Monday, December 28, 2015

12 Days of X-Mas: Uncanny X-Men #322 (1995)

Age of Apocalypse? Skipped it. We're back here with Uncanny X-Men after that whole hullaballoo wrapped up, with the start of a "modern classic" with Onslaught!

This issue is full of one of my favorite X-Men tropes, where the team is just sitting around waiting to be attacked. It would be better if they were in the mansion waiting, but I'll take what I can get.

The issue opens with Archangel (still with blue skin and blonde mullet) meeting up with his former love interest Charlotte, a cop who shows him a horrible new crime committed by a mutant on some human kids at a club. I'm more interested in the use of Warren Worthington's past as a plot device. The guy has had so many girlfriends he could probably launch a series just dealing with their issues. It's worth noting that Scott Lobdell does a nice job playing up the anti-mutant racism that is such a calling card of the X-Men. Most of the cops can't stand seeing Archangel at the crime scene, and one actually takes a shot at him!

Elsewhere, Beast and Bishop are leaving Pulp Fiction when the Juggernaut comes sailing down the street and crashes at their feet. Joined by Psylocke, the three X-Men actually do pretty well taking on the greatly weakened Juggernaut. I appreciated the constant commentary from Beast about how the three of them wouldn't even have a shot had Juggsy not been on his last legs. And who hurt Cain Marko this badly? Onslaught of course.

There is also an interlude with Wolverine, Storm, and Siryn, but all that did was make me wish that Siryn had spent some more time on the main X-Men roster taking her Dad's spot. Wouldn't it have been neat seeing her taking Banshee's spot on some pin-up style pages? Did that happen and I'm just not remembering it?

Tom Grummett provides the artwork and I have to say I loved it. The bright colors, the classic Beast and classic Juggernaut were a joy. I loved Siryn's look so much it actually made me want to see more of her. And I loved that Storm's walk in the rain would have been totally exploitative if drawn by a different artist (all she was wearing was a wet white dress). Grummet, Epting, and Garney, what a great run of talent on this book. Even early in their careers they are doing better work than a lot of modern X-artists.

I find myself really enjoying these back issues. Is it because they are actually decent or is it because I read them long ago and they imprinted on my impressionable mind?


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