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Title- Uncanny X-Men (Volume 1) #216
Release Date- April 1987
Writer- Chris Claremont
Artist- Jackson Guice and Dan Green
A still berserk Wolverine is out in a road and accidentally gets knocked over by a truck. The young couple get out of the truck and inspect the damage and they are in some distress that they hit a man. There is no sign of him but he has slashed their grill and for now the truck isn’t going anywhere. They want to find Wolverine and take him to the hospital but they know that they have to fix the truck. Wolverine is elsewhere and he tumbles as he fights with his animalistic side. He gives a cry of pure grief.
Not far away Storm hears Wolverine’s cry and she wonders where he is. She and Priscilla are still running away from Super Sabre, Crimson Commander and Stonewall. Priscilla is cold and wants to start a fire but Storm tells her that it will give their position away. Storm does begin to set up a trap for Super Sabre using an old fish line. Priscilla is excited by the prospect of killing him although Storm states that she is doing what needs to be done. This causes the two women to have a small discussion about the matter.
The two women hazard a rest and they watch the trap. Storm is holding the wire and she realises that she is making a mistake. They hear Super Sabre rushing towards them and Priscilla protests as she wants him dead. Storm is able to keep her quiet as Super Sabre passes them. There is an argument between the two women as Priscilla thinks that Super Sabre and the others need to die to allow them to live. Despite all of this their next course of action is to hike across a valley although Priscilla claims that she can’t do that. As they make the hike Storm begins to think about the X-Men and how she is supposed to be the embodiment of their ideals and yet she is seemingly willing to kill.
It is dawn on Muir Island and Doctor Moira Mactaggart is asleep but at that moment the X-Men arrive on the X-Jet. Psylocke begins to scan the minds of everyone on the island and she picks up the fact that someone mad last night. They land the jet and Moira is there but she isn’t happy with how the loud noise of the jet is disturbing the patients. Rogue is the first one to speak with her and Moira asks her about Storm and Wolverine. Rogue is annoyed that the pair aren’t there when they really need them.
In Upstate New York Stonewall and Crimson Commander are still searching for Storm and Priscilla. They admit that Storm is better than they expected and Stonewall even suggests letting her go since she is innocent. They know that they can’t since she will tell the police and they feel that their work is too important. They have also found the trap and they realise that Super Sabre is running right towards it. Stonewall steps in Super Sabre’s way and this saves him from a terrible fate. Super Sabre isn’t happy at first but when he realised that he could have been killed he is thankful. They realise that Storm is making her way to the ridge so Super Sabre runs to it and he thinks about his own condition despite his age. He thinks that Priscilla deserves to be killed and that Storm is cleverer than he gave her credit for. He doesn’t see Storm above her and she jumps on top of him sending them down the ridge. Priscilla watches from above as Storm and Super Sabre tussle. In the end she decides that to survive she needs to push a large boulder down. She knows it will kill Storm as well but she is prepared for this. Priscilla pushes the boulder and it starts an avalanche that covers both Storm and Super Sabre.
A short time later the couple are still trying to fix their truck and they talk about how they haven’t seen anyone else for hours. They are eventually able to get the truck started again much to their delight and Wolverine watches them from a distance. Suddenly Priscilla approaches the couple and quickly grabs the gun out from the woman’s pocket. She shoots the man dead before killing his partner as well. In his still berserk state all Wolverine can do is howl but this shakes Priscilla up enough to try and escape in the trucks leaving her murdered victims behind. Wolverine is left to see the destruction that has been caused.
At the sight of the avalanche Stonewall and Crimson Commando dig through the rubble looking for Storm and Super Sabre. For now all they can find is a few pieces of clothing, they know that Storm is still alive but some distance away Priscilla has been forced to stop because the truck has broken down again. She is afraid and keeps her gun close and suddenly someone grabs her from behind.
By now Priscilla is unconscious on the ground by a pond where the truck has seemingly crashed. Stonewall approaches her but his ankle is grabbed and he is thrown into the water by Storm. At first she thinks that she can get out but they realise that the pond is in fact quicksand. Stonewall begins to sink and although she knows that he wants to kill her Storm still helps to pull him out. It is a great strain for her and in the end it completely tires her out. Priscilla has woken up and goes to smash Storm’s skull with a large rock but before she can she is stabbed in the chest by Crimson Commando’s throwing knife and falls dead.
Crimson Commando intends to do the same to Storm but Wolverine makes his presence known. He throws the knives but Wolverine deflects one and Storm catches another. Wolverine states how Priscilla killed the couple and that everyone should just walk away. It is not as simple as that as Storm goes one on one with Crimson Commando. Wolverine makes sure that Stonewall doesn’t get involved as the two fight. In the end Storm is able to get the edge him and forces him to the ground. She grabs his knife and stabs it into the ground right next to his head. Despite everything that has happened she refuses to kill him and demands that he and Stonewall surrender themselves to the authorities. She does threaten to kill him and this time she isn’t bluffing. Stonewall steps down and agrees that they will turn themselves in and allow the courts to decide their fate.
The next day Wolverine and Storm are in the car watching as the group give themselves up. They are surprised that they even went through with it. Storm comments on how close she was to killing them and even states that she is not willing to let the Marauders make the next move. Wolverine doesn’t know if he is up to it since he could have stopped Priscilla from killing the couple but he did nothing. They even see themselves as being on the same road as Crimson Commando and his group, performing heinous acts for supposedly noble reasons.
Now we return to Uncanny X-Men in an issue which basically goes with the story of a humans being hunted for sport angle which I have seen before. This is a bit of a twist however as the victims of this hunt are not innocent people caught in the crossfire but rather criminals. Storm of course doesn’t fall into this category but she is mistaken for a looter and this is what leads to her capture and eventually addition into this hunt. The whole hunting thing reminds me a lot of the original Predator film which came out in the same year.
One thing that we have to keep in mind in this issue is the fact that Wolverine has gone off the rails somewhat as we saw him in this berserker form where he seemed to be more animal than man. For now it seems that he hasn’t told Storm the cause of his rage which is his discovery that Jean Grey is still alive. Of course we read all about her in the X-Factor series but I think that this is information that the rest of the X-Men would really like to know. Some of the newer members might not be so into it since they didn’t really know her but certainly Storm would have liked to have known that her good friend is still alive. The only reason why I think he didn’t tell Storm that Jean is alive is because he can’t truly believe it himself.
I feel that the most evil person in this issue was actually Priscilla since as was mentioned in the previous issue she had ever advantage one could want in life and yet became a drug dealer. She killed that couple in cold blood to get their truck and try to escape, there most likely were other means that she could have used but this seemed to be the quickest and easiest. That just shows the type of person that she is and it makes me see why she was picked for this hunt.
The whole thing with the retired WWII super soldiers is an interesting one and the hunt is their way of dishing out justice where they see fit. I do know that this isn’t the last that we will hear from these guys but there is no doubt that together these three make a decent team. Crimson Commando is the brains, Stonewall is the muscle while Super Sabre is the speed. It is a typical team up elements that we have seen before in many super hero teams but these don’t seem to be on the same level as like the Justice League or the Avengers. But from the end of this issue it does seem that Super Sabre has been killed leaving his comrades behind. Maybe he somehow got away from the avalanche before it struck.
In conclusion I’m giving the issue an 8 out of 10. Definitely an entertaining read for any X-Men fan.
X-Factor (Volume 1) #15
Title- New Mutants (Volume 1) #50
Release Date- April 1987
Writer- Chris Claremont
Artist- Jackson Guice
Double sized issue. Features Professor Xavier and the Starjammers
In Limbo Illyana is fighting off a hoard of her own demons that have been infected with the Transmode Virus. One of them is able to touch her and she is infected with the virus but her Soulsword is able to purge the virus from her body. She soon finds herself confronted by S’ym who is working alongside Magus willingly. He has been promised the throne of Limbo as the realm becomes more and more Magus’s to control. As a last ditch effort to purge Magus from Limbo Illyana strikes down her Soulsword into the ground causing everything around her to be showered in light.
In a bar on a planet in distant space Professor Xavier, Binary, Corsair and Lilandra there to meet a contact. Xavier has scanned the bar and there are no law enforcers or bounty hunter there. They need to speak with the contact since he owns the place and nothing goes or leaves without his knowledge. Corsair and Binary sit down with the contact while Xavier and Lilandra sit at the bar. Lilandra finds it funny how she has gone from empress to pirate but she notices that Xavier is withdrawn. He tells her how he has been thinking about the New Mutants and if they’re safe in the care of Magneto. They talk but suddenly his telepathy picks up a familiar brain pattern.
