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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

X-amining X-Men Annual #13

"Atlantis Attacks Chapter Three: Double Cross"
1989

In a Nutshell 
The X-Men race the Serpent Society to collect pieces of the Serpent Crown. 

Writer: Terry Austin, Sally Pashkow (2nd Story)
Artist: Mike Vosburg, Jim Fern & Josef Rubinstei (2nd Story)
Letterer: Ken Lopez, Joe Rosen (2nd Story)
Colorist: Tom Vincent, Greg Wright (2nd Story)
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Early one morning, Dazzler seemingly tries to seduce Wolverine, but it's actually Serpent Society member Diamondback, her consciousness having been switched with Dazzler's. Elsewhere, Storm goes over the recording of Dazzler and Diamondback's story, trying to decide what course of action to take. After the Serpent Society was hired by Deviant priest Ghaur and his ally Lyra to find specific items of arcane power, Diamondback was captured trying to steal one of the items from the mystic Mr. Jip. Wanting the items for himself, Mr. Jip captured Dazzler, transferring the minds of the two women in order to blackmail the X-Men into finding the items for him. Unwilling to be blackmailed, Storm decides to take the fight to Mr. Jip and force him to restore Dazzler to normal, but when Gateway tries to teleport the team to him, Jip casts a spell that scatters the team to the locations of the various artifacts.


In the Savage Land, Ohio, and Iceland, the splintered X-Men battle the Serpent Society, ultimately defeating them in each location for the artifacts, though Longshot is buried in an avalanche. Mr. Jip teleports the X-Men to his lair and honoring his word, he restores Dazzler and Diamondback to normal, then restores Longshot in exchange for the artifacts. But just then, the Serpent Society's former leader, Sidewinder, appears and teleports away with the artifacts and Diamondback. Mr. Jip angrily sends the X-Men home, his efforts to foil Ghaur's plans having failed. Elsewhere, Sidewinder mockingly gives the Serpent Society a 10% commission on the sale of the artifacts as Ghaur and Lyra use the artifacts to continue their recreation of the Serpent Crown, hastening the arrival of Set's domination over the planet.   

2nd Story: "Jubilation Day"
Following the female X-Men through their teleportation portal back to the X-Men's Outback town, Jubilee is directed by Gateway to a tunnel that leads into the Reavers' former treasure trove beneath the town. From there, she secretly gains access to the town and its various underground tunnels and facilities, and begins observing the X-Men, taking food and clothing from them as needed. One night, after swimming in the underground lake, she's attacked by a cyborg dingo, but is able to destroy it by using her fireworks against it. Surprised at the destructive capabilities of her power, Jubilee nonetheless feels a renewed confidence in herself, as though she passed a test and can handle whatever comes next.

Firsts and Other Notables
Depending on how integral you consider annuals to be in terms of a series, this issue is notable for being the only issue of X-Men to not be written by Chris Claremont during his run on the title (at the very least, it's the only annual not written by him during his tenure), as former X-Men inker and current Cloak and Dagger writer Terry Austin steps in to write the main story, featuring a villain from his C&D book, Mr. Jip (who is trying to disrupt Ghaur's plans because Jip knows that Dagger is destined to be one of Ghaur's Brides of Set, which will disrupt Jip's plans for the woman).

In addition to Mr. Jip, this issue features the Serpent Society, a group of snake themed villains with a variety of powers/gadgets who operate more like a labor union than a traditional team of villains. One of the members, Diamondback, who features heavily in this issue, eventually becomes a partner/love interest for Captain America in his series around this time.

This issue marks the first X-book contribution to "Atlantis Attacks", a storyline which, like the previous year's "Evolutionary War", unfolds across all of Marvel's annuals. It involves the machinations of the Deviant priest Ghaur to restore the Serpent Crown, a powerful mystical object, and summon forth the demon god Set. Like "Evolutionary War", each annual includes a historical backup story, this time featuring the history of the Serpent Crown. Unlike the previous year's story, however, the various chapters of "Atlantis Attacks" are more interconnected and build on one another more from issue to issue, though as a whole this crossover of annuals is generally considered inferior to the previous one. It is also the last such annual crossover, as next year Marvel will switch to using its annuals to tell multiple smaller stories across specific groups of titles.

