Wednesday, December 30, 2015
12 Days of X-Mas: Uncanny X-Men #324 (1995)
Not even the average art of Roger Cruz can dampen the mood when Sack and Vessel take on Cannonball, Wolverine, Beast, and Storm. And to be honest, I'm being a tad harsh. While the art isn't great, Cruz does a nice job on Beast, Cannonball, and the two villains. Wolverine looks a little too crazy for me (his mask would help) and Storm's sudden morphing into street clothes confused me for half the issue.
And Psylocke's psychic battle armor? Atrocious and weird. How could a metal suit cling that tightly to her butt?
Vessel's powers are a bill ill-defined; he can absorb the souls or psychic and physical power from those he kills. With 33 kills at a nearby nightclub, he's got enough in the tank to make it tough on Wolvie, Beast, and Storm. I do like bad guys that just take a big pounding, though. There is nothing too complicated in taking down the villain, just lots of punches, slashes, and lightning bolts.
Cannonball takes on Sack one on one in an enjoyable little fight that shows off the coolness of the "invulnerable while blasting" aspect of Cannonball's powers. That's always been one of the coolest powers in the comics and seeing it work against a weird possession villain is a neat twist.
The two villains reveal themselves as part of the Gene Nation, a group with ties to the Morlocks. Storm doesn't know exactly how that fits in with her memories of the underground mutant community, but I seem to remember this story introducing Marrow and bringing back a certain overpowered Russian mutant too. We'll see if I'm right in the upcoming issues.
The mysterious Gambit subplot isn't doing anything for me, just because whatever it is that Psylocke is looking for probably isn't that big a deal; I don't remember anything that affects the character these days. The Iceman and Rogue road trip is still weird too. Rogue is struggling to deal with a kiss with Gambit where she absorbed his memories, but again, Gambit just doesn't have enough interesting backstory to justify two subplots.
But the subplots don't take too many pages and most of the issue is straight-up action. I always appreciate that.