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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #246

"The Day of Other Lights!"
July 1989

In a Nutshell 
Master Mold returns, and ends up targeting Rogue. 

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

Plot
Beneath the X-Men's town, Dazzler gazes into the Siege Perilous, seeing images of her potential lives and deaths. In New York City, Nimrod busts up a drug deal, vaporizing the criminals. Back in Australia, Wolverine tells Storm he needs to take a leave of absence from the team. In Washington DC, Rogue, with Carol Danvers in control of her body, visits the Vietnam Veterans memorial, honoring her brother. In the desert just outside the X-Men's town, Havok, Longshot, Colossus and Dazzler train. At the Hellfire Club, Sebastian Shaw meets with Robert Kelly, who tells Shaw resurrecting the Sentinel program is too risky. Downtown from the club, Carol retrieves some of her things from her old apartment, and is met by Psylocke. The pair discuss Carol and Rogue's unique situation.


Further downtown, Nimrod is working in his secret identity as a construction worker and comes across a piece of Master Mold, which manages to co-opt Nimrod's systems and rebuild himself using construction material, then sets about exterminating humanity, the progenitor of mutants. Psylocke directs Carol to Master Mold, who knocks her into a car carrying Senator Kelly and his wife Sharon. Back in control of her body, Rogue manages to help Sharon and and the Senator escape, but is trapped in the wreckage of the car. Sharon goes back to help her as Master Mold zeroes in on the car. Sharon is caught in the ensuing blast, which frees Rogue but leaves her weakened and in Master Mold's sights.

Firsts and Other Notables
This issue kicks off an unofficial story arc which will find Claremont slowly dismantling the team over the course of the next half dozen issues, writing some characters out, killing some others, and sending the rest through the Siege Perilous, and then reposition the series to focus on supporting characters or the remaining X-Men's adventures without a formal team. I've seen the story referred to as both "Dissolution and Rebirth" and "The Shattered Star"; I prefer the former (it's the title I first encountered) but I'll be labeling these issues with both names.

The first victim to be written off the team as part of the storyline is, surprisingly, Wolverine, as not for the first time, he takes a leave of absence as of this issue, and we won't see him in the pages of X-Men again until issue #251, at which point the team will no longer exist. As with the previous instance (during the mid 180s and early 190s), this is an astonishing nod to continuity on Claremont's part, as he's effectively writing his money-making character out of the book in an effort to create a chronological window during which the events of Wolverine's solo series can take place. a consideration no writer nowadays would give (or be allowed to give) any thought (of course, it also works into Claremont's larger plans for the series as well, as it makes less narrative sense for the team to split up if Wolverine is still around). 
 
Hey guys, remember Nimrod? And how he had sort of accidentally positioned himself into becoming something of a vigilante for the average man on the street? Well, he's back this issue, still doing his vigilante thing, though his system is ultimately co-opted by Master Mold and he ceases to physically exist, though his programming lingers. More on his fate next issue.  


Master Mold, last seen being blown up over Scotland in Cyclops' Marvel Comics Presents serial, returns as well, after Nimrod encounters a stray piece of the older Sentinel left behind from the events of Power Pack #36 (which technically makes this a slightly different Master Mold than the one Cyclops battled, though his ability to rebuild himself from the smallest piece makes the distinction effectively moot). 


Master Mold mentions the Twelve, the first such reference in Uncanny X-Men, though Claremont won't ever really add much to that storyline.


Hey guys, remember the Siege Perilous? Claremont reintroduces it here after not really doing much with it since the X-Men received it in issue #229, and it will feature heavily in the break-up of the team. To that end, the opening pages of this issue find Dazzler gazing into the Siege Perilous and receiving a vision of her apparent death. Reportedly, Claremont had plans to kill the character as part of the X-Men's dissolution, but backed away from that idea at the last minute and instead sends the character through the Siege Perilous along with her remaining teammates. Hence, the hint in this issue ultimately goes nowhere (though, I suppose, you could argue that Dazzler as we know her dies when she merges from the Siege a different person, though she eventually returns to normal). 


Senator Robert Kelly pops up in this issue, and we learn he's recently gotten married to a woman named Sharon, a former Hellfire Club waitress, who is making her first appearance.


The Statement of Ownership lists the average number of copies sold during the preceding 12 months as 432,745, with the actual number sold of the issue nearest to filing date as 392,750, compared to 430,158 and 460,011 in the last Statement. 

The Chronology Corner 
After this issue, Wolverine next appears in issue 19-23 of his solo series, as well as Captain America #363, before returning in issue #251. 

