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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #193

"Warhunt 2"
May 1985

In a Nutshell
Thunderbird kidnaps Banshee to avenge his brother's death.

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists: John Romita Jr. & Dan Green
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
On Muir Island, Banshee is attacked and captured by John Proudstar's brother, James, who has taken up his brother's mantle as Thunderbird. Meanwhile, Professor X awakens in the Morlock tunnels, taken there by a Morlock who found him after he was left for dead by the group of students who attacked him. His life saved by the Healer, Callisto warns him he must allow his body time to heal, then takes him back to the mansion. In the Rocky Mountains, Thunderbird visits the site of his brother's death, declaring his intent to extract revenge on Xavier. Despite having stated his desire to carry out this attack alone, he's joined by three of his Hellion teammates: Empath, Roulette and an enthralled Firestar, who merely want to cause trouble. Meanwhile, Storm's ship nears Africa. In New York, the X-Men are contacted by Thunderbird, who tells them he's taken Banshee to the NORAD facility within Cheyenne Mountain, and will kill him in 24 hours unless the X-Men intervene. Though doing so will invariably brand them as outlaws in the eye of the government, they agree they cannot abandon Banshee.


The X-Men sneak into the military base, leaving Xavier in the hidden Blackbird as backup. However, Empath and Roulette attack him, and in his weakened state, he is overwhelmed. As Wolverine and Kitty track down Banshee, Empath and Roulette proceed to use their powers to alert the military to the presence of the X-Men and ratchet up their panic. Wolverine and Kitty find Banshee and a waiting Thunderbird. He and Wolverine fight as Kitty gets Banshee to safety, but Thunderbird releases a gas which knocks out both X-Men. However, Thunderbird finds himself unable to leave them to die, and drags them to safety. The X-Men eventually overcome and capture the Hellions, but Thunderbird slips away and confronts Xavier. Xavier is able to talk Thunderbird down, convincing him that his brother made his own choices. Back at the mansion, the X-Men listen to a news report branding them outlaws. They offer Firestar and Thunderbird a place at the school, but they decline, even though it means continued association with their more nefarious fellow students. Meanwhile, a disguised Nimrod acclimates himself to the present day, ultimate deciding he needs more information to determine if his primary program of "defend humanity" still means the extermination of mutants. However, overhearing reports of a Juggernaut sighting in the city, he decides that he will hunt down and terminate outlaws such as the Juggernaut and the X-Men.

Firsts and Other Notables
This is a double-sized issue celebrating one hundred issues of the "All New, All Different" X-Men appearing in X-Men (since issue #94). As such, it returns to the setting of the story kicked off in that issue, as John Proudstar's brother, James (previously introduced in New Mutants as one of the Hellions) tries to extract vengeance on the X-Men for the death of his brother. As such, he appears in the Thunderbird costume for the first time, a look he will return to when he eventually joins the New Mutants shortly before their transition into X-Force.


After first debuting on TV as one of Spider-Man's titular friends on Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, Firestar makes her first appearance in regular Marvel continuity this issue (she made a previous comic book appearance in a one-shot issue based on the cartoon). She is a student of the White Queen and a Hellion, and is shown to be under the emotional thrall of Empath. She will eventually star in a limited series which fleshes out her background and the events which led her to be a student at the Massachusetts Academy.


After being attacked at the end of last issue, Xavier, who was near death, is brought back by the Morlock Healer, though Callisto warns him he needs to give his body time to heal and take it easy, physically and psychically. This marks Claremont's roughly fourth attempt to depower or sideline Xavier to keep him from solving all the X-Men's powers telepathically. The debilitating effect of his injuries is immediately made apparent in this issue, and will remain an ongoing source of frustration for the character, ultimately leading to his departure and most prolonged absence from the team.   


Kitty debuts a new costume in this issue. She's got the name now, but it's not quite her classic Shadowcat look, though we're getting closer.


Rachel is considered to have officially joined the team as of this issue, though as of yet she has not been given a codename (or much of a costume).

It's revealed that the children of one of the Morlocks, Annalee, have been killed. Their deaths will form the foundation of the plot of a future issue, and their killer eventually revealed to be a Marauder, making this issue the first hint towards the upcoming "Mutant Massacre" storyline, roughly a year-and-half away (Callisto offhandedly mentions the Healer has been busy of late, another hint at the upcoming massacre).
 

