personal Golden Age of comics, but I've always liked the reveal of Eric Lenscherr as his real name, with Magnus as another pseudonym, and as we've discussed, felt the subsequent retconning of the retcon unnecessary.

    ...he comes back??

    Yeah, I believe he pops back up in New Mutants during the Legion story, possibly just in a flashback IMS, but I figured it was worth mentioning...

    ...but is there a reason given why the Starjammers didn't attend?

    Yeah, Moira forbids Xavier and Illyana from going, and while Corsair takes the X-Men up to Lilandra's ship, he declines to join them aboard, telling Scott that while he respects Lilandra, he has "no love -- and less trust -- for the Shi'ar".

    So plot convenient for what's to come, but at least Claremont covers his bases.

    think we actually settled on the first X-Men movie introducing the concept

    Did we? I still feel like when that was pointed out in the first movie it was something to which I thought, "cool, they put that in the movie" and not "wow, that's a neat idea", but I have no idea when in the comics it would have been established. I'll have to keep my eye out for it.

    Knowing Cockrum, I wouldn't be surprised if he just made up the look because he thought it would be cool.

    And, of course, Xavier and Magneto needed something that would disguise their features when they snuck into Stucker's camp, so it could just be something Cockrum made up on the spot for that reason alone.

    Following from last issue, this is another thing that kind of bugs me about the aging of Illyana. There's practically no fallout for a while, yet.

    Yeah, it's definitely an idea that gets immediately sidelined. It definitely would have been better if Claremont had been able to introduce the idea at a time when he could have properly explored the ramifications of it instead of sweeping it under the rug for months.

    Still, I at least appreciate the acknowledgement of the rug-sweeping. It's more than we'd get these days...

    The entire group just seems very insensitive to what happened to her.

    As presented, it's definitely another case of "The X-Men are Jerks!" :)

    Of course, the other alternative would have been to omit the party setting, and just had the Brood attack and capture the X-Men on Earth, which would have eliminated the insensitivity of them all, including her brother, going off to party while Illyana re-acclimates herself to not living in a hellish demon realm on her own.

    But we have to remember that for a man who already sent a whole team of young mutants to die, then erased all knowledge of their existence from his friends' minds, this is but a minor offense.

    Indeed. Xavier definitely has several levels of jerkiness.

    I think Richard and Wendy Pini were (are?) friends with Claremont. They're also friends with Byrne. Awkward!

    I wonder who got whom in the Claremont/Byrne "divorce"? :)

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  6. Well, I’ve been reading these X-aminations for a couple of years now and have always meant to comment. As #161 was the last X-Men issue I ever bought, I suppose it’s now or never.

    I’m not quite sure what it was about this issue that made it the last straw. Revealing that Xavier and Magneto knew each other twenty years hence annoyed me. Particularly as it followed so soon after Claremont had revealed that Wolverine and Ms Marvel also knew each other. That there was no follow up to Illyana’s storyline also annoyed me, but most of all the return of the Brood annoyed me.

    You probably picked up the Brood story in one go and read it in an afternoon. That means you never go the full horror of that tedious and impenetrable storyline, which dragged on for four long months – that's a bloody long time when you are twelve.

    The Claremont/Byrne combo was so superlative that whatever followed was always going to seem a let- down, but even in their own right, issues #144-#161 were poor comics. At the time, I principally blamed Dave Cockrum - his figures seemed so static, the faces he drew were only capable of conveying the most basic of emotions, his costumes were garish and inappropriate and he had the infuriating habit of drawing Wolverine as though he was at least fifteen years younger than Byrne’s version - but now I see that Claremont must take a lot of the blame too. Dr Doom, the Hellfire Club, the Brood, the abominable “Kitty’s Fairy Tale” –only #150 could bear any comparison with what had gone before.

    Also, bear in mind, that at the time, there were some really good comics being produced Alan Moore and Alan Davis were giving us Captain Britain and Marvelman, Moore was doing V for Vendetta with Dave Lloyd, Frank Miller was in his pomp over at Daredevil and John Byrne was doing some interesting work with the Fantastic Four. In comparison, the X-Men had become very old hat.