A Work in Progress
Wolverine pokes fun at the depiction of his hair in the Meltdown limited series, styling his hair wings to resemble the longer, more pointed style from that story. We also see his patch from when he's acting as Patch in his solo series.


Without fanfare or explanation, Carol is back in control of Rogue's body as this issue opens, and even dons an old Ms. Marvel costume in the course of the story.

The X-Men are seen training in the Outback, since they have no Danger Room in Australia.


Senator Kelly and Sebastian Shaw (still seemingly a leading member of the Hellfire Club even though he's been ousted from the Inner Circle as of New Mutants #75) discuss the reopening of the Sentinel program, with Shaw ironically arguing for a Sentinel which is, essentially, Nimrod, despite the fact that Nimrod's attack on the club led to the death of Leland and nearly Shaw himself.


Carol mentions Psylocke's affinity for skiing, a reference to Captain Britain's solo series, where she was said to be a championship skier.

Master Mold's reads Rogue as a "nonexistent entity", and chalks up his inability to detect her as a possible malfunction caused by his integration with Nimrod. 


Silvestrisms
Rogue's figure on the cover of this issue seems especially porn-y. 

For Sale
There's a house ad for the Asgardian Wars trade paperback, still one of the best collections out there.
 

It's in the Mail
The letter column is back, running letters discussing the pre-"Inferno" Genosha story. One letter writer questions the X-Men being okay with Maddie and Havok shacking up; the response says that Maddie was using her telepahy to subtlely influence the team, making it acceptable to them.

Teebore's Take
After a pair of standalone issues with a comedic bent and a mostly forgettable annual, this issue kicks off the book's first post-"Inferno" storyline. Of course, that storyline will find Claremont at his most experimental, as it culminates in a new status quo for the series in which the team as we know it no longer exists. But that atypical ending isn't telegraphed by its start, at least, as this issue reads like one of the most traditional issues of the series seen in years: the X-Men are training, or musing on their fate, or having heart-to-hearts with each other, there's superhero action set in New York City, and Master Mold, one of the series' oldest and most overtly metaphorical villains, returns to cause trouble. The only direct hint at the upcoming shakeup (Dazzler's visions aside) is the writing out of Wolverine, but while such a move would be unprecedented nowadays, this also isn't the first time Claremont's done it. With the dust settled following the relocation to Australia and the table-clearing that came about via "Inferno", Claremont is once again poised to kickoff a new era for the series. But despite the back-to-basics feel of this issue, that era will ultimately be one the series' strangest and most unique.

Next Issue
Tomorrow, there's strange things afoot in New Mutants #77, followed by more trolls (and more Art Adams) in X-Factor #42. Next week, Wolverine gets drawn by Jim Lee in Punisher War Journal #6 & 7.

33 comments:

  1. I love this issue. It's normal size, right, because insane amount of stuff seems to be happening in it. Fast paced cuts from a scene to a scene to a scene, unnoticeable transforming from a downtime-heavy breather issue into your traditional superheroics.

    Plus, the return of Nimrod! My open love-letter is to be found in the comments for the "Raiders of the Lost Temple" issue, so I'll have none of that here, but regarding what we some time back discussed about Naze suddenly returning unwarnedly, pretty much the same happens here to Nimrod. I personally am not the least bit annoyed for that, because his turn for vigilancy was at least shown to organically develop in pre-200 issues and I find it fine to have it picked it up here.

    But damn if it wasn't annoying to read the X-Men comment on adventures that wasn't published in my country, like Meltdown here! I think part of my love for Doombot A76 is to be explained by the fact that they didn't publish the second Cockrum run issues until well into the 2000s in a black&white essential thingy, and not getting to read or knowing what happened between Doom, Arcade and the X-Men was the sorest point for me.

    The 90's are already nastily looming here with the commentary on Storm's hair, because punk Storm was the definite version both for me and the 80's. It is not to be ridiculed!

    A senator marrying a waitress girl from the Hellfire Club is a thing, though. I'm quite for it otherwise, but her being a seemingly well-known "Sharon" to Shaw rather than a nameless waitress suggests that Shaw may have been playing some tricks in the matter.

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  2. @Teemu: It's normal size, right, because insane amount of stuff seems to be happening in it.

    Heh, yeah, it is normal sized. And definitely jam packed with stuff.

    I personally am not the least bit annoyed for that, because his turn for vigilancy was at least shown to organically develop in pre-200 issues and I find it fine to have it picked it up here.