Quickly Xavier rushes out of the bar where he sees an alien selling slaves on an auction block. He is surprised to see that the slave on sale is none other than Illyana. The slave master uses a special device to keep her immobile as he advertises her to the crowd. Xavier steps forward and tells the slave master to release her. He doesn’t take it well and fires the device at Xavier to make him submit. Xavier’s telepathy saves him and he knocks out the slave master. He then picks up the unconscious Illyana and tries to leave but he is attacked by lawbots. His telepathy doesn’t work on them but he is saved by Binary who blasts the robots to atoms. Corsair also arrives and they inspect Illyana but none of them have any idea how she got there. More lawbots arrive but the group are quickly beamed away.
They arrive on the Starjammers ship where the rest of the crew are waiting for them. Corsair isn’t happy with what has happened but he soon realises that it is Illyana who they have rescued. She is quickly taken to the sick bay as they try and figure out how Illyana got to them. They prepare to take off but they know that their situation isn’t ideal.
Later in the sickbay Illyana wakes up and she still believes that she is being held as a slave and begins to lash out. It takes her a few moments to realise that the face looking back at her is her former teacher Xavier. She is overjoyed to see him and Lilandra comments to Binary how Xavier is happy to be with his student. Binary states that she could go back with him but Lilandra tells her that she has a responsibility to her people.
Later Illyana is eating with the crew and she tells them that she likes the food and also tells Corsair about the fact that he is a grandfather. Xavier asks her how the X-Men and the New Mutants are. She sadly informs them about the Marauders and how they have killed the Morlocks and seriously injured three of the X-Men. She also explains about the New Mutants’ battle with Magus and how he chased them to Limbo. She has completely lose control of Limbo and she used her soulsword in a last ditch to purge Limbo of Magus’s influence. She ended up on this crazy world and she begins to cry as she admits that she screwed up. Xavier comforts her but his fears have been realised as he sees the Marauders’ actions as a war for mutant supremacy. He did read Illyana’s mind which means she is free from her demonic taint.
A short time later the team suit up as Xavier intends to find the rest of the New Mutants. Illyana is the key but there is a lot of risk in doing so. Despite the dangers Illyana teleports herself, Xavier, Lilandra and Binary away just as Corsair receives a report that the planet is tearing itself apart.
The group reappear in Limbo where they see the Soulsword struck into the ground. Limbo looks to be a pleasant place thanks to Illyana’s earlier spell. Everything seems to be fine before a still infected S’ym attacks them. Binary blasts him but it hardly slows him down. The Transmode Virus absorbs the blast and Illyana realises that the only way to defeat him is to take back her demonic powers. She picks up the Soulsword and transforms into a more demonic appearance before attempting to slice him. He splits himself in half before she can strike and then reassembles himself. He is able to build himself back up and he states that the more that Limbo converts to the Transmode virus the weaker she becomes. He transforms and flies away and she shouts that she will find him and will destroy him. She has a choice whether to try and find S’ym or stay with Xavier to rescue the New Mutants. She decides to find her teammates and then return to stop S’ym.
In the future Mirage, Cannonball, Warlock and Cypher are in a room awaiting their fate. The room causes them to be more relaxed than they should. Eventually the older versions of Sunspot and Magma arrive who state that what they are doing is for their own good. The team tell them that the society that they have built is wrong. Sunspot explains how this world is for the better but before he can finish Illyana teleports in with the Xavier, Lilandra and Binary. Xavier states how he is disappointed with what Sunspot has done and despite his protests Xavier is not impressed. Sunspot and Magma can only watch as the New Mutants teleport away with them.
They arrive in the other future where they spot their remaining teammates fighting a hoard of Sentinels. The odds are stacked against them but they are soon overjoyed to see Xavier and the rest of their teammates as Binary blasts the Sentinels. Through a co-ordinated team effort the Sentinels are defeated and the New Mutants are more than overjoyed to see their mentor. Mirage is unsure when she is around Sunspot after seeing what his future self did. They see more Sentinels arriving but Illyana teleports them away.
The group reappear back on the Starjammer ship but they see that the horizon is burning. Magus has arrived on the planet and he intends to destroy it to simply get to Warlock. Warlock knows that he has to face his father and even sacrifice himself to save everyone on the planet but Cypher isn’t willing to do that. He wants to fight alongside Warlock and even Xavier agrees that they must fight.
Magus grabs the ship with some tentacles as he intends to infect those on board with the Transmode virus. Xavier orders Magma outside and to go down into the water until she comes into contact with the planet. There she can use her powers to their fullest, she does as she is told as she creates an island which touches the seabed. She can feel the planet dying but she uses her powers to open the ground up and trap one of Magus’s tentacles. Illyana then teleports to the tentacle and uses one of her light discs to teleport it away causing Magus great pain. It causes him to release his grip on the ship saving everyone on board. Cannonball saves Magma before Magus can retaliate and Corsair fires the ship’s plasma weapons at him. They do no harm to Magus and Magma realises that her power is the only thing that can keep the planet stable. Xavier agrees so Cannonball places her on her island and she is ready to do what she can to save the planet.
Inside the ship Sunspot loses his temper as he feels completely powerless to stop what is happening. Xavier reminds him of the good that he has done in the past and asks him to calm down. Warlock can’t wait any longer and exits the ship before turning himself into a giant weapon in an attempt to destroy his father. Unfortunately Magus knocks him down with ease and the attack is enough to put Warlock near death. Xavier and Cypher try to think of an idea to stop Magus. Cypher can’t stand to see his friend like this but he does come up with an idea.
The first part of their plan is for Mirage to create a giant illusion to try and trick Magus. Mirage thinks that she can do it but she doesn’t think that it will fool the alien for long. Cypher goes to the injured Warlock and goes to sacrifice This is not necessary however as Binary arrives and fires an energy beam at Warlock which he absorbs and is revitalised.
Outside Magus is getting angrier and his actions are causing the planet to rip itself apart. Magma is trying her best to keep the planet in balance but she is almost at her limit. Suddenly Magus is distracted by the giant figure of Warlock in the distance which is one of Mirage’s illusions. The next part of the plan is Karma’s attempt to possess him which freezes the being in his place. A merged Cypher and Warlock fly onto the back of his head and lands on the shoulder. They are going to go through the next stage but Karma loses her grip on Magus’s mind releasing him. He senses Cypher and Warlock and tries to destroy them with generated cannons and guardians. Binary and Sunspot arrive and begin to battle Magus’s defences but they are becoming overwhelmed. Cypher and Warlock don’t have much time to inject what seems to be a virus of sorts into the body of Magus. All the time Cypher is nervous and Xavier has to keep him calm through telepathy.
The virus is enough to cause Magus to explode. Thankfully the heroes on his person are able to get away in time but the victory is bittersweet. Magma reveals that the planet has been damaged beyond repair and will be gone by that time tomorrow. Cypher and Warlock arrive with the rest of the team and they are happy that Magus is gone. Cypher begins to go through exactly what he did to defeat Magus and Warlock thanks everyone for helping to save him. He gives Xavier a hug and for now they are safe.
Now we come to the double sized fiftieth issue of the New Mutants. With this issue the series is now half way through but for me it is near the end since I am almost finished the New Mutants Classics graphic novels. There will still be the odd New Mutants review every now and again after issue #54 but the regular reviews will sadly stop. But still it has been a great ride.
For the issue itself it features Professor Xavier who has been out of regular print since he left Earth in Uncanny X-Men #200. Not only do we see him but we also get to see the Starjammers that also features a particular character who is having her own film out in a few years time. Their appearance in this issue I thought was essential for the plot and it played out pretty well. They definitely have a swagger to them that would merit them having their own series.
The overall story to me was a two parter. The first is Illyana seemingly losing control of Limbo and finding her lost teammates along with Xavier and the Starjammers. The second part involved the big battle with Magus which was so epic that it is leading to the destruction of an entire planet. Although Magus was defeated in the end the planet will still be destroyed and it makes me wonder if a planet wide evacuation is possible in such a short amount of time. I feel that this is a question which will never be answered is just something that the reader will have to guess.
All the New Mutants came together to beat Magus and it just showed the level of teamwork that they have. This is something that can’t be learned overnight but a combination of all the training sessions that they have had together. It also seemed fitting that Professor Xavier was the one who was bringing everything together. He has enough experience in training mutants that having him lead the group for that battle seemed to be very fitting for him.
There is one big question I have from the back of this issue and it is can Illyana keep her grip on Limbo? We saw that S’ym is basing wrestling control of that dimension from her and from the looks of it he has a distinct advantage. He has been enhanced by Magus and along with his almost limitless strength it could be safe to say that he is a viable threat. The only thing that might work against him is the fact that he isn’t the most intelligent creature in Limbo so this might work against him.
In conclusion I’m giving the issue an 8 out of 10. It was a good read and well worth picking up.