The second story in this issue features Jubilee and show's her arrival in the X-Men's town following issue #244. In the course of the story, she comes across the Reavers' former treasure trove, the underground lake and discovers a small room hidden in the X-Men's base that she claims as her own; we'll see it again in future issues of X-Men shortly.


She also assembles a costume of sorts from purloined pieces of various X-Men uniforms, which will be her default look until she adopts her more classic shorts/yellow trenchcoat attire. She does acquire her trademark shades in this issue, though.


It's revealed that Jubilee's parents are dead, the details of which will be dealt with in future issues of Wolverine.


At one point in the second story, a bag of Jubilee's mysteriously disappears, and later, the picture of her parents falls down in her room. I can't remember what, if anything, these strange occurrences are setting up. 

Gateway speaks to Jubilee in the second story, confirming he is capable of speech. It is one of the few instances in the character's history in which we see him speak.


"Jubilation Day" is the only story credited to Sally Pashkow, and reportedly, "Sally Pashkow" is just a pseudonym used by Claremont for the story as a joke.

Mike Vosburg provides the art for the main story. I know his work primarily from Marvel's G.I. Joe, and while I wouldn't say I love it, I like it much more there than here. 

The Chronology Corner
Storm will appear in later chapters of the crossover, as one of the "Brides of Set"; all of her appearances there occur between this issue and #246. 

The second story in this issue occurs immediately after issue #244. 

A Work in Progress
It's suggested that so long as an individual knows their destination, Gateway can teleport that person there.


Ghaur is seen to be operating out of Magneto's old Bermuda Triangle island base at the end of the issue.

Jubilee's gymnastic prowess is highlighted again.


The X-Men are watched playing baseball by Jubilee.


Teebore's Take
After a string of reasonably strong annuals ranging from "decent" to "all time great", we're back to the kind of dreck we'd come to expect before Art Adams started drawing these things. "Atlantis Attacks" has never done much for me as a story (like Marvel's various subterranean races/cultures, my eyes start to gloss over as soon as we get too deep into the various undersea factions: Atlanteans, Lemurians, Deviants, Ghaur...Namor I can handle and that's about it), and there's nothing about this particular chapter that requires the presence of the X-Men: the Serpent Squad can be a fun group of villains in terms of their theme and their business-like approach to supervillainy, but any group of heroes could have been the ones racing against them to acquire these artifacts and complete this chapter of the larger story. Combine that with a lackluster creative team that makes it seem like someone forgot there needed to be an annual and just grabbed anyone who was free at the time, and the whole story feels like an afterthought.

Most of the X-Men-specific stuff then falls to the second story, featuring the immediate aftermath of Jubilee's arrival in the X-Men's town. It's nothing spectacular, but it's definitely the better of the two stories, giving readers a chance to get know Jubilee and see the X-Men from the perspective of an outsider. The battle with the cyborg dingo is a completely unnecessary nod to the conventions of the time, but that aside, the second story at least keeps this annual from being a complete waste of time even if it unfortunately can't quite propel the whole thing above the level of "thoroughly mediocre and mostly forgettable."

Next Issue
Tomorrow, Excalibur fights Nazi Excalibur in Excalibur #9...Excalibur, and Friday, Wolverine fights the Hulk in Wolverine #8, followed next week by the Havok story in Marvel Comics Presents #24-31.

28 comments:

  1. I'm with you on "Atlantis Attacks". As a kid I had the three Spider-Man installments and that was it. As an adult, just a couple years ago, I picked up the Omnibus for something like ten bucks -- the price alone should've told me it wouldn't be worth a chance, but I read the whole thing cover to cover anyway. It was awful -- despite the more linear story, it was a bigger mess than "The Evolutionary War" (which I also re-read recently and found that I still enjoy). The one saving grace was the artwork X-FACTOR annual story, penciled by John Byrne and inked by Walt Simonson.