    I'll speak a little more about this in next issue's post, but this doesn't bother me either. I'm just bummed we didn't get more of "Nimrod as a hero of the people" just because I think that's a cool idea. Even if Claremont didn't want to/couldn't do anything with it, it'd have been nice if other writers did something with it.

    but her being a seemingly well-known "Sharon" to Shaw rather than a nameless waitress suggests that Shaw may have been playing some tricks in the matter.

    It's made clear that Shaw introduced them, so yeah, there might be an ulterior motive at work there. Unfortunately, all this Shaw/Kelly stuff gets dropped and never picked up by Claremont.

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  3. Ha, Shaw introducing her to Kelly is a particular bit I refuse to buy. Men of privilege do not introduce private club waitresses to each other as eligible for marriage. Like the olden day nobility, as a rule they tend to go after beneficial matrimonial arrangements. There may be other stuff they wouldn't mind doing with them, though, and though I don't know if the club waitress outfits are meant to hint that their job would include also other services for the very wealthy and very deprived clientele, there has always been this Pretty Womanesque tang to the Kelly marriage. Which I'm pretty certain with all the later developments would make Sharon Kelly a Disney princess.

    Have anyone btw ever noted anywhere that Robert Kelly, the hangaround for the Inner Circle where everyone famously got their looks and names from actors and their famous roles, looks awfully lot like the fellow who played Kelly in "The Sting", one Robert Redford? Especially when Byrne-drawn.

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  4. Time to say goodbye to the Oz-men, one of my favorite runs ever.

    Psylocke |...] was said to be a championship skier.

    Meanwhile IRL UK has won a grand total of zero medals at alpine skiing Olympics.

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  5. "and is met by Psylocke."

    Who, in a nice nod to continuity, is still sporting that bitchin' perm she got in LA.

    "both "Dissolution and Rebirth" and "The Shattered Star"; I prefer the former"

    See, I prefer the latter, since 1) we never really got to the "Rebirth" part and 2) even though it wasn't used much (maybe once or twice), the X-men did have use a star as their symbol during this era...

    Speaking off...I love how CC introduces that Nimrod also uses a sign as a mark he was there, even though Nimrod vanishes next issue.

    "Master Mold mentions the Twelve, the first such reference in Uncanny X-Men, though Claremont won't ever really add much to that storyline."

    Other than mentioning it in the X-factor storyline he contributes to before the Muir Island Saga, it really only gets thrown around twice by Simonson, once here, and...holy dropped plot points, Batman!

    "Claremont had plans to kill the character as part of the X-Men's dissolution, but backed away from that idea at the last minute"

    I wonder if that was due to CC changing his mind, or someone in editorial? I also wonder if both Dazzler was supposed to die her and Rogue go through the SP, or just Dazzler dying (what can I say, I always love some backstage gossip ;)

    "Senator Robert Kelly pops up in this issue, and we learn he's recently gotten married to a woman named Sharon, a former Hellfire Club waitress"

    Now that's a marriage Mayor Quimby would certainly approve of.

    "Sebastian Shaw (still seemingly a leading member of the Hellfire Club even though he's been ousted from the Inner Circle as of New Mutants #75)"

    That can work. If anything, it would make sense to stay a member of the HC if only for the business and social contacts. Though I imagine things would get awkward if he ran into certain members of the Inner Circle...

    "Carol mentions Psylocke's affinity for skiing, a reference to Captain Britain's solo series, where she was said to be a championship skier."

    And to how we in the US meet her for the first time in that New Mutants annual, skiing in the Swiss Alps.

    "Rogue's figure on the cover of this issue seems especially porn-y."

    It's his most porn-tastic cover yet!

    "Claremont is once again poised to kickoff a new era for the series."

    Which makes you wonder, after all the big set-up for the new status quo, why he ends up chucking it a few years later...

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  6. @Teemu: Men of privilege do not introduce private club waitresses to each other as eligible for marriage. Like the olden day nobility, as a rule they tend to go after beneficial matrimonial arrangements.

    I don't know how much of that I genuinely buy into, but if I did, it could be read as further proof that Shaw set Kelly up with Sharon for a specific, presumably nefarious reason. One which, of course, we'll never know.

    Robert Kelly... looks awfully lot like the fellow who played Kelly in "The Sting", one Robert Redford? Especially when Byrne-drawn.

    I had not. I'll have to look again.

