In a Nutshell
Colossus and Dazzler emerge from the Siege Perilous and set about building new lives for themselves.
Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Marc Silvestri
Inker: Dan Green
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco
In Soho, Phillip Moreau and Jenny Ransome are attacked by a pair of Genoshan Magistrates and Pipeline, but the sudden appearance of a naked and amnesiac Colossus helps prevent their capture. In return, they offer him a place to stay. In Hollywood, Freddie Stanachek discovers a copy of the lost Dazzler movie. Later, Lila Cheney's bodyguard Guido discovers Dazzler washed up on the beach near Lila's house. Elsewhere, Masque torments Callisto. In Soho, Colossus, thinking his name is Peter Nicholas, gets a job as the caretaker of the apartment complex where Phillip and Jenny live. In Hollywood, Freddie tries to sell Baron-Fox Studios on the idea of releasing the Dazzler movie, but without a hook to make it relevant again, they're not interested. At Lila's house, Dazzler becomes reacquainted with her history, but still remembers none of it, and leaves for a night on the town.
On Muir Island, Legion attempts to use Cerebro to locate the X-Men, but the effort leaves him open to an attack by the Shadow King. In New York, Peter bumps into a model he's felt a strange attraction too, but she runs off before he can get her name. He becomes smitten with her, sketching her image, as well as, to the surprise of Phillip, the image of Jenny as she appeared before the mutate process started to change her. In Genosha, the Genegineer gives authorization to use the entire Press Gang to bring Phillip and Jenny to justice. In California, Dazzler runs into Freddie at a bar, and though she doesn't remember him, she is attracted to him, and the pair go to another club, where Dazzler ends up foiling a robbery. The resultant press coverage of her actions draws the attention of Eric Beale, the failed producer of Dazzler's movie, who declares that he's going to announce his comeback to the world via Dazzler's death.
Firsts and Other Notables
Following Psylocke in issue #255, two more X-Men emerge from the Siege Perilous in this issue. First is Colossus, who turns up naked in Soho with no memory of his past or his powers, though he thinks his name is Peter Nicholas, senses that he's American, and retains his artistic abilities. Colossus will hang around for the next few issues (and pop up in X-Factor as well), then disappear again for awhile, not regaining his full memories until after Claremont leaves the series, during the "Muir Island Saga".
The second member of the team to pop up is Dazzler, who ends up deposited on the beach outside Lila Cheney's home, enabling her to be found by someone who knows her and thus, learn about her past life (even while she doesn't remember it). She will be the focus of next issue's story.
Dazzler is found by Guido (future X-Factor member Strong Guy), Lila's bodyguard who appeared previously in New Mutants (Lila at this time is still dead as far as we know, as of New Mutants #69, though Guido makes no mention of it). He too will hang around on the fringes of this series heading into the "Muir Island Saga" before becoming part of X-Factor in the '91 linewide relaunch.
The Genoshans, quiet since the end of their introductory story in issue #238, pop up again in this issue, including expatriates Philip Moreau and Jenny Ransome, Press Gang member Pipeline and a pair of Magistrates and, back on Genosha, the Genegineer and Chief Magistrate Andersen. The Genoshan plot will bubble and simmer here and in X-Factor off and on for the next few months, setting up "X-Tinction Agenda", the story where it finally boils over.
In other "simmering villain plot" news, this is the issue where the Shadow King begins to influence Muir Island via Legion, as he takes control of the boy (who had already been influencing the inhabitants of the island to darker urges via his Jack Wayne persona) when he uses Cerebro to try and locate any of the missing X-Men, during which Forge sees an image of Amahl Farouk, whom he encountered in his vision in issue #253.
The Dazzler subplot in this issue (which will serve as the main plot of the next issue) picks up on threads left over from the Dazzler: The Movie graphic novel, in which a movie is made starring Dazzler that is ultimately aborted when Dazzler refuses to sign a contract with the sleazy producer (it's also the issue which publicly outs Dazzler as a mutant and when her power changes so that she can store sound energy to convert into light later). Both Eric Beale and Freddie Stanachek appeared in that issue, Beale as the producer of the movie who was obsessed with Dazzler and Freddie as a meek young man whom Dazzler inspired.
Callisto pops up briefly, being tormented by Masque. Later, Colossus becomes infatuated with a model he sees on ads around town; we'll shortly learn said model is actually Callisto, her features changed by Masque as part of his revenge scheme.
Marc Silvestri and Dan Green are back on art following Jim Lee's three issue fill-in, though Silvestri's run is nearing its end.
A Work in Progress
Lila Cheney has a sentient computer program in her house, called, uh, House. Not sure if that's something that had been previously established somewhere, or was just an invention of Claremont's here to give Guido someone to talk to after he discovers Dazzler.
Legion is referred to as Daniel, not David, again this issue.
Dazzler and Freddie are photographed leaving the club together, though of course Dazzler isn't caught on film, resulting in the news resorting to an artists rendition and the image of Freddie with his arm around seemingly nothing, a rare look at how the "invisible to electronics" X-Men would appear when being recorded.
The amnesiac Dazzler ends up singing in a nightclub, giving Claremont another chance to describe singing through his prose.
One of the cops who responds to the Genoshan attack on Phillip and Jenny compares the Genoshans to Nazis.
There's an ad for the Double Dragon Nintendo game in this issue.
Also, a house ad for Marvel's Robocop series, an odd bit of licensing given the source material is an R rated movie (then again, there was also an animated Saturday morning series, too). A random issue of that series (#9, maybe?) is actually one of the first comics I remember buying (I was a fan of the cartoon and the part of the movie I'd seen), in my pre-comic collecting days when I'd just pick up random comics here or there, because they were still ubiquitous enough to do that sort of thing.
With the X-Men dissolved and "Acts of Vengeance" in the past, this issue kicks off the "Non Team Era" in earnest, bringing back two more X-Men who entered the Siege Perilous but leaving them scattered and amnesiac while adding another threat to the already established Shadow King and Morlock plots via the return of the Genoshans. Somewhat coincidentally, the stretch of issues starting here and running up through #267 represents probably my least favorite sustained run of Claremont-penned X-Men issues. Not really because of the Non-Team concept itself (I get why Claremont wanted to do something different, and I respect the effort), but because of its execution, as the next run of half dozen-plus issues are pretty blase and, once Silvestri leaves, suffer from wildly inconsistent/terrible art.
But we'll get to all that in due time. This issue, on its own merits and not as a forebear of things to come, actually isn't that bad (in fact, it's the best issue we'll get until #268). It's more in the vein of a Classic Claremont Quiet issue than anything, more focused on setting up or extending a series of running subplots than on any single narrative. It's a nice break after the plot-focused Reaver attack and "Acts" tie-in, and it's nice to see Silvestri back and mostly on point. What follows may not be the most engaging of X-stories, may, in fact, be the nadir of Claremont's first Uncanny run, but none of that is really this issue's fault.
Tomorrow, it's time to pay the Cable bill in New Mutants #87. On Friday, Archangel battles Sabretooth in X-Factor #52. Next week, Avengers West Coast #56-57 and #60.