Friday, January 1, 2016

12 Days of X-Mas: Uncanny X-Men #326 (1995)

Happy New Year!

Today's issue has us getting more glimpses into Gambit's mysterious past before he joined the X-Men. In case you don't remember, Gambit was working for Mr. Sinister back in the old days, and he led the Marauders to the Morlocks before the Mutant Massacre. The guilt is ripping Remy LeBeau up, so he takes out his anger on the lobotomized Sabretooth the X-Men are "rehabilitating."

It's not even much of a fight, because Sabretooth is basically in a child-like state of mind. Now whether or not he's faking is still not clear as of this issue, but it is still a neat scene when Gambit has holograms of Creed's victims start showing up and accusing him of his past murders.

I'm not certain the continuity lines up anymore though. Since James Howlett and Sabretooth were kids around 1900, it makes the timeline for Creed's first murders when he was 9 seem a little bit off. Either way, it is a good scene. And at the close of the issue it sure looks like Sabretooth might be turning back into the bad guy we know and love.

There are a lot of pages dedicated to the Legacy Virus too. These pages don't hold my attention too well, as the whole arc seemed weird. I know the X-Men always stand in for the current persecuted people of the day, but the HIV/Legacy Virus thing was a big heavy handed.

It certainly doesn't help that the Legacy Virus took out Moira MacTaggart, a valuable supporting cast member who deserved a better send off.

Joe Madureira's art was so revolutionary at this time, I remember loving it. Now I'm struck by the lack of backgrounds and the heavy use of computer-generated images to try and give each page a sense of place. It's a pity that the foreground characters look so dynamic yet the primitive photoshop work doesn't. Again, Mad's Beast is the highlight of the issue, but he draws a mean Gambit too. I like the simplified outfit Storm has in this era too.


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