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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #255

"Crash & Burn"
Mid December 1989

In a Nutshell 
Destiny is killed as Freedom Force helps repel the Reavers' attack on Muir Island. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists: Marc Silvestri & Dan Green
Letterer: Michael Heisler
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
On Muir Isle, Banshee joins the battle against the Reavers, destroying Bonebreaker's chassis then rescuring Lorna from Pretty Boy. However, as the pair try to free, they're knocked unconscious by an invisible wall and taken captive by the Reavers. In Cairo, Illinois, Jacob Reisz arrives to claim the young mutant girl, but he and Dr. Shen find her missing. On Muir Isle, Freedom Force arrives, dropping Blob and Avalanche into the fray, but Lady Deathstrike attacks and crashes their plane. On an island in the South China Sea, Matsuo Tsurayaba arrives at a Hand base where an amnesiac Psylocke is being held. Back on Muir Island, Forge pulls Mystique free of the plane wreckage as Pyro contains the flames. Mystique orders Forge to guard Destiny, while the rest of the team engages the Reavers. But Lady Deathstrike guts Avalanche while Reese traps Blob in quicksand, and Destiny insists that Forge is needed elsewhere to protect Mystique, ordering him away just as Legion arrives.



Elsewhere, Mystique, disguised as Lady Deathstrike, attacks Cole, Macon and Reese but is caught by Pierce. Just then, she telepathically experiences Destiny's death at Legion's hands as Stonewall separates Mystique from Pierce. They grapple, and Pierce kills Stonewall, just as Legion snuffs out Pyro's flame. He and Mystique appear done for as Forge, sniping from a nearby hill, destroys Skullbuster. Lady Deathstrike convinces Pierce to cut their losses, and they teleport away just as Forge lines up a head shot on Pierce. As Mystique attends to Destiny's body she tells Forge he now owes her two, a debt he will repay in full measure. Later, Banshee asks Forge to help him seek out the missing X-Men. In Illinois, the young mutant girl races through the hospital, pursued by Reisz, Dr. Shen, and another doctor. From the shadows she watches as Reisz kills one doctor, then turns to Shen, declaring that she will be his just as Storm soon will be.   

Firsts and Other Notables
Psylocke, the last member of the X-Men to enter the Siege Perilous in issue #251 is the first to come out of it, as we see her having been found by the Hand in this issue. She is amnesiac but still telepathic and immune to electronic detection, and her fate will be the focus of the next three issues.


Matsuo Tsurayaba, a Japanese gangster and member of the Hand, makes his first appearance in this issue. He'll play a pivotal role in Psylocke's upcoming transformation, then hang around as a recurring villain in both X-Men and Wolverine throughout the early 90s. 

Lots of death in this issue. Destiny is killed off panel by Legion, an event she allows to play out as she sees that doing so spares Mystique. This isn't quite the last we'll see of her, as she'll pop up again, in a manner, during "Legion Quest", the storyline that kicked off "The Age of Apocalypse", and her diaries, in which she wrote down her various visions of the future, will serve as the initial impetus behind Claremont's X-Treme X-Men series in the 00s.


Freedom Force member Stonewall is also killed this issue. As far as I know, he's stayed dead (though he popped up as one of Selene's zombies in "Necrosha"), and his death doesn't have nearly the impact as Destiny's.


Skullbuster is destroyed by Forge, the Reavers' only significant loss. He'll be resurrected in the 90s, but the Reavers move on and begin building a new Skullbuster after this issue.


Banshee, told by Lorna that the X-Men are alive, asks Forge, who has his own belief that Storm, at least, is alive, to help him track down the X-Men, kicking off their partnership that will occasionally be given the focus of the series moving forward.


A Work in Progress
Banshee notes that his power was restored by the Morlock Healer last issue, which could arguably be true (perhaps the Healer cemented the process begun by the Retribution Virus) but still doesn't offer up an explanation to readers as to how Banshee was using his powers in issue #253.


Lorna notes that if she had her magnetic powers, she could make short work of the Reavers, and it's hard not to imagine this is Claremont writing a bit of the thought process behind changing her powers into the story.