    @Frenchie: Meanwhile IRL UK has won a grand total of zero medals at alpine skiing Olympics

    Ha! Clearly, with all the "Olympic level athlete" superheroes, the Marvel Universe has an abundance of champions relative to our world. :)

    @wwk5d: Other than mentioning it in the X-factor storyline he contributes to before the Muir Island Saga, it really only gets thrown around twice by Simonson, once here, and...holy dropped plot points, Batman!

    Until it gets picked up in the late 90s and is mangled into a story that hardly resembles the earlier hints, becoming one of the most disappointing payoffs to a dropped plot points ever.

    And I think Claremont may have even been involved in that - I can't remember when he started ghost scripting the two books, but it was around the time of "The Twelve".

    I wonder if that was due to CC changing his mind, or someone in editorial?

    I've heard tell (on Jason Powell's blog, I think) that it was Silvestri who saved her, because he liked drawing hot women and didn't want to lose Dazzler. But it isn't like Rogue is some ugmo, and he loses her, and they're all gone, including Dazzler, before too long, so who knows?

    Though I imagine things would get awkward if he ran into certain members of the Inner Circle...

    Indeed. Though I imagine the other three at this point probably care less about the "front" activities of the club. Emma is busy at her school, and neither Magneto nor Selene strike me as the "attend a fancy party, network, etc." types. So Shaw probably still has free reign of the club itself, and just stays out of the secret Inner Circle rooms.

    Which makes you wonder, after all the big set-up for the new status quo, why he ends up chucking it a few years later...

    Yeah, I can totally understand, coming up on 15 years on the book, Claremont's desire to shake things up and do something different, but it's not like he's spent that much time on the Oz status quo to be burnt out on it already, and it was itself a pretty big departure from what came before it. So it seems odd he'd abandon that idea so quickly. Maybe he was just getting even more restless as he got older?

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  7. wwk5d: "Which makes you wonder, after all the big set-up for the new status quo, why he ends up chucking it a few years later..."

    With Havok and Colossus the new status quo was Genosha and Magistrates related from the get-go, so there probably was always something like the X-tinction Agenda coming up for the eventual reunion.

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  8. Oh wait... "the new status quo" being the OZ, not what CC is about to start now. Got it on the second reading, my bad, everyone forget.

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  9. @Teebore "But it isn't like Rogue is some ugmo, and he loses her, and they're all gone, including Dazzler, before too long, so who knows?"

    Yeah, but it seems like Dazzler was to be a permanent death (like, Thunderbird dead), whereas for the others the set-up was for them to always return, it was just a matter of time.

    "So it seems odd he'd abandon that idea so quickly."

    True, and to be honest, the idea was somewhat played out by this point. The whole point was for them to be able to "strike back at their enemies from the shadow", but other than the Marauders and the Brood, they pretty much stumble into every other encounter by accident...even Nimrod, who was someone they SHOULD have been after, is forgotten until he and Mastermold just happen to run to Rogue/Carol and Psylocke.

    And it's possible CC realized all of this, but didn't want to go back to the pre-FOTM set up, ie, them at the school?

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  10. Ha, it reads like Chris blew up the school couple of issues back just in case.

    The X-Men were given the Siege Perilous pretty much immediately when they got the OZ base, with the strong instructions to use it themselves if they felt like it, so chances are something like that was coming at some point. There was the plans for Gateway that never got realized, though, so something has changed too along the way. Gateway has by this point done a plenty of questionable stuff, which kind of ruined him as the planned mentor figure.

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  11. I guess I never realized, before reading this issue (for the umpteenth time) today, that Storm & Wolverine is implied to have just had sex with each other...hm

    While the cover is very porno-y...I don't like it, because it's almost entirely visually dissonant to the happenings in the comic.

    ...is Colossus nigh-invulnerable? Or, has organic steel been established as more durable than regular steel? Because, if not, then how could he have taken a shot like that from Havok without a scratch?

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  12. "is Colossus nigh-invulnerable? Or, has organic steel been established as more durable than regular steel? Because, if not, then how could he have taken a shot like that from Havok without a scratch?"

    I imagine organic steel must be more durable than average steel. He takes hits from Cyclops in the first Arcade story with no real trouble, and he's been invulnerable to Havok's stuff since like the fourth Claremont issue.

    "I guess I never realized, before reading this issue (for the umpteenth time) today, that Storm & Wolverine is implied to have just had sex with each other...hm"

    I like this aspect of their relationship during this period (friends with benefits), and I love how subtle it is.