The issue ends with a thank you to Len Wein and Dave Cockrum, who "had the dream", as well as Tom Orzechowski and Glynis Wein, who have "been with us from the beginning". 

The Chronology Corner 
This issue picks up shortly after the closing pages of the previous issue, following the attack on Professor X. Banshee returns to Muir Island, accompanied by, amongst others, Xavier, Doug and Dani (seen in this issue), in New Mutants #26.

A Work in Progress
Callisto reiterates that Storm leads the Morlocks, and will do so until she regains her powers, gains new ones, or dies.


Professor X meets Callisto and sees the Alley for the first time. It's also established that the Morlock tunnels branch out from Manhattan, and reach as far as Westchester.


Callisto says she received some of her scars when she attempted to return to the surface.


Storm appears briefly, aboard the ship nearing Africa, and has a vision of her mother.


Once the mission goes south, Nightcrawler beats himself up, twice comparing himself to Cyclops and Storm and saying things would have gone better if they were in charge.


Colossus gets to the be the "ball" in a fastball special.


Officially branded as outlaws by the government, the X-Men deal with the Hellions themselves, showing mercy and declaring themselves more concerned with justice than law.


Nimrod reveals he was already traveling through time when he encountered a strange force that brought him to this timeline, establishing that Dr. Strange's spell in issue #191 didn't pull Nimrod into the past but merely redirected him to this particular past.


I Love the 80s
Rachel joins the team in this issue, but her costume consists of some combination of overalls and exercise pants.


Ah, yes, a catchweb, of course. What else could it be? Also, Nightcrawler once again can't concentrate enough to teleport, but can concentrate enough to think about how he can't concentrate enough to teleport.


Despite his recent injuries, Professor is shown smoking a pipe when the X-Men return to the mansion.


Nimrod contents on the primitive nature of the Rodriquez's computer.


"Professor Xavier is a JerkPunk!"
Xavier awakens in the Morlock Tunnels dressed in a leather/punk look, and when he returns to the mansion, gets hassled about by the X-Men, with Sam repeating Xavier's words to him when he was admonished for wearing a tattered Lila Cheney t-shirt in New Mutants #24. 


Young Love
Firestar spends most of the issue in the thrall of Empath, believing she loves him thanks to his power.


Rachel Summers, Crybaby
When asked to use her power to locate Banshee inside NORAD, Rachel promptly freaks out, and pretty much spends the rest of the issue crying so hard she's completely useless to the team.


Rogue, at least, has noted that Rachel's default state seems to be "crying". 


Human/Mutant Relations
In the wake of their "attack" on NORAD, the X-Men are branded outlaws by the government, and become the subjects of a nation-wide manhunt.


Teebore's Take
To celebrate one hundred issues featuring the "All New, All Different" X-Men which debuted in 1975, Claremont pushes the X-Men across a significant threshold: in the wake of their well-intentioned attack on NORAD, the X-Men have now been officially branded outlaws in the eyes of the law. This, coupled with the rising tide of anti-mutant sentiment Claremont has been slowly building for dozens of issues across multiple titles, puts the X-Men in a unique position. Never celebrated within the context of the Marvel Universe on the same level of the Avengers or the Fantastic Four, the X-Men nevertheless always fought in support of the law of the land.

Now, as Professor Xavier's discussion with Thunderbird at the end of this issue suggests, the X-Men have found themselves in a position where they must dole out justice to fellow mutants themselves, on their own terms. This issue, then, marks a turning point in Claremont's re-contextualization of the X-Men as superheroes, the beginning of a phase that will find them increasingly forced to ally with some of their once greatest foes in the face of ever-more dangerous threats, threats from both mutants and, increasingly, the very government they once fought to protect (we see it already in this issue: the Hellions, having caused no real damage to anything beyond the X-Men's reputation, are allowed to return to their headmistress, the White Queen, and forge their own path, because allowing them to return to the fold of one of the X-Men's previously-greatest enemies isn't as bad as handing them over for traditional justice at the hands of a human government).

But Claremont and Romita Jr. wisely couch all this heady stuff in a ridiculously fun issue that pays homage to the book's more traditional superhero roots even while it's upending them. Returning to the setting of the new X-Men's first, and most Silver Age-y, story, the creators turn in a double-sized issue that celebrates everything that's great about the X-Men, packing it full with clever action, strong characterization, and multifaceted villains. In that the immediate conflict of this story is raised, addressed and resolved within the confines of the issue's pages, it is arguably the most traditionally "done-in-one" issue of the Claremont/Romita Jr. run (even while it is building on previous events and will go on to inform later events, continuing their run's "narrative chapter" aesthetic), making the issue both a celebration and repudiation of the book's more traditional superhero past.