    So I remember flicking through #162 at the newsagents. Wolverine was running around an alien planet in his underpants, and I just thought, “Nah”, and put it down. Since then my relationship with the X-Men has been reduced to seeing the four films and picking up a couple of trades at the library.

    So I’m quite looking forward to next week. I finally find out what Wolverine and his underpants were doing on that alien planet.

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    1. I would blame most of your issues with Dave Cockrum's art on Josef Rubinstein's inks (on the early part of Cockrum's second run). Bob Wiacek's inks are an improvement, but Cockrum's art still didn't reach the refined beauty of his first run.

      Since the pinnacle of Claremont's run was still on the way (From The Ashes, drawn by Paul Smith, not to mention 'God Loves, Man Kills' and the Wolverine mini-series), you really missed out on a great era.

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  7. Was and still is my favorite issue from the 2nd Cockrum run. I had a subscription until about the middle of the Smith run and by this time my X-Men reading was on automatic, my fandom was waning. Remember, at the time all this Magneto origin stuff was new and clutter-free.

    Never saw Megaforce. It's probably not worth the effort, but I'm curious as to how bad it is.

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  8. @Anonymous: You probably picked up the Brood story in one go and read it in an afternoon. That means you never go the full horror of that tedious and impenetrable storyline, which dragged on for four long months

    Yeah, the Brood story definitely goes faster when you don't have to wait months between installments. Even then, I remember the first time I read it as a kid, I felt it dragged on too long - especially in the second half.

    This time through, I enjoyed it more, but that could very well be that because I was prepared for it, it read faster than it did when I was a kid. And we still have that second half to cover; I'm curious to find out if it stills drags as much as I remember, or if time has made me appreciate it more.

    I finally find out what Wolverine and his underpants were doing on that alien planet.

    Hate to disappoint, but I'm pretty sure he's still just fighting the Brood. :)

    @Chris:Was and still is my favorite issue from the 2nd Cockrum run.

    I'd probably put this one just after #150, but it's definitely one of my favorites.

    Never saw Megaforce. It's probably not worth the effort, but I'm curious as to how bad it is.


    Ditto. Though from what I've heard, it's awesomely bad.

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  9. Yeah, I definitely prefer Cockrum/Rubenstein to Cockrum/Wiacek, although that's a nice page design you called out.

    This is a darned good issue overall.

    German commando: "Stop struggling, Jewess!"

    At least he used the whole word. (I've always found "Jewess" hilarious.)

    Baron Von Strucker: "We have christened it the Satan claw."

    Is it just me or is that the most ironic possible use of the word "christened"?

    Lilandra: "Ah, my dear Charles, I did what any other would for the one they loved."

    "... Now, sweetheart, Who the f--- is Gaby?"

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  10. Gabby is kidnapped by Nazi war criminal Baron Von Strucker.

    Neighhhhhhh!

    The flashback in this issue depicts the first meeting between Xavier and Magneto

    Which is awesome, but it really was just a dozen issues ago that Xavier was lamenting that the X-Men had no background on their arch-enemy (as I see Matt has pointed out).

    Give it a read.

    I plan too; that's some good stuff. The first time you recommended his series I read some but never stuck with it because, you know, never enough time.

    Though her story is left untouched this issue

    Could you please stop reminding me about the Kitty's Boobs panel? (Get it? Left! Untouched! Ha!)

    From their perspective, Xavier is just staring at Gabby for awhile before she suddenly wakes up. 

    You expect so but then David says something about Gaby having described aloud what she was seeing, and presumably to complete the lack of totally suspicious behavior Xavier was speaking to her as he psychically guided her through the session as well.

    The Nazi's scheme involving hiding Hitler's gold in Africa and imprinting a map on a Jewish girl in a concentration camp seems unnecessarily complicated, even for Nazis in these kinds of stories.

    Really.

    It's incredibly dense, packing in a ton of story in its twenty-two pages.

    I'm constantly impressed by how much time it takes to read these issues, and how satisfying they are as chunks of an ongoing narrative, compared to most of the present-day comic books I read between installments of this here exercise — and that's even taking into account that I'm keeping my brain perked up for things to discuss.

