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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #244

"Ladies Night"
May 1989

In a Nutshell 
The ladies have a night out as Jubilee makes her first appearance. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Marc Silvestri
Inker: Dan Green
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
At the Hollywood Mall, a young mutant named Jubilee uses her power to create fireworks and entertain a small crowd, much to the consternation of some watching mall cops, who try to arrest her. She manages to escape, so the cops decide to call in the mutant hunting M-Squad. In Australia, Rogue freaks out upon learning that Carol Danvers, while in control of Rogue's body, redecorated her room, and when Storm suggests her struggles reconciling the two personalities in her mind are a worthy punishment for what she did to Carol, Rogue grows so angry that Carol is forced to take control once again. Dazzler, thinking the ladies could use some time away from their responsibilities, suggests a trip to the mall to blow off some steam.


Back at the Hollywood Mall, M-Squad arrives just as the X-Men do. Seeing the women materialize out of thin air, a fascinated Jubilee follows them as they get their hair and makeup done and purchase new clothes. Meanwhile, M-Squad unknowingly tracks the X-Men to a nightclub and spot Jubilee trying to get in. They try to capture her using equipment still affected by Inferno, and the commotion draws the attention of the X-Men, who rescue Jubilee and protect innocent bystanders as they disable M-Squad's out-of-control machinery. Leaving M-Squad to be questioned by the cops and unable to locate Jubilee, the women teleport home, but Jubilee spots them leaving. Worried that M-Squad will come back for her, Jubilee decides to follow the X-Men home and steps into the lingering portal.

Firsts and Other Notables
This is the first appearance of Jubilee, a teenage Chinese-American mutant who possesses the mutant ability to generate fireworks (she refers to them here as the very Claremontian "articulate, quasi-animate, transitory plasmoids", and later stories will suggest she has broader energy creation and manipulation powers that, in their nascent form, manifested as fireworks). She says she is called Jubilee because every day is a party with her, though we'll eventually learn her real name is Jubilation Lee, making "Jubilee" less a superhero moniker and more an unfortunate nickname.


In due time, she'll end up joining the X-Men after becoming Wolverine's de facto sidekick, filling the "Wolverine mentors a spunky young girl" role previously filled by Kitty Pryde. Thanks to her use in the 90s animated series as the point-of-entry character, Jubilee is arguably more well known amongst the general population than more significant/longer serving X-Men, and by the early 90s, she be a fairly integral part of the team. She will eventually leave to found Generation X, and when that book is cancelled, she fades a bit into obscurity for a time. The 00s were not kind to her, as she lost her powers on M-Day and then became a vampire (I think she technically still is), and most recently became a single mom and a fixture of Brian Wood's all-female X-Men roster.

M-Squad, the group of bumbling Ghostbuster-esque mutant hunters with names taken from Wild Cards contributors, last seen in issue #240, return this issue, having escaped Inferno and fled to the West Coast to continue their mutant hunter practice in the wake of X-Factor having publicly  renounced their roles as such. One of their devices, still feeling the lingering effects of "Inferno", causes the X-Men more trouble this issue than the scientists themselves. They'll pop up briefly in a back-up story in the next X-Factor annual, and that'll be the last we hear of them.


Storm notes that Psylocke was unable to locate Jubilee via psi-can; if memory serves, there's some hint in her earlier appearances that Jubilee is resistant to telepathy (a la Rogue), though I don't think anything ever comes of it, and the notion is quietly dropped.


This issue and the next are a pair of relatively lighthearted, more comedic issues, this one focused on the female X-Men while next issue will focus on the men.

The Chronology Corner
The second story in X-Men Annual #13, which depicts Jubilee's arrival in the X-Men's outback town, takes place between this issue and the next. 

A Work in Progress
Jubilee mentions that she was an accomplished gymnast at her high school, which will be a convenient way to explain away the acrobatic feats she'll eventually perform as a superhero.


Carol Danvers-as-Rogue has redecorated Rogue's room to her taste, much to Rogue's dismay, prompting Rogue to ask Psylocke to wipe Carol out of her head, but Psylocke says she can't, as even reading Rogue's mind is difficult for her, and Storm adds that having to deal with the frustrations of sharing her body with Carol is just punishment for having essentially killed Carol, accident or not.


Resuming control of Rogue's body, Carol says that Rogue's encounter with the magistrates in Genosha "wasn't serious" but the helplessness she felt still freaked her out, and that the events of "Inferno" brought all that to the surface again, forcing Carol to take control.


Wolverine's frequent "walkabouts" are mentioned, perhaps a reference to the adventures he experiences in his ongoing series.


M-Squad mentions the events of "Inferno" having happened "last summer", suggesting a fair amount of time has passed between last issue and this one, though I don't think that's truly the case. Then again, depending on how you define the end of summer, if you consider Labor Day to mark the end of the season, I could say that what I did Friday night happened "last summer" as of yesterday.