    As for this issue -- as a big fan of Mark Gruenwald's Captain America, I love the Serpent Society. Unfortunately this story doesn't really give us our best look at them. The Serpents were pretty much exclusively Cap foes, so seeing them against the X-Men should be a fun change of pace, but I don't believe Austin turns in a particularly enjoyable story.

    I don't understand the Sally Pashkow joke. But then, I suppose if it's an inside joke, I really shouldn't understand it.

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  2. I like the Serpent Society too. This era being one of my favorite versions.

    "Surprised at the destructive capabilities of her power, Jubilee nonetheless feels a renewed confidence in herself"

    Like Iceman not living up to his true potential, this almost become a recurring motif for Jubilee.


    "that leads into the Reavers' former treasure trove beneath the town"

    But didn't they return EVERYTHING that the Reavers stole in order to save Christmas? Where did all of this stuff come from?

    "which will be her default look until she adopts her more classic shorts/yellow trenchcoat attire."

    I think this default look only lasts...this issue? The next time we see her saving Wolverine, she just seems to be wearing normal clothes. I think this look does make into her Marvel Handbook entry, though.

    "The X-Men are watched playing baseball by Jubilee."

    And yet, somehow, both Wolverine and Psylocke fail to detect her. I guess Jubilee's temporary immunity to telepathy was still in play. Not sure how she escaped Wolverine's senses, though.

    So all in...a meh issue. I guess they just needed, as you said, to pump out an annual. But at least it's a good and more in-depth introduction to Jubilee. So it at least has that going for it.




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  3. @Matt: I don't understand the Sally Pashkow joke. But then, I suppose if it's an inside joke, I really shouldn't understand it.

    If there's more to the joke than "haha, I wrote this story using a pseudonym", I don't know it either.

    @wwk5d: Like Iceman not living up to his true potential, this almost become a recurring motif for Jubilee.

    True. The two of them should have a headlined a book where they hung out, constantly not using their powers to their fullest potential.

    But didn't they return EVERYTHING that the Reavers stole in order to save Christmas? Where did all of this stuff come from?

    I thought there was some stuff they couldn't identify the owners of (like what became Dazzler's motorcycle). I guess they just hung onto it, rather than, I dunno, giving it to charity.

    I think this look does make into her Marvel Handbook entry, though.

    You're right about that, which is probably why I consider it her "default" look at this time.

    Not sure how she escaped Wolverine's senses, though.

    I'm willing to chalk that up to Wolverine just not paying attention and her being far enough away that she's outside the range of "even if I'm not trying, I'll smell it".

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  4. Atlantis Attacks was made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the debut of Namor, the Sub-Mariner, Marvel's first super-hero (and therefore the 50th Anniversary of Marvel as well). In many ways, the history of the Serpent Crown ties to Namor's history as well (the destruction of Atlantis, the sea voyage that had Paul Destine search for the crown also led to the ship's captain meeting the Princess Fen, etc.).

    I was introduced to the crossover via Les Daniel's book MARVEL: FIVE DECADES OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST COMIC. The covers of the multi-crossover was presented on a two-pager. Such a colorful display gave me the reaction that this was probably one awesome epic storyline. I only got half of the books, however, and by that time my excitement dwindled. Although the crossover had some highlights (a drugged Punisher quoting Black Sabbath, Attuma's reaction to his lost kingdom, the aforementioned X-FACTOR chapter, and the back-stories like the saga of the Serpent Crown), it was rather disappointing. A month later, I turned to the Inferno saga of the X-books. This time, my expectations were fulfilled.