Next Issue
Tomorrow, New Mutants #28 sees the conclusion to the "Legion" story arc, and next week, Uncanny X-Men #194 sees the return of Juggernaut.

10 comments:

  1. Returning to the setting of the new X-Men's first, and most Silver Age-y, story

    How dare you refer to the monacle-wearing "Count Nefaria" and his plan as "Silver Age-y." You're lucky he doesn't release the Ani-Men on you for such a ludicrous assertion! (I actually really love George Perez's re-design when Nefaria re-appeared in the Avengers as a Superman rip-off.)

    Has Rachel achieved anything as part of this team? Why would the other X-Men give her any trust at all? She breaks down crying every time she's reminded of her DARK SECRET. I don't think she could see a picture of Huckleberry Hound without letting out a "choke!" sound. What's so odd about this is that Claremont in the past has been so good at showing Kitty and then Rogue saving the day and showing that they're a valuable part of the team. I wonder if it's a conscious decision to make Rachel not fit, as part of the book's darker turn around this time.

    No idea this was Firestar's first canon appearance, I would've guessed it was her limited series, which comes out almost a year later. I wonder if they just put it on the back-burner or something. I'd buy that, considering I don't think she did anything of note after that limited series until her character was resuscitated by being a New Warrior. On the one hand, that seems like a waste, considering the crossover potential the character had by being featured on a popular cartoon. On the other, her character was basically a super-powered Mary Jane in a yellow bodysuit, so I'm not sure if I can really blame Marvel for not cashing in.

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  2. I like the idea behind this issue. Revisiting the "new" X-Men's first mission a hundred issues later is a good plan. Using Thunderbird's death from that story as the impetus for the sequel makes a lot of sense. However the story itself falls kind of flat, in large part due to the fact that (not counting the hostage Banshee and the vacationing Storm), only three of the X-Men from the original "Warhunt" feature in this story.

    I guess it's cool to see how much things have changed in the past hundred issues, but for me it would be cooler to "get the band back together" for this anniversary issue by including Cyclops and Storm in the action while somehow excluding Rogue, Kitty, and Rachel -- though obviously Storm's ongoing subplot makes this impossible for her, at least. And we just saw Cyclops in X-Men & Alpha Flight and will see him again very soon in the run up to issue #200... but still.

    Why does Firestar get to wear her normal costume instead of a Hellions uniform? I mean, I get it from a marketing perspective, but is there an in-story reason? Maybe it's in her limited series.

    "Callisto reiterates that Storm leads the Morlocks, and will do so until she regains her powers, gains new ones, or dies."

    Why would Storm getting her powers back suddenly cost her the leadership of the Morlocks? Did I miss something? She had her powers when she became their leader, after all. If anything, I'd expect that losing them might have cost her position, since she's not technically a mutant anymore.

    "Rachel joins the team in this issue, but her costume consists of some combination of overalls and exercise pants."

    Rachel's costumes never impressed me much. The red spiked one is kind of her definitive look, I guess, but it's not that impressive. I can't believe how many years it took before someone (namely Alan Davis) finally realized the no-brainer idea to put her in the original Phoenix costume (though she looked better in the Dark Phoenix outfit since red had been her primary color for so long).

    "Rogue, at least, has noted that Rachel's default state seems to be 'crying'. "

    Wow, in that panel Rogue is also possibly the first and only character ever in any sort of fiction to attempt a follow-up question when someone makes a cryptic comment!

    (Seriously, I can't tell you how much that frustrates me -- often in TV shows, where a scene ends right after such a comment, and you just know there's no way anyone would let a conversation drop on that note, but somehow they always do. Lost is the biggest culprit in my recent memory, but there have been plenty more.)