Jubilee follows the X-Ladies through Gateway portals, and it's suggested that Gateway intentionally left it open longer for her.


I Love the 80s
A group of teens on skateboards help Jubilee evade the mall cops.


Also, the mall cops are armed with pistols, which seems extreme for mall cops. I'm pretty sure even the Mall of America cops only have tasers and whatnot. 

Storm has no time to prevent herself from crashing into Betsy's room, but she does have time to think about not having time.


The Ghostbuster inspiration becomes even more apparent when we see M-Squad's car.


The X-Ladies get new hairdos this issue, with Psylocke getting a perm. 


This issue suggests there's a male quasi-strip club called Hotbods at the Hollywood Mall; not sure if that was ever actually a real place or not.


Human/Mutant Relations
Psylocke looks to Jubilee as an example of the X-Men's mission: if they won't stick up for mutants like her, who will? One could read this as a larger statement on the X-Men's post-school, post-mansion purpose.


For Sale
An ad for Wolverine's upcoming appearance in the Jim Lee-drawn Punisher War Journal appears in this issue.


Bullpen Bulletins
The Bullpen Bulletin this month announces the recent marriages of both Chris Claremont and John Romita Jr. 

Teebore's Take
Rather than a proper "Inferno" epilogue (which X-Factor gets in issue #40 and New Mutants got in issue #74), with this issue (and the next) Claremont and Silvestri provide a tonal palette cleanser, offering a more lighthearted and comical story in contrast to the death, despair and darkness that permeated the series for the previous four months. Even the cover gets in on the act, resurrecting old school dialogue bubbles as the X-Ladies shriek in terror at the "might" of M-Squad. Of course, this being the Outback X-Men of 1989, the ensuing story doesn't quite reach the levels of Silver Age absurdism, and even Jubilee in her debut isn't as over-the-top as she would later be portrayed on occasion, despite the sillier story.

Along with her debut, having Silvestri on hand to draw the issue helps prevent it from feeling like a throwaway, post-crossover fill-in. While I may have preferred a more formal "Inferno" epilogue, something which spent more time on the reunited X-Men and X-Factor, more immediately addressed Havok's angst over Maddie's passing or further explored the notion that the changes wrought on the X-Men by the conflagration were more than cosmetic, as a fun little break from all the darkness and an introduction to a new character, this works well enough.

Next Issue
Tomorrow, the New Mutants hand in their resignation letters to Magneto in New Mutants #75 and Friday, X-Factor battles Nanny and the Orphan Maker in X-Factor #40. Next week, the Cyclops feature in Marvel Comics Presents #17-24.

35 comments:

  1. This issue's okay, but I've always found the next one, Liefeld art and all, to be much funnier. Plus, Claremont's "girlie dialogue" never ceases to bother me.

    I was a fan of Jubilee as a youngster, though not so much this version of her. I like her much better when Jim Lee redesigns her, and subsequently when Scott Lobdell begins writing her.

    "This issue suggests there's a male quasi-strip club called Hotbods at the Hollywood Mall; not sure if that was ever actually a real place or not."

    And another one for "I Love the 80s" -- is that dancer flirting with Storm supposed to be Patrick Swayze? Sure looks like him to me.

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  2. Easily my favorite cover from the Silvestri era.

    "Dazzler, thinking the ladies could use some time away from their responsibilities, suggests a trip to the mall to blow off some steam."

    There is something so campy about her dialogue in that scene that just makes it hilarious.

    "filling the "Wolverine mentors a spunky young girl" role previously filled by Kitty Pryde"

    Technically, he never really mentored her. That stereotype probably exists due to the limited series they starred in together.

    "The 00s were not kind to her"

    Not at all, sadly.

    "and most recently became a single mom"

    For those not keeping up with the current titles, the kid is adopted. So she's a former mutant, now a vampire, raising a kid. Hmmm...can't say this decade is being all that much more kind to her...

    "Storm notes that Psylocke was unable to locate Jubilee via psi-can"

    Convenient to the plot. Which means the Contrivance Fairy was using telepathic powers to block Betsy's.

    "Storm adds that having to deal with the frustrations of sharing her body with Carol is just punishment for having essentially killed Carol, accident or not."

    Which, honestly, as much as I like Storm, makes her seem incredibly bitchy. Rogue has been on the team for a while now, a good 70 or 80 issues, and has proven herself as a loyal member of the team working to redeem herself. Storm's attitude to her would have made sense had they had this discussion circa Uncanny # 185 or so...but didn't the 2 of them at least come to an understanding of sorts anyway around that time? In either case, Storm's cold, harsh dealing with Rogue here just seems off.

    "Also, the mall cops are armed with pistols, which seems extreme for mall cops."

    Given that malls in the Marvel Universe attract mutants, Sentinals, various heroes, villains, etc...I'd say they should be armed with more than guns ;)

    "Storm has no time to prevent herself from crashing into Betsy's room, but she does have time to think about not having time."

