Marvel comics


Collects Excalibur #12-20

Writer: Chris Claremont, Michael Higgins
Artists: Alan Davis, Paul Neary, Dennis Jensen, Dan Adkins, Rick Leonardi, Ron Lim, Ron Rubenstein

Excalibur’s interdimensional travel has begun! Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Phoenix, Captain Britain, Meggan, Lockheed, Widget, and Professor Alistare Stuart are thrown from one dimension to another. Sometimes their powers work, sometimes they don’t.

First the train they’re traveling in sets down in a magical version of Britain where fairies live in the forests and the Queen’s guard has giants. And the Queen and the Queen Mother are accomplished sorcerers. The story isn’t terribly original but has some great gags, like the opening sequence where a knight errant sees a worried Lockheed next to unconscious Kitty and draws the wrong conclusions.

In the third issue, number 14, things get even sillier when the team arrives to Earth where apparently every incarnation of every super hero and villain exists at the same time. Meanwhile, back on Earth Courtney Ross sends Nigel Frobisher, the unfortunate former banker, to hire Technet to free Brian’s (and Psylocke’s) older brother James from captivity. His jailor is Doctor Crocodile.

In the next issue, the team hops from one dimension to another while Technet frees James. However, it turns out that James was a very bad man and now he has pretty incredible powers, to boot. He wipes the floor with Technet singlehandedly. In the first Excalibur special, Technet captured Kitty, Rachel, and Meggan so Jamie is worrisomely powerful. During the fight Excalibur hops from dimension to dimension wearing pretty silly outfits.

The next two issues, 16 and 17, are perhaps my favorites in this long-running series with Kurt as the swashbuckling hero. This is clearly a homage to Barsoom (and Claremont wrote Barsoom comics for a while so he knows the source very well) with swordfights, men and women in very small amount of clothing, and four-armed aliens. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Also, the team’s powers don’t work in this dimension so they have to rely more on their wits and skills. At the end, Meggan shows herself to be very powerful indeed.

Next, the Jamie Braddock plotline gets into higher gear and Excalibur arrive into a world which seems to be obsessed with car racing and the world’s best racer is Jamie Braddock. Of course, the Excalibur have to fight him in the end. Guest starring Dirty Pair (Lovely Angels from manga). These have some great scenes, such as Kitty in the wheel of a racing car Widget has made but on the whole, this was starting to get to bit too silly even for me. At the end of the issue, Kitty is separated from the rest of the team; she’s stranded into their home reality.

The final issue is one-shot set before the Cross-Time Caper started. Demon Druid causes problems for our team. Unfortunately, this is a complete fill-in with Brian acting like an ass and Meggan crying over him on Kurt’s shoulder.

Issue 18 starts a galore of guest artists which lasts until issue 23. Unfortunately, they all have very different styles from Davis so the difference is jarring. Claremont makes fun of this in issue 18 where Kitty says that they look different.

Claremont also establishes a connection between Rachel and Meggan which was started actually back in their New York adventure. Meggan is a shape shifter and she also tends to shift her shape to mimic anyone close to her. This is very unfortunate in the case of Phoenix where Meggan goes so far that she makes herself look like Rachel and changes Rachel into Meggan. That’s why they crash into the car racing world. However, it also gives the team a chance to deal with super powered Jamie. We also get to know that when Meggan changes her shape to another super person, she gets the powers, too!

I enjoyed this collection, too.

Collects Excalibur issues 6-11 & Excalibur: Mojo Mayhem

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists: Alan Davis, Paul Neary, Marshall Rogers, Terry Austen, Arthur Adams, Bob Wiacek

This time the series starts with a bang; literally because Phoenix leaves the lighthouse in a hurry and blows a path straight through the whole building. She heard a cry for help from her “little brother” baby Nathan Summers and left to help him. A huge cross-over event, Inferno, has begun. Excalibur’s part isn’t necessary for the event’s overall plotline but the characters go through changes which will affect them later. In fact, a reader might be confused if she or he hasn’t read the other Inferno comics.

Rachel flies to New York, which has been taken over by demons. She’s promptly taken out of the rest of the story – because she’s turned into a plastic dummy. Meanwhile, the rest of the team flies after her. Unfortunately, the demonic influence in the city immediately takes over Meggan who changes into the Goblin princess and she starts to hunt Brian, Kitty, and Kurt.