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    1. "I'm constantly impressed by how much time it takes to read these issues, and how satisfying they are as chunks of an ongoing narrative, compared to most of the present-day comic books I read between installments of this here exercise"

      Exhibit A for why comic book sales are so low. Blame video games all you want, but if you have to pay $4.99 for a magazine that takes five minutes to read, you're not likely to do twice.

      Even the best modern superhero comics feel like 'scenes' in a story; six-issue collections feel like 'chapters'.

      I'd much rather read a good Bronze Age comic, where, as Jim Shooter put it, each 'unit of entertainment' tells a complete story.

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  11. @Matt: PART ONE OF A 2-PART COMMENT

    This still cracks me up. I love it.

    @Matt: That scene with Cyclops and Storm and the setting sun is fantastic.

    I was going to mention that page, too, and you have to give Glynis Wein credit for the colors as well. Not only is the setting sun lovely, the blue shade on the characters in the first couple of panels really adds mood, and the removal of the blue on Storm in the second of the two panels on the second tier of that page contrasts them in a way that was necessary given that Cockrum, to my eyes, sort-of violated a natural law of layout in repeating the position of her head too closely given that the the second panel wasn't an intentionally exact repeat of the previous one (the sort of thing that soon would just be statted).

    @Matt: I love Cyclops's blunt "then perhaps it's time I took my old job back"

    At least that line works. What really jumped out at me was the rather nonClaremontian "For pity's sake, woman, we're supposed to be heroes!" I know that we get stuff like "Lord help me" and "flamin'" and "for pity's sake" because the characters can't swear or even use "God" in an oath — obviously, Scott is basically saying (no offense) "Jesus Christ, Ororo!" — but the "woman" really seemed both stilted and unthinkingly chauvinist.

    @Matt: I love even more Storm's bizarre, way out-of-proportion screaming hissy fit after he makes the suggestion. I guess maybe she's stressed too.

    Or she was getting her monthly visit from Eric the Red, if you know what I mean, and you do.

    @Matt: At the very least, you might think Colossus would take her home to see their parents or something, instead of going out on a date with Kitty!.

    Can you imagine their small talk? "Just think, Peter! If Illyana had been stuck in that Limbo for just another half-a-second she'd be older'n you!" (awkward pause) "Our lives are weird."

    @Matt: But we have to remember that for a man who already sent a whole team of young mutants to die, then erased all knowledge of their existence from his friends' minds, this is but a minor offense.

    I thought that the team he'd erased from everyone's minds was a retconned All-New, All-Short-Lived X-Men team sent to Krakoa to rescue the original team before the team assembled in Giant-Size #1. Did he do that earlier instead or also?

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  12. Here's a link to those panels I just mentioned for anyone who doesn't have the issue handy.

    Brian Saner Lamken
    Supplementing Teebore's X-Men Examinations with Questions and Comments about Random Panels Since 2011

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  13. Teebore -- "...while Corsair takes the X-Men up to Lilandra's ship, he declines to join them aboard, telling Scott that while he respects Lilandra, he has 'no love -- and less trust -- for the Shi'ar'."

    Oh yeah, I remember that now. I guess it makes sense. Lilandra was in command of the Royal Navy under D'Ken, the guy who enslaved Corsair and murdered his wife. So I guess his exclusion is actually kind of valid.

    Teebore -- "Did we? I still feel like when that was pointed out in the first movie it was something to which I thought, "cool, they put that in the movie" and not "wow, that's a neat idea", but I have no idea when in the comics it would have been established. I'll have to keep my eye out for it."

    Yeah, you're right. I went back and looked, and it wasn't so much that we settled on it as that we couldn't come up with any time prior to the movie where it happened in the comics.

    Teebore -- "And, of course, Xavier and Magneto needed something that would disguise their features when they snuck into Stucker's camp, so it could just be something Cockrum made up on the spot for that reason alone."

    True, though Hydra masks have always had the bug-eyed cowl mask, so I'm not necessarily sure that was the concern.

    Teebore -- "Still, I at least appreciate the acknowledgement of the rug-sweeping. It's more than we'd get these days..."

    That is most definitely true. We would've had a six-issue story arc covering the X-Men's adventure in Limbo, then it would be shoved aside for the big "Brood Invasion!" storyline crossing through every Marvel comic for the next eight months.