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  13. // Joe Rosen //

    This is the first issue of the regular series since #164, dated Dec. 1982, not lettered by Orz.

    // Dazzler gazes into the Siege Perilous //

    I never knew it was a gem. Ever since hearing about it some 25+ years ago, glancingly, having asked a friend what had been going on in X-Men lately, I've pictured it as a giant archway. Which seemed to get validated when I finally read #229 — it does look rather like a hand-sized brooch when Roma produces it but in the very next panel it's grown into a portal big enough to walk through, and that's what the Reavers are made to do. Plus it's onyx, rather than ruby as seen here in Dazzler's hands.

    Regardless, as Jason said: "Why Alison is sitting in the catacombs, in a bikini, holding the crystal in the first place, we are never quite sure ...".

    // Nimrod busts up a drug deal, vaporizing the criminals. //

    Are we supposed to assume that Nimrod has been active as a crook-busting vigilante in NYC this whole time? Like you say later in a comment, Teebore, I'd have liked to see this mentioned in other Marvel titles.

    // Rogue, with Carol Danvers in control of her body //

    I still don't get the consciousness absorbed by Rogue suddenly being treated like it's the real, original living Carol Danvers trapped inside Rogue, but I won't mention it again since when I brought it up earlier there was a consensus that although it was indeed a strange paradigm shift it just continues without explanation.

    // Nimrod is working in his secret identity as a construction worker and comes across a piece of Master Mold //

    While that feels awfully convenient, I'll give it a pass since his job would admittedly have him working at sites in the aftermath of a big superhero battle.

    // I've seen the story referred to as both "Dissolution and Rebirth" and "The Shattered Star" //

    A check at the GCD shows that "The Shattered Star" is the title of #250's story but I didn't get any hits on "Dissolution and Rebirth" or even, for X-Men anyway, just "Dissolution". Where did that title come from?

    // Wolverine pokes fun at the depiction of his hair in the Meltdown limited series //

    I got a kick out of that.

    // The X-Men are seen training in the Outback, since they have no Danger Room in Australia. //

    Although they're colored normally in the online digital edition, Dazzler seems to infect Havok with her bizarrely tan skin when kissing him in the original print version.

    // The letter column is back //

    One editorial reply confirms that Nathan "was Mister Sinister's name as a child", despite my recollection being that the story never came right out and said that the Nathan bullying Scott at the orphanage was Sinister himself. Wikipedia backs this up, too, stating that while it was Claremont's intention to make that revelation he didn't get to do so before leaving and it never became canon.

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  14. Blam: "Are we supposed to assume that Nimrod has been active as a crook-busting vigilante in NYC this whole time? Like you say later in a comment, Teebore, I'd have liked to see this mentioned in other Marvel titles."

    Was Nimrod ever on any other title than Uncanny? I always took him as Uncanny-specific villain, and to demand him showing up in other titles is like demaning that Melter should have been seen on some other title doing some gardening before it could be accepted that he has been working as a gardener should they have claimed so on an issue of Iron Man.

    Jason: "I like this aspect of their relationship during this period (friends with benefits), and I love how subtle it is."

    I've hated it since I was introduced to it here for the first time very recently when X-amining UXM Annual 11. Now I get suspicious every time they're seen somewhere alone by themselves.

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  15. I don't know how much of that I genuinely buy into, but if I did, it could be read as further proof that Shaw set Kelly up with Sharon for a specific, presumably nefarious reason. One which, of course, we'll never know.


    I haven't read this issue in forever, but the impression I've always had is that the Hellfire Club operates (officially or unofficially) as a prostitution ring and that Mrs. Kelly met Sen. Kelly while working as a high class call girl/"waitress."

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  16. I'm with wwk5d on the title. I prefer The Shattered Star just a little bit more. It just sounds a little more Claremont-ian to me. It does get negative points for reminding me of Shatterstar, though.

    The period we're going into is probably the most uneven in the books history up until now. I'd say mainly because the pace of the book requires TONS of fill-in artists coming up, which just completely kills the flow of the book. But it also has some really high highs. Pretty much every Jim Lee issue coming up is great.

    Regarding this issue, I like it, but I think you pick up on this in your review, a lot of it seems like it just comes out of nowhere. All of a sudden Nimrod is back. He just happens to find a Master Mold piece laying around, which is really weird if you haven't read Power Pack. Senator Kelly and Sebastian Shaw are back. It gives the book kind of an odd feeling since these plots haven't been important since before the Mutant Massacre.

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  17. "This is the first issue of the regular series since #164, dated Dec. 1982, not lettered by Orz."