Uncanny X-Men (Volume 1) #216
Title- Fantastic Four vs the X-Men (Volume 1) #2
Release Date- March 1987
Writer- Chris Claremont
Artist- Jon Bogdanove
Truth & Consequences
On Muir Island Wolverine is attacking Mr Fantastic who claims he can’t help the critically ill Kitty Pryde. The X-Men and the Fantastic Four want this confrontation to stop and Magneto tries to use his powers to split the two men up. The Thing doesn’t trust the former villain and slaps his hands to knock him out. Storm is caught in the crossfire but she is able to grab the hand of Wolverine. The Human Torch comes to and sees Mr Fantastic in trouble. He flames up and fires a flame stream at Wolverine but once again Storm is also caught and he is shocked that he burned her. Rogue flies and grabs the Thing, she touches him and she absorbs his powers. She begins to become a rock like being just like him hut she also picks up his mind and she sees all that he has been through. Psylocke uses her telepathy to knock out the Human Torch and then she tries it on Wolverine. He is in too much of a berserk rage to feel anything but his wrists are grabbed by She Hulk. Despite this Wolverine attacks Mr Fantastic with his feet causing him some injuries.
In his dream form Franklin Richards can see what is happening and he calls to his father but at the Baxter Building he falls out of bed and hits his head. His cries of pain is heard by the Invisible Woman who comes in and tends to her son. He tells her what he saw and what is happening on Muir Island. He is very upset but he eventually falls asleep. The Invisible Woman puts him to bed and she walks into the sitting room and thinks about what she has read in her husband’s journal. In her anger she throws the journal at the window and then uses her powers to make her costume explode off her body as she states that she hates her husband.
On Muir Island Dazzler, Longshot and Havok are in a ward when they hear about the fight taking place. They quickly rush to help but with them gone the fisherman who had been rescued sits up and begins a diagnostic. His limbs turn into tools but he is interrupted by Sharon Friedlander. The robotic fisherman scares her as it mutters eliminating the threat and she runs.
On the surface Moira MacTaggart stands between Wolverine and Mr Fantastic and when Storm joins in Wolverine eventually backs down. Mr Fantastic is helped up to his feet and although Storm begs him for his assistance but he still claims that there isn’t anything he can do for Kitty. The still Thing like Rogue approaches them and states that she can absorb the information they need, despite this Storm doesn’t allow it. Dazzler, Longshot and Havok arrive but the fight is over. The X-Men wish for the Fantastic Four to leave but before they depart the robot appears and begins to project a gigantic hologram of Doctor Doom. He states he wanted to learn more information about the Marauders attack on them and if it was a threat to him. While he searched he learned about Kitty’s condition and claims that he can save her. He even claims that he doesn’t want any payment for it. The Fantastic Four claim that Doctor Doom has some kind of ulterior motive but despite this the X-Men know that he is Kitty’s only chance. Mr Fantastic begins to lose his patience so Moira forces him and the Fantastic Four to leave. Doctor Doom allows the X-men to contact him when they have come up with their decision. With that the Fantastic Four lick their wounds and leave but not reminding the X-Men that they’re making a mistake.
When the Fantastic Four leave Storm collapses and she is rushed to the infirmary. She is in a bad way but in view of this is Kitty in her chamber. She feels guilty that Storm has been hurt because of her and the X-Men considering Doctor Doom’s offer. She wants to live but not at the cost of the X-Men’s soul and she contemplates taking the decision out of their hands.
A short time later at the Baxter Building a dishevelled Mr Fantastic enters his labs and goes over the notes seeing if his machine can actually save Kitty. While he is looking the Thing grabs him from behind and throws him into a wall. He holds Mr Fantastic there and has his journal in his hand. He has read it and wants to know the truth from his own lips.
The Thing forces Mr Fantastic to another room where the other members of the team are waiting. Mr Fantastic is not happy as the team force him to read the journal out loud. He starts off with his research into the work of Professor Xavier and how he thinks that humans are evolving. He also mentions about the appearance of aliens and how they are a threat to humanity.
On Muir Island Wolverine is taking his frustrations out on some rocks when Rogue catches up to him. She tries to convince him to stay calm while inside the facility the X-Men are seriously considering Doctor Doom’s offer but Dazzler is against it.
In the Baxter Building Mr Fantastic continues as he goes through creating the space rocket and how despite being told that it was too dangerous still went into space along with the other members of the Fantastic Four. They were bombarded with cosmic rays and came back down to Earth with their superpowers.
On Muir Island Dazzler states how Doctor Doom is nothing short of a monster but the X-Men know that he is their only hope of saving Kitty. Wolverine brings up the important question, who matters most Kitty or them?
In the Baxter Building Mr Fantastic continues and he states about the rise of super criminals and that the world needed a group to fight them. As he continues to read he states how he knew that the cosmic rays would give them superhuman abilities and that he modified the ship to make them absorb the cosmic rays. After hearing this the team feel truly betrayed and Mr Fantastic states that the journal is a lie and that he would never do anything like that to them. The team have a hard time believing this and the Thing in particular feels betrayed. He walks away and so does the Human Torch and She-Hulk. Only the Invisible Woman remains and Mr Fantastic asks if she will stay or go.
On Muir Island the X-Men have been talking for hours. Storm states that she will do whatever it takes to save Kitty and it is a sentiment which is shared by the rest of the X-Men. They decide to take Doctor Doom’s offer.
Now we come back to the Fantastic Four vs the X-Men in an issue which is troubling for both teams. For the Fantastic Four the revelation that Mr Fantastic intended for them to be bombarded with the cosmic rays and gain their powers. Something that he didn’t ask the team for permission for and for the X-Men their efforts to try and save the life of their youngest member.
This series is still ahead of the current Uncanny X-Men comics since Havok hasn’t rejoined the team yet. I still feel that this series could have been delayed a little so that it was more in line with the Uncanny X-Men series. Fantastic Four wise I can’t really comment on timeline since I don’t read the series. From this issue I am guessing that She Hulk isn’t actually a member of the team anymore and is just there for additional help for this limited series.
There is one thing I saw in this issue which did get me thinking a lot and that was about Kitty Pryde. She can see that the X-Men are putting themselves at serious risk to try and save her. We see that she is contemplating suicide and this is something that shows just how far she is willing to go to keep the X-Men out of trouble. She was always the bubbly girl and even when things were bad she never truly gave up hope. It seems that hope is fading faster than many would like to admit.
There is one big point in this issue and that is Doctor Doom’s offer to save Kitty. We know that most likely he will be able to save her but anyone who knows Doctor Doom knows that he is up to something. He claims not to want anything in return but we all know that he isn’t that kind of person. The X-Men will be in his dealt and at some point Doctor Doom will return to have the dealt repaid in full. The X-Men however aren’t stupid and they know this but to save Kitty they are willing to risk it.
The other big point in the issue is the fact Mr Fantastic read his journal outload and more or less admitted that he planned the entire accident that gave the Fantastic Four their powers. Although Mr Fantastic claims that it is a lie it is difficult to dispute the evidence. It certainly looks like the end of the Fantastic Four and although in comics today the team are split up back then it was almost unthinkable. It would be like splitting up the Justice League or the Avengers. They are the team that started Marvel’s boom in the 1960’s and getting rid of them at this point would be foolish.
In conclusion I’m giving this issue an 8 out of 10. An entertaining issue that makes me want to read more.
New Mutants (Volume 1) #50
Title- X-Factor (Volume 1) #14
Release Date- March 1987
Writer- Louise Simonson
Artist- Walter Simonson
Mastermold has reached land and its senses have detected an incredible level of mutant power coming from Anchorage. It goes through his files and comes up with the face of Cyclops, he also feels that all humans are tainted with cells that creates mutants. It translates it to all humans possessing the X-Gene. It doesn’t notice at first a lorry carrying petrol driving towards. They are talking about the reports of a giant destroying oil rigs when Mastermold finally notices them. It determines that they are mutants and destroys them.
Cyclops sits in the ruins of his house that he has just destroyed. He thinks about his life but before him he can see an image of his mentor Professor Xavier. He seems disappointed with Cyclops’s self-control but Cyclops responds that it is Xavier’s fault for leading him down this path. They continue to argue for a few more moments before Cyclops finds two policemen confronting him. They approach Cyclops carefully and at first he thinks that they are figments of his imagination. When he realises that they’re real he tries to tell them that he has proof of his family’s existence. He shows them the rattle but despite this he is still arrested for destroying the house. He is cuffed and his pockets are searched, they find his visor and in his wallet they find his photos of Jean Grey and his wife Madelyne Pryor. The policemen begin to remember the reports of Cyclops looking for his wife and they know about the body which was discovered recently. They think the photos are of the same woman and are surprised to discover that they are in fact different.