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  3. UXM#192 and 193 were my first issues. My view of 2nd-generation X-Men was from the SPIDER-MAN & HIS AMAZING FRIENDS episode "The X-Men Adventure," so I asked my parents to get me the X-Men comics based on that show. Imagine my surprise to see UXM#192, with its grotesque cover and the changes in appearances! Storm with a mohawk! Colossus wearing belts on his costume (instead of the yellow-red costume I will forever love)! I actually thought the X-designs in SPIDER-MAN was just something they made-up for the show. Fortunately, finding UXM ANNUAL 5 proved me wrong, and I began getting earlier issues like the 2nd Cockrum run (the John Byrne era seemed to be untouchable financially, with UXM#123 and 137 the only issues in my family's possession at the time) and CLASSIC X-MEN.
    With UXM#193 I recognized Firestar and Thunderbird (from SPIDER-MAN & HIS AMAZING FRIENDS), but was confused by the latter's angry characterization and his inability to transform into a bear (as in SPIDER-MAN). It wasn't until CXM#3 that I found out the original had died and this was his brother (and no such bear powers existed).
    That said, I came to love this story. The highlight is Xavier's talk with Thunderbird II. Sure, one can argue that the guy would instantly stabbed Xavier, but it works for me.

    I think Callisto feels Ororo has been 'crippled' in some way by her power-loss, and feels it disrespectful to challenge her again while in her present condition.

    My question: Considering the many months span between the Logan/Kitty-X-Men reunion and Xavier's X-MAS beating, how long did it take for Ororo to reach Africa?

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  4. Bernard the PoetMay 3, 2013 at 7:27 AM

    It has been many years since I read this issue, but my abiding memory is there is a great big plot-hole involving Rogue. On one panel, she is on her all-fours, half conscious, surrounded my Mandroids. The next time we see her, she is on board the Blackbird and looks fine. As a kid, I re-read that comic half-a-dozen times trying to find out how she escaped. In the end, I had to conclude that Claremont had made a mistake. Oh my lost innocence.

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  5. Bernard the PoetMay 3, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    @Matt
    "Seriously, I can't tell you how much that frustrates me -- often in TV shows, where a scene ends right after such a comment, and you just know there's no way anyone would let a conversation drop on that note, but somehow they always do."

    That drives me around the bend too. It is just bad writing, but it is so ubiquitous, viewers have stopped noticing it.

    While we are on the topic of bad writing, can I say that I hate the word, "sis". In my entire life, I have never once heard anyone refer to their sister as "sis," but in films, television and comic books, you hear all the time. If a writer can't think of a way of demonstrating that two people are related, other than have one of them call the other, "sis", then they should probably find another line of work.

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  6. @Dobson: I wonder if it's a conscious decision to make Rachel not fit, as part of the book's darker turn around this time.

    That could be. I also wonder if he's just too hung up on the "refugee from a dark future" thing, giving her no other significant characterization and thus constantly having to go back to the same well again and again. At least after she adopts the Phoenix mantle there's another beat to play, but she's written off shortly thereafter.

    I wonder if they just put it on the back-burner or something.

    I feel like they had to have been, for whatever reason, especially since it was mentioned in a footnote in New Mutants #26, meaning it was in the works by the time she appeared in this issue (so it's not like there was a huge response to her in this issue that led to the limited series). It just seems odd that the character would appear here, and her limited series first mentioned, almost a full year before it saw print.

    And yeah, like you said, after that series, she pretty much disappeared until New Warriors. Which is odd. Though I suppose by then, whatever cross-marketing appeal there was had disappeared with the show.

    @Matt: And we just saw Cyclops in X-Men & Alpha Flight and will see him again very soon in the run up to issue #200... but still.

    Yeah, I think this issue was intended as the "see how far things have come" issue, with #200 reserved for the "getting the band back together" issue, what with Storm and Cyclop's involvement in that issue.

    I mean, I get it from a marketing perspective, but is there an in-story reason?

    I've never read her limited series, so I don't know if it's established there or not, but was she forced to wear the costume at this point to control her power?

    I know that was a plot point during her stint on the Avengers and, I think, at least part of New Warriors, but if that's been the case since the beginning, that might explain it (though it doesn't explain why whatever it is about her costume that controls her power couldn't have been put into a traditional Hellions uniform...).

    Why would Storm getting her powers back suddenly cost her the leadership of the Morlocks?

    Yeah, as angmc43 suggested, I believe Callisto is saying that since Storm won the title as a mutant, neither Callisto nor anyone else can challenge her for the title until Storm either regains her powers or acquires different ones. Thus, she's the leader until she gets some powers, is challenged by someone and loses, or dies.

    The red spiked one is kind of her definitive look, I guess, but it's not that impressive.

    It's not, but at least it looks more like a superhero costume than the odd assemblage of 80s clothes she's wearing here. I really like the variation on the Phoenix costume Art Adams gives her in the annual, but I don't think it sticks past that issue.