    No, it's not. Issue 243 is.

    "the story never came right out and said that the Nathan bullying Scott at the orphanage was Sinister himself.the story never came right out and said that the Nathan bullying Scott at the orphanage was Sinister himself."

    The Classic X-Men story in issues 41 and 42 strongly imply that the Nathan in the orphanage and Sinister are the same being.

    There's a slight incongruity with Weezie's thing X-Factor about how Nathan was "the bully in the orphanage." In Claremont's story in the Classic backups, the bully is just some random jerk named "Lefty" or something, who ends up committing suicide because of Sinister's manipulations. Meanwhile, Nathan is Scott's roommate, and he's not a bully, just very very creepy.

    "but I didn't get any hits on "Dissolution and Rebirth" or even, for X-Men anyway, just "Dissolution". Where did that title come from?"

    My recollection is that it was called that in a Marvel in-house ad at the time, and also possibly in at least one issue of Marvel Age.

    P.S. Thanks for linking to my review of this issue!

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  18. @Jason: // P.S. Thanks for linking to my review of this issue! //

    You're welcome. I do that now and then, especially if I've remembered to read your analysis before commenting here.

    You're right about #243, and I can only plead rushing through the GCD Advanced Search results. I thought I'd scrolled deliberately enough to make sure any Orz credits for cover lettering on the series were paired with interior story credits but obviously I missed that; if only I'd thought to limit the results to story credits in the first place. I still think it's (no Geoff Klock pun intended) remarkable, and worth Teebore mentioning in #243's entry when the book comes out. 8^)

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  19. @wwk5d: And it's possible CC realized all of this, but didn't want to go back to the pre-FOTM set up, ie, them at the school?

    That's a good point - the Oz X-Men thus far haven't quite lived up to their initial premise, so my instinctive reaction to Claremont moving away from it is "but you haven't done it right yet! You can't abandon it!" But it's entirely possible he thought the same thing, only his reaction was "I didn't do that quite like I wanted, rather than beat a dead horse, best to just move on to something else then".

    @Reese: I guess I never realized, before reading this issue (for the umpteenth time) today, that Storm & Wolverine is implied to have just had sex with each other...hm

    Yeah, as Jason says, there's definitely a subtle "friends with benefits" vibe to Storm and Wolverine at this point (and really, you could argue it's been there since at least post-Mutant Massacre, if not sooner).

    @Blam: it does look rather like a hand-sized brooch when Roma produces it but in the very next panel it's grown into a portal big enough to walk through, and that's what the Reavers are made to do.

    Next issue, I think, we'll see it transform from "handheld broach-y gem thing" to "portal", and the idea is that it's a mostly pocketed size item until it's being used, at which point it gets big and becomes a doorway.

    But the whole onyx/ruby change is, I think, just sloppy coloring/editing.

    Are we supposed to assume that Nimrod has been active as a crook-busting vigilante in NYC this whole time?

    That's my assumption, yeah, that he's just been out there busting criminal heads each night since issue #209 or so.

    there was a consensus that although it was indeed a strange paradigm shift it just continues without explanation.

    And it goes away very soon - first, because Rogue herself goes away, and then, when she comes back, the Carol consciousness business is dealt with once and for all very quickly.

    Where did that title come from?

    As Jason suggested, I'm pretty sure it's used in a house ad, as well as in the "coming soon" section of at least one or two Bullpen Bulletins at some point. I probably got it from those back in the day. I'll keep an eye out for the references.

    @Teemu: Was Nimrod ever on any other title than Uncanny?

    I don't think so, but that doesn't mean he couldn't have been - that's what great about the Marvel and DC universes: villains and heroes can move back and forth between various titles, creating that sense of a shared universe.

    Just because Nimrod hadn't shown up outside of Uncanny doesn't mean he couldn't have been in, I don't know, a Spider-Man comic or something, where Peter investigates reports of a robot vigilante gunning down criminals, sees Nimrod in the act and steps in as Spider-Man to stop him. That's a pretty standard Marvel plot, and even if Claremont didn't have the time or inclination to do anything with Nimrod during this time, it'd have been fun to see him used somewhere else.

    @Jeff: I'd say mainly because the pace of the book requires TONS of fill-in artists coming up, which just completely kills the flow of the book.

    Yeah, this run contains some of my least favorite Claremont issues, and lot of that is down to the really subpar art. But in general, the rotating art teams really do hurt this era overall.