    Well, they do say nothing is faster than the speed of thought...

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  3. "with Psylocke getting a perm."

    And a Silvertri-ish skankalicious outfit to boot! What would Alan Davis say...

    "This issue suggests there's a male quasi-strip club called Hotbods at the Hollywood Mall"

    Of course, a mall is the perfect place to have a strip-club.

    Overall, it is a fun issue, and to be honest, I could have done without the M-Squad stuff and just had it been the 4 women out having fun. But, genre conventions! That and a way to get Jubilee involved with the X-men. Of course, no high-fiving between any of the ladies? This would have been the perfect issue for it.

    Of course, a side comment from someone about "Hey, you 4 ladies all look like the X-chicks who died a while ago in Dallas..."

    At least the issue gives us the extra humor of Liefeld art. Whoop whoop!

    "is that dancer flirting with Storm supposed to be Patrick Swayze?"

    Well, she is like the wind...

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  4. Sorry, meant the next issue gives us Liefeld style comedy....

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  5. "Of course, a mall is the perfect place to have a strip-club."

    It was a strip mall.

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  6. wwk5d: Technically, he never really mentored her. That stereotype probably exists due to the limited series they starred in together.

    She's hanging with him for an enlenghthened period from escape from Australia to X-tinction Agenda, with only Psylocke hovering around during which time she's a villain for a while, and some time soon post-Claremont she'll sidekick Wolverine to an extent in his own book in the Elsie Dee bit, Savage Land, etc.

    Technically she's much more a Wolvie mentoree than Kitty was with mainly the six-part limited series going for those two.

    Teebore: "Storm has no time to prevent herself from crashing into Betsy's room, but she does have time to think about not having time."

    I can only link to Brian Cronin's Meta-message bit at Comic Book Resources over E-Man #3: Dark Albatross Must Be Rendered Inoperative, Lifewise, where certain someone gets ripped a new one:

    http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2011/10/30/meta-messages-the-dark-albatross-saga/

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  7. I really love this issue, and the next one, and although there are some future stories and issues with considerable merit, we are now entering that weird phase of Claremont's X-Men where it feels like its kinda over. If Fall of the Mutants was the series finale(The X-Men on live TV, protecting a world that hates and fears them from the biggest Adversary they've ever faced and heroic dying for all to see), then Inferno was the big movie they made a couple years later as one last goodbye. It ties up all the big loose ends, like Madelyn, and X-Men vs Marauders, X-Factor and X-Men coming together, etc.

    So...now what? Break up the team and fart around til #300 for that Shadow King thing I suppose, and we didn't even get to that.

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  8. I remember seeing this cover as a kid and really thinking that the X-Men (albeit just the women, for some reason) were about to go up against a foe even stronger than: Freedom Force, the Sentinels, & Magneto! Needless to say, I was disappointed. But, I still love this issue! lol

    Jubilee, to me, seems like a mix between Kitty & Lightengale. I think we, as the audience, were meant to identify with Alison as the "spunky young-er girl/fish out of water" character after Kitty left. Maybe the fans found her a little too old though & she was replaced with Jubilee. Idk

    Carol says that Inferno opened up old wounds with Rogue...I wonder what she really meant by that?

    Storm says that Carol can't keep Rogue locked away forever & that she must strike a balance...but Rogue never strikes a balance with Carol, she's always in control until Carol forcefully takes over. Right?

    Betsy's hair definitely looked better before the perm :/ ..but, I liked Storm's new doo (kind of a mix between old mohawk & traditional style)

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  9. "She's hanging with him for an enlenghthened period from escape from Australia to X-tinction Agenda, with only Psylocke hovering around during which time she's a villain for a while, and some time soon post-Claremont she'll sidekick Wolverine to an extent in his own book in the Elsie Dee bit, Savage Land, etc.

    Technically she's much more a Wolvie mentoree than Kitty was with mainly the six-part limited series going for those two."
    I think that wwk5d meant KITTY wasn't a Wolvie mentee.
    I didn't like the idea that nobody this issue seems to care that Maddie went evil and died.
    "Convenient to the plot. Which means the Contrivance Fairy was using telepathic powers to block Betsy's."
    Except that the same thing happens in issue 249, which suggests that Claremont had something in mind for either Betsy or Jubilee that he later forgot about.
    "Which, honestly, as much as I like Storm, makes her seem incredibly bitchy. Rogue has been on the team for a while now, a good 70 or 80 issues, and has proven herself as a loyal member of the team working to redeem herself. Storm's attitude to her would have made sense had they had this discussion circa Uncanny # 185 or so...but didn't the 2 of them at least come to an understanding of sorts anyway around that time? In either case, Storm's cold, harsh dealing with Rogue here just seems off."
    What bothered Storm was Rogue whining about the CONSEQUENCES of her crime and not expressing any guilt over nearly killing a woman and leaving her with emotional responses to her memories.