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  5. This issue is one of the worst examples of one of my least favorite plot devices- the villain tries to force the hero into doing something they would do voluntarily if he just explained the situation nicely.
    If Mr. Jip just explained to the X-Men he was doing this to save Dagger from becoming the bride of a snake demon, they would have helped of their own free will. And if he just told Diamondback Llyra and Set planned on destroying humanity, she wouldn't have turned the artifacts over to them.
    "It's suggested that so long as an individual knows their destination, Gateway can teleport that person there."
    Except there are other stories where Gateway is able to teleport a person without them knowing their destination.
    "I'm willing to chalk that up to Wolverine just not paying attention and her being far enough away that she's outside the range of "even if I'm not trying, I'll smell it"
    I prefer the "The wind was blowing in the wrong direction" excuse myself.

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  6. I think this default look only lasts...this issue?

    It makes it at least onto the cover of X-Men 253. I only remember because, not having read this annual, it appeared to be Dazzler and it was confusing!

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  7. Just curious, where did you hear that Claremont is Pashkow? I always liked the story -- in my "head continuity", it counts, unlike the miserable main story. It reads like Claremont, that's for sure.

    Gateway's verbal greeting is weird. Did he ever speak again?

    Isn't this the first instance that Jubilee's full name is given? (I have to admit, I think this was the first time I realized she was Chinese. I thought she looked white under Silvestri's pen, but maybe part of that is her short hair, which kind of reminds me of 50s greasers.)

    Art

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  8. wwk5d: And yet, somehow, both Wolverine and Psylocke fail to detect her. I guess Jubilee's temporary immunity to telepathy was still in play. Not sure how she escaped Wolverine's senses, though.

    It's in the realm of possible that Wolverine has scouted her the minute she came to the base, with her sneaking around stealing food and whatnot, leaving her scent everywhere, and also smelled her to be a young girl and not a threat, and he's taking it like it's a good joke or something. He does not seem to be the least surprised of her being there when he pulls himself off the Reavers' cross.

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  9. I would even say Jubilee's bag disappearing and the photo being returned is Wolverine joking back and one-upping her. Would fit nicely with Wolverine's later non-surprisedness, too. And who could forget Wolverine hunting a deer in one of the earliest issues, for what is this but replacing the stag with a man (or young woman, in this case).

    I have never hit to read an issue with Serpent Society in it, which is a damn shame, because they seem to be all about taking the comic-bookiest idea ever and executing it straight with shameless pride, with the added element of super villain deconstruction with their modus operandi also being right there too. I love the 80's, because before everything succumbing to the Dark Age there still was room for an amount of shameless corkiness resonating with the Silver Age sensibilities, updated to then-modern ages but still proudly letting the roots show.

    Also, the 2nd story gotta be Claremont, the Jube&Wolvie issues are so totally built on everything what we see here.

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  10. "Writer: Terry Austin, Sally Pashkow (2nd Story)"

    I've never bothered to read this annual. If Claremont ain't there, then I ain't interested.

    And that's my final word on the ... sub ... ject ...

    " "Sally Pashkow" is just a pseudonym used by Claremont"

    Oh, God DAMMIT!!!

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  11. Worth noting - the back-up story starts a running gag (at least for the remainder of Claremont's run) that Jubilee hates the size of her bust. It's a weird running gag, but hey, I was teenaged once, so I kind of understand it. I gotta say, though, that the artists largely drew her as not having the standard-issue comic book body until the mid-point of Generation X, which was refreshing. But yeah, not sure if it's a "first & other notable" occasion, but that joke starts here.

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  12. I like the idea that Logan knew Jubilee was there and just kind of let things play out, occasionally making a game out of it too. Unfortunately, we miss out on the opportunity for approximately 5,046 thought balloons along the lines of:

    "The kid's out there... alone, scared... she'l find us when the time's right..."

    Etc.

    The only other time I remember Gateway speaking was in Generation X #1. He delivers Penance to the lawn of the Massachusetts school and says "Penance," thus kicking off one of the most convoluted storylines of all time. Maybe he didn't say more because then he'd have to explain the whole situation and he forgot to bring footnotes and visual aids.

    - Mike Loughlin

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  13. If Jubilee is Asian, why did she keep calling herself "chica"?

