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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #212

"The Last Run"
December 1986

In a Nutshell 
Wolverine battles Sabretooth in the Morlock Tunnels. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Guest Artist: Rick Leonardi
Inker: Dan Green
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
In the Morlock Tunnels, Wolverine stalks amongst the dead, seeking a Marauder to bring back to the mansion for questioning. At the school, the X-Men, led by Moira and Sharon Friedlander, work feverishly to save as many of the wounded Morlocks as they can. Storm, checking in on the permanently-phased Kitty and the comatose Nightcrawler, suddenly has a crisis of faith and runs off, out onto the mansion's grounds. Colossus attempts to go after her, but suddenly collapses. Psylocke is able to telepathically determine that he's still alive, while Magneto uses his power to see that Colossus is leaking energy through all the wounds he received from Riptide. In the tunnels, Wolverine once again picks up the scent of X-Factor, and his confusion over the seeming presence of Jean's scent allows his old foe Sabretooth to get the drop on him. Back at the mansion, Magneto is able to repair the damage and return Colossus to consciousness, but he is unexpectedly paralyzed.


Meanwhile, Wolverine realizes that Sabretooth has captured the Morlock Healer, and goads him into a fight to keep his attention away from the Healer. Elsewhere, Callisto tracks down Storm, and forces her to face her responsibilities as the leader of both the X-Men and the Morlocks, telling Storm that if she quits now, that if Xavier's dream isn't worth fighting for, all the blood that's been spilled will have been for nothing. Back in the tunnels, the fight between Wolverine and Sabretooth rages until Wolverine is able to bring a portion of the tunnel ceiling down on Sabretooth, cutting the fight short in order to get the Healer to safety. He returns to the mansion, telling Rogue when he arrives that he picked up the scents of the New Mutants in the tunnels. However, before they can investigate, a blast of energy suddenly fills the tunnels, scouring it clean, and Wolverine realizes that if the New Mutants were anywhere in the tunnel when that blast went off, they're dead.  

Firsts and Other Notables
After appearing as a member of the Marauders in X-Factor #10, Sabretooth makes his X-Men debut this issue, beginning a long-standing association with the title as an antagonist of the team in general and Wolverine specifically, and even, eventually, an occasional member of the team.


Sabretooth first appeared in Iron Fist #14 as a generic mercenary character, and, interestingly, as detailed here, his face as it appeared in that issue was originally created by John Byrne as a design for Wolverine's unmasked face. As detailed here, Claremont and Byrne had plans to establish Sabretooth as an old foe of Wolverine's long before this issue (including the idea that Sabretooth is Wolverine's father, something Claremont will continue to tease throughout his tenure before a later writer ultimately establishes that they are not related) that were ultimately scuttled by Byrne's departure from the title. Also, as detailed here, Claremont has said that he intended to reveal that most appearances of Sabretooth (including in this issue and the next) were actually clones of the original created by Mr. Sinister, in order to explain how Wolverine is able to beat him while also allowing the real Sabretooth to consistently outclass Wolverine.  

In the course of the issue, Colossus collapses, and Magneto uses his power to view the world in terms of energy patterns, thus determining that Colossus is suffering from wounds inflicting by Riptide despite being armored. Magneto is able to heal him (by essentially repairing the holes in Colossus' metal skin), but when Colossus awakens, he is unexpectedly paralyzed, making him the third member of the team, after Shadowcat and Nightcrawler, to be sidelined as a result of the massacre.


The leader of the Marauders gets a name, Mr. Sinister, the first time that character is identified in a comic, and the massacre is given a vague reason for occurring: the Morlocks are wild cards, and Mr. Sinister doesn't like wild cards (this more or less fits with the ridiculous retcon that reveals the true motive behind the massacre, established in the mid 90s).


The X-Men learn in this issue that the New Mutants snuck out of the mansion and entered the tunnels, though the subsequent energy blast and their overall disappearance (as we'll see in New Mutants #47, they escaped first to Limbo, then elsewhere) ultimately leads them to believe the students have been killed.