    Blam -- "Is it just me or is that the most ironic possible use of the word "christened"?"

    Wow, I've never caught that before. Awesome observation! I would've enjoyed Xavier or Magneto responding with, "I do not think that word means what you think it means."

    Blam -- "I thought that the team he'd erased from everyone's minds was a retconned All-New, All-Short-Lived X-Men team sent to Krakoa to rescue the original team before the team assembled in Giant-Size #1. Did he do that earlier instead or also?"

    No, you're correct. I was just pointing out that, per recent Marvel history, Professor X had already done it before this issue happened.

    Though as far as I'm concerned, "Deadly Genesis" never took place.

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  14. @Matt: I was just pointing out that, per recent Marvel history, Professor X had already done it before this issue happened.

    That's where I got confused. Krakoa / "Second Genesis" / "Deadly Genesis" took place way after the flashback events of #161, which predate even those of X-Men #1. No?

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  15. Just to clarify, I should point out that I'm assuming we're being warped by "Marvel time" here, because even if Claremont hadn't made it clear from other references (in dialogue; Jean's headstone) that the X-Men haven't been around for over 20 years the fact that Xavier is just meeting Magnus/Magneto for the first time in the flashback means that it has to predate the X-Men's battle with him in X-Men #1 — considerably so, I think the story suggests — which of course came before Giant-Size X-Men #1.

    Maybe I'm mistaken that the events of Deadly Genesis take place during or just prior to those of Giant-Size #1. Did Xavier send that retconned team to deal with Krakoa before he even assembled the first X-Men team? I could look it up online but I'm about to head out.

    Anyway, I'm glad that you liked the "christened" catch. 8^)

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  16. First of all, just found this blog a few weeks back. Great reading! I anxiously await each X-Men entry.

    Did Xavier send that retconned team to deal with Krakoa before he even assembled the first X-Men team? I could look it up online but I'm about to head out.

    I'm not sure. I don't remember reading it that way. There were some scenes with Vulcan being introduced to Scott before the Krakoa incident; I don't recall when these were supposed to take place. Maybe it didn't matter because Xavier wiped the whole thing (including the training facility) from his mind anyway. If these mutants were gathered before the original team, I'm not sure how that would mesh with the various Amelia Voght, Tessa/Sage, and original X-Men origin stories. It would also raise the question of why the original team we actually got was assembled first if he had these other mutants waiting in the wings already (probably because they were less crazy). Who knows.

    Though as far as I'm concerned, "Deadly Genesis" never took place.

    And the successive story lines sure make that easier. I've never seen such a bold (if not outright insane) story followed by absolutely nothing. Yes, we got lots and lots of cosmic Vulcan and Shi'ar stories, but what's strange is that thematically, very few of them really focused on Vulcan and his relationship to his brothers, father, Xavier, etc. Hell, did Scott and Vulcan even meet again after Vulcan took off for space at the end of Deadly Genesis? I know there were some scenes with Havok and Corsair, but they certainly didn't drive any of the stories; it was just about this godlike lunatic wanting to take over the universe and the X-Men and company were just along for the ride. Could have just as easily been any villain, really. Hell, Black Bolt was the one who took him out! And since then, little follow up on Xavier's secret. It kind of got lost in the shuffle of the Danger story, the X-Men Legacy stuff, and overall Scott just changing as a person. It leads me to believe that Marvel kind of regretted Deadly Genesis; I think they knew after it hit that they turned up the "Xavier is an Asshole" dial way too far.

    Sorry for typing so much lol

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  17. Deadly Genesis and Xavier imprisoning the Danger Room's consciousness because the X-Men "needed training" are both developments I happily ignore.

    Speaking of Danger, as much as I loved Whedon's character work in the X-Men, his plots kind of suck. "Breakworld?" Gah.

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  18. @ Jeff

    I agree. I think Ord was just another of Whedon's "crazy villain who is really evil but unintentionally goofy and constantly made light of by his henchmen" Buffy villains. I'm sorry, I've never cared for Buffy or really much of anything Whedon's done. He had some good moments with established characters in Astonishing, but I would have rather kept Morrison.