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  10. I think that wwk5d meant KITTY wasn't a Wolvie mentee.

    ...

    Oh rats. Of course that's what he meant. I didn't get it because as far as the Kitty Pryde & Wolverine limited series is concerned it is the clearest example of Logan actually mentoring someone on-panel and I think it more than justifies him being seen as Kitty's mentor even if the relationship didn't really carry back to the main title.

    In comparison, we never see Logan mentor Jubilee similarly on-panel though their companionship is seen carried on in many more issues. Well, except maybe in the one Wolverine issue where Jubilee seeks revenge on Reno and Molokai.

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  11. Reese: Jubilee, to me, seems like a mix between Kitty & Lightengale. I think we, as the audience, were meant to identify with Alison as the "spunky young-er girl/fish out of water" character after Kitty left. Maybe the fans found her a little too old though & she was replaced with Jubilee. Idk

    I have hard time seeing that presenting Alison as the spunky younger girl could have been Claremont's intention. Dazzler has rather infamously been often presented to be the first X-Man to have her own solo title, preceding even Wolverine, and she hade already, also rather infamously, fought everybody and Galactus in it.

    Curious idea though, as both Kitty and Ali premiered a month apart of each other in the Uncanny about a decade earlier. Time could have been said to be ripe for a new new kid who Jubilee very obviously is. In that regard instant Wolvieducation could be seen even as a bit lazy writing to skip immediately to Wolvie/Kitty-like set-up, but Jubilee pulls it off nicely.

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  12. "I have hard time seeing that presenting Alison as the spunky younger girl could have been Claremont's intention. Dazzler has rather infamously been often presented to be the first X-Man to have her own solo title, preceding even Wolverine, and she hade already, also rather infamously, fought everybody and Galactus in it."
    Not to mention that Ali had already graduated college an decided not to attend law school before we even met her in Uncanny 130. She's several years older than Rogue and Peter. (If there's any character Claremont intended the audience to identify with, it was probably pre-Goblin Queen Maddie.) Although Claremont has said that he was planning on killing Ali after Inferno, so Jubilee might have been intended as a replacement in powers.

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  13. I know the cover is just a gag, but I don't think Psylocke or Dazzler, which is half of the "we" on the cover, have even gone up against the Sentinels or Magneto.

    That is a lot of mall cops.

    For The Reference Section: M Squad's flyer says, at the bottom, "Call now and get a free stray toaster" — an in-joke about Bill Sienkiewicz's 1988 creator-owned miniseries for Epic.

    I'm confused about Storm, et al., treating the Carol part of Rogue's psyche as if it were actually Carol and "she" had a right to "live" in there. Her memory, personality, and of course powers were absorbed, but Carol Danvers the person still exists, however much she was violated. While Rogue has a copy of Carol's mind inside hers as it was at the moment of absorption, it's not like she's holding onto, I don't know, her katra like McCoy did Spock's. Despite referring to what's essentially an alternate personality as "Carol" it's all actually Rogue's mind. Or so I thought.

    Storm did spend a lot of subjective time in an alternate dimension with Forge returning to more-or-less her old self or reconciling her dual nature or whatever, and Psylocke's largely been shown as demure since showing up at Xavier's, but it's like Claremont has completely forgot putting Ororo through her Yukio-inspired punk/devil-may-care phase and doesn't know that Betsy used to be a model.

    That panel of Rogue, Ororo, and Betsy staring out at the reader, our first good look at their new hairstyles, seems to be pretty obviously drawn from reference. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with drawing from reference; just that, unlike covers and other pure illustration, panel-to-panel continuity is stopped dead when one shot sticks out from the rest because the pose or the level of detail indicates that, yes, it's being drawn from reference.

    Why is Dazzler so... tan? For most of the issue, she's decidedly browner than Rogue, Psylocke, and basically everyone but Storm, the same shade used for Wolverine in that Punisher War Journal ad.

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  14. @wwk5d: // she is like the wind... //

    You're excused for putting one of my least favorite pop songs ever in my head on account of that's hilarious.

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  15. "What bothered Storm was Rogue whining about the CONSEQUENCES of her crime and not expressing any guilt over nearly killing a woman and leaving her with emotional responses to her memories."

    But that's just it. Rogue has expressed guilt over the event many times over the the past few years. It's not like she's been living a carefree life while on the team. She's proven that yes, she did commit many horrible, cruel acts before she joined the team, but after she joined, she's also shown that at heart, she is a good person after all and has much to redeem herself.

    Storm, as team leader, could have shown some compassion at the very least to Rogue's situation. Rogue's temper tantrum may not have been the best way to deal with things, but Storm could have noted that Rogue seemed thisclose to having a nervous breakdown.

    She could have gone the route of "I know this is a tough, complicated situation, Rogue, with no easy resolution, but we are here to help you deal with this problem as best we can".

    Instead, we pretty much get "Suck it, bitch, you deserve what's happening to you and you always will, no matter what".