Afterward, the team stays in New York for a couple of days. Issue 8 is an aftermath issue where each of them goes to their own ways. Kitty visits her old friends the New Mutants, Kurt is retrieving an old X-Men jet, and Rachel visits her brother, but unseen by Jean and Scott because they don’t yet know that Rachel is their child from another timeline. Meggan is terribly ashamed of her actions and has left to harbor where a group of women find her and cheer her up. Meanwhile Brian is looking her all over the city. He also finds out that his powers are diminishing.

In the next issue, Kitty tests Brian’s powers and notices that they’re nearly gone. She also brings the others’ attention to Meggan’s problem: she changes shape unconsciously to anyone who is near her. But they’re called back to London by detective Thomas. There, Excalibur has to confront Lighting Squad: their double from another Earth which was conquered by Nazis. Hauptmann Englande and his associates are very nasty people. Their Kitty is a tortured being who has been forced to kill and might be a ghost herself. The Nazi team doesn’t have Rachel, though.

In the final issue, the English authorities have negotiated a way to return the Nazi team to their own world but something goes wrong. The Excalibur vanishes, too.

Meanwhile, Nigel Frobisher, the rather unpleasant banker we met earlier, gambles with Courtney Ross but loses – big time. Courtney is turning about to a quite a nasty person, too.

The whole team get a lot to think about in these stories but Meggan especially: she’s starting to wonder just who she is or if she even has a personality of her own. Also, when the team returns to the lighthouse, Kitty finds Illyana’s soulsword in front of the building. She doesn’t want it but even Phoenix can’t get rid of it. She also feels really inadequate next to Rachel. Also, Kitty and Kurt are starting to see disturbing parallels with Jean-Phoenix and Rachel-Phoenix which is very bad news. Brian is still an alcoholic and Kurt is worried about the whole team.

Mojo Mayhem was drawn by Arthur Adams and stars X-Babies who are Mojo’s creations. Wolverine, Storm, Rogue, Psylocke, Longshot, Colossus, Havok, and Dazzler escape the Mojo world with an unfortunate adult. At the same time, Kitty is taking a deserved vacation but ends up with the X-Babies.

I enjoyed this collection as well, but I remember my favorite being the Cross-Time Caper which starts in the next collection. I read them when they originally came out, in the early 1990s. A very impressionable age for me  . I think the start of Excalibur is one of Claremont’s best writing: mixing adventure with relationships and interesting supporting characters. He’s also dealing with a lot of mature themes such as attempted rape and alcoholism in addition to Meggan’s identity problems.

Collects Excalibur #1-5 and Excalibur: The Sword is Drawn.

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Alan Davis, Paul Neary, Mark Farmer

Ah, Excalibur! Full of humor and fun and of course two of my five favorite X-Men: Shadowcat and Nightcrawler. I loved this book from the start because it was so much fun compared to the regular X-Men at the time. Sadly, only a few issues were published here in Finland but I got as many as I could from the original issues through a Finnish retailer. Now, they’re in Marvel Unlimited!

In The Sword is Drawn, Rachel Summers returns to the world. She disappeared into Spiral’s Body Shoppe in a previous X-Men issue. Kitty is seeing a wild dream about the X-Men as actors and she frees Rachel in her dream. As far as the characters in this team know, the X-Men (Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Psylocke, Longshot, Havok and Dazzler along with Madelyne Pyror) are dead, and Kitty and Kurt are mourning them. Psylocke is the twin sister of Captain Britain, Brian, and he’s drinking so heavily that he’s driving away his lover Meggan. Meggan knows Kurt and Kitty. She flies to the Muir Island to seek help, right in time to help Kurt and Kitty fight a group of interdimensional mercenaries who are after Rachel, on the orders of Opal Luna Satyrnine, who claims to be the Omniversal Majestrix. Meanwhile, Rachel escapes to the same world and a group of warwolfs follow her. In the end, the five heroes form the Excalibur.

In the first issues, the team’s trying to get used to living together. While they foil bank robberies and hunt the warwolfs around London, they’re also settling into the lighthouse where Brian and Meggan have invited the rest of the group. Kurt notices the negligent way that Brian is treating Meggan and the lighthouse is starting to feel a bit crowded with five people and a dragon living there.

A lot of storylines are started in this collection, such as the metallic head which calls itself Widget and is apparently transporting people to other worlds, and the mystery of the lizard people. We’re also introduced to a cast of supporting characters, such as grumpy Dai Thomas, the long-suffering detective who has to deal with our heroes, Nigel Frobisher who is a banker with a crush on Rachel, and of course Courtney Ross, Brian’s former girlfriend who looks uncannily like Opal Luna. None of them are ended and will continue for quite a while.