The blast in question was triggered by Thor in Thor #373, as an attempt to give the fallen Morlocks a Viking funeral by incinerating their bodies (and also, conveniently, purging the tunnels of dead and decaying bodies, so future stories can be set there without having to deal with all that).


Dan Green returns to ink the issue, while Rick Leonardi fills in on pencils, beginning a stint in which he'll essentially serve as the book's go-to fill-in artist.  

The corner box on the cover has been updated, removing Rachel.

The Chronology Corner
Wolverine mentions encountering Power Pack in the tunnels between last issue and this one, which occurred in Power Pack #27 (though a footnote wrongly cites Power Pack #29).

A Work in Progress
It's established that the Morlock Tunnels have psionic barriers surrounding them, making it difficult (but not impossible) for Psylocke to telepathically reach Wolverine while he's in the tunnels. This presumably also explains why neither Xavier nor Cerebro detected the Morlocks prior to the X-Men's first encounter with them.


Kurt remains in a coma, while Kitty is still unable to unphase, and is being contained in some kind of large jar. She is described as being a "living ghost"; presumably this means she doesn't need to eat or drink, or else she'd be in danger of starving to death soon. 


Tom Corsi is on hand (appearing in X-Men for the first time), helping stand guard over the mansion's entrance to the Morlock Tunnels. 


In a grim little detail, they X-Men are using their hangar as a temporary morgue.  


Wolverine once again detects the scents of the original X-Men in the tunnels (including Jean's), though he now refers to them as X-Factor and wonders why they're hunting down mutants, suggesting that Magneto has shared his discovery that X-Factor constitutes the original X-Men with, at least, Wolverine.


Wolverine rescues the Morlock Healer and brings him to the mansion, as Claremont wisely recalls that one of the Morlocks has a healing power that would come in handy now, and thus needs to be addressed one way or the other. Of course, we won't actually see the Healer heal anyone, and he won't next appear until issue #254, but at least we know he survived the massacre and was, presumably, healing some of the injured Morlocks off panel.

I Love the 80s
In a rather clunky expository scene, Psylocke telepathically contacts Wolverine and introduces herself, even though she's been hanging around the mansion for at least a few days, and the characters previously interacted in X-Men Annual #10. She and Wolverine proceed to have a conversation regarding Wolverine's goals (find a Marauder to interrogate) and what can be done to the rest (kill them) that rehashes his conversation with Storm which ended the previous issue.


Claremontisms
Storms "misses, needs" Nightcrawler's laughter. 


The Best There is at What He Does
It's established that Wolverine has a history with Sabretooth, and Wolverine asserts that while he's a man who sometimes kills, Sabretooth is a killer.


For Sale
I never played it much (neither I nor any of my friends had a set), but Lazer Tag was, as with most things involving lasers, never as much fun as it should have been. 


A new fall means new Saturday morning cartoons, including Gummi Bears (bouncing here and there and everywhere...).


It's in the Mail
The letters page returns, featuring letters discussing issue #198(!), an issue which seemingly gets mixed reviews (the letters are split almost evenly between those who liked the issue and those who didn't, though of course, there's no guarantee this is a representative sampling of all the mail the X-office received regarding the issue).

A response to one of the letters teases an upcoming story called "Unfinished Business", which is intended to return to the the Storm/Forge relationship. I'm not sure if this is a reference to the ultimately-aborted third "LifeDeath" story, or something else entirely. Regardless, this never comes to fruition, as Storm and Forge's story ultimately gets handled in the main title and plays an integral role in "Fall of the Mutants".  

Teebore's Take
As mentioned in the previous issue's post, "Mutant Massacre" is both the prototypical X-Men crossover event and an atypical one, and one example of that is made clear in this issue: the entire story began and climaxed last issue, as X-Men #212, only one issue after the story started in earnest (or two, or five, depending on how many of the tie-ins you're reading), starts the denouement, as the X-Men begin to deal with the ramifications of the massacre and the changes it has wrought. While the immediate tension and sense of dread relative to the previous issue is lessened, Claremont keeps the sense of despair on high and continues to make significant changes to the status quo: Kitty and Kurt remain out of action, Storm suffers a crisis of confidence, Colossus almost dies, then ends up paralyzed, the leader of the Marauders gets a name and a vague motivation, the New Mutants have gone missing, and Wolverine encounters a new (old) foe.