Banshee refuses to kill the Reavers, noting that while he once would have had no compunction against doing so, he is now determined to walk Charles Xavier's path.


Avalanche is referred to as Janos by Blob (his actual first name is Dominic) and he is seemingly killed by Lady Deathstrike, but he'll turn up alive and well in future issues.


Destiny continues to hint at Forge and Mystique's future together, strongly implying the two will become romantically linked (which doesn't quite come to pass).


Crimson Commando, Super Sabre and Spiral are said to be off on another mission, though I don't believe we ever see that mission depicted anywhere.

Psylocke washed up at a Hand base that once belonged to crimelord Emile Vachon, until he died in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #32-33. The restoration of Banshee's powers doesn't get a footnote, but that does.


Pyro's secondary career as a writer, previously established in his Marvel Handbook entry, gets referenced in this issue, as he and Mystique are attacked just prior to Forge's intervention. 


Forge notes that while his power allows him to build anything he can think of, he still has to complete the necessary steps to get there, and can't just magically materialize whatever gadget he needs.


Banshee and Forge share some cocoa after the fight with the Reavers. I'd think they'd both want something a little stiffer after the day they've had.

The Reference Section
Novelist Pyro and Stonewall debate the merits of James Joyce, whom Banshee was seen reading in earlier issues of the series.


Claremontisms
Forge declares "Bang buster, you're dead" after shooting Skullbuster.


Artistic Achievements
Blob makes a great entrance into the battle on Muir Island.


Young Love
Mystique says it's no fun being with someone who can see the future, perhaps the most overt acknowledgement of Mystique and Destiny's relationship we'll ever get from Claremont in-story. 


For Sale
Once upon a time, I had the Simon's Quest handheld game. It was irritatingly-repetitive.


It's in the Mail
A response to a letter in this issue spells out that Storm has been reduced to childhood by Nanny (though doesn't get into why or how). The Starjammers Marvel Comics Presents story is teased again, and Jim Lee is said to be on stand-by to fill-in for Marc Silvestri as needed, following his upcoming guest stint on the series. 

Teebore's Take
Essentially one long battle scene, this issue wraps up the Muir Island X-Men's introductory tale, as well as the larger "Dissolution and Rebirth" storyline. It also marks a swan song, of sorts, for Freedom Force, the Reavers, and, somewhat ignobly, the just-formed Muir Island X-Men. This is Claremont's last time writing Freedom Force as a cohesive unit (Mystique will pop up again in X-Men, and we'll see the rest handled by other writers in other places, but Claremont is done using them as a team), while this issue marks the end of the Reaver's most potent attack on the X-Men (Claremont will return to them throughout the Non Team Era, but they won't again coalesce into coherent threat before he leaves the series).

As for the Muir Island X-Men, they, too, will stick around, part-time players in the book along with so many others, but their brief days as a semi-organized force for good are over, as they become the biggest sowers of Claremont's next big, and ultimately unfulfilled, story arc. Between the nearly end-to-end action, deaths, and final moments for some significant characters, this issue feels suitably like the end of an era, even though it doesn't actually feature (one silent post-Siege cameo aside) any of the series' title characters, which is a rather remarkable achievement and a testament to just how deep a bench if supporting characters Claremont has crafted during his time on the book.

Next Issue
Tomorrow, Hela gets a sword in New Mutants #83 and Friday, "Judgment War" resumes in X-Factor #48. Next week, "Acts of Vengeance" tie-ins, part 1.

Collected Editions

25 comments:

  1. This issue featured one of the most confusing scenes I've ever seen. The Blob is fighting the Reavers and suddenly the ground beneath him turns to quicksand. I think the idea was supposed to be one of the Reavers blasted the ground beneath him, liquefying it, but Silvestri drew that scene badly.

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  2. "Who perhaps forgets that, for all their passionate glory... it is the nature of storms ever to pass."

    Ah, Irene, what a veritable bitchy thing to say. Love it. All the things she said and did, "You play chess, Dr. McCoy?", allowing the brick wall hit Spiral in NM and the yet-to-come final joke on Mystique with her ashes. Awesome character. Any info if Claremont had Shadow King-controlled Legion kill him because her powers would have risked his (originally intended) designs that never came due to Claremont leaving?