In the first two issues, Excalibur deals with the warwolfs, the third issue has a jail break featuring Juggernaut, and the last two issues are spent with the Crazy Gang and Arcade.

Davis’ art is gorgeous, as usual, and I really enjoy this mix of characters and the humor.

Collects X-Men #244-264, Annual #13

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists: Marc Silvestri, Jim Lee, Dan Green, Steve Leialoha, Glynis Oliver, Scott Williams, Josef Rubinstein

This collection starts right after the end of Inferno and the first few issues are just a cool down from it. In the first issue (244) Dazzler brings the other X-Women to a mall for shopping. However, a group of mutant hunting humans are summoned there to capture a teenaged girl who lives in the mall stealing and throwing around fireworks. Yep, Jubilee was introduced in this issue and Gateway teleports her to the X-Men’s dreary headquarters.

Issue 245 wasn’t published here.

The next two issues the X-Men (Rogue, Psylocke, Storm, Colossus, Dazzler, Havok) fight Master Mold, a Sentinel made up of Nimrod and a Sentinel. Wolverine leaves the group and Psylocke and Carol had a heart-to-heart about how difficult it is for Carol and Rogue to share the same body. The only way for the team to beat Master Mold is to send it through the Siege Perilous and it takes Rogue with it.

We also get to briefly see Senator Kelly’s gorgeous blond wife who is one of Hellfire Club’s girls. However, she dies in the fighting and instead of blaming the giant robot which shot the car where the Kellys were, the Senator… decides that mutant are responsible and want to… build more giant robots!

Next, the Nanny and the Orphan-Maker attack. They change some team members into children in order to control them. However, when Havok fires at Nanny’s flying machine, he accidentally kills Storm and one of the most bizarre plot twists starts.

In issue 250, Zaladane kidnaps Lorna Dane and through the use of High Evolutionary’s machine, takes away Lorna’s mutant magnetic powers. Instead, Lorna gains strength, invulnerability, and grows taller.

In this collection, the X-Men team dies, again. This time the team (Psylocke, Dazzler, Havok, and Colossus) goes through the Siege Perilous in order to avoid a Reaver ambush. Only Wolverine is left and he’s quickly becomes a prisoner. With Jubilee’s help he escapes but his healing power is at its limit and requires constant help.

This is the collection where Psylocke gets her Asian body and ninja skills. She’s brainwashed by Hand and used by the Mandarin. We also get to see an all-new X-Men team which includes Moira MacTaggert, the recovered Banshee, the witch Amanda Sefton, Legion, and a couple of Moira’s assistants. Legion is also playing against this X-Men team and helping their attackers. And Storm returns as a little girl.

These stories were weird even by X-Men standards but I enjoyed them. Back then, it was hard to wait for the next comic to know what would happen next.

A possible conclusion to the FF.

Writer and artist: Alan Davis
Inker: Mark Farmer

Even though the story’s name is “the end” it felt to me more like a new beginning than a possible ending to Marvel’s first family. The story starts with each of the FF doing their own thing and they don’t get together until near the end. John, not Johnny anymore, has joined the Avengers and is leading a team of Iron Man, the Vision, Thor, Captain Marvel, and the Silver Surfer. Reed is doing research on an FF asteroid all alone, Ben and Alicia are married and they’re living on Mars with their kids, and Susan is doing deep sea archeology.

Susan and Reed have been torn apart by a tragedy: their kids were killed in a confrontation with rather mechanoid Dr. Doom. While Earth and the surviving characters live in near Paradise like world, it’s underscored by tragedy: the mutant wars during which apparently all mutants died. So, even though Reed has come up with the Metuselah treatment which prolongs the lives of humans (or at least the character we’ve grown to love) and other technology which has greatly enhanced the lives of humans, it has a bitter sweet tinge, to me at least. Johnny and the Avengers are faced with a gang of criminals, the She-Hulk is trying to talk to Reed about his survivor’s guilt, and Susan runs into Namor. Together Sue and Namor explore some ruins deep in the sea.

All of the FF are still very much the same characters, even though this story seems to take place at least two decades from now. In fact, all the characters are pretty much the same, older but not more mature nor wiser, with the possible exception of Johnny. Also, the book is full of familiar characters from the FFs past both allies and criminals. This seemed to irritate some reviewers; I rather liked it.