It is this last item that makes this issue standout (and, once upon a time, helped skyrocket its price on the back issue market): the beginning of the Wolverine/Sabretooth rivalry. At this point in his history, Wolverine is clearly the fan-favorite, breakout character of the series, but the creation of this relationship with Sabretooth (which immediately is revealed to have been in place long before their encounter in this issue) is an important step in his transition into a leading character, capable of carrying in his own title (and, eventually, titles): with Sabretooth, Wolverine receives an archenemy, his Joker or Dr. Doom, a dark reflection of his character. One can certainly quibble about whether Wolverine's rise to superstardom is ultimately a good or bad thing, but that rise is inarguably a significant event in the history of the X-Men's narrative, and an important step in the development of his character. In fact, the most surprising part of the Wolverine/Sabretooth relationship, especially given how significant it becomes, is that both characters existed for as long as they did without it. 

Next Issue
Tomorrow, the New Mutants meet and old new friend in New Mutants #47, then X-Factor deals with fallout from the massacre in X-Factor #11, and next week, more fun with Sabretooth in Uncanny X-Men #213. 

18 comments:

  1. Love Rick Leonardi. It amazes me that he never had a long, distinctive run on any major Marvel series. I know he did Spider-Man 2099, but I don't really count that as "mainstream". He did some fill-ins on Amazing Spider-Man during the DeFalco/Frenz era (right around this time), and they looked great. He would've been a fantastic regular artist on any Spidey title.

    It never ceases to astound me that Wolverine and Sabreteooth didn't meet on panel until more than a decade after they had first appeared! Their rivalry is so ingrained in the mythos that you just assume it had to have happened sooner.

    The idea that Byrne and Claremont wanted Sabretooth to kill Mariko, and then Wolverine to kill Sabretooth, is an interesting one, too. I suppose Sabretooth would have just appeared and been killed in very short order.

    Claremont revisted Sabretooth as Wolverine's father in X-Men Forever, though the plot point really served no purpose. And it was weird, because he just showed up talking about Wolverine as his "boy", and the X-Men just went along with it like they'd always known this. Sometimes I really think Claremont forgets what he wrote versus what he thought he wrote.

    "It's established that the Morlock Tunnels have psionic barriers surrounding them..."

    How???

    "A response to one of the letters teases an upcoming story called "Unfinished Business", which is intended to return to the the Storm/Forge relationship."

    I believe "Unfinished Business" is the title of Uncanny #220 (the one where Storm is walking into Forge's house yelling, "Forge! Where are you? I want my powers back!" while a drooling vegetable Forge hangs out in the foreground).

    Lastly -- I just need to reiterate that the Morlock healer still has the coolest character design of a throwaway character, ever.

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  2. @Matt: It amazes me that he never had a long, distinctive run on any major Marvel series.

    Me too. It just seems like he made his career being a perennial fill-in/low profile guy, which is odd, since he's got the talent to carry a major title.

    I never used to like his work when I was kid, mainly because I first encountered it when he was trading arcs and/or issues with Silvestri on Uncanny, and I objected to his work on the principle that I hated fill-ins/stories or runs broken up by other artists, so I just wanted Silvestri doing anything.

    Of course, nowadays, the idea of a single artist doing a protracted run on a title is nearly unheard of, and I've learned to live it, and revisiting Leonardi's work without having the stigma of "fill-in" attached to it, I quite like it, and frankly, wish he'd done more.

    And it was weird, because he just showed up talking about Wolverine as his "boy", and the X-Men just went along with it like they'd always known this.

    Yeah, X-Men Forever had tons of little bits like that, stuff where Claremont had clearly made a change to something that happened before the supposed deviation point of X-Men vol. 2 #3 yet everyone acted like it had always been that way.