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  19. @Blam: At least he used the whole word.

    Nicely done. :)

    Is it just me or is that the most ironic possible use of the word "christened"?

    Haha! As Matt said, I do not think that word means what he thinks it means.

    "... Now, sweetheart, Who the f--- is Gaby?"

    I was thinking the same thing. :)

    The first time you recommended his series I read some but never stuck with it because, you know, never enough time.

    I hear that. Which is one of the reasons I try to point out the especially good ones that blow my mind (since they're all pretty good on their own).

    Could you please stop reminding me about the Kitty's Boobs panel?

    *rimshot*

    presumably to complete the lack of totally suspicious behavior Xavier was speaking to her as he psychically guided her through the session as well.

    Ah, that would make sense.

    I'm constantly impressed by how much time it takes to read these issues, and how satisfying they are as chunks of an ongoing narrative, compared to most of the present-day comic books I read...

    Indeed. One of the things I use to console myself at the thought of the ever-expanding X-line at this point in the series is that by the time in gets really crazy (the 90s), the content in the issues themselves will start to get thinner, making it easier to cover more series in the same amount of time.

    Or she was getting her monthly visit from Eric the Red, if you know what I mean, and you do.

    Oh man, I'd put that in my personal lexicon right now if anyone else but those of us here would have any idea what I was talking about.

    Krakoa / "Second Genesis" / "Deadly Genesis" took place way after the flashback events of #161, which predate even those of X-Men #1.

    You are correct. In terms of in-story events, Xavier strung Gabby along for "her own good", THEN later recruited a team of X-Men to rescue the first team, only to have the second time die, prompting him to send a THIRD team to rescue the first team and promptly wipe the memory of the SECOND team from everyone's memories.

    At the risk of putting words in Matt's (virutal) mouth, I believe he was simply pointing out that to readers today (2012), the notion of Xavier playing games with Gabby's heart is nothing compared to some of the other things we've since learned he's done (and will do, in terms of the character's history), even if readers in 1982 weren't yet aware of them, and that he just mixed the "real time" events of the issue with the "flashback" events.

    Hopefully that didn't just make things all the muddier...

    @Matt: Lilandra was in command of the Royal Navy under D'Ken, the guy who enslaved Corsair and murdered his wife.

    Yeah, I kinda like that despite that, Corsair is still willing to help Lilandra, but that doesn't mean he has to be buddy-buddy w/the Shi'ar.

    True, though Hydra masks have always had the bug-eyed cowl mask, so I'm not necessarily sure that was the concern.

    Ah, good point. Probably just Cockrum having fun, then.

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  20. @Dan: Great reading! I anxiously await each X-Men entry.

    Thanks, and welcome aboard!

    Hell, did Scott and Vulcan even meet again after Vulcan took off for space at the end of Deadly Genesis?

    Now that you mention it, no, I don't believe they ever did.

    You're spot on that while Vulcan has certainly been used since "Deadly Genesis", there's nothing about the way he's been used that required him to be a Summers brother. He could be any vaguely-powered maniac and still work in all those stories.

    Sorry for typing so much lol

    No need to apologize for that around these parts. :)

    @Jeff: Speaking of Danger, as much as I loved Whedon's character work in the X-Men, his plots kind of suck. "Breakworld?" Gah.

    @Dan: I'm sorry, I've never cared for Buffy or really much of anything Whedon's done.

    I'm a huge Whedon fan (I'd count both Buffy and Angel as two of my favorite shows of all time), but his Astonishing run was very hit or miss for me.

    I appreciate the idea behind it (of making the X-Men superheroes again after Morrison's different though admittedly interesting take on the team), but the stories were pretty uneven. The first one was enjoyable enough, but "Danger" was pretty awful. The Hellfire Club story was okay but didn't live up to its potential, and I enjoyed the finale on Breakworld as a fun, if relatively basic, "X-Men in space" story, but it reads much better in one sitting than in monthly installments drawn out over years due to delays.

    But then again, I'm clearly a Whedon fan, so most of his tics didn't bother me, and like me, he was also clearly a huge Cyclops fan, so that won him a lot of points in my book.

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