    Seriously, I can't tell you how much that frustrates me -- often in TV shows, where a scene ends right after such a comment, and you just know there's no way anyone would let a conversation drop on that note, but somehow they always do

    Oh yeah, that's one of me and Dr. Bitz's biggest pet peeves. It's especially bad when there's no scene break to cover up the lack of a follow up question, and the character instead simply doesn't ask it for no good reason other than continued mystery. We complain about it all the time, especially since, as Bernard the Poet said, it's become frustratingly common on TV, especially genre TV.

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  7. @angmc43: ...but was confused by the latter's angry characterization and his inability to transform into a bear

    Ah, yeah, I'd forgotten he could do that on the show. It was odd to include a character who'd been dead for years (and was notable mainly for dying), but I can see why the producers of that episode decided to give him a more obvious/visually interesting power.

    The highlight is Xavier's talk with Thunderbird II. Sure, one can argue that the guy would instantly stabbed Xavier, but it works for me.

    I think Thunderbird's doubts over actually killing someone had been established enough that I can buy him not instantly stabbing Xavier. Besides, he wanted Xavier to know why he was killing him, which meant monologuing, which gave Xavier time to say his piece.

    Considering the many months span between the Logan/Kitty-X-Men reunion and Xavier's X-MAS beating, how long did it take for Ororo to reach Africa?

    She was present for X-Men Annual #8, which took place during that gap, so she wouldn't have left for Africa until, presumably, right before the events of X-Men/Alpha Flight, which occurs right before the X-mas beating which leads right into this issue. Since she's taking a boat and is, presumably, not in a rush (perhaps making stops along the way), it's not too hard to believe she's taken a couple weeks to get there.

    @Bernard the Poet: On one panel, she is on her all-fours, half conscious, surrounded my Mandroids. The next time we see her, she is on board the Blackbird and looks fine.

    I went back to the issue and looked for this. You're right that there's a panel where she's surrounded by the Mandroids/SecBots, but the next time we see her is when she flies out of the mountain (through the hole created by Firestar, who was previously in the room with her, Colossus and the SecBots and has since flown off with Colossus) and takes out Firestar. It's definitely a rough transition, though Rogue's costume is more disheveled when she emerges from the mountain, suggesting she fought off the SecBots.

    So it's definitely a plot hole, though I'd call it a smaller one rather than a big one (all the times I've read this issue, I didn't notice it until you pointed it out) since there's at least some indication of off-panel events involving Rogue having occurred. It definitely could have used a line of dialogue or thought bubble, though.

    In my entire life, I have never once heard anyone refer to their sister as "sis," but in films, television and comic books, you hear all the time.

    My wife and her sister will sometimes refer to each other as "sister" in passing (as in, "hello my sister"), though I've never heard them use "sis" specifically, and they use "sister" in a mannered, deliberate way (that is, they seem to know it's not a term people often use to address one another in normal conversation).

    The one that really bugs me in fiction writing is "friend". How often does anyone ever actually refer to a friend directly as "my friend"? As in, "my friend, what time is the movie?", as opposed to, "Bob, what time is the movie?"? Yet characters in fiction do it all the time.

    (For that matter, characters in fiction probably use proper names in general far more often than most people actually do. Heck, thanks to my propensity for using multiple nicknames and the fact that we're usually the only two people in our house, I can go days without ever using my wife's given name).

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  8. Kitty debuts a new costume in this issue.

    I didn't remember that Kitty's new shorter 'do had morphed into something so mullety. And that bulky jacket has to go. She looks like the answer to "What if John Romita Jr. designed a superhero outfit for one of the Indigo Girls? Note: Pantsuit jacket mandatory." Ouch.

    Frankly, Romita's costumes for women seem to fall into one of two categories: Dress Barn or Jazzercise.

    While I'm on a clothing rant: Xavier's leather getup is ridiculous, and I'm not just talking about how he looks. I can see Callisto not having much else available to dress him with other than rags (although the fact that she has copies of her own punk togs on hand in men's sizes is questionable) and can certainly see her wanting to dress him up in something embarrassing to him as well. The headband and armbands are a little much, however.

    Plus, Rogue's hair totally changed from the short wavy cut that we see on her in the Danger Room outing to a longer, frizzed-out look at NORAD. Maybe right after we see her toweling it off in the situation room she stuck her finger in a socket and sprayed her hair in place.