I was actually more interested in the science fiction setting than in the plot. Humans have developed space travel and have colonies off planet but the solar system has been quarantined on the joint decision of humans and other species. In John’s storyline some supervillains are trying to break through the quarantine devices. Iron Man has apparently lost his physical body but is able to download his consciousness to different armors. The heroes wear Personal Environment Generators which allow John, and other heroes and criminals, to use their powers in space. And Reed works on an asteroid which is orbiting Earth, with the FF logo on its side.

This is a fun story, full of the technological wonders I tend to associate with the FF.

Collects Uncanny X-Men #229-243, Annual #12, X-Factor #36-39

Writer: Chris Claremont, Louise Simonson
Artists: Rick Leonardi, Dan Green, Marc Silvestri, Art Adams, Walter Simonson

This collection has a continuous story line going through it and culminating in the multi-crossover event “Inferno” where all the secrets of Madelyne Pyor were revealed. Also, the Brood return and the nasty island Genosha is introduced.

The collection starts with a bang: Reavers attack a bank and take a young woman as a new recruit. The Reavers are humans who have lots of metallic, cybernetic parts. They’re also very nasty and the X-Men (Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Dazzler, Longshot, Havok, Rogue, and Psylocke) have decided to take them down. The Reavers have a base in Australia and they’ve blackmailed the mysterious aboriginal man called Gateway to assist them with transportation. After a fierce battle, the X-Men take down the Reavers but some of them escape. However, the X-Men liberate their base and Gateway. The Australian underground complex becomes their base and Gateway starts to assist them. He doesn’t speak or acknowledge when others speak to him but somehow knows where they want to go. The X-Men also faced with a moral dilemma: what to do with the captured Reavers. However, Roma gives them another choice than just killing them: she give them the Siege Perilous to guard. The Reavers go through it. Madelyne Pryor joins the X-Men in their hideout.

Issue 230 wasn’t published in Finland.

Next issue focuses on Colossus. He sees a disturbing dream about his sister and decides to try to help her out. This is precursor to Inferno and we get to see Illyana in full demon mode when she and Piotr fight Baba Yaga and other demons.

Issue 232 brings back the Brood. Apparently, some readers don’t like them but I love them and was happy to see them back. A Brood Shark-ship falls from the sky and a group of humans camping nearby go to see it. The Brood kill all but one. That unfortunate man, Harry Palmer, doesn’t know that he’s been infected and he spreads the infection among other unsuspecting humans and mutants. When the X-Men find out about this, they track down Palmer who starts a fight and other, infected mutants join the fight. The Brood are difficult to take down, especially when one of them touches Rogue and takes over her and then Psylocke. They also want to plant a queen egg into Storm. Havok is forced to kill for the first time and this will haunt him. The humans in the story call mutants “mutie” but one man, a preacher, publicly defends mutants. I was bit surprised when the X-Men just brushed aside the whole killing thing by saying that the Brood had killed the people first and the X-Men were just “laying them to rest”. Meanwhile back in Australia the demon S’ym contacts Madelyne and she chooses to become the Goblin Queen

Annual 12: Storm flies off in a terrible hurry and the rest of the team track her down to the Savage Land. They are shocked to find that it has been destroyed along with all of the people in it. Then the team fights Terminus, with the High Evolutionary. Enjoyable enough story which is clearly a set up for later adventures. I really like Adams’ style.

Issue 235 introduces us to the very nasty nation of Genosha. A wonderful island for humans but mutants and mutates are condemned to forced labor from birth. Mutates are humans with latent mutant powers. Genoshan technology is able to change those potential mutants into whatever type of mutant Genosha needs at the moment. (This is a very powerful tech considering that they were able to take a latent empath and turn her into a “worker” type mutant with enhanced strength and durability. I’m very surprised that we haven’t seen this tech outside Genosha. At least I don’t remember seen it used elsewhere.) Also, the tech changes the mutate’s personality into subservient and barely intelligent.

The issue starts with a young man running from pursuers. He carries a baby and puts it into a plane in the hopes that it, his child, will be able to live free. Later, Madelyne has volunteered to fly doctors around. The medic she’s flying this time, Jenny Ransom, is kidnapped by a group of enforcers. The enforcers, called the Magistrates, work for Genosha, Jenny’s native country, and even though Jenny has Australian citizenship, the group forcibly brings her back. And takes Madelyne, too. The X-Men follow but in the battle Wolverine and Rogue are knocked out and kidnapped, too.