    Though, her later multi-faceted portrayal clashes a bit with the early villanous appearances. When she was the one intended to kill senator Kelly in DoTP, were they like really into mutant terrorism or couldn't she see what would come of it, or were Mystique and Destiny really more after Xavier then after all, to prevent a future where Rogue would start associating with the X-gang. Harsh really that it was Nimrod from that very future pushing her into the Siege Perilous in the end.

    Spiral's absence got some lip service, and I remember someone very recently made a point it might have been (editorially) to avert her reunion with Lady D and the cyborg Hellfire commandos. I'm bound to think it may also have been because, with Amanda, having two spellcasters on board might have messed up the battle goreography.

    Avalanche is referred to as Janos by Blob (his actual first name is Dominic)

    Blob might have addressed him with the somewhat derogatory usage of a generic Greek name, not unlike the local boys here in the European dis-Union may say "Jorgos" is doing stuff when the Greek are up to something. Maybe Claremont met a lot Janoses on his holidays on Kirinos. Speaking of islands:

    Psylocke washed up at a Hand base that once belonged to crimelord Emile Vachon

    I like the bit apologetic excuse given here for the villains so often having island bases: they're passed around and re-purposed, it's not like every villain always goes on to build his own, you'd run out of islands before long. If you already had enough money and resources to do that, why should you pursue a villanous career really?

    Also, that Psylocke did and I'll bet everyone's as irate as I when people in utterly wrong say that she emerged from the Siege Perilous with her Asian looks.

    Banshee and Forge share some cocoa after the fight with the Reavers. I'd think they'd both want something a little stiffer after the day they've had.

    It's obviously Muir Island cocoa, not unlike Long Island Ice Tea.

    The cover is mean. Only Banshee and Forge remain of the previous issue's all-new all-new gang on the cover

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  3. You will recall that the post-Siege Perilous Psylocke who ends up on the private island of Emil Vachon here is still British Elisabeth Braddock. Contrary to what was believed by the general fan population at the time, Psylocke did not emerge from the Siege Perilous in an Anglo-Chinese body, but as the following issue (#256) suggests she is metamorphosised into this physiognomy by Spiral's Body Shoppe at the behest of the Hand. Although Psylocke had simply been through Spiral's Body Shoppe like Lady Deathstrike in Uncanny X-Men #205 in 1986, after Claremont left Fabian Nicieza had to complicate the whole plot by revealing she'd instead switched minds with a Japanese assassin.

    However, on his Facebook page this past week Claremont has revealed an additional layer to his original plot. He advises that if his Nightcrawler series wasn't due for cancellation, he'd have gotten around to revealing that Bloody Bess from the Crimson Pirates was meant to be the Betsy Braddock who "got away" – i.e. who wasn't transformed into an Anglo-Asian physiognomy, perhaps even being the original Elisabeth.

    The original question that arose from Uncanny #256 for me at least was how the Hand came to make their deal with Spiral and Mojo, but this additional revelation from Claremont raises the further question now of which Betsy's body did Spiral transform into an Anglo-Chinese if our British Betsy went on to become Bloody Bess of the Crimson Pirates!?

    Does this suggest there was some third party in the Hand/ Mojo alliance, involving the Crimson Pirates' employer, extradimensional slaver, Tullamore Voge? Once the Hand "handed over" our Betsy to Spiral, did she trade this one to Voge for one he had obtained from another reality which she metamorphosised in her Body Shoppe and gave over to the Hand?

    And Voge is another fat powerful telepath, so might this suggest he was intended by Claremont as another host for the Shadow King while the astral fiend was taking his own cross-time jaunt hinted at in Excalibur #22?

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  4. Nathan Adler: the following issue (#256) suggests she is metamorphosised into this physiognomy by Spiral's Body Shoppe at the behest of the Hand.

    how the Hand came to make their deal with Spiral and Mojo

    It's next week's business really, but I always felt that the Mojo/Spiral imagery was Psylocke's own subconscious doing if not something brought intentionally up from her memories by the Hand telepaths and the real Mojo or Spiral didn't have any part in it.