    Callisto reiterates that Storm leads the Morlocks, and will do so until she regains her powers, gains new ones, or dies.

    I'm not sure I understand that. The only way for it not to be redundant is if Callisto means that if Ororo dies through no fault of Callisto's, then her leadership is nullified, but that Callisto will only challenge Ororo to another battle to the death if Ororo gains or regains powers of some sort. Isn't Ororo not having powers some strange loophole that, if it means Callisto won't challenge her because she's unpowered, should also invalidate her as Morlock leader? This is all apart from how completely laissez-faire she is with the group, too.

    Despite his recent injuries, Professor is shown smoking a pipe when the X-Men return to the mansion.

    And yet I still didn't find that as ridiculous as Wolverine lighting up after he and Kitty recovered from the neuro-toxin gas — not because it would mean anything thanks to his healing factor, but because they were on a clandestine mission in NORAD headquarters.

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  9. Other thoughts:

    Hey, I don't remember anybody I knew having a modem in 1985, so the Rodriguez family's ahead of the curve.

    To whom is Xavier talking when he says to keep the mansion protected while he's gone? It seems like Wolverine, but that makes no sense. Everyone in the "situation room" ends up going on the mission.

    I was actually impressed that Claremont gave us a caption on how, after the X-Men were celebrated for stopping Nefaria's attack on NORAD's Valhalla headquarters, "Trust faded, friends fell silent ...". He also had one of the "Secbot" operators mention the X-Men's heroism back then and question what might have brought them back.

    On the other hand, Claremont gets twenty demerits for the neuro-toxin gas affecting Kitty even while she's phasing (and therefore not breathing air) simply because Claremont wanted it to.

    We really need some dialogue establishing that Kitty has to concentrate to make electronics malfunction when she phases through them — or at least that if she concentrates she can make them not malfunction. Otherwise phasing through walls and floors all over NORAD headquarters (never mind into the Blackbird) would cause lots of problems.

    @Dobson — "Huckleberry Hound"!

    @Matt — I ditto your calling bullpucky on characters not questioning cryptic statements. As for Callisto's remark about Ororo, I see that Teebore has preemptively echoed my own attempt to make sense of it above.

    @angmc43 — Thunderbird could turn into a bear?!? Granted, I haven't seen any of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends since it aired, but while I remember the X-Men episode somewhat, with Iceman and Firestar returning to the team (and Wolverine's Australian accent, which I think he also had for the "Pryde of the X-Men" pilot), I possess no memory of Thunderbird appearing on it let alone him turning into a bear.

    @Bernard — I probably haven't used it with my own sister much if ever, but I have a dear friend who's always been like an older sister to me whom I often affectionately call "Sis". And my cousins and I use "Cuz" with some regularity, too. I wonder if we're expository fictional characters and don't know it.

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  10. @Blam: I didn't remember that Kitty's new shorter 'do had morphed into something so mullety.

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure we can blame 80s fashion aficionado JRjr. for that.

    Frankly, Romita's costumes for women seem to fall into one of two categories: Dress Barn or Jazzercise.

    Ha! It's funny cuz it's true.

    not because it would mean anything thanks to his healing factor, but because they were on a clandestine mission in NORAD headquarters.

    When you gotta smoke, you gotta smoke. Seriously though, good point.

    Hey, I don't remember anybody I knew having a modem in 1985, so the Rodriguez family's ahead of the curve.

    At the risk of class-stereotyping, I was frankly surprised that someone who worked, essentially, as a longshoremen on the docks had a personal computer in 1985 (in his son's room, and not, say, a family room), let alone one with a modem. Maybe Mrs. Rodriguez works with Gordon Gecko.

    To whom is Xavier talking when he says to keep the mansion protected while he's gone?

    I'm pretty sure I took that to mean setting up automated defenses or some such (ie locking the door) before they leave, but I admit that's something of a stretch.

    On the other hand, Claremont gets twenty demerits for the neuro-toxin gas affecting Kitty even while she's phasing (and therefore not breathing air) simply because Claremont wanted it to.

    Yeah, there's some business in the text about how Kitty slips up and rematerializes briefly, forcing her to breath the gas (or something like that), but the art doesn't support it at all (she's mid phase in the panel with that caption), so it just comes off as a slip-up.

    Otherwise phasing through walls and floors all over NORAD headquarters (never mind into the Blackbird) would cause lots of problems.

    Indeed.



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