In New York at the X-Factor headquarters Rusty is helping Skids cook some popcorn. He is using his powers to heat up the popcorn and they are being watched by Boom Boom. She has a training session soon but she doesn’t believe she needs them. Rusty tries to tell her the importance of controlling her powers. This makes him lose his concentration and he overcooks the popcorn.
Boom Boom steps out of the room and sees Jean leaving with Iceman to visit Angel. She is a little upset with this since he was supposed to be going through her training exercise with her. This is when Beast approaches her and tells her that he is her replacement. She goes to create a time bomb but Beast kicks it out of her hand and tells her about the self control that Professor Xavier taught his first students.
In Anchorage Cyclops is in the back of the police car. They are asking Cyclops questions about himself but they are suddenly grabbed by Mastermold. It begins to rip at the car and one of the policemen go to shoot it but it obliterates it instead. Cyclops realises that it thinks that all humans are mutants and tries to blast it but without his visor he doesn’t have the same level of control. He is able to blast Mastermold’s arm off and he tells the remaining officer to give his visor back. The officer refuses but Mastermold reaches down to them and Cyclops fires again. The officer gives Cyclops his visor back and as the battle continues he tells the officer about the Sentinels. Cyclops even has his own doubts as Mastermold fires at him.
Iceman and Jean are at the hospital where Angel is awaiting his operation to amputate his wings. Their privacy is ruined when reporter Trish Tilby bursts in with a cameraman and begins to ask questions to Angel about his funding of X-Factor. He replies no comment but Trish mentions about a court order. Jean tells her that she needs to leave and Trish wants to ask her some questions but Jean uses her powers to cause the camera to stop working. The hospital staff eventually arrive and force Trish and her cameraman to leave. Angel knows that the near future is bleak for him and it causes him to lose consciousness.
In Anchorage Cyclops has survived the blast and he fires at Mastermold’s leg causing it to fall. It fires towards Cyclops and the officer and they run into an oil refinery. Cyclops then blasts Mastermold head on and at first the robot seems to be completely destroyed. The officer asks Cyclops why he destroyed the house and while Cyclops is explaining they see legs spread out from under the head of Mastermold as it continues its attack. The pair are forced to retreat and Cyclops knocks out the officer so he can hide him away where he can be safe. Cyclops then flees but he is not trying to escape but rather lead Mastermold away. Mastermold grabs Cyclops and lifts him up. Cyclops knows exactly what he is doing as he blasts the hand and then blasts into Mastermold. He creates a trench for himself as he sets off a chain reaction which destroys the refinery. He is discovered soon after under Mastermold’s hand by the officer who drags him out. He is willing to let Cyclops go and find his wife and is even going as far as blaming the house explosion on Mastermold.
In New York Angel is undergoing the operation but it isn’t going well. The doctors don’t believe that he will survive and the news is broken to Iceman and Jean. They amputate the wings but are unsure whether Angel will live.
Now we come back to X-Factor in an issue which mainly focused on Cyclops although the other members of the team did have a supporting role in their own way. None of them had any impact on Cyclops’s story. His was definitely the A story while the other members of the team were the B story.
There is a question whether Cyclops is actually losing his mind as he actually sees Professor Xavier and even has an argument with him despite the fact that he wasn’t really there. Ok so Cyclops knew that Xavier wasn’t really there but the fact of the matter is that since the scene took place it does raise a few questions. It would explain why Cyclops has done a few questionable things in modern comics.
We did get the pretty epic battle which took place between Cyclops and Mastermold although it seems like Mastermold is going through his own bout of insanity as he sees all humans as mutants. I think he sees that all humanity has been corrupted by the mutant gene and are more or less beyond saving. I have seen similar stories in other franchises where a villain has seen humanity beyond saving. This seems to be the Sentinel version of this tale. The battle itself was a lot of destruction and big explosions and it makes me wonder how a single mutant could destroy Mastermold. There is no doubt that Cyclops’s attacks are devastating but I would have thought that Mastermold would have stood a much better chance.
For the B story we have Angel still having to deal with his links to X-Factor being exposed and the fact that his wings are going to be amputated. This is a lot for any man to have to endure and he is holding up pretty well considering. He is facing both the loss of his fortune and his wings that in its own way made him unique. He was a man who was proud to be a mutant and without them he will feel like he is only human.
In this issue Cyclops still doesn’t know where his wife Madelyne Pryor is but those reading the Uncanny X-Men know exactly where she is. For now the X-Men don’t know and I am surprised about the lack of communication between the teams. Both distrust the other and that can only lead to trouble. I feel that they could accomplish much more together rather than apart. It would save both teams a lot of the troubles that they have been experiencing. However if they were together all the time there wouldn’t be any need for the series so I can see why they are kept completely separate.
In conclusion I’m giving the issue a 7 out of 10. It was a decent issue but I thought that there was room for improvement.
Fantastic Four vs the X-Men (Volume 1) #2
Title- Uncanny X-Men (Volume 1) #215
Release Date- March 1987
Writer- Chris Claremont
Artist- Alan Davis
First appearance of Stonewall, Super Sabre and Crimson Commando
Madelyne Pryor is remembering the plane crash that she was in. It took place in San Francisco and there was some illegal military cargo on board that caused the plane to explode in such a fashion. Everyone on board died except for her as she seemingly walked out of the fire with no injuries or burns. She is hurried into nearby ambulance and rushed to hospital but she begins to realise that something is wrong. In the ambulance is a man and woman and when Madelyne asks about her baby she realises that this isn’t right and bolts out of the ambulance. The man and woman inside are none other than Scalphunter and Arclight of the Marauders. Madelyne runs and even tries to ambush her pursuers but she is quickly overpowered by Arclight. She is then approached by Scalphunter who shoots her at point blank range.
At the X-Mansion the injured X-Men are being loaded onto the X-Jet. They are being taken to Muir Island where they will be safer and can receive better treatment. Psylocke doesn’t believe that it is wise to split the team up but Storm assures her that it is for the best. Not only are Rogue and Psylocke going to Muir Island but so are new members Longshot and Dazzler. Storm is not sure if she can trust them after what happened with Malice. There is little trust between the team since the event and it is beginning to tear them apart. Longshot does approach Storm and he states how he likes it here and is sad to be going away. Dazzler is a little uneasy with leaving but Storm assures her that they will reunite soon.
Minutes later in the X-Jet those on board are speaking about this little split up. Storm and Wolverine are the core members of the team and need to get their heads back together. The jet then takes off while Storm and Wolverine watch from the Cliffside. Wolverine still feels guilty about almost killing Storm but she has forgiven him and she tells him that she has a job that needs doing upstate. She will go either with or without him and in the end he agrees to come, in his own manner.
In San Francisco General Hospital Madelyne is in a coma but none of the doctors know her identity. The two doctors by her bedside are talking to one another. The main matter of their conversation is about Madelyne’s condition and how she will be transferred. Much to her surprise she begins to wake up and the Doctor’s quickly rush to her side. She is able to give them her name.
In upstate New York Storm and Wolverine are driving down a quiet road. They talk about Malice and how she has been able to sow the seeds of distrust in the X-Men. Wolverine admits at the time he couldn’t tell friend from foe, even with his senses. This means that none of the others can tell the difference either.
They eventually arrive at a burned out house which once belonged to Sara Grey. They know that she was an outspoken supporter for mutant rights and that she might have been targeted by anti-mutant protestors or even the Marauders. They consider an accident but Wolverine can see the scorch marks. He can also tell that no one died and this is some relief for Storm. She even thinks about Forge being in danger because of his ties with her. She is still angry at him since it was his invention that robbed her of her powers. Wolverine continues to sniff around and picks up the scent of Cyclops. The second scent catches him completely by surprise and he shouts out the name of Jean, in his berserker fury he accidentally strikes Storm. This knocks her unconscious as he wanders off.
Over the Atlantic Ocean most of the X-Men are asleep in the cockpit. Kitty Pryde has risked venturing out of her chamber as she knows that she doesn’t have long to live. She sees Longshot asleep and she thinks that he is handsome. She doesn’t think that it is fair that her life is coming to an end and although she is spotted by Rogue she risks giving him a kiss. Even though she is stuck in her intangible form he can still feel her kiss and he wakes up. She quickly returns to her chamber and Longshot comments that when he touched her he saw her past and her future. Her future is all broken up and he asks Rogue if that is what death is.
Storm wakes up to find herself chained up in a dungeon. She remembers that Wolverine struck her when he went berserk and she is easily able to escape from the chains thanks to a lockpick in her waistcoat. She opens the door and notices that there are no guards. She peaks into another cell door and sees a woman asleep in there. Like Storm she is chained up but for now she thinks its best to leave her there. She knows that Wolverine will eventually find her and she moves up the stairs.