    Even stuff like everyone knowing Gambit as "Remy Picard" - fine, you changed his real name, whatever. But no name beyond "Gambit" had been revealed to any of the X-Men at that point, yet they acted like they just knew that was his name. Really irritating.

    How???

    Magnetically. :)

    I suppose you could make a case that a telepath has to pierce several miles of concrete/dirt/pipes/whatever to get there (no matter how ludicrous the idea of the tunnels being "miles" beneath the city is, that's what they keep saying), except that isn't quite the same as "psychic barriers".

    I believe "Unfinished Business" is the title of Uncanny #220

    Interesting (prior to this blog, I paid little to no attention to the titles of stories, so I'll take your word for it). I wonder if Claremont intended it to appear elsewhere (in a one shot or whatever), or earlier in the series, or if he really did title his stories that far in advance...

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  3. That's a nice scene of Ororo looking over comatose Kurt. In an earlier issue in UXM#209, we saw Ororo's agonized reaction when Nimrod seemingly disintegrated Nightcrawler. Underneath the cold badarse Storm is someone who cares very much for her friends.

    Many collections of this story (the first paperback and the first Essential publications) would excise the page of Storm ripping her clothes off.

    Weren't the Morlock Tunnels former Nuclear War shelters? If it could withstand atomic radiation, then I suppose psionic radiation wouldn't work as well.

    Ahh, GUMMI BEARS, the last teaming of June Foray and Bill Scott (Rocky and Bullwinkle) as Grammy and Gruffi. I think this was the time when ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS changed animation studios (Ruby-Spears to DiC) with the Sandra designs that would become their standard design until the CGI movies. KISSYFUR, the Disney wannabee (by DiC) that had Ed Gilbert and RJ Williams as a bear father-and-son duo, four years before they voiced a similar duo- Baloo and Kit Cloudkicker- for Disney's TALE SPIN.

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  4. The reason that everyone feels that the Wolverine / Sabertooth relationship was a part of the series earlier on may be because, throughout the 80s, Chris Claremont and John Byrne talked about it in, like, every single interview either of them gave. The same goes for Wolverine being older than he looked; the cancelled John Byrne Captain America story where Cap would have recognized Logan as an old WWII buddy came up in their interviews A LOT. Both of these were character elements that took years to actually appear in a story, but were made known to fans way in advance.

    The Sabertooth thing was apparently delayed because Claremont left Power Man & Iron Fist shortly after it started, and Sabertooth "was an Iron Fist villain" that he had no control over. (ST did continue to appear in PM/IF semi-regularly over the years.)

    The Sabertooth thing really confused me for a long time. 2 facts that I once thought I knew were: 1) ST first appeared in Iron Fist, and 2)the X-Men first appeared in the last issue of Iron Fist. For YEARS, I assumed the two issues were the same, and that Wolverine and ST first met there. It wasn't until a few years ago when I got the ESSENTIAL IRON FIST that I found out they were 2 separate issues...

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  5. Who doesn't love Rick Leonardi? Jerks, that's who! :)

    He also did CLOAK AND DAGGER, both the original miniseries, and the first few issues of the subsequent ongoing.

    The C&D ongoing was (unusually, for Marvel) a bi-monthly book, and I remember Marvel Age mentioning that that was so Leonardi could keep up with deadlines. So I guess he couldn't get more regular X-office work because he wasn't quite fast enough. (Though he was on SPIDER-MAN 2099 monthly, wasn't he? Hm. Dunno...)

    He was also supposed to do a COLOSSUS mini-series, which I guess eventually became the Ann Nocenti serial that ran in Marvel Comics Presents.

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  6. @angmc43: Many collections of this story (the first paperback and the first Essential publications) would excise the page of Storm ripping her clothes off.

    Really? Huh. I had no idea. Seems odd - it certainly wasn't a scene that stuck out to me as being especially titillating or out of place.