    @Blam: This is the first issue of the regular series since #164, dated Dec. 1982, not lettered by Orz.

    @Jason: No, it's not. Issue 243 is.

    Regardless, *I* clearly dropped the ball on that one. Definitely needed to be mentioned in issue #243, and I straight-up failed to notice it. As Blam says, something for the collected edition...

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  20. @Teebore: That's my assumption, yeah, that he's just been out there busting criminal heads each night since issue #209 or so.

    Which, suspension of disbelief and all that, but how does New York even have any street-level thugs LEFT? It's not like Daredevil or Spider-Man, where you assume they're fighting the same goons over and over again because any competent public defender gets the charges dropped when Spider-Man doesn't show up in court. Nimrod is incinerating these guys, and he's doing it all night every night, presumably, since he never has to sleep or eat or take a whiz. How about a subplot where Kingpin wonders where all his low-level drug dealers are disappearing to, or where Doctor Octopus can't find any cannon fodder for his latest heist?

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  21. Teebore: That's my assumption, yeah, that he's just been out there busting criminal heads each night since issue #209 or so.

    For the reasons Drew brought out, I'd rather think he's been mainly going under his Nick Hunter persona, because working-class robot is something to be. He deals with crime and criminals if they come up to his or his neighborhood's face, like in the coffee shop bit back in the day, but hasn't proactively seeking action each night. This scene here reads a bit like he's weighting the option of starting a vigilante career or is in fact taking the first steps right here.

    The Rodriguezes have probably taken him see a film about Zorro, the quinessential Latin American hero, just recently, that may have sparked the idea of vigilantism. The only reason our robot won't go against corrupt government(s) like the original is because the West Coast Avengers have reserved that plot around these times for themselves.

    that's what great about the Marvel and DC universes: villains and heroes can move back and forth between various titles, creating that sense of a shared universe.

    That is, though there are some dos and don'ts there so it won't go down as petty larseny, which is sadly increasingly around this era. There was Doombot A76, not a combat unit, once, and there will soon be villain Magneto in Byrne WCA. I fear mutant-hunting Nimrod wielded by others than Claremont would have enormous crash n' burn potential.

    Just because Nimrod hadn't shown up outside of Uncanny doesn't mean he couldn't have been in, I don't know, a Spider-Man comic or something, where Peter investigates reports of a robot vigilante gunning down criminals, sees Nimrod in the act and steps in as Spider-Man to stop him.

    That... actually sounds genuinely pretty great starting point. If done by a proper 80's writer. "With great power... comes Nimrod the Hunter!"

    In the end Captain America would put his hand on Spidey's shoulder and say: "He's down, boy. You can stop now. And you REALLY gotta stop this shit now, because with Firelord and all we're seriously running out of space to hold them all."

    Spider-Man taking down an overpowered X-villain all alone, why haven't they every tried something like that? ;)

    And it goes away very soon - first, because Rogue herself goes away, and then, when she comes back, the Carol consciousness business is dealt with once and for all very quickly.

    Still thinking if Harras who will soon bring back Carol to the Avengers sphere had any role in this.

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  22. "Which, suspension of disbelief and all that, but how does New York even have any street-level thugs LEFT? It's not like Daredevil or Spider-Man, where you assume they're fighting the same goons over and over again because any competent public defender gets the charges dropped when Spider-Man doesn't show up in court. Nimrod is incinerating these guys, and he's doing it all night every night, presumably, since he never has to sleep or eat or take a whiz. How about a subplot where Kingpin wonders where all his low-level drug dealers are disappearing to, or where Doctor Octopus can't find any cannon fodder for his latest heist?"
    There was actually a plot in the latest Thunderbolts involving a crime family that found replacements for everyone Punisher killed.

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  23. Spotty artwork aside, I like this upcoming run of UNCANNY issues for bringing Banshee back to the fore as a main protagonist, and for creating the unlikely partnership between Banshee and Forge. I've always found it odd that no one has, to my knowledge, ever returned to their friendship since somewhere around the twenties of X-MEN volume 2.

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  24. And then it took several years later to discover what happened to Nimrod and Master Mold after they got sucked into the Siege Perilous.

    Just another one of the plot threads that Claremont left dangling unresolved for years and let someone else to deal with.

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  25. It's possible he never intended to bring them back. They exploded before going through the gateway.

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  26. One would not really expect that Siege Perilous would process robots, so perhaps CC all along meant that was that for them. Would have loved to see Nicholas Hunter surface as human vigilante dressing in pink though. To bring Nimrod back as a bigot based on the programming that he had sacrificially overcame is a hateful thing.