    She took is hard enough the last time her body&mind was meddled with by Mojo giving her the bionic eyes, so it's justified and expected really the shades of his should show up when someone's up to it again.

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  5. "She is amnesiac but still telepathic and immune to electronic detection"

    Which...other than the answer being "for story purposes", you have to wonder why she didn't try to escape, or at least, influence the people there NOT to turn her into a ninja.

    I guess Matsuo Tsurayaba must have been glued to the TV set during FOTM to recognize Betsy so easily.

    "noting that while he once would have had no compunction against doing so, he is now determined to walk Charles Xavier's path."

    I guess he is referring to the time before he joined the X-men, initially? Because, even during the Byrne/Cockrum years, the guy wasn't exactly Dirty Harry...

    "Forge notes that while his power allows him to build anything he can think of, he still has to complete the necessary steps to get there, and can't just magically materialize whatever gadget he needs."

    I guess Jim Lee didn't get the memo on that.

    "Banshee and Forge share some cocoa after the fight with the Reavers. I'd think they'd both want something a little stiffer after the day they've had."

    I like to think, as Teemu said, Sean spiked it with something.

    "Mystique says it's no fun being with someone who can see the future, perhaps the most overt acknowledgement of Mystique and Destiny's relationship we'll ever get from Claremont in-story."

    That and the fact that she tells him, in this issue as well, to love her, with all of his heart, the way she has...

    The action is this issue is paced nicely, but doesn't quite hold when you look at it too closely. I've mentioned it before, but CC really overstacks the deck in the Reavers favor, and does the opposite for the X-men and FF, in order to prop up/oversell the Reavers as "OMG what a terrible and credible threat they are!!!" I'm sure there is some big meta commentary going on regarding Bob Harras and editorial interference or whatever, but too many issues with the fight scenes:

    * Lorna losing her magnetic powers
    * FF's most powerful member, Spiral, being absent
    * Legion working against the mutants on numerous occasions, giving the Reavers an undeserved edge
    * CC sometimes has his characters be creative with the use of their powers. Not so much here. Amanda could've tried maybe teleporting a boulder on top of the Reavers, or creating a hole underneath them. Instead we got "My magic doesn't work on iron! I'm useless!"
    * The Reavers seem to have taken Amanda's magic, since, magic quicksand bullets!

    Sorry, I don't mean to bitch too much. The story is done well, for the most part, and yes, this does have an "end of an era" feel to it, especially in hindsight. But I just have a strong dislike whenever the writer has to turn the protagonists into a bunch of inept jobbers just to prop up other people.

    "he'd have gotten around to revealing that Bloody Bess from the Crimson Pirates was meant to be the Betsy Braddock who "got away" – i.e. who wasn't transformed into an Anglo-Asian physiognomy, perhaps even being the original Elisabeth."

    Thank God we didn't get that. Psylocke's history is already complicated enough.

    "but I always felt that the Mojo/Spiral imagery was Psylocke's own subconscious doing if not something brought intentionally up from her memories by the Hand telepaths and the real Mojo or Spiral didn't have any part in it."

    I always felt the same way too. Nicieza really must have just skimmed through that issue, just as he skimmed through this one when he decided to launch Betsy into a black hole of convoluted continuity and retcons.

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  6. // On Muir Isle, Banshee joins the battle against the Reavers //

    When Banshee gets back into the action, he really gets back into the action. I'm glad to see it, too, having always had a soft spot for him. His splash-page "entrance" is pretty ugly, though, and the issue overall is uneven at best — Silvestri & Green aren't a favorite pairing of mine anyway, but this is definitely subpar save for a few nice moments, and just as Orz's lettering can accent good-looking linework beautifully the substitution here is not doing the package any favors.

    // dropping Blob and Avalanche into the fray //

    That was one of the nice moments.

    // Reese traps Blob in quicksand //

    I'm with Anonymous. How did he do that exactly? Reese is aiming at Blob and there's a "Zzzam!" and the next panels we see are of the ground underneath Blob liquefying (into what looks like water, really) even as Reese explicitly implies through a rhetorical question that he's turning the ground to quicksand via (HT wwk5d) magic quicksand bullets.