    Heck, if Storm feels so strongly about the issue, she should have booted Rogue off the team once Xavier went off into space. Rogue's whining this case is justified, and it's bad leadership on Storm's part to just dismiss Rogue's concerns instead of trying to try and find a solution to this issue beyond dealing with it.

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  16. Why is Dazzler so... tan? For most of the issue, she's decidedly browner than Rogue, Psylocke, and basically everyone but Storm, the same shade used for Wolverine in that Punisher War Journal ad.

    Wondered about that, myself. Around this period, Dazzler was, consistently, colored with a darker skin tone than the other "white" X-Men. I don't know what they were trying to do, here.

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  17. "But that's just it. Rogue has expressed guilt over the event many times over the the past few years. It's not like she's been living a carefree life while on the team. She's proven that yes, she did commit many horrible, cruel acts before she joined the team, but after she joined, she's also shown that at heart, she is a good person after all and has much to redeem herself."
    But how many times has she expressed guilt RECENTLY? When Ali joined, she was like "So I tried to kill you. But I was crazy. Never mind that I was only crazy as a side of trying to kill a friend of your friend. Get over it."

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  18. Recently? Was she supposed to apologize and express guilt every day for the rest of her life to Storm and the others? She expressed it at the very least until the near end of the JRjr run, which is about more than half-way through her tenure on the team at this point.

    As for her situation with Ali, it doesn't quite play out that way. In #221, during their confrontation in the Danger Room, Rogue does say "I told you I was..." meaning she had already apologized (or tried to, anyway) to Dazzler off-panel, and she doesn't tell Ali to "get over it". She tells her they need to bury the hatchet for the good of the team, and they do end up burying the hatchet by the end of the issue. So it didn't quite play out the way you describe it.

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  19. The X-Men are transferring their own guilt on Rogue, the bastards. During Rogue's tenure some of them have come to owe their life, of more, to her, largely because of her Ms. Marvel powers. They have been the mass beneficents of Rogue's crime for years, publication-time, and then all of the sudden they have to hang out on daily basis with the Carol persona and are reminded how in fact back in the day their once-comrade came visit as Binary, punched Rogue through the roof and let it be known everyone at Xavier's are jerks.

    Except Betsy, who just likes Carol better, being closer her age, both having tragic losses in their past, and all. Storm may be a bit bitter over the wasted years she had to do without her powers and the connection to the Earth they bestowe, because of Rogue, and also having her love with the One Wearing Short-shorts being made impossible by Rogue's excursion to SHIELD Helicarrier. Even if that one technically was Carol.

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  20. In regards to Rogue/Carol and Storm: the fact that Carol has exists as a whole person is a relatively new fact. She is not just a bunch of suppressed memories that come to the surface sometimes- like when Carol's boyfriend was in trouble- she is a whole, aware individual who is stuck inside the body of her rapist, essentially.

    Given that Storm spent some time in space with Carol during a particular transformative phase in her life, its not surprising she has some feelings for her.

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  21. @Matt: I like her much better when Jim Lee redesigns her, and subsequently when Scott Lobdell begins writing her.

    Ditto.

    And another one for "I Love the 80s" -- is that dancer flirting with Storm supposed to be Patrick Swayze? Sure looks like him to me.

    Oh, I missed that, but you might be right. Had the Farley/Swayze Chippendales SNL sketch aired yet at this point? I don't think so...

    @wwk5d: For those not keeping up with the current titles, the kid is adopted.

    I'm perpetually a few years behind (yet remain vaguely aware of what's going on thanks to stuff like the Uncanny X-Cast), so I did not know that detail. Interesting.

    Given that malls in the Marvel Universe attract mutants, Sentinals, various heroes, villains, etc...I'd say they should be armed with more than guns

    Ha! Good point.

    Of course, no high-fiving between any of the ladies? This would have been the perfect issue for it.

    I even looked for it, but it wasn't there.

    @Jeremy: So...now what? Break up the team and fart around til #300 for that Shadow King thing I suppose, and we didn't even get to that.

    Yeah, there's definitely a ton of balls that get tossed in the air during this era, but they ultimately end up feeling fruitless and half-formed because the Shadow King stuff they were building towards never really happens.

    @Reese: Carol says that Inferno opened up old wounds with Rogue...I wonder what she really meant by that?

    It's always read to me as a convienent excuse for Claremont to explain the return of Carol's dominance in this issue and again in #246-#247, after having Rogue acting as herself during "Inferno" despite what happened in Genosha.

    Storm says that Carol can't keep Rogue locked away forever & that she must strike a balance...but Rogue never strikes a balance with Carol, she's always in control until Carol forcefully takes over. Right?

    At this point, a balance of sorts had been struck, with Rogue willingly ceding control to Carol in Genosha - but it all becomes a moot point shortly.

    @Anonymous: I didn't like the idea that nobody this issue seems to care that Maddie went evil and died.