    KISSYFUR, the Disney wannabee (by DiC) that had Ed Gilbert and RJ Williams as a bear father-and-son duo, four years before they voiced a similar duo- Baloo and Kit Cloudkicker- for Disney's TALE SPIN.

    I had never heard of Kissyfur before seeing this ad. That's kinda cool that Gilbert and Williams teamed up as father/son bear characters prior to Talespin.

    @Chris K. Both of these were character elements that took years to actually appear in a story, but were made known to fans way in advance.

    Ah, that's a good point. I obviously wasn't aware of it as it was happening, but I have seen references to that stuff pop up in a few of the interviews from that era that I've read. Makes sense.

    The Sabertooth thing was apparently delayed because Claremont left Power Man & Iron Fist shortly after it started, and Sabertooth "was an Iron Fist villain" that he had no control over.

    I've heard that as well. I believe Claremont had similar issues continuing to use Misty Knight and Colleen Wing (which is one of the reasons the Cyclops/Colleen relationship got aborted so quickly).

    The Sabertooth thing was apparently delayed because Claremont left Power Man & Iron Fist shortly after it started, and Sabertooth "was an Iron Fist villain" that he had no control over.

    That would make sense, given the way he more less tag teamed Uncanny with Silvestri during the early Outback years. Two artists who can't meet a monthly deadline? Have them share a book (someone apparently realized a decade or so before it became standard practice in the industry)! :)



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  7. "The leader of the Marauders gets a name, Mr. Sinister, the first time that character is identified in a comic, and the massacre is given a vague reason for occurring: the Morlocks are wild cards, and Mr. Sinister doesn't like wild cards (this more or less fits with the ridiculous retcon that reveals the true motive behind the massacre, established in the mid 90s)."

    The fact that Claremont went ahead with this huge crossover story involving the slaughtering of countless people and never had a clear idea exactly why the slaughter was taking place is appalling to me.

    "The X-Men learn in this issue that the New Mutants snuck out of the mansion and entered the tunnels, though the subsequent energy blast and their overall disappearance (as we'll see in New Mutants #47, they escaped first to Limbo, then elsewhere) ultimately leads them to believe the students have been killed."

    And, really, that's a piss poor assumption. They know Illyana is with them and is capable of teleporting them away. Now, it's possible the New Mutants could be dead and, to be fair, if they did teleport away there's not much the X-Men can do for them at the moment. But the X-Men shouldn't just assume they're all dead and move on with their lives. How many times have the X-Men themselves escaped near death?

    "Storms "misses, needs" Nightcrawler's laughter."

    Is it just me or does Nightcrawler look extremely feminine in that panel? Maybe it's the bandaging around his chest.

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  8. @Chris K

    The same goes for Wolverine being older than he looked; the cancelled John Byrne Captain America story where Cap would have recognized Logan as an old WWII buddy came up in their interviews A LOT. Both of these were character elements that took years to actually appear in a story, but were made known to fans way in advance.


    Not to get off topic, but when did Wolverine and Captain America first appear in a story together? It was certainly before that Jim Lee issue of UXM wasn't it?

    It's amazing how we take so many of these back stories for granted for so long that we forget there was a time when things were pretty wide open.

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  9. The fact that Claremont went ahead with this huge crossover story involving the slaughtering of countless people and never had a clear idea exactly why the slaughter was taking place is appalling to me.

    Yeah, stuff like that and the "oh, well, our young wards are probably dead too" brush-off for the New Mutants are why I could never get behind Mutant Massacre as this great story. Because as much as I will defend Claremont, this is really not his strongest work. So much of it feels half-baked, and the trade collection that I read really shows just how much of a non-event it was. Two issues of importance (Uncanny #211 & X-Factor #10) surrounded by so much poorly thought out padding that the writers jumped through hoops to make it feel like something that mattered. It's really more like a 90s crossover than anyone is willing to admit.

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  10. @Dr. Bitz: The fact that Claremont went ahead with this huge crossover story involving the slaughtering of countless people and never had a clear idea exactly why the slaughter was taking place is appalling to me.