Eventually, they manage to track Madelyne to Genosha. While the X-Men work to find out what happened to the kidnapped people and to find them, Wolverine and Rogue manage to free themselves. However, Rogue’s body is now controlled by Carol Danvers’ persona who is much better suited to spy work.

This story asks pointed questions about who decides who are human and is really anti-slavery/exploitation. In the end, the X-Men don’t tear the whole country to pieces, though.

The next issue, 239, is prologue to the Inferno storyline. Here in Finland, we got not just the X-Factor and X-Men issues but also the New Mutants and the Excalibur issues. I think the New Mutants issues are important and it’s a shame they aren’t apparently collected into this US Essential collection. This is a major cross-over that reveals to the rest of the X-Men that Jean Grey is actually alive and to the X-Factor that the X-Men are alive. Instead of discussing things, the teams fight each other while fighting demons.

Madelyne Pryor is the center piece for Inferno, though. She brings the demons from Limbo to Earth. They are looking for her and Scott’s child and also attacking the X-Men. Limbo’s influence also turns inanimate objects into demons that attack and devour humans and it also influences the current X-Men to turn pretty demonic. For example Wolverine becomes more feral and both Longshot and Dazzler vain gloryhounds.

Upon a reread, I liked the story and even Madelyne’s part in it. Scott abandoned her and their baby as soon as he heard that Jean is alive. No wonder that Maddie is lashing back. Of course, she’s way over the top and hurting lots of innocent people along the way. I really enjoyed the whole demon thing and objects turning to demons. On the other hand, Mr. Sinister is introduced here as the ultimate bad guy who is manipulating everything and has an unhealthy fixation of the Summers/Grey genetic line. I never liked him and I still don’t. Poor Nathan. As a kid, he’s pretty much always a plot point; he’s only remembered when it’s convenient for the plot. When Roma resurrected Maddie along with the X-Men, she could have asked to be brought to her son. But no. Cyclops could have returned quickly, if he was truly concerned about his son. But no. Now, however, it’s convenient to the plot for everyone to be concerned about little Nathan.

What I didn’t remember what the huge crossover had time to focus on Longshot, as well, a little bit. He was deeply affected by the demonic influence which turned him into someone who enjoyed hurting others and took his confidence away. Havok has also changed into a more merciless guy.

However, the last issue focuses on Cyclops and his youth in the hands of Mr. Sinister. Most of his problems are attributed to Mr. Sinister’s manipulations.

Overall, this was another enjoyable reread. But in fact, rereading those Excalibur issues reminded me how much fun that comic was. The X-Men have come quite dark and will come more darker, still.

Collects X-Men #214-228, Annual #10-11, Fantastic Four vs. the X-Men #1-4

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists: Barry Windsor-Smith, Bob Wiacek, Alan Davis, Dan Green, Jackson Guice, Mark Sylvester, Bret Belvins, Arthur Adams, Jon Bogdanove

The previous collection ended with Marauders murdering many Morlocks, mutants who live in New York’s sewers, and wounding three X-Men critically (Colossus, Shadowcat, and Nightcrawler).

This collection starts with Dazzler. The marauder Malice has taken over the mutant singer and she’s using her powers openly. The X-Men (Storm, Wolverine, Rogue, Psylocke) arrive to warn Dazzler about their recent enemies and about the growing human hatred towards mutants. However, Malice prompts Dazzler to attack the team. Malice is an energy based mutant who can unleash a person’s worst side and so persuade them to attack others.

In the next issue the team splits up so FF vs X-Men seems to happen before the rest of the collection. Most of the team is headed to Muir island but Storm and Wolverine stay in the New York state. At the end of the previous collection, the Marauders attacked Morlocks, killed many of them and wounded three X-Men grievously. Shadowcat, Colossus, and Nightcrawler are in such a bad state that they’re going to the Muir island hospital. The new group of Psylocke, Rogue, Longshot, and Dazzler are both guarding them and also learning to work as a team with Banshee training them. Meanwhile, Storm and Wolverine encounter three new super beings, former soldiers who have taken it upon themselves to cleanse their country of criminals whom the justice system ignores for one reason or another. Unfortunately for them, they mistake Storm for a criminal. Issue 216 is quite a philosophical one: The old solders think that they are fully justified in taking “scum” of humanity and hunting them in the woods. This time their prey is Storm and a young woman who seems at first quite helpless but is actually a rich girl who sells drugs for fun and doesn’t shy away from killing. Storm thinks about her own values while evading the super soldiers.