    Yeah, we get some fallout from that in later issues, but I would have liked a more immediate acknowledgement of it as well.

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  22. @Teemu: In comparison, we never see Logan mentor Jubilee similarly on-panel though their companionship is seen carried on in many more issues.

    The whole Wolverine mentor thing is definitely something that's more text than subtext - whether we're talking Kitty, Jubilee, Armor or whomever he's mentoring now, it's never really been about Wolverine doling out advice on panel, and more about him just palling around with these young women and presumably imparting some of his world-weary experience to them, while they in contrast use their spunkiness to lighten him up and mellow him out somewhat.

    @Blam: I know the cover is just a gag, but I don't think Psylocke or Dazzler, which is half of the "we" on the cover, have even gone up against the Sentinels or Magneto.

    Ha! Good point.

    While Rogue has a copy of Carol's mind inside hers as it was at the moment of absorption, it's not like she's holding onto, I don't know, her katra like McCoy did Spock's. Despite referring to what's essentially an alternate personality as "Carol" it's all actually Rogue's mind. Or so I thought.

    No, you're right, and after re-reading this issue, I was reminded for whatever reason that for the way Carol has, since the Genosha arc, been depicted as a fully formed consciousness able to control Rogue's body, there is still an actual physical Carol Danvers out there in possession of the same memories (and making new ones), even if she has lost the emotional attachment to them. Like Branden said, this is a relatively new thing.

    The fact that there's essentially two Carol Danvers running around the MU (one as Binary, one in Rogue's mind) wasn't so obvious when Rogue was experiencing flashes of that personality coming to the surface or mingling with her own memories (as in UXM #182), but now that we're in full-on split personality, I'm Rogue/I'm Carol mode, it's somewhat more problematic, least of all because of, as you say, the way the rest of the X-Men now treat Carol-in-Rogue, who seems like her own person yet at the same time, isn't, because she's stuck in Rogue but also because there's another "her" out there entirely.

    Basically, it's now being written like Rogue physically killed Carol but absorbed her mind, and that's not quite right, since Carol is still physically out there.

    but it's like Claremont has completely forgot putting Ororo through her Yukio-inspired punk/devil-may-care phase and doesn't know that Betsy used to be a model.

    To be fair, *I* keep forgetting that Betsy used to be a model too. :)

    Why is Dazzler so... tan?

    I have no idea, though as Cerebro points out, it's definitely a thing around this era, with Dazzler consistently getting colored a darker tan than usual for whatever reason. Curious if that's a colorist decision, or something Claremont asked for.



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  23. I've just always assumed Dazzler spends a lot of her free time in Outback lying out, working on her tan. Seems reasonable to me. I have to believe it's Claremont's, or maybe even Silvestri's idea rather than Glynis Oliver's though, simply because it looks so weird. She looks black a lot of the time, rather than caucasian with a tan. I have trouble believing a colorist would knowlingly choose to miscolor someone unless they were asked to try.

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  24. This issue's always been sort of special to me. Back in the early 90s, it was the most prized issue in my collection for a few years, being Jubilee's first appearance and all. It remained so at least until I got the first appearances of Apocalypse and Archangel in X-Factor #6 and #24 respectively around 1995 or so.

    Of course, the holy grail for me as a 90s kid was X-Men #266, but that was well outside my price range.

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  25. It's weird. Even though this story proceeds it by a decade, it's as if someone wanted to get a head start on a Sex and the Citypastiche. A fun issue that introduced a character that I (and only I judging by internet commentary) love. However parts of this issue felt "off".

    First of all, much is made of Storm being cold and repressed during their outing, as if Claremont forgot that he had a character arc involving Ororo experimenting with Mohawks and leather tube tops, bi-curious subtext and a devil-may-care streak of adventure. That doesn't someone who would balk at make-up and exotic dancers. Also how ironic that Betsy wears the skimpiest outfit. A harbinger of things to cone, eh? I also have to agree that Storm was out-of-line scolding Rogue out-of-the-blue. Keep in mind that Storm's rebuke is almost exactly the same one Nightcrawler gave way back in Uncanny #171. If the X-Men still have problems about this then they should have booted Rogue off the team a long time ago. And again while this issue is fun, the "Mars and Venus" structure of this issue (and the next one) is a minor annoyance. I mean I think some of the women wouldn't have minded chugging down some cold ones at the bar ("Carol" for one.)

    One thing that wadn"t mentioned that I found interesting was Dazzler's speech about "time off" and it's use as meta-commentary by Claremont. Basically this Claremont (through Dazzler) complaining about how the increased crossover structure and never-ending action-packed "epics" leave little room for characterization (which is Claremont's bread-and-butter). It's interesting because it's a critique that (arguably) could be levied currently.