    // Stonewall is also killed this issue ... and his death doesn't have nearly the impact as Destiny's //

    Nor even look as fatal as Deathstrike's shredding of Avalanche, which apparently didn't finish him off.

    // Skullbuster is destroyed by Forge //

    That was another of the nice moments. I also really like how Pyro's drawn in this issue, for some reason.

    // Banshee refuses to kill the Reavers //

    Maybe I'm getting old, but seeing as how everything short of killing them seems to leave them able to repair themselves right on the battlefield — and how they're ruthless mercenaries out to murder everyone else on the island — killing them seems like the only real option. They can't be contained, let alone rehabilitated.

    // Avalanche is referred to as Janos by Blob //

    Well, Blob also called Pyro "limey" and Pyro turned out to be Australian, so once again I think we can chalk this up to Fred J. Dukes being, y'know, a couple vowels short of the alphabet.

    // Forge notes that while his power allows him to build anything he can think of, he still has to complete the necessary steps to get there, and can't just magically materialize whatever gadget he needs. //

    Of course not. That would be ridiculous [*cough*Wiz-Kid*cough*].

    // this issue wraps up the Muir Island X-Men's introductory tale //

    I understand that they're a thing, at least in fandom, but I don't see them as any more or less X-Men than earlier groups found on Muir Island — usually Havok, Polaris, and Madrox, back in the day. Which is to say not quite X-Men, or perhaps supplemental X-Men, not exactly a team and despite the uniforms on display here worn more for protection than to make a statement, in-story anyway, not taking up the mantle so much as girding to battle intruders. Roughly half the would-be team there by happenstance, and we didn't even see Alysande Stuart or Amanda Sefton this issue.

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  7. About the cover: "O Bitter Victory"? This constitutes a victory, really?

    They did manage to off the arch-villain Skullbuster, but the cover title would suggest that soon afterwards John Walker found a confusing message from his former FF pals in his answering machine: "Hey, Cap, we heard you've had problems with the red skull guy, yeah, we offed 'im, don't bother to thank."

    Blam: "we didn't even see Alysande Stuart or Amanda Sefton this issue"

    They wen't swimming.

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  8. We're entering a stretch that I haven't read & can't easily find in my budget limits, so this should be interesting. Not much to say about the actual content except that Blob's entrance is a thing of beauty & I'm shocked no one thought of it before.

    Teemu - About Destiny in DoFP, one of the things that caught my attention was that she expressly sees that they'll fail in their assassination attempt. It always begged the question of why she agreed to go through with it if she saw it'd never work. Was she trying to prove something to Mystique without openly starting a fight? Did she foresee where it would lead if they succeeded? It's never explained, and it's always made me wonder more about her as a character as a result.

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  9. "Of course not. That would be ridiculous [*cough*Wiz-Kid*cough*]"

    Madison Jeffries says "Bitch, please".

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  10. Mela, did she really? I luckily had the issues at hand's reach but couldn't find that bit. She spends most of the time saying she can't see much anything due to the anomaly she can't quite put her finger on (=Kate Pryde). My read is a translated Essential sort of pocket book version though, and may be missing pages here and there.

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  11. About Destiny and DoFP, I figure that either:
    Kate Pryde's existence is really putting the, well, blinds on Destiny's ability to see anything (present & future) of the assassination, with Mystique ignorantly going ahead with it.
    OR
    Destiny sees the Sentinel future as an eventual reality and accepts this inevitable fate, even provoking it (without telling Mystique about it, feeling it might depress her).

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  12. "Maybe I'm getting old, but seeing as how everything short of killing them seems to leave them able to repair themselves right on the battlefield — and how they're ruthless mercenaries out to murder everyone else on the island — killing them seems like the only real option. They can't be contained, let alone rehabilitated."
    Except that the X-Men were able to damage them badly enough to incapacitate them in X-Men 229, and Wolverine and Jubilee are able to defeat them with a flood in issue 252 (and we see they're still being repaired in Pierce's lab in issue 253) so clearly it's possible to damage them enough to capture them without killing them. The problem is that none of the new X-Men seem to be able to inflict anything worse than a shoulder wound on the Reavers (which isn't always enough to stop someone in real life).