She finds herself in what seems to be someone’s home. On the walls around her she sees animal head trophies as well as antiques from World War II. She thinks that whoever owns the home is a big game hunter and this is a hunting lodge. She turns to a window and sees three men approaching. Quickly she hides in the upper floor as she sees two of the men walk in. She overhears them talking about a man that they have just hunted down but she can’t see the third. Her question is answered when she feels someone grab her collar, she throws the man over the banister and he lands through a table on the floor below.
Storm tries to escape but she is confronted by one of the other men who turns out to be a speedster. She turns but he runs to the other side and he introduces himself as Super Sabre. He then uses what he calls a Mach-One punch which doesn’t even touch her but the air pressure sends her flying over the banister. She impacts into the other man who calls himself Stonewall. He claims that he can’t be knocked down but Storm pulls the rug underneath him and he falls. She tries to run but Super Sabre grabs her, he only needs to click his fingers to create a microsonic which knocks her unconscious.
Later Storm and the other woman are outside the lodge where the three men tell the woman that her boyfriend is dead. They state how he deserved his fate and they are giving both Storm and the woman a fighting chance for their lives. They have until sunset to make a head start through the forest and if they can get out they have earned their freedom. Storm asks how they can do this to innocent people and they continue on. The third man is named Crimson Commander and they were heroes in World War II, after the war they were willing to fight against the Soviet Union but the US government didn’t want to encourage a nuclear response. Instead the government retired them and in their retirement they have seen society going downhill. The woman begs to be released but this is turned down. They continue how the woman is named Priscilla Morrison and she has a rich family. She and her boyfriend are big drug dealers but due to her family connections they seem to be immune from the law. They also think that Storm is a looter after finding her at Sara’s destroyed house but she states that this isn’t the case. She is indeed innocent but she knows that they will hunt her anyway to keep their secret safe. With no choice she and Priscilla run into the woods.
Night falls and they are still trekking through the words. Priscilla is tired and wishes to rest but Storm knows that they must keep moving. She doesn’t know if she can trust Priscilla and she even thinks about her childhood. There is no sign of Wolverine and she assumes that he won’ be coming. She also knows that Crimson Commander, Super Sabre and Stonewall have all started their hunt.
Now we come to an issue of the Uncanny X-Men that was very interesting to read. Not only is it the first issue of the series to feature Longshot (since his other appearances have not been in the main Uncanny X-Men series but rather a couple of LSs and an annual). I feel that Storm is the main star of this issue although no one can doubt that Wolverine did have some importance as well.
Alan Davis is once again the artist in this issue and once again I enjoyed his work. I know that I have more to enjoy of his work soon in the future Excalibur series which is getting closer and closer with each post I make.
The overall story is about the distrust that has been growing in the X-Men after the battle with Malice. The foundations of mistrust is somewhat understandable but there are other factors to the story. The first is that Madelyne Pryor has finally awakened from coma but there is one big question which remains and that is just where is her son Christopher? The final big plot was that Storm has been kidnapped and is now being hunted by three World War II superpowered veterans.
One other little minor thing to point out is the page with Kitty Pryde who seems to be taking more risks than I would have thought. This is most likely because she knows that she is dying so it isn’t like she has to worry about the consequences afterwards. She isn’t doing anything bad of course but I doubt she would have tried to kiss Longshot like that if she was healthy. It seems a shame.
The issue introduces Crimson Commander who seems to be a bit like a Captain America style character, Stonewall who is the typical strong guy of a team and then we have Super Sabre who is a speedster. They have taken it onto themselves to get rid of criminals but unlike other superheroes they have their own way of doing it. Kind of reminds me of a mix between the Punisher and the Predator in the way that they’re doing it. Certainly looks like Storm is in for a stormy night.
It also seems that Wolverine now knows for certainty that Jean Grey is alive as he was able to pick up her scent at Sara’s house. Not sure why he went berserk like that but maybe it is something that is deeply rooted within him. We already know exactly what happened at the house in one of the recent X-Factor so there is no real mystery to what happened. It is a nice little tie in to show that both series are linked.
In conclusion I’m giving the issue an 8 out of 10. A decent start and hopefully we will see a decent story.
X-Factor (Volume 1) #14
Title- New Mutants (Volume 1) #49
Release Date- March 1987
Writer- Chris Claremont
Artist- Bret Blevins
Features Katie Powers
Ashes of the Soul
In the future Cypher is using Warlock as a skateboard on a high rise freeway. He is having a lot of fun but suddenly they are chased by police who are wearing uniforms similar to that of the New Mutants. They shoot at the pair but they are able to dodge with some ease but the police raise a barrier in front of them. Warlock is able to fly them above the barrier but the two police swerve to avoid it and fall off the freeway. Warlock flies down and rescues them. When they are safely on the ground the police are grateful but still need to arrest them. The pair fly away before they can but they don’t notice some graffiti that reads ‘People are human too!’
Mirage is outside the X-Mansion where she sees that it has been renamed Heroes Plaza. It has statues of the X-Men who fought for mutant supremacy. She even sees a statue of herself and finds it strange to look upon herself like this. She reads the words inscribed that states her actions and how she died. She wonders if she will let this play out or try and change it. She is then approached by Cannonball and she tells him that half of their teammates are still missing. She is also disappointed that although this seems to be utopia not many of the X-Men lived to see it. Cannonball notices that everyone he has seen so far here are mutants and Mirage knows that here humans are second class citizens. She states that they have work to do.
Later Mirage leaps out of a hospital with some stolen supplies for the humans of Downtown. More or less as soon as she’s landed she is grabbed by two policemen. They notice that she is wearing the same uniform as them and she takes the advantage by conjuring an image of both policemen’s heart’s desires. With them distracted she runs and eventually meets up with Cannonball who is in a hover vehicle. Unfortunately in the struggle she lost the medicine and they have no choice but to escape to Downtown.
They arrive in Downtown which is nothing more than a slum. The tower that is Uptown can be seen and it is a reminder to the humans of a place they can never be. They see the police fly above them but they don’t seem to notice them. This surprises them and they see that they are going to a specific location.
A few moments later the police have arrived at the home of a human family. Since the two children have been registered as mutants they are being taken way to a better life. The mother refuses to let her children go and is going to any lengths to get them back even after she is offered money. She even jumps on one of the hover vehicles but is knocked off and begins to fall. Cannonball goes to rescue her but they notice the familiar rainbow trail fly up and catch the woman. Cannonball nonetheless uses his powers to defeat the police and return the children to their parents although he is told that what is happening is legal. The police have no choice but to retreat as the children are overwhelmed to be with their mother again. He is then approached by the other saviour who is an old woman wearing a Power Pack costume. At first Cannonball thinks that it is Julie Powers but she reveals herself to be her younger sister Katie. They then fly away together and begin to talk but the father of the family isn’t happy with what has happened. His children would have had a better life and the money the parents would have received would have really improved their lives.
Later in the office of the Chief of Police the Chief is informed of the actions of Mirage and Cannonball. He is taking the news very seriously but he remembers when he was younger. The officer brings up images of the New Mutants along with Katie and the human father that informed them of what happened. The Chief states that he and his lady will accompany the assumed special squad. The officer doesn’t think that it is necessary but the Chief wants to oversee this operation personally.
Meanwhile in Downtown the male members of the team are handing out supplies to the children while Mirage and Katie watch on. Mirage feels that their efforts are only short term and with her death sight she can see that many of the children will soon die. Katie tells her how humans are not given enough food or have access to medical treatment and it takes its toll on them. Mirage states that there must be many mutants in Uptown who can help but Katie states that they simply don’t care. It is at that moment a group of young mutants arrive but these are there to help. Katie introduces them as the Bratpack and one of them even has an eye for Mirage. Katie begins to explain how the situation got so bad and how the division between humans and mutants was expanded.
At that very moment there is what seems to be an explosion. They see police heading towards them and Katie picks up a rock and disintegrates it to power herself up. She then attacks the police Mirage realises that Katie has the combined powers of Power Pack. She is defeated though and the New Mutants step in. A fissure appears in the ground which weakens Warlock and Cypher. Cannonball rockets forward but suddenly Sunspot lands on top of him and forces him to the ground. Sunspot demands that the team surrender and with little choice they agree.
On Earth Magneto is dreaming about when he was young. He and a group of people including his parents are standing before a large hole. They are in the lines of a Nazi firing squad which start firing immediately. All are shot and fall into the hole and the soldiers bury them. Just as they have finished the young Magneto pulls himself up from the ground. At that moment Magneto wakes up and he realises that it was a memory of when his powers first manifested. His powers protected him but not his loved ones and he gets out of bed and pours himself a drink. He is believing to think that the New Mutants are dead and about the invitation to the Hellfire Club. He thinks that if mutants don’t stand together they could be destroyed. He throws his glass into the nearby mirror in rage.