    I suppose I should say it is possible that Claremont did have a clear idea for why the massacre happened, and that he just never managed to work it into a story (and never mentioned it in an interview that I've read), which would make it another plot dangler rather than something he just never figured out (which is still problematic, but for different reasons).

    But yeah, chances are he was making it up on the fly, which is pretty bad. One of the hardest things I've ever had to wrap my head around is the fact that that practice is apparently relatively common in comic book writing.

    I mean, the entire Onslaught crossover began when Scott Lobdell came up with a name he thought was cool and tossed it into a book with absolutely no idea of who the character was, what the story would be, etc. Just "cool name" and "we'll figure out the rest later". And that became a line-wide event that ultimately saw Marvel's core characters shuffled off into a separate line for a year.

    When I first learned that, it was mind-boggling. I mean, who starts writing a story without knowing where it's going? A lot of people, apparently, I've since learned, both in and out of comics. I don't get it.

    But the X-Men shouldn't just assume they're all dead and move on with their lives.

    Frankly, the X-Men barely react to it at all, on-panel at least. Magneto thankfully does, in New Mutants, but it's pretty clear at this point that whatever Claremont wants to do with the X-Men, it doesn't involve the New Mutants, and he's not going to waste time/pages having the X-Men be too broken up over it.

    @Dan: Not to get off topic, but when did Wolverine and Captain America first appear in a story together? It was certainly before that Jim Lee issue of UXM wasn't it?

    I'm pretty sure it was that Jim Lee issue (#268). As Chris said, I know that Stern and Byrne intended to show Cap and Wolverine together in WWII during their run on Captain America but it never happened, so the idea was out there for a while, but I don't think it showed up until #268.

    I could be forgetting something though, especially since I haven't read a lot of Wolverine's solo series.

    @Mela: Two issues of importance (Uncanny #211 & X-Factor #10) surrounded by so much poorly thought out padding that the writers jumped through hoops to make it feel like something that mattered. It's really more like a 90s crossover than anyone is willing to admit.

    That's a good point. Maybe this crossover is more typical than I thought.

    I do think it's a significant story, in terms of the changes it brings to the books, several characters, and the publishing model of both Marvel and DC, far more than it is a great one on its own merits.

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  11. Dr. Bitz & Teebore -- I think I've mentioned it before, but I actually really like the writing style of "making it up as you go along". Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but I think it's a cool, and valid, technique, especially for serialized stories. My preference is that there should be some sort of ultimate endgame in mind, but it can be vague and should be changeable if a better idea comes up.

    Dan & Dr. Bitz -- Are you guys talking about the first time, publishing-wise, Cap and Wolverine appeared on-panel together, or the first time they met chronologically? Because UXM #268 is pretty clearly their first meeting in person, but they had shared page-time together in Secret Wars and a Captain America Annual years before that. Probably some other issues I can't recall, too.

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  12. I'm with you Teebore. I never loved Leonardi, but that's mainly because he was breaking up Silvestri's "run." I still think his art is a little too cartoony compared to the other artists who were working on the title at the time. Not that it's bad, I just don't know if I thought it fit the tone of the title as well as the Silvestri or Lee issues do.

    Also, how crazy is it that such an important storyline is almost all fill-in artists? I feel like you normally don't see that in 80s Marvel comics.

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  13. Also, I don't think there's anything wrong with making up stories as you go necessarily, and it can lead to some interesting places. Having said that, you need to be a really, really strong writer to make that work and even then you should have some idea of where you want to end up. Lobdell was obviously not a good enough writer to make it work. Strike #2: Howard Mackie.

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  14. @Matt: My preference is that there should be some sort of ultimate endgame in mind, but it can be vague and should be changeable if a better idea comes up.

    Yeah, I don't have an issue with plans changing as better ideas come along or circumstances change (I outline every book I write before I write it, but the finished product is always different than the outline in some way), but I just can't wrap my head around Claremont saying "I'm going to tell this story about the Morlocks getting killed off" and then, when considering why the Marauders would do so, thinking, "eh, it's not important. I'll make something up later, if I get around to it". It just seems like bad writing to not even consider the character motivations behind a story, especially one like this (which, even before it became a crossover, was clearly going to be a big deal within the context of the X-Men universe).