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  13. @Teemu: // They went swimming. //

    Ten points to Gryffindor!

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  14. @Anonymous: I think the idea was supposed to be one of the Reavers blasted the ground beneath him, liquefying it, but Silvestri drew that scene badly.

    That was my thought as well, but totally agree it's confusing and poorly drawn. The art in this issue definitely takes a hit (presumably it's the rigorous bi-weekly summer shipping schedule taking its toll, even with the fill-ins) as Silvestri and Green seem off their game. For years, when I thought back to this issue I swore it was by a fill-in team because it's just not as strong as their usual work.

    @Teemu: Spiral's absence got some lip service, and I remember someone very recently made a point it might have been (editorially) to avert her reunion with Lady D and the cyborg Hellfire commandos.

    I think that might have been over at Jason's blog, but it's a good point regardless. Bringing Spiral into a battle with the Reavers brings up all kinds of narrative issues Claremont probably just wanted to avoid, for lack of space if nothing else.

    Also, that Psylocke did and I'll bet everyone's as irate as I when people in utterly wrong say that she emerged from the Siege Perilous with her Asian looks.

    Yeah, it's a bit of a pet peeve of mine when people casually and incorrectly say that Psylocke emerged from the Siege Perilous as an Asian ninja.

    It's obviously Muir Island cocoa, not unlike Long Island Ice Tea.

    Ha! I love it. I'm going to have to make some.

    This constitutes a victory, really?

    Eh, they drove off the Reavers and survived to live another day, so victory in that regard. They did suffer losses, though, greater than their foes. So a bitter victory, then. :)

    @Nathan: he'd have gotten around to revealing that Bloody Bess from the Crimson Pirates was meant to be the Betsy Braddock who "got away" – i.e. who wasn't transformed into an Anglo-Asian physiognomy, perhaps even being the original Elisabeth.

    I'll just say I'm glad Claremont didn't get around to revealing that, because A. This whole Psylocke transformation business is complicated enough already and B. I do not in any way share Claremont's fascination with the Crimson Pirates.

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  15. @wwk5d: Which...other than the answer being "for story purposes", you have to wonder why she didn't try to escape, or at least, influence the people there NOT to turn her into a ninja.

    I don't think there's anything in the story to suggest this, but I've always read her post-Siege, pre-transformation state to be such that she's basically a clean slate: no memories, no instincts, just a vaguely conscious body. So she doesn't know well enough to fight, or even to run, and just kind of sits there until the Hand does their thing.

    I guess he is referring to the time before he joined the X-men, initially?

    That's my read, yeah. Like, his time with Interpol and whatnot, when he presumably eschewed to a less stringent moral code.

    But I just have a strong dislike whenever the writer has to turn the protagonists into a bunch of inept jobbers just to prop up other people.

    Especially (and, granted, this isn't entirely Claremont's fault) when that propping up is done in the service of a future story that never comes to pass.

    I mean, Claremont kind of did the same thing with the Marauders, but we got two good-to-decent X-Men/Marauder fights out of it, and their initial attack and ferocity cast a long shadow over the series even when they didn't appear in it for issues at a time.

    Claremont was clearly trying to do the same thing with the Reavers here , and we get a bit of the "looming large over the series" as a result of this battle for awhile moving forward, but the rematch/payoff sections never come to pass, which makes his propping them up in this story more annoying for being, ultimately, irrelevant.

    "Magic Quicksand Bullets" is my new band name.

    @Blam: Nor even look as fatal as Deathstrike's shredding of Avalanche, which apparently didn't finish him off.

    Another example of the art missing a step. I wonder if Silvestri even knew Stonewall was supposed to die (or Avalanche not), or if he just drew stuff and Claremont captioned it however he wanted?

    They can't be contained, let alone rehabilitated.

    Yeah. I'm very much a "pro superheroes don't kill" person, but the Reavers seem like one of those exceptions worth making, for all the reasons you mention and more.