    I never really realized how sacrilegious comics were. Case in point, the third story of this annual.

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  14. @Mela: You're right, and it definitely extends past the Claremont years. Marvel put out an oversized "wedding album" for Scott & Jean's wedding, and the framing sequence was Jean getting ready to move to the boat house and letting Jubilee rummage through her old clothes. At one point Jubilee finds Jean's old Marvel Girl costume and ruefully observes that she'd never be able to, er, fill it out.

    "Stick to the hats, Jubes... stick to the hats."

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  15. There was a third story...? Goddamn, Teeb, you didn't tell us there was a third story! Sporting He-Man on the banner picture and not noting a story about the race of the Serpent Men who got banished in the olden days from Etern... Earth, except for few, who then get battled by a muscular barbarian royal in a loin cloth. For shame!

    King Kull, also. The fun thing about Kull and the Finnish language is that in most of its inflicted forms, like the genitive for example, his name reads exactly like a popular Finnish slang word for male genitals ie. 'cock'. The Kevin Sorbo movie was a riotously hilarious show of the might of Kull, I can tell you that.

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  16. @angmc43: Atlantis Attacks was made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the debut of Namor, the Sub-Mariner, Marvel's first super-hero

    Now that you mention it, I do remember reading that somewhere (probably the Daniels' book). Though it's odd, since I don't think Namor is featured much in the story.

    I was introduced to the crossover via Les Daniel's book MARVEL: FIVE DECADES OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST COMIC.

    Love that book.

    @Anonymous: Except there are other stories where Gateway is able to teleport a person without them knowing their destination.

    Which is why I said "suggested" and not "established".

    I prefer the "The wind was blowing in the wrong direction" excuse myself.

    I like it.

    @A Painter: Just curious, where did you hear that Claremont is Pashkow?

    From the Grand Comics Database, which I generally trust on these matters.

    Isn't this the first instance that Jubilee's full name is given?

    I suppose it is. Shoot, missed that (that's what I get for having this stuff ingrained in my head).

    @Jason: Oh, God DAMMIT!!!

    Heh. :)

    @Mela: Worth noting - the back-up story starts a running gag (at least for the remainder of Claremont's run) that Jubilee hates the size of her bust.

    Oh yeah. I guess I never realized it was a running gag before, but now that you mention it, I totally see it (I remember her mocking Ninja Psylocke during the early Jim Lee issues for being busty).

    And agreed, for a surprisingly long time, the artists managed to not blow her up to usual comic book proportions, which was always nice.

    @Mike: The only other time I remember Gateway speaking was in Generation X #1. He delivers Penance to the lawn of the Massachusetts school and says "Penance," thus kicking off one of the most convoluted storylines of all time.

    Indeed. I think he's spoken once or twice since then, but it's never much more than a word or two. Certainly never as innocuous as it is here.

    If Jubilee is Asian, why did she keep calling herself "chica"?

    Good question. Picked it up from people at the mall?

    @Teemu: There was a third story...? Goddamn, Teeb, you didn't tell us there was a third story!

    I did *tell* you there was one, I just didn't summarize it or provide the credits, because it has nothing to do with the X-Men (and I didn't re-read it). I did the same thing with the similar third stories in the "Evolutionary War" annuals. :)

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  17. From what I've read, Namor gets 'killed' during the first invasion attack in the IRON MAN chapter, and reappears in the final FANTASTIC FOUR chapter, ending the story with him and Namorita flying away. Throughout the many chapters, there appears an armored figure, who I believe is actually Namor in disguise, although I don't think there was a big revelation, at least in the final five chapters (maybe it happened in the NEW MUTANTS chapter before them?). I find it unfortunate considering how entwined Namor is with the Serpent Crown saga. Namor's father captained the ship that sent Paul Destine/Destiny to find the crown (leading to his courtship with Fen). Destiny used the crown to level Atlantis (killing Namor's mother and grandfather) and brainwashed Namor into his amnesiac hobo state where Johnny Storm found him in FF#4. A lot of potential wasted.