    Are you guys talking about the first time, publishing-wise, Cap and Wolverine appeared on-panel together, or the first time they met chronologically?

    I took it that Dan was asking about their first chronological meeting, specifically, when it was established that they interacted with each other circa WWII and whether that came before their WWII adventure in #268, but I could have been wrong.

    @Jeff: Also, how crazy is it that such an important storyline is almost all fill-in artists? I feel like you normally don't see that in 80s Marvel comics.

    Yeah, that has always struck me as odd too. Even nowadays, when a superstar artist might fall behind on a big crossover, it's usually only one other artist who fills in, and Marvel was much more of a stickler about that stuff in the 80s. Maybe Shooter was just too focused on the New Universe to care? :)






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  15. Nice BWS cover.

    The interior art is uneven, but when Leonardi is on — and/or, possibly, Green isn't overpowering him — I think it's great stuff. I vastly preferred his issues of Amazing Spider-Man during the initial black-costume era over Frenz's, to echo Matt. An issue of Marvel Age (I think ) from back in the day has his sketches for the costume, almost solid black with red rather than blue highlights, and they're great.

    // Psylocke telepathically contacts Wolverine and introduces herself //

    My head spun.

    // In a grim little detail, they X-Men are using their hangar as a temporary morgue. //

    However many air fresheners you think the Blackbird is going to need, the answer is more than that.

    // the most surprising part of the Wolverine/Sabretooth relationship, especially given how significant it becomes, is that both characters existed for as long as they did without it //

    Even though I stopped reading with #205 the idea of them being linked had been familiar to me for some time. This is probably due to the presumed but as-"yet"-unrevealed, ultimately nixed father/son relationship being aired early on in interviews as noted by Chris K. Picking up Classic X-Men #10 at the time, I wasn't at all surprised by the backup in which Sabretooth hunts Logan at Xavier's (printed about six months after this issue, well after I would have guessed it was published in relation to this point in Uncanny history, but of course these are nearly 30-year-old memories).

    "Man, Lazer Tag is awes-- HOLY $#!% A TALKING DOG"

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  16. @Blam: However many air fresheners you think the Blackbird is going to need, the answer is more than that.

    Ha! Indeed.

    Picking up Classic X-Men #10 at the time, I wasn't at all surprised by the backup in which Sabretooth hunts Logan at Xavier's

    Interesting. The relationship really was ingrained in the narrative early on, even though it had barely appeared in more than a couple issues at that point.

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  17. To be fair, they do have Psylocke using Cerebro to try and find the New Mutants next issue...though it is interesting we only get to see her reaction to their "deaths".

    With regards to Claremont not providing a reason for why the Morlocks were slaughtered...it seems like after he couldn't use the Fury/Nimrod/Japser's storyline, he kept the Massacre idea but couldn't come up with a new reason to match the new villains. Then again, as others have said, CC may have had a good reason, he just never got around to revealing it.

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  18. @wwk5d: To be fair, they do have Psylocke using Cerebro to try and find the New Mutants next issue

    True, though she says she "won't rest" until she finds them, then we never see her try to search for them ever again.

    So on the one hand, I appreciate Claremont paying lip service to the idea that Psylocke is upset by their absence/presumed death, while at the same, would prefer he'd done it in a less absolutist way that makes it easy for the sentiment to get lost.

    With regards to Claremont not providing a reason for why the Morlocks were slaughtered...it seems like after he couldn't use the Fury/Nimrod/Japser's storyline, he kept the Massacre idea but couldn't come up with a new reason to match the new villains.

    That's a good point. I still have no idea how far along in the idea of the massacre he was when he learned he couldn't use the Fury/Jasper's Warp stuff, but I could definitely see how, if those wheels were well in motion, he just had to ride out the storyline and worry about the new motivation later.

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