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  26. @branden: // ["Carol"] is a whole, aware individual who is stuck inside the body of her rapist, essentially. //

    And that's a powerful idea to explore. I can easily see it as the basis of a Star Trek episode — in a good way. How the situation is presented in this issue just surprises me because it is, like you say, a relatively new framing of the "Carol" in Rogue's mind. I remember how Michael Rossi, back in #179, couldn't deal with Rogue manifesting Carol's memories/personality, and quite understandably. Now, Storm acts like it's a total relief when "Carol" has taken charge of Rogue's consciousness instead of exactly the kind of reminder of what Rogue did to the real Carol, never mind that, as others have said here, a detente seemed to have been reached long ago (more like acceptance if not forgiveness, really, understanding Rogue was under Mystique's sway). It was Storm herself who insisted that Rogue was one of them back in #172 when Logan said he'd rather cut out her heart that invite her into Mariko's apartment — shortly before Rogue saved Mariko's life, and possibly his own, leading to Wolverine accepting Rogue and in fact saving her life at the potential cost of his by having her absorb his healing factor.

    @Matt: // I have trouble believing a colorist would knowlingly choose to miscolor someone unless they were asked to try. //

    "Would you please try to miscolor Dazzler, Glynis?"
    "Sure thing, boss."

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  27. @Jonathan: One thing that wadn"t mentioned that I found interesting was Dazzler's speech about "time off" and it's use as meta-commentary by Claremont. Basically this Claremont (through Dazzler) complaining about how the increased crossover structure and never-ending action-packed "epics" leave little room for characterization (which is Claremont's bread-and-butter).

    Interesting. I never thought of it in that context, but I can see it. I wonder how much pressure Claremont was under at this time to sidestep character driven issues? Obviously, we're well into "one crossover a year" territory, but he still seems able to do issues like this one and the next, and "Dissolution and Rebirth", while not exactly character-driven, is about as far removed from the traditional action-packed epic model as possible.

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  28. Man, I started reading these reviews around issue #150, and now it's reached the point where the X-Men became the X-Men as I knew them in the early 90's with the cartoons and X-Men vol. 2.

    Case in point, Jubilee joins and is probably the first of the characters in the book who just screams "90'S!!!" to me (Which will be quickly overtaken by Adam-X, the X-TREME!!!). Next up is Cable. And next issue of UXM will feature art by Rob Liefeld, which is another step towards the 90's.

    One thing I completely neglected to realize in my 20+ years of reading X-Men, though....I forgot Dazzler was on the team at this point. Isn't it a bit redundant to have Dazzler and Jubilee on the same team when they essentially have the same powers? I always viewed Jubilee as a poor man's amalgamation of Dazzler and Kitty. But unlike Kitty who was a virtual Mary Sue in her first appearances, Jubilee just shows up and spouts some quick one-liners and, to my knowledge, is more of a burden on the team than an asset.

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  29. Also, interesting to see an ad for Jim Lee working on the Punisher. Before that book he worked on Alpha Flight. So this brings me to my next question, which has probably been answered before:

    How come you're not covering Alpha Flight in these reviews? Aren't they mutants? Is it because they're so far removed from the general X-universe?

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  30. @Jonathan: A fun issue that introduced a character that I (and only I judging by internet commentary) love.

    Missed this before. I wouldn't say I LOVE Jubilee, but I do have a decent amount of affection for her. She's definitely of her time, but that time also happens to be MY formative time with the series.

    @Ian: I forgot Dazzler was on the team at this point. Isn't it a bit redundant to have Dazzler and Jubilee on the same team when they essentially have the same powers?

    They never really exist on the team together at the same time. Jubilee just kind of hangs around the town for the awhile, avoiding the X-Men, until after they all go through the Siege Perilous (at which point she comes out to help rescue Wolverine from the Reavers).

    At that point, there really is no formal X-Men team, and Jubilee is Wolverine's partner/sidekick more than anything. Once Dazzler emerges from the Siege (and regains her memories) she doesn't rejoin the team when it's reformed post-"X-Tinction Agenda" (which is when we can probably consider Jubilee to have formally joined).

    How come you're not covering Alpha Flight in these reviews? Aren't they mutants? Is it because they're so far removed from the general X-universe?

    A few reasons:

    1. While there are mutants on the team, it's not really a book about mutants, and was created/edited more or less as its own thing, away from the rest of the X-books (this is also why I didn't cover Dazzler's solo series; even though she becomes a member of the team, her series was never really connected to the X-Men. Ditto the Champions and New Defenders, despite the presence of ex-X-Men). Basically, while some people consider Alpha Flight an X-Book (Space Squid, for example, includes it -and Dazzler - in his retrospective of the franchise), a lot of people don't, and I'm one of them.

    2. At the time Alpha Flight coverage would have started, I was covering the main title and New Mutants and wasn't sure yet if I could handle three series a week. And didn't want to chance it until I absolutely had to (ie X-Factor).