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  18. Ok, I'm officially unable to find any mention of the third story, but I'm also completely certain it is a failure on my part. So, my bad, apologies. It's just that... the Snake-Men. The best ever ruse in the comic books is by King Hiss, who is releasing Snake-Men from their imprisonment with suddenly suspicious Skeletor, and who in his though bubble thinks "I'll try to swindle Skeletor into giving me a couple of more soldiers" and then, in the same panel, just blurts out in his blurb point-blank "Come on, Skeletor, give me a couple of more soldiers." But Skeletor didn't fall for it.

    Other than that, Gateway was pretty damn chatty in Age of Apocalypse. Different reality, yes, though it being Gateway I'm not sure how much that matters in the end.

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  19. Except there are other stories where Gateway is able to teleport a person without them knowing their destination.

    ... and that is the reason why I'm not so sure how much different timelines would matter to Gateway, remembering the time when Wolverine, Puck and Lady Deathstrike, who worded her instructions to Gateway badly, ended up into the Spanish Civil War.

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  20. As a baseball fanatic, it angers me once again that the baseball scene perspective is all wrong (though I get that the artists want characters to stand out).

    I always liked that running joke about Jubilee's chest. There's also one Jim Lee page (when she/logan/betsy/black widow are on madripoor) where she looks up at Psylocke, looks down her shirt and then sulks, all silent, that kills me every time I see it.

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  21. I'm not sure exactly what I thought Atlantis Attacks was about* but this wasn't it. (*Okay, I thought it was about Atlantis attacking, if I thought about it at all — like Namor being caught between the surface world and his undersea people as Krang or Attuma declared war, or something, with Earth's superheroes fighting the battle on all fronts as a few characters worked to unravel the politics or treachery or misunderstanding that led to Atlantis attacking through back channels; I certainly wouldn't have figured that there were entire annuals full of Deviants and the Serpent Society.)

    Longshot just picking up rocks — "Nope." "Nope." — until he finds the right one with his luck power was about as great as the rest of the story is negligible.

    I mostly know Mike Vosburg from his DC stuff in the late '70s and have long had mixed feelings about it. This isn't recognizable as his work to me, but styles change and inkers matter and so on.

    Jubilee being a mutant and getting orphaned do complicate things, but you'd think that if she was truly "your basic world-class star gymnast" then there would've been someone, coaches or teachers, invested in her talent/potential at the very least to prevent her from becoming a homeless mallrat. Unless "Sally Pashkow" is making fun of how, oh by-the-way, superhero universes seem to be teeming with Olympic-level athletes conveniently getting caught up in crimefighting, although it doesn't seem likely.

    I don't get how Jubilee could evade Wolverine and Psylocke and the sensors I'd assume that outpost would have, either. Maybe whatever led Gateway to leave the portal open for her to leap through resonates with Roma's intentions for the X-Men and hides her because it's, like, her cosmic destiny to be there.

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  22. It could be argued, in less-than-serious way, that she needs to be there undetected, destiny-wise, to help Wolverine live on to become the valuablest franchise - unless we can all agree Marvel Universe is doing somersaults just to have Reno and Molokai double kicked in the nuts one day. Because I totally could fly with that one.

    She would be like Roma's surprise pawn against the Reavers not unlike Colossus was against the Adversary... which is only little short of suggesting that the only thing why "Roma" gave the X-Men the Siege Perilous is intentionally to have them scattered all around one day, and that "Sally Pashkow" is really not the only female alias Claremont is working under.

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  23. "I don't get how Jubilee could evade Wolverine and Psylocke and the sensors I'd assume that outpost would have, either. Maybe whatever led Gateway to leave the portal open for her to leap through resonates with Roma's intentions for the X-Men and hides her because it's, like, her cosmic destiny to be there."
    Well, something was clearly weird with the computers at the base- the Reavers can't use them to find Wolvie in issue 252, they don't show Maddie that Jean is alive and with Scott until 5 seconds before the demons come to corrupt her, etc. And it's not clear how long it's supposed to be between Jubilee's arrival in issue 244 and Wolvie leaving to look for Roughouse in issue 246. Betsy, OTOH, tried to find Jubilee at least twice and failed.