In the future Cannonball, Mirage, Cypher and Katie are being held by the police. They see two people entering and they realise that they are the older versions of Sunspot and Magma. Mirage can’t believe that their teammates could do such a thing and Sunspot states how Magneto united all the mutants during a war which saved them from extinction. He states how they decided to spare the humans and had them live in Downtown. He sees their squalor as their own doing. Cannonball asks about the kidnapping of children and Amara explains how it is so that they can bring new mutants to be trained to use their powers. Sunspot has noticed that Warlock is missing but Cypher states that he is off fighting his father Magus.
Sunspot doesn’t realise that Cypher has drilling himself underneath the floor and bites the cable which powers the force field which is keeping the team imprisoned. With the force field gone they attack everyone around them. They are somewhat overwhelmed and Mirage tells Katie to escape and get help. At first Katie is reluctant to but when she realises what is at stake she flies way. Sunspot states that they don’t oppress the humans and it is their own fault for not taking their opportunities. Mirage states that they will go to the past and change the future but Sunspot tells them that he is going to use some telepaths to alter their minds so that they will think like the rest of the mutants in this time line.
Now we come back to the New Mutants which you could say is the opposite of the previous issue. This one featured the other New Mutants (besides Illyana) who didn’t appear in the previous issue. Like the previous issue it is set in the future but rather than being one where mutants are hunted down in this one Mutants are the dominant species and humans are second class citizens. I can see this as being like the divisions in race that used to be around in the US.
One character who did feature in this issue is Katie Powers who is a member of Power Pack. When we first saw her we thought that she only had the flight powers that she has in the comics at that point after switching with her sister Julie. Eventually we discover that she has the powers of her siblings combined but we didn’t see the gravity or mass manipulation. We might see that next issue but at this point I only consider her with both the flight and energiser powers.
One thing that did seem kind of humorous in this issue was that in the previous one we saw older versions of Mirage and Cannonball but this time we saw older versions of Sunspot and Magma. It seems that in this timeline they have become a couple and are in charge of the police force of this future. The future New Mutants in the last issue were allies but in this one they are definitely the enemy.
There was something that is definitely a difficult decision. The part with the children being taken away so that they can live a better life. The parents do get a decent compensation for this but the only catch is that the parents won’t see their children again. This is a difficult decision for any parent to make because although both they and the children benefit the fact that they will be split apart makes it a very difficult decision. To tell you the truth I don’t think it is something that can be decided with ease.
We also got a flashback with Magneto and we saw the moment when his family was killed. At this point I thought that they were killed in the gas chamber but it seems it was a firing squad. The only reason why Magneto survived was because of his mutant powers but it makes me wonder one thing. For the soldiers why didn’t they shoot him again after he came up from the ground? I know this is a macabre thing to think but I would have thought that after something like that they would have tried to shoot him again. His mutant powers might have saved him but I think that it would not have been reliable enough to have saved him.
In conclusion I’m giving the issue an 8 out of 10. It was a decent story but I do ask one question, where is Illyana?
Uncanny X-Men (Volume 1) #215
Title- Fantastic Four vs the X-Men (Volume 1) #1
Release Date- February 1987
Writer- Chris Claremont
Artist- Jon Bogdanove
Are You Sure?
Franklin Richards is in a dream world where he sees his father Mr Fantastic carrying the body of his mother the Invisible Woman. He calls out to his father stating that he killed his mother. Mr Fantastic claims that it was the only logical course of action as the other members of the Fantastic Four are dead by his feet. This is when Wolverine appears with the body of Kitty Pryde in his arms. She is not the only dead X-Man as the rest of the team are dead and hanging on stakes. Mr Fantastic is responsible for their deaths as well. They had come for his help but in the end he killed them all. Franklin tries to stop the madness but no one listens as Wolverine lunges at Mr Fantastic but he is able to get out of the way and kills Wolverine. With Wolverine dead Mr Fantastic makes his way up some steps and although Franklin tries to stop him he cannot stop his father. He places the Invisible Woman onto an altar as he explains that everything that he has done has been leading up to this moment. He opens up his journal much to the sadness of Franklin as he is bathed in light. Franklin cries to his father but he sees Mr Fantastic ripping his skin off revealing the armour of Doctor Doom underneath. He states how the two are one in the same.
At that moment in the real world Franklin wakes up and calls for his father. He finds Mr Fantastic in his lab as he is doing an experiment. He tries to tell him that he had a bad dream but Mr Fantastic is too busy to deal with him so he calls the Invisible Woman to wisp him away. The Invisible Woman uses one of her force fields to bring Franklin to her and when she asks him why he is still awake, he tells her about his dream and she tries to comforts him. She thinks that it might be a premonition of an attack but to comfort him she allows him to help her open some crates. They were from before she gained her powers and she picks out a silver tea set which belonged to her grandmother. She also picks out a book which is Mr Fantastic’s journal. Worse still it is the same from Franklin’s dream.
It is dawn at Muir Island as Rogue is helping to repair the X-Jet. She approached by Havok who asks her if she needs assistance. She rudely refuses and it causes a small confrontation between the two while inside the main building the X-Men injured during the Morlock Massacre are still in critical conditions. The most worrying is Kitty who is still stuck in her intangible state. Her atoms are slowly drifting further apart and she only has days before it causes irreversible brain damage.
In her office Doctor Moira MacTaggart tells Storm and Wolverine about Kitty’s condition. There is nothing that she can do to help but at that moment they receive a call from Magneto. He has learned of a device created Mr Fantastic which could cure Kitty and he plans to contact the Fantastic Four immediately. He knows that they still view him as a villain but he has to try nonetheless.
A few miles off in the ocean Dazzler and Longshot are enjoying a ride on a speed boat when they hear a radio announcement about a search for survivors in the area. The water is rough and Longshot finds it breath-taking. Suddenly Longshot picks up something and dives into the water, Dazzler can’t see him so she lights up the area to try and find him. She spots him on a float piece of wood along with one of the survivors that have gone missing. Quickly the pair bring him into the boat and when Dazzler asks Longshot how he knew the man was there he explains that he is just lucky. They make their way to back to Muir Island and no one notices the fisherman giving an evil smile.
Back at the Baxter Building Franklin has gone back to sleep. In another room the Invisible Woman stands looking out of a window. She is saddened by what she has seen in the journal and Mr Fantastic arrives. He places his hands on her eyes as he plays a little game with her but she has no time for the game as she confronts him with the journal. She is upset by what he wrote about the rocket and she realised that he might have planned the accident that gave them their powers.
Across the city She Hulk is working on a case in a library which also doubles as a coffee shop. One of the employees brings her up some tea. She is researching for the Magneto’s retrial and she discovers that it is not as black and white as she first believed. She is even given a cake but before she can eat it she smells the stench of tobacco. When she investigates she discovers the Thing is smoking close to her. They are surprised to see one another but he doesn’t believe that she should be defending Magneto. They get in each other’s faces but suddenly they hear an explosion.
Outside the pair see that a nearby construction site is on fire. For the moment they forget their feud and make their way to the site. They see that the site is a lost cause but they try and put up scaffolding to try and stop the building from falling. It is about to give way but Magneto arrives and uses his powers to help the pair as he is able to keep the building stable. They begin to work together to stabilize the building and at that point the Human Torch arrives, Magneto tells him to weld the metal together. The Human Torch is about to do what he is told when he realises that he is actually listening to Magneto. The Thing tells him that Magneto is talking sense so they continue to work together until the area is safe.
Later Magneto has returned to the top of the Baxter Building with the Fantastic Four but he is encased in an invisible force field since they don’t trust him. He begins to explain to them about Kitty’s condition and that Mr Fantastic’s machine is her only chance of survival. At first Mr Fantastic is unsure but the other members tell him that he has to try. He agrees to go to Muir Island but he is reluctant to leave the Invisible Woman. She states that he will be here when he returns but she is in deep thought about what has been happening.
Later the other members of the Fantastic Four fly with Magneto towards Muir Island. She Hulk is even tagging along even though she has rejoined the Avengers. They notice that something is bugging Mr Fantastic, he is having some doubts but the Thing gives him some words of confidence. He even makes a joke about the accident that gave them their powers.
They eventually arrive at Muir Island and everyone is happy to see them there with the machine. Mr Fantastic remains on the jet and he is having serious doubts about the machine. He fears that if he has made a mistake that it will kill Kitty rather than saving her. Eventually he walks out of the jet but doesn’t spot the dream form of Franklin. He walks passed everyone and goes inside the facility it Moira. His confidence seems to be low and this is noticed by everyone who witnesses it.
A short time later Mr Fantastic steps out of the facility and states that there is nothing he can do for Kitty. This causes Magneto to become angry as he knows the machine will do its job. He uses her magnetic powers to lift it up but She Hulk grabs his hand, the Human Torch takes this as a sign of force and powers up but he is punched in the stomach by Wolverine before he can do anything. Wolverine then extends his claws and lunges at Mr Fantastic, he states how they trusted them and he has to help Kitty or else he dies. Franklin watches what is taking place but is powerless to stop it.