    I understand that they're a thing, at least in fandom, but I don't see them as any more or less X-Men than earlier groups found on Muir Island

    Yeah, "Muir Island X-Men" is definitely more a fan term that an in-universe one (I don't think it's ever used in-story), an easy shorthand for the collection of characters based on Muir Island around this time that feature in both the back- and foreground of a handful of stories around this time.

    I think the name arose as a point of clarification amongst fans mostly because they actually end up headlining some issues (here, and later in the 91 annuals) in a way the Havok/Polaris/Madrox group never quite did, and because they came about during this weird Non Team Era.

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  16. "but I've always read her post-Siege, pre-transformation state to be such that she's basically a clean slate: no memories, no instincts, just a vaguely conscious body. So she doesn't know well enough to fight, or even to run, and just kind of sits there until the Hand does their thing."

    CC was rather inconsistent with how the X-men emerged from the Siege Perilous, wasn't he?

    "I think the name arose as a point of clarification amongst fans mostly because they actually end up headlining some issues (here, and later in the 91 annuals)"

    I think it comes mainly from those 91 annuals (the Kings of Pain crossover), thought he team we see there is rather tweaked a bit. I guess Siryn and Madrox were on the mainland shopping and dining during this story?

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  17. @wwk5d: CC was rather inconsistent with how the X-men emerged from the Siege Perilous, wasn't he?

    Yeah. Though it could be argued that's just how the Siege works; it's different for everyone, in terms of how they come out and who they are when they do.

    I think it comes mainly from those 91 annuals (the Kings of Pain crossover)

    Which, of course, is probably down to the fact that at that time, there's an actual team of regular X-Men operating again, giving more reason to differentiate this group from that group.

    I guess Siryn and Madrox were on the mainland shopping and dining during this story?

    Heh. I meant to point out their absence, but completely forgot.

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  18. I love Banshee and I always appeciate him getting some cover time, but I've always thought he looks "pasted on" here. Like Silvestri drew everything else then decided he needed to fill a little more space, so he added that Banshee figure, who looks like he belongs in a different drawing.

    Blob's arrival this issue is one of the greatest things ever. Also, Avalanche lives a charmed life. I believe he's nearly killed again a few years later in Fabian Niceiza's "Freedom Force in Kuwait" story from the X-annuals in 1991 or so.

    "Psylocke washed up at a Hand base that once belonged to crimelord Emile Vachon, until he died in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #32-33. The restoration of Banshee's powers doesn't get a footnote, but that does."

    Probably because Chris Claremont wrote those DHoKF issues and, from what I've heard, writers usually wrote the editorial footnotes back then. Though I do find it odd that this issue's editor, who wrote "The Retribution Affair" and who was known for "correcting" his writers' work, at least later on, didn't fix Banshee's bit of misinformation regarding the Morlock healer.

    "Once upon a time, I had the Simon's Quest handheld game. It was irritatingly-repetitive."

    All those Tiger games were awful! I had the X-Men one and I couldn't stand it.


    Mela -- "We're entering a stretch that I haven't read & can't easily find in my budget limits, so this should be interesting. Not much to say about the actual content except that Blob's entrance is a thing of beauty & I'm shocked no one thought of it before."

    If you can afford it, all these upcoming issues are available via Marvel's Unlimited service. It's definitely worth a look and it's fairly cheap for what you get.

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  19. @Matt: I believe he's nearly killed again a few years later in Fabian Niceiza's "Freedom Force in Kuwait" story from the X-annuals in 1991 or so.

    Yeah, and when he comes back with Crimson Commando in a later annual, he's in better shape than the mostly-cyborg Commando. Charmed life, indeed.

    Probably because Chris Claremont wrote those DHoKF issues and, from what I've heard, writers usually wrote the editorial footnotes back then.

    Good point. Though I agree Harras' lack of footnote to his own story is odd.

    I had the X-Men one and I couldn't stand it.

    Oh yeah, I had that one too. It was Wolverine slashing the same dude over and over, for like, however long you could stand it...

    @Mela: I'll second Matt's Marvel Unlimited rec. Definitely worth the money, especially if you can jump in during one of their frequent sales.

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  20. "I guess Siryn and Madrox were on the mainland shopping and dining during this story?