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  24. @Teemu: Ok, I'm officially unable to find any mention of the third story, but I'm also completely certain it is a failure on my part.

    From the post: "Like "Evolutionary War", each annual includes a historical backup story, this time featuring the history of the Serpent Crown." :)

    @Frenchie: As a baseball fanatic, it angers me once again that the baseball scene perspective is all wrong (though I get that the artists want characters to stand out).

    Yeah, I always have to chalk that stuff up to artistic license.

    There's also one Jim Lee page (when she/logan/betsy/black widow are on madripoor) where she looks up at Psylocke, looks down her shirt and then sulks, all silent, that kills me every time I see it.

    That's the one I was thinking of! I like that bit too.

    @Blam: I'm not sure exactly what I thought Atlantis Attacks was about* but this wasn't it.

    Your imagined version sounds much, much better.


    Longshot just picking up rocks — "Nope." "Nope." — until he finds the right one with his luck power was about as great as the rest of the story is negligible.


    I probably should have called that out - it's definitely one of the better moments in the story.

    I don't get how Jubilee could evade Wolverine and Psylocke and the sensors I'd assume that outpost would have, either.

    As anonymous mentions, I believe we eventually get the idea (moreso) that there's something wonky going on with the bases' computers that ties in with Jubilee not being detected.

    Of course, that idea never gets fully developed/resolved, as the team soon gets scattered and then never returns to the base.



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  25. Teebore: From the post: "Like "Evolutionary War", each annual includes a historical backup story, this time featuring the history of the Serpent Crown." :)

    ... aand there it is, and has been all the time. Rats. :)

    Still, if it weren't for me deliberately going to look up that stuff myself, I would not know now that technically the Eternian Snake-Men and the Serpent Men of Valusia (and Marvel) are technically the same, if we are to believe the claims that Masters of the Universe action figures were originally conceived as a Conan the Barbarian action figure set. And despite how it went in the court over the matter, the battleaxe on the He-Man action figure tells a story of its own.

    That's the good part. The sad part is that the reason I insist is because Tung Lashor is cooler than anyone who's purple-pink-orange has right to be.

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  26. @Teemu: The sad part is that the reason I insist is because Tung Lashor is cooler than anyone who's purple-pink-orange has right to be.

    That's certainly true. Also, you reminding me of Tung Lashor suddenly has me wondering if my love of puns was imbedded in me from childhood by the Masters of the Universe...

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  27. You had at least the language going for you there, Teeb. They didn't translate any of the names for us in the Finnish translations (which is a grace I guess and of course good for marketing the toys in their original packages), and my command of English didn't quite cut for these sort of nuances. So I was a bit hazy on if he was perhaps supposed to be some sort of South Asian snakeman with the name like that.

    Which would make tremendous sense because his elegantic slick demeanor reminds one of the poisonous snakes of the Elapidae family, many of whom are found around the South Asian area. Whereas more robust Rattlor has clearly an American name that is very fitting for someone who clearly represents the Crotalinae subfamily, majority of whom are found in the New World.

    Eat you heart out, Barbie, you and your lack of educational quality.

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  28. I have now read the Jubilee story.

    Definitely reads like Claremont, but it sure fits oddly into the sequence shown in Uncanny. Issue 247 shows Jubilee still all freaked out, wandering the X-Men base ... she doesn't seem to have made her patchwork costume yet, and she doesn't seem to be aware of any X-Men outside of the four members she saw in the mall. That would suggest that the sequence in 247 has to go between the pages of "Jubilation Day," before Jubilee witnesses the baseball game with all eight X-Men present.

    Except that doesn't work because that would mean the baseball game happens after 247 ... but then Rogue couldn't possibly be there.

    Puzzling.

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