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  27. Perhaps poor Nick 'Nimrod' Hunter would have found himself in a tight spot with some perps at some point and to everyone's horror suddenly incinerated them with some sort of blast, and realized he is in fact a latent mutant. Some nice karmic backfire, and not that nonsense of bringing back Nimrods en masse to be put down nochalantly in dozens like some übervamps by Buffy and the gang.

    Clearly an underrated character judging by the apparent easiness you can find plots for him. I hear you're big on representativeness nowadays, Marvel... how bout if we said Bastion was the robot bit only, while some temporal anomaly has thrown Nick, the Hispanic construction worker/vigilante to the distant days of future past 2013, around when Project:Nimrod originally went down?

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  28. I'm pretty sure Jason's right and Master Mold/Nimrod are supposed to be dead at the end of this story. I always liked using them as the basis for Bastion, but unfortunately Bastion gets used in a lot of cruddy stories.

    On a side note, I was trying to come up with a name for the fused robot, but couldn't. Nimster Morod?

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  29. Yes but where do the Brazilians get all the excess human hair... oh.

    If the keyword for activating the spambot here is "Hellfire Club waitress", we are dealing with some Omega Class Sentinel class of sophistication as robotics go.

    (captcha for the post: "151". wasn't that the issue where the Sentinels attacked the X-mansion alongside Reese, Cold and Macon, the Hellfire cyborgs who Wolverine very definitely and editorially didn't kill during DPS? the Singularity is upon us, mark my words.)

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  30. Which reminds me: what ever they have seen fit to say about Nimrod re: the 1984 film Terminator, the aforementioned issue saw someone named Reese hanging out with a bunch of cyborgs in 1981. Just sayin'. Also, did not the cybiote Fury jaunt after a time-line escapee in Alan Moore's Captain Britain well before the movie?

    (captcha: "420". I strongly object this insinuation by the AI!)

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  31. "Senator Kelly and Sebastian Shaw -- discuss the reopening of the Sentinel program, with Shaw ironically arguing for a Sentinel which is, essentially, Nimrod, despite the fact that Nimrod's attack on the club led to the death of Leland and nearly Shaw himself."

    He's a business man first and foremostly. It's well to propose a project he can be sure will go the whole nine yards and make him even filthierly rich in the process, and maybe even slip in a personal kill switch this time. Or a secret directive, for not targeting the personnel of Shaw Industries. Like with that other fellow.

    Or then he's really stupid and just goes on to copy the nifty robot he once saw, name and all, with no idea the very robot will travel time one day and try kill him (tinkly-tink we hear M'kraan crystal say...). He's in for a shock when one day his main designer will tell him they actually went with someone's 5 y.o. daughter's proposition with the looks and show him the cute pink robot.

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  32. @Teemu: Still thinking if Harras who will soon bring back Carol to the Avengers sphere had any role in this.

    Carol doesn't return to the Avengers until "Heroes Return", when she makes the first Busiek/Perez roster. Harras uses her in a guest star capacity for a couple Avengers issues post-"Operation: Galactic Storm", but she's still Binary and a member of the Starjammers at this point and into the 90s.

    @Matt: I've always found it odd that no one has, to my knowledge, ever returned to their friendship since somewhere around the twenties of X-MEN volume 2.

    Yeah, that is odd. Like you, I do enjoy the Banshee/Forge pairing, simply for the sheer randomness of it.

    @Jeff: I always liked using them as the basis for Bastion, but unfortunately Bastion gets used in a lot of cruddy stories.

    Yeah, as far as after-the-fact explanations for a character, I always thought digging out the whole Nimrod/Master Mold Siege Perilous thing was a neat use of past continuity, even if Bastion was kind of a dud character and the explanation came long after anyone cared about learning it.

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  33. Teebore: "Carol doesn't return to the Avengers until "Heroes Return", when she makes the first Busiek/Perez roster. Harras uses her in a guest star capacity for a couple Avengers issues post-"Operation: Galactic Storm", but she's still Binary and a member of the Starjammers at this point and into the 90s."

    True that, and I'm mainly on Wikipedia knowledge here, but what I meant by "Avengers sphere" is that from being completely a Claremont exclusive character she starts to appear more and more on the Avengers books, in such manner that other Carol Danvers running around somewhere would be a complication. Though Harras probably wasn't so far in his plans for her when the Carol-residue in Rogue was done with, and anyway Claremont was soon after that out completely.

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