    3. Other than the first dozen issues and a smattering of later ones, I've never actually read much Alpha Flight, and this don't have a strong connection to it. And personal/nostalgic connections are always the trump card when it comes to including/not including something with more tenuous connections to the narrative as a whole.

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  31. "Missed this before. I wouldn't say I LOVE Jubilee, but I do have a decent amount of affection for her."

    I didn't mean you or this website, specifically. But generally if you cruise around the geek culture sections of the internet, you'll find forums where people HATE Jubilee and dismiss her as lame. This is something I found odd when I first discovered this around the time the Web was entering mass consciousness in the mid 90s, because before then I assumed she was rather popular (she was used rather prominently in X-related merchandise and media spin-offs during the 90s). Usually the dislike revolves what Ian Miller said re: "being a burden" (this is the reason Cypher usually gets on these lists too. A notion I usually disagree with on grounds of being either untrue or irrelevant.) The other complaint is typically about Jubilee's mallrat "'tude", which is arguably a bit more understandable. Of course that's the way a LOT of teens were portrayed around that time in various media so it didn't faze me at the time (and she WAS originally from the Beverly Hills area at a time when EVERYONE there at time was shown as a ditzy Valley girl. Clueless anyone?) Plus I kinda liked her spunk and gumption.

    Of course I acknowledge that this is partially nostalgia talking as I was around roughly the same age that Jubilee was when I started reading comics so in a sense she was my "Kitty Pryde".

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  32. I'm with you, Jonathan. Jubilee was my "Kitty" too, especially once Jim Lee got his hands on her and started drawing her much cuter than Silvestri ever did. I'm not ashamed to admit that, as a youngster, I had a bit of a crush on the completely fictional and nonexistent Jubilee.

    (I even distinctly remember asking my mom if it was weird/whether I should be worried that I felt that way about a "person" who was nothing more than drawings and words on paper. She told me as long as I wondered that, I was fine.)

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  33. Oh hell yeah! I got the Claremont/Lee/Silvestri Omnibus this summer, and it starts with this story. This is my earliest chronological entry point into the X-Men (with the exception of the Genosha prelude included in the X-Tinction Agenda HC), so I'm excited to start commenting!

    I was happy Claremont cleared up what happened to Rogue in the Genoshan prison. I've always liked the idea of Rouge being traumatized by any human contact while de-powered, since it's something cruely forbidden to her. That it occurs not on her own terms makes it a type of violation unique to her character.

    @Teebore: "Missed this before. I wouldn't say I LOVE Jubilee, but I do have a decent amount of affection for her. She's definitely of her time, but that time also happens to be MY formative time with the series."

    Same for me, growing up with the animated series. Reading these stories now, I actually enjoy how stereotypically "90's" Jubilee is. And I do love the "Wolverine-Psylocke-Jubilee" adventures that are coming up post-Siege. (Jim Lee!!!!)

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  34. Oh hell yeah! I just got the Claremont/Lee/Silvestri Omnibus over this summer, which leads off with this story. This is actually my earliest chronologic entry point into the X-Men (with the exception of some random issues, and the Genosha prelude that was included in the X-Tinction Agenda HC). So I'm excited to start commenting! :-)

    I'm happy that Claremont cleared up what happened to Rogue in the Genoshan prison. I've always liked the idea of Rogue being traumatized by any human contact when de-powered, given that it is something normally forbidden to her. Having such contact forced and not on her own terms creates a type of violation unique to her character.

    @Teebore "Missed this before. I wouldn't say I LOVE Jubilee, but I do have a decent amount of affection for her. She's definitely of her time, but that time also happens to be MY formative time with the series."

    Same for me, growing up with animated series. Reading these stories now, I do enjoy how "90's" Jubilee is. And I love the "Wolverine-Psylocke-Jubilee" adventures coming up post-Siege! (Jim Lee!!!)

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  35. I think my revulsion regarding Jubilee is that Kitty was my Kitty. I was part of the pubescent crowd that adored her as our point-of-entry with the X-Men, and for some reason she always seemed so textured, so real, to me. Her relationships with Colossus, Storm, Xavier, Nightcrawler, and yes, Wolverine seemed very organic and real and sensical. When Jubilee shows up, there is very little character development, just a "oh, look, the new girl". Like watching a new actress sub for another in an established role.

    Jubilee also represented everything I found distasteful about the early 90s and the way it was framed in pop culture. I was 15 in 1990, and getting a little tired of rubber mall schtick and skateboard cool and suburban punk. Jubilee seemed just a little bit like middle aged white guys trying too hard to write what they didn't know about.

    I also think that I never watched the X-Men cartoon until very recently (with my boys) limited my Jubilee intake. We're also in the time frame when I began to move away from comics, so my nostalgic quotient where Jubilee, Cable, Bishop, and Gambit et al is concerned is very low. I was a Cockrum/Byrne/Romita guy (and Davis on Excalibur). The teenage boy in me certainly didn't mind Silvestri's softcore approach, but it all began to pale for me right around here.

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