Monday, 10 June 2013

UXM #187: "Wraithkill!"

(Yes, this is going to be a stand-up fight.)


This will be a quick one, since basically this is an issue-long action sequence as the Direwraiths attack Eagle Plaza.  Their first attempt at egress sets of an alarm that they quickly silence, but not so quickly that the heartbroken Storm fails to hear it as she leaves.  Reluctantly she decides to investigate, and quickly encounters the Dire Wraiths.  Her initial contact with the aliens is almost fatal, but she's saved at the last second by a gun-toting Naze, and the battle lines are drawn.

Ororo and Naze try to warn Forge of the danger, but the wraiths get to him first.  Naze cannot risk the death of the last, best hope of his tribe, and Storm has no intention of allowing anyone or anything to kill Forge until she decides whether or not to let him live.  The two of them are separated after an attack by the Direwraiths pets - they've biologically altered innocent doggies, which is all the proof one needs that they are purest evil - but struggle on regardless.

Naze's path is a simple one; he goes from room to room blowing the crap out of lurking aliens with his trusty shotgun. Things are a little trickier for Storm, however, who discovers a thrashing, blinding blizzard inside the building.  In some way this proves to be a benefit, since she's able to trap a wraith in there until it freezes to death (apparently Storm has now reached the point where she will kill sentients, she'll just feel bad about it afterward), but what was it doing there in the first place?  Part of Naze's magic?  One of Forge's holo-projections combined with a powerful thermostat? Or something else.

Smart money is on the latter.  The instant Storm realises her opponent is dead, she's hit by some kind of psychic steamroller that combines her soul and anima with those of Naze, Forge and the Wraiths, as well as something utterly cruel and otherworldly.  Has the ancient enemy of Forge's tribe returned at last?  And what is it with the Cheyenne all having to fight off supernatural horrors from their history these last few months?  Is this shit going down all the time?  No wonder Custer didn't scare them...

Anyway, back to the fight in progress.  The Direwraiths try to regain the initiative with cloaking spells and illusions, but Forge taps into his mystic heritage, and Storm... does... something... which allows both of them to see the truth, and alongside Forge's various defensive gubbins, they hold out long enough for Naze to reappear, and then the X-Men to arrive, having gotten Storm's whereabouts from Val Cooper.

Naze seems to be behaving strangely - he doesn't mention the weird mind-meld a few minutes earlier, and then disappears.  Fortunately, the X-Men prove more reliable, and with the help of Forge to determine what's real and what's a wraith illusion, they carve through the enemy pretty quickly.

Or do they?


The events of this issue pick up directly after the conclusion of "Lifedeath", and take place in roughly real time.

As mentioned in our consideration of "Dazzler: The Movie", we're going to have to rearrange the timeline of UXM to deal with a still-powered Storm appearing in the former book.  With previous events forcing us to place recent Dazzler issues in March, the absolute earliest Storm's appearance can be is the 29th of March.  This in turn must be at the latest the evening before her encounter with the Nullifier.  That means Storm's recovery in Forge's apartments can't have taken place any earlier than the beginning of April.

With this change to the timeline, then, we have that the X-Men celebrate their sixth anniversary in between arrival of Rachel Summers and the return of Selene, and the encounter with Peter Gyrich's forces which costs Storm the use of her powers.

(I've decided to start giving the current date in my "X is Y years old" line below, since it still seems to be confusing people, and that seems pretty unambiguously my fault.)


Sunday 1st April, 1984



Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 3.48 standard years

(Rogue is 27 years old as of June 2013)

"Gangway, suckers!"
Contemporary Events

This is actually the last day in history in which no Indian had ever been to space, their Earthbound streak coming to an end the next day when Rakesh Sharma travels aboard the Soyuz T-11 craft to the Salyut 7 space station.

Marvin Gaye is shot and killed by his father over a business argument.

Standout Line

"Been among the whites too long, that's his problem.  Lost all sense of courtesy..."- Naze

No comments:

Post a Comment