In the next two issues, the new X-Men fight Juggernaut. First Dazzler confronts him alone because she wants to prove that she can and then they fight him as a team. Before Rogue turned into a hero, she attacked Dazzler and Daz accuses her of that, so they have some internal, personal grievances, too.

In the next issue, two old X-Men return: Havok and Polaris. Havok has gone to Xavier’s but returns with just nightmares. When he goes back to the mansion, to his horror he finds quite a different X-Men… and Magneto. However, after the initial misunderstanding, Havok rejoins the team. Meanwhile, the Marauders attack Havok’s girlfriend Polaris. She has magnetic powers and puts up a fight but in the end, the energy being Malice takes over.

Then, the next long storyline kicks into high gear: Storm goes to meet Forge to beg her powers back. However, Forge is gone, leaving behind just holograms of Storm and his own time in Vietnam, where he fought demons by using demons. Forge’s teacher, Naze, confronts Storm and tells her that Forge is a shaman who has been trained to fight the forces of Chaos but Forge has become evil. Naze needs Storm’s help against Forge and she agrees.

The next issues are intertwined with X-Men and Storm’s quest. She battles demons with Naze and we also find out that Naze is actually the bad guy and is training Storm to take out Forge. Meanwhile, the X-Men battle Marauders and Freedom Force while coming to grips with their internal strife. In issue 225, Storm finds Forge and tries to kill him, realizing too late that he was trying to keep Chaos at bay. However, they are whisked into another world where they stay for about a year. Storm gets her powers back and they decide to return to Earth and face Chaos with the X-Men. In the penultimate issue (for this collection) the X-Men and Madelyne Pryor make the ultimate sacrifice and die fighting Chaos.

The final issue (228) is a reminiscent story where where Dazzler writes a letter to her old friend, a bounty hunter, remembering their previous adventure together. Alison has a hunch that her friend is in trouble and leaves the team to help him. Wolverine follows. It turns out that the bounty hunter is in quite a deep trouble indeed and both Dazzler and Wolverine help him.

In Annual 10, Longshot makes his first appearance. The X-Men and Magneto are training in the Danger Room. Colossus, Shadowcat, and Nightcrawler are in good shape so the story is set before this collection. Mojo sends Longshot to the Danger Room along with mystical goop which transforms the X-Men and Magneto gradually to children. The New Mutants want to investigate their condition but the X-Men run away to Mojo first. The New Mutants take up their individual uniforms and try to follow them. Instead, they’re forced to fight against the mind controlled X-Men.

I don’t have annual 11; it wasn’t published here in Finland.

In Fantastic Four vs. X-Men the little Franklin Richards sees a disturbing dream where his father finds his old diary which leads to the FF and X-Men fighting and killing each other. Then Reed kills his wife and turns into Dr. Doom. In the real world Susan finds’ Reed diary and finds out that Reed had known about the cosmic rays and that they would transform the four. This makes her, of course, really angry with Reed. He protests that he couldn’t have written that but starts to doubt himself; what if he subconsciously had known about the problem? Magneto ask Reed for help with Kitty’s problem: she’s stuck into intangible state and her atoms are starting to drift apart. Reed has built a machine which could save Kitty but his doubts grow and he in the end he refuses to help, fearing that he will kill Kitty. The Dr. Doom offers his own help. The X-Men have deep reservations, but agree. I don’t really think that Reed was in character here. His confidence is taken away awfully easily.

Once again, I really enjoyed most of these stories. The artwork is quite variable and I don’t like Silvestri’s art as much as John Romita Jr’s but I really enjoyed Jackson Guice and Arthur Adams. The characters are the highlight, as usual. The only thing which really bothered me was Storm’s and Forge’s quick romance which suddenly grew into death defying love. I would have wanted them to at least spend some more time together before it developed. I mean they spent grand total of what three issues? four issues? together and during that time Storm was extremely depressed because her powers were gone.

Also, I felt extremely sorry for Polaris and Havok. Their happy life was disrupted and an extremely nasty villain took over Polaris. IIRC, they never recovered from it. Poor Madelyne Pryor is also hunted by Marauders and then have to tag along with the X-Men in order to survive. She also “dies” along with them.

I was also a bit surprised that Rogue is still considered such a rookie. She has a lot more experience than any of the others in the team. But I guess she was still stubborn and acted on impulse a lot. Like, um, 80% of heroes ever.

Overall, a great read.

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