Now we come to Fantastic Four Vs The X-Men which is the first true crossover series with the Fantastic Four and X-Men. They have crossed up in the past like in Fantastic Four #28 and in Uncanny X-Men Annual #5, you can count both Secret Wars series but they were more general Marvel Universe rather than just the two teams. There will be future crossovers but this is the first to have both teams in the title.
The first thing to mention is that this written by Chris Claremont who of course is the then X-Men writer and one of the most well known. He did also write the Fantastic Four series for a time during the 90’s and the 2000’s but he is best remembered for his work in the X-Men series rather than the Fantastic Four.
This series seems to be ahead of the then Uncanny X-Men series since it shows Havok has rejoined the X-Men and that Longshot and Dazzler are full-fledged members. This makes me feel that Marvel should have waited a short time before releasing the series so that it would be more in tune with the Uncanny X-Men series. It spoils things a little for the reader who isn’t aware of the additions to the X-Men.
The main point of this series is that both teams are going through a rough patch. For the X-Men it is the fact that their youngest member Kitty Pryde is dying thanks to the injuries she sustained during the Mutant Massacre Storyline. They see Mr Fantastic as their only hopes of saving her. As was mentioned by the man himself it isn’t a good time for him since the Invisible Woman his journal from before the formation of the team. As it turns out he suspected that the accident might happen and she feels that he planned for them to receive their powers. For now the other members of the Fantastic Four aren’t aware of this but I’m sure that they soon will.
Mr Fantastic’s lack of confidence is understandable because of the fact that he thinks that he has truly made a mistake. He also feels that he might lose the respect of his teammates who to him aren’t just his friends but also his family. He has always seemed like the guy who keeps a cool head no matter how tough the situation is but with his confidence this low it only shows that he is going through something terrible.
I think there is also a hint of something else that gives me cause for concern. We saw Dazzler and Longshot saving a missing fisherman from the waves but the look on the rescued man’s face makes me feel that he intended to be picked up by them. I do suspect that it might be a particular person but at this point in time I am waiting to see what happens.
I do also understand the Fantastic Four’s distrust of Magneto since he has tangled with them on more than one occasion. You could say that the X-Men are Magneto’s arch nemesis but the Fantastic Four can be considered to be the next one down from that. Don’t forget that Magneto made his very first televised appearance in the Fantastic Four animated series from the 1970’s.
In conclusion I’m giving the issue a 7 out of 10. It was a pretty decent start and I feel that although it could have been better there is still much to come.
New Mutants (Volume 1) #49
Title- X-Factor (Volume 1) #13
Release Date- February 1987
Writer- Louise Simonson
Artist- Walter Simonson
Return of Mastermold
Years ago a battle between mutants and a giant robot destroyed an observatory. Parts of the building went into outer space but in this wreckage is the damaged remains of Mastermold which has the brain patterns of Steven Lang. Eventually the wreckage fell back to Earth into Alaska’s Bering Strait. Mastermold begins to stir.
Meanwhile it is raining heavily in New York City and inside the headquarters of X-Factor the mutants there are having a little fun as Cyclops watches on. Artie conjures up an image of a plane at an airport which Cyclops intends to board. He tells them that he needs to find his wife but first he will visit Angel and the hospital. They are concerned about Angel’s health and they wish him luck with his search.
Cyclops boards a taxi and makes his way to the hospital. He looks at a picture of his wife Madelyne and their son Chris. He thinks about them and feels terrible for abandoning them. He then takes a look of a picture of Jean Grey and despite everything he is still in love with her. He is deep in thought when the driver makes a move which causes Cyclops to fall on his seat. The driver apologises before driving on, Cyclops continues to think and he is torn both ways.
At the hospital Jean is already there with Angel and they talk about his break-up with Candy Southern. Angel states that she is just angry after seeing him with Jean and she misread the situation. Jean believes she is destined to break up relationships as with evidence with Cyclops and Madelyne. She is also a little sore over the fact that she is no longer a telepath but she doesn’t notice Cyclops at the door. Angel tries to comfort her as best as he can and the two begin to hold hands or a moment. Cyclops sees this and walks out and goes back to the taxi. He is spotted by Jean who goes down to him, luckily the taxi can’t move and she shouts for him. Cyclops goes to her and states that she and Angel seem happy together. He needs to find his wife but she isn’t there to stop him, only say goodbye as the pair kiss one another.
In the sea off Alaska a fish is inspecting the wreckage of Mastermold but the great machine destroys it as it fully comes to life. At the hospital Cameron Hodge informs Angel that he has been summoned to court to explain why he shouldn’t be charged with fraud. Fraud is not Cameron’s specialty and Angel believes that he has blown it. Jean explains to him the good X-Factor have done and how they will be able to see this through.
Cyclops arrives outside the house that he shared with Madelyne in Alaska. He is very nervous and he begins to remember his own childhood and how happy he was when he was with Madelyne. He goes to the door but the locks have been changed so Cyclops blasts the locks. He doesn’t know about Mastermold who is still in the ocean but when he goes inside he sees that it is completely empty much to his despair.
Later at his hotel room Cyclops receives a phone call from Beast. He is told that everything is fine at the headquarters but the younger mutants are playing around and accidentally destroy a nearby lamp. Ape uses his powers to begin to clear up the mess and a sly remark by Boom Boom makes the other mutants argue with her. Beast quiets them down as he continues the conversation. He tells her that Angel’s wings aren’t healing and that there is public pressure on him. Cyclops tells him that he has to stay in Alaska since Madelyne and their son is missing.
Off the shores of Alaska there is an oil rig where the staff have picked up a strange reading. Before they know what it is Mastermold rises out of the water and destroys it. He uses the debris to further repair himself as he continues his journey to the mainland.
In Anchorage Cyclops is at realty place that is selling his house. The clerk there tells him that the paperwork was in order and how Mr Wilson spoke to a man named Mr Summers. Cyclops finds this impossible since that is him but the clerk has never heard of Madelyne. It also took place on the day he left to join X-Factor. Cyclops’s actions make her nervous so she presses a silent alarm which brings in a policeman who takes Cyclops down of the station.
Later Cyclops is released and police do feel sorry for him but they have found no record of either Cyclops or Madelyne living in Anchorage. While some miles away a building housing hi-tech computers is destroyed by Mastermold using its newly rebuilt hand blaster. All those inside are disintegrated and Mastermold plugs himself into the main server. His lost memories are replaced with all the knowledge the world has to offer.
In Anchorage Cyclops goes to the airline company owned by his grandparents and he discovers that there is no record of Madelyne either despite her being one of their pilots. He also discovers that his grandparents sold the company on the same day as when he left for X-Factor. Cyclops believes the clerk is lying when there is no record of Madelyne so he attacks him. This leads him to be forcefully thrown out.
Later Cyclops goes to a bar after his search but everywhere he goes there is no record of his missing wife. He decides to make his way to the hospital since his son was born there and he makes his way there. He breaks into the hospital that night while Mastermold finds what he is looking for. After his search Cyclops can’t find a single shred of evidence. It is almost like his wife never existed.
The morning after he goes to the library and looks over the newspapers about the plane crash that Madelyne was involved in. He discovers that despite being the sole survivor there is no mention of her and eventually he comes across the shuttle crash which involved the X-Men. He sees many similarities between what happened with Jean and Madelyne. He begins to suspect that the Phoenix Force is somehow involved and he believes that it is hiding his wife just as it did with Jean.
Hours later Cyclops is at the house and he seemingly destroys part of it. Madelyne runs to him but he doesn’t believe that she is real and blasts her. He then sees her with their son and he knows that they are fake and blasts them. She then reappears in front of him but she transforms from Madelyne to Jean to the Dark Phoenix. He blasts her and she disappears but his beam hits a radiator and he sees a rattle fall onto the ground. This is his sign that his family were real.
Miles away the police find the decomposing body of a red headed woman in a river which they believe is Madelyne while some distance away Mastermold is making his way inland. He has one thing on his mind, Cyclops.
Now we come back to an issue which mainly focused on Cyclops but did have a couple of things in there that the reader already knew. The first was the mystery of where Madelyne is, for those who read the Uncanny X-Men we already know that she is in a comatose state in San Francisco even though both teams are not aware that she is even there. I can see this being picked up later on.
I did notice one plot hole in the story and that was the fact that Cyclops went to the hospital in Anchorage to find the birth records for his son Christopher. That is all well and good but the problem is that Madelyne didn’t give birth to him in Anchorage but in the X-Mansion in the now famous Uncanny X-Men #200 and #201. It is not surprising that Cyclops didn’t find anything because he was looking in the wrong place to begin with. I’m extremely surprised that he would have forgotten this, I know that he was in a stressed state but still information like that is very difficult to forget, even in the worst situations.