    Heh. I meant to point out their absence, but completely forgot."
    The reason for their absence was that they were supposed to appear in a second Fallen Angels limited series but it was never completed.

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  21. @Anonymous: The reason for their absence was that they were supposed to appear in a second Fallen Angels limited series but it was never completed.

    Ah, that's right, that would have been out around this time, had it been finished.

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  22. I agree with most of the sentiment here, this comic is not very good. The prior issue sets up a story that falls a bit flat.

    The art, as people mentioned, is at fault for a lot. Avalanche getting ripped open and not dying, while Stonewall gets shocked and dies? Questionable.

    Blob walks into quicksand that looks like a lake without paying attention where he is going. Pretty bad.

    Destiny dies off panel, then gets the most post-mortem panels of the issue, while the one(s) that died on panel don't even get a mention. Awkward.

    Lady Deathstrike drops on to the nose of a plane. Where did she come from, the moon? Gateway makes a little sense, but she was already on the island the previous issue.

    Story parts were bad too. Claremont wanting to set up the Reavers as credible villains that needed story quirks to make a reality was bad enough.

    Then he had the Reavers (at least the Hellfire commandos) taking prisoners instead of killing everyone on the island like Pierce instructed. Way to establish them as villains.

    They could have easily killed off Sharon Frielander and Tom Corsi and no one would have cared, but they would have at least gained Marauder credibility for offing characters nobody knows or is attached to.

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  23. Zephyr: " Destiny dies off panel, then gets the most post-mortem panels of the issue, while the one(s) that died on panel don't even get a mention. Awkward. "

    Worked for me. We remember how the old soldiers joined FF and how they were welcomed and how especially Commando was naturally assuming a leadership position to everyone's annoyance and how they were anti-criminal vigilantes whereas the FF were barely ex-cons, so I suspect on most parts is was less than amiable between them and the ex-Evil Mutants. Destiny then again was definitely one of their own and, known to everyone, their boss-lady's lover. Mystique is understandably grief-stricken and, if they know what's good for them, so should the others at least damn well act convincingly.

    Stonewall was a cool guy though, and would have deserved better. A great costume, and you have to appreciate how he acknowledged it when Storm saved him from, ha, quicksand. The classiest fellow of the three. Also, stop mocking quicksand, guys. Comics need quicksand.

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  24. Teemu:

    I agree Destiny deserved the most post-mortem acknowledgement, but the other guys could have used a mention. We didn't even see what happened to Destiny, just her talking, then being carried out by Mystique.

    There are times for allusion or letting the art speak, but in this case, it might of helped clear up who died and who was injured.

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  25. In New Mutants 26 through 28, which introduced Legion and revealed him to be Charles Xavier’s offspring, we learn that a much younger David Haller was attacked by Arab terrorists in Paris. Upon this vicious attack, David lashed out with his mutant powers for the first time, killing the terrorists. However, one young terrorist, Jemail Karami, was absorbed into Legion’s consciousness upon the point of his death.

    While the Arab terrorist Jemail Karami became trapped within Legion’s mind, he had his own separate consciousness and memory and was still a whole person.

    Why bring this up? Well, in Uncanny X-Men #255, when Legion appears before Destiny on Muir Island, and with Destiny’s apparent knowledge, kills her. However, we are not shown the actual moment of her death. Could it be that is that while Destiny’s body is killed by Legion via the Shadow King, at the moment of her death, Destiny’s consciousness is absorbed into Legion’s mind, just as the Arab terrorist Jemail was.

    This would seem to suggest that Destiny is alive, in a fashion.

    Would this have been another shocking twist revealed during Chris’s planned Shadow King Epic? I don’t know for certain this is something Claremont had cooked up. But the fact we never see any of Destiny’s actual killing, makes one wonder.

    Perhaps Destiny’s consciousness within David Haller’s mind would have derailed the Shadow King’s diabolical plan to cause a race war. She could have rallied the other multiple personalities within Legion’s mind, and derailed his plot. Or at least, played a part in it. My only problem with this theory is HOW the Shadow King would not sense Destiny hiding inside David’s head if he was possessing him.

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