Saturday, 8 October 2011

UXM #109: "Home Are The Heroes!"

(Northern exploder.)


This is one of Claremont's patented "unwinding" issues following a major storyline, which were always some of my favourite books (though by the time I started reading UXM, it was Scott Lobdell holding the reins).  Even during Claremont's rather uninspiring return to the title at the start of the century, he still managed to do well with these "X-Men as family" stories, though his romantic subplots started to look more and more like he was just pulling names out of a hat and trying to bolt on justification afterward.

I'm getting ahead of myself, though.

As I say, this is mainly an issue which allows us to catch our breath after the Shi'ar saga and the birth of Phoenix.  There's a smidgen of super-powered assault and battery crammed in at the end there, but it's certainly not intended to be an adrenaline-pumping centrepiece to the story.  Meaning no disrespect to our Commonwealth cousins, but I'm not sure I'd be particularly concerned about the dangers of "the ultimate product of Canadian technology" even if it hadn't been just last issue that the X-Men took down an interstellar dynasty almost by accident.

It's a measure of how far the comic has come that a throw-down like this can be so comparatively incidental.  Indeed, for arguably the first time, one gets the sense that the fight is there to serve a more important purpose than give action junkies another hit.  James Hudson's attempt to kidnap Wolverine gives us new insights into his past (why does Hudson call him "Weapon X", and why is Ottawa suddenly so desperate to get him back?) and his reasons for joining the team ("I'm a free agent now"), as well as allowing us to see how quickly his team-mates are willing to leap to his defence, despite their personality clashes.  It's the first clear sign that Wolverine is beginning to become part of the team, rather than just being content to tag along in case he gets to kill something or to screw Jean.

It's not just Wolverine who we get a chance to know better [1]. Banshee's furious response to Moira being wounded in the fracas lets us know just how much she's come to mean to him, even after only a few months.  Peter and Ororo share a moment of quiet reflection, comparing their experiences as children of vast and  beautiful wildernesses who have moved to this strange, foreign land.  Best of all is a truly wonderful scene between Cyclops and Nightcrawler, in which Scott is told in no uncertain terms that if he doesn't stop slipping into a catatonic stupor of emo sulkiness, then he's just going to go completely mad.  Man, am I glad someone finally pointed that out to him.


This story takes place over the course of a few hours.

Hmm.  It's all a bit green for February, isn't it?  Still, maybe that's Storm's doing.  For all we know, she spent the whole Autumn, plus December, keeping the mansion's grounds toasty warm.

In any event, I'm loathe to move the action any further forward, because as we discussed yesterday, doing so would make Magneto look distinctly inefficient and/or lazy, as well as breaking up the flow of the previous storyline.


Tuesday 9th February, 1982.



Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 3.82 standard years.

(Storm is 34 years old.)

"Gods, I wish I didn't have to wear
 these absurd strips of cloth."
Contemporary Events

Standout Line

"I learned very early on that I must either accept what I am, or go mad.  And though I am now occasionally crazy, I am not insane." - Nightcrawler.

[1] His favourite pastime? Stroking deer.  Go figure.

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