We also got to see the return of Mastermold which I don’t believe we’ve seen in this blog since the very first story involving the Sentinels way back when. I believe that he has appeared since as we saw there was a hint to Incredible Hulk Annual #7 but unfortunately I missed this out in this blog so I don’t know what happened. All I know from it is that Mastermold was badly damaged and that Cyclops had something to do with it since he is now fixated on him.
Away from Cyclops we got a couple of good scenes with Angel and Jean Grey and there are even hints that they might fall in love. Some might see this as the best thing to do while others might see it as a slap to the face to Cyclops. Ok we all know that Cyclops and Jean are the most well known romantic couple in the X-Men franchise but if Jean did hook up with Angel then Cyclops wouldn’t have any excuses not to be with Madelyne. The other members of X-Factor didn’t really do much in this issue, if anything you could call them babysitters in this one.
There was the whole hallucinating business near the end of the issue which some people can take into account. There are a couple of explanations behind this, the first that Mastermind was somehow behind it or a villain that has similar powers. For me the most likely explanation is that it was all in Cyclops’s mind. With comics sometimes you want to believe the most fantastical explanation but when it comes down to it the most realistic explanation is most likely the correct.
In conclusion I’m giving the issue a 6 out of 10. I would have placed it higher if not for the plot hole I brought up.
Fantastic Four vs the X-Men (Volume 1) #1
Title- Uncanny X-Men (Volume 1) #214
Release Date- February 1987
Writer- Chris Claremont
Artist- Barry Windsor Smith
Dazzler joins the X-Men
With Malice Toward All
In Denver Lila Cheney is performing in front of a sold out crowd. A still disguised Dazzler is her keyboard player and backing singer. In a reflection in the mirror behind her Dazzler sees the face of Malice who begins to convince her that she should be the star of the show. Using her silver tongue Malice is able to convince Dazzler to show Lila up. Dazzler does this by using her powers to put on a fantastic lightshow that dazzles the crowd and they cheer for her just as much as they did for Lila.
After the show Dazzler is walking backstage when Lila catches up with her. She states that if Dazzler pulls a stunt like that again she is fired. This is not because of Lila’s vanity but the fact that people might realise who Dazzler really is. Dazzler throws this back in her face and states that she is jealous that she is more talented than her. Dazzler states that she is tired of hiding and states that she quits. She walks away and states that she will be on top.
At the X-Mansion Storm, Rogue and Psylocke inspect the damaged Cerebro. It is a lost cause and unfortunately none of them have the skills to repair it. Psylocke feels that this is her fault since she didn’t detect Sabretooth quickly enough. Rogue tells her that she is being too hard on herself but she knows that Sabretooth and the rest of the Marauders will be back. Rogue flies outside so that she can scout the grounds. Storm asks Psylocke where Wolverine and Callisto are. The newest X-Man senses the pair in the Danger Room and when she hones in on them she discovers that they are fighting. Storm trusts their judgement and allows the fight to continue as the two mutants blow off some steam. Wolverine seems to get the upper hand but Callisto is able to fend him off and she even throws a knife at him which he is able to block. This ends the fight and Callisto states that she would like nothing more than to hunt down the Marauders but she has a debt to the surviving Morlocks.
Wolverine makes his way up to the ruins of Cerebro. Psylocke begins to explain the damages when Wolverine extends his claws at her. In panic Psylocke strikes him with a mind blast and after that she scolds him. When she asks why he did it he responds that he needed to see if he could catch her off guard. Psylocke states that she could have killed him but Wolverine knew that he would survive. He was testing her to see how she could handle a combat situation. Suddenly there is a phone call and when he picks it up he discovers that it is Lila who tells him that Dazzler is in trouble.
The following night the remaining X-Men are in a nightclub in Dallas where Dazzler is putting on an incredible lightshow for the crowd. The crowd are becoming aggressive and Psylocke knows that the lightshow is bringing up negative emotions in the crowd. Wolverine doesn’t think that they should be there but Storm states that they have to warn Dazzler about the Marauders.
It is at this point Dazzler spots them and fires a beam of solid light at them. The first blast takes down Wolverine and the second takes down Psylocke. Dazzler moves forwards and she remembers her battles with Rogue before she joined the X-Men. She blasts Dazzler but the X-Man endures and rips the floor underneath her. Storm grabs Dazzler and the fight seems to be lost but the spirit of Malice leaves Dazzler’s body and inhabits the just recovered Wolverine. He then begins to attack his teammates who are surprised. He then goes to kill Dazzler who blasts him away but she is too is knocked out by Storm. Wolverine is stunned but Psylocke can detect the thought patterns of policemen outside.
The police are outside as the manager of the club tells their commanding officer what us going on. He states that he wants to secure the area but he doesn’t believe that there are super beings there. Back inside Malice has possessed Rogue and flies outside. There she confronts the police while the other X-Men tend to Dazzler. Psylocke is able to get the information about Malice and the fact that she has possessed Rogue. She explains how Malice possesses people and inflates their primal emotions. Storm states how Malice thrives on violence and asks Psylocke if she can deal with her. Unfortunately Rogue’s mind is too chaotic but Dazzler thinks that she can help. Psylocke thinks that she can shift Malice into a more accessible body. They decide to shift Malice into Storm’s body where she can make the less damage before they strike.
Rogue has caused much damage outside and there are newsreporters there as well. She states that she is a member of the X-Men but Dazzler arrives and lets off a great light show. Rogue flies towards her but Dazzler is able to blind her enough to make crash through the window. Psylocke uses her telepathy to force Malice from Rogue’s body. Her spirit begins to possess Storm and she thinks about the destruction she can cause with Storm’s powers. Almost as soon as Malice enters Storm begins to resist her, Dazzler wants to help but only Storm can win this battle. It takes Storm all of her willpower to force Malice out of her body and show why she is the leader of the X-Men.
After the battle is finished the reporters are still outside and they claim that the X-Men are responsible. Dazzler wants to prove the X-Men’s innocence but Storm stops her. She is confused why Malice and the Marauders picked her and Storm states it is because she is an ally to the X-Men. Despite their reputation in tatters the X-Men will survive and Storm offers Dazzler a place with the X-Men. Storm begins to talk to Wolverine but he grabs her and pulls out his claws. He only stops when he realises that Storm isn’t possessed, his senses have let him down and he is very sorry. Psylocke ensures that there is no trace of Malice in Storm but there is some distrust between them. There is even talks of splitting the X-Men but Storm states that they won’t without a fight.
They are being watched from the rooftop by the commanding officer. He knows that there is now some mistrust between the X-Men and that it will soon grow. The man is possessed by Malice and claims that he has won.
Now we return to the Uncanny X-Men in an issue which more or less sees Dazzler joining the X-Men. She had this opportunity seven years before when she first met the team but turned them down to pursue her singing career. This was highlighted in her solo book which started soon after but that was cancelled some months before this issue. This has freed Dazzler to join the X-Men.
I think that Chris Claremont wanted to use Dazzler before this but Marvel wanted to keep her as a solo hero. Of course that didn’t work out as sales of Dazzler’s solo series dropped. More than once there was attempts to save the series but none of them worked so her series was cancelled. Because of this Dazzler was free to join the X-Men which is a position she will hold for a couple of years.
The main villain of this issue was Malice who has popped up a couple of times but this is the first where she makes a major impact. She is a member of the Marauders and might even be one of their most evil members as she possesses people as if they were objects. Not the first time that we’ve seen a villain do this but it is probably the first that we have seen in an X-Men comic. She will have a bigger role in the future when she possesses a particular former X-Man.
This issue was drawn by Barry Windsor Smith who also drew the two Lifedeath issues that we saw sometime ago. This might be his first issue of the X-Men which is not solely focused on Storm. I do like his art but this one didn’t feel to be as epic as it was in his previous issues. Maybe this is because the story was not as epic as those so it is understandable. I do miss a few of the other artists though.
I am surprised that there was no Longshot in this issue since he joined the team during the most recent annual. Not sure exactly where he is since it is not like he has anywhere to go on Earth. I feel that he will be reintroduced in the next couple of issues. I also know that he will hook up with Dazzler and create one of the power couples of the team which unfortunately is no longer together.
The last words of the issue does make the reader wonder if the X-Men are going to split apart. Even at the time the reader would have known that this was unlikely since the Uncanny X-Men was the best selling series at time so cancelling it would have been an incredibly stupid move. Not like Marvel have done anything like that before or since (cough replacing mutants with Inhumans).
In conclusion I’m giving the issue a 7 out of 10. It was pretty good but it could have been better.
X-Factor (Volume 1) #13