Saturday, January 2, 2016

12 Days of X-Mas: Uncanny X-Men #327 (1995)

Oof. Guys. I'm sorry. This is the issue that introduces Joseph into X-Men canon. At this point, I can't remember who exactly Joseph ended up being. (Wasn't he a clone of Magneto?) It seems clear that in Scott Lobdell's original story, this guy is supposed to be a de-aged Magneto who is young enough (in his twenties) to join the X-Men.

What a horrible, messed up idea. The purple prose and generic story don't help. Joseph wakes up in a South American orphanage where he befriends a beautiful nun and her youthful charges. Other than a few outbursts about Nazis and a fascination with mutants, Joseph seems pretty happy to bum around the farm.

But when pushed, he lets out the old Magneto and slaughters a group of drug runners who kidnapped his new friends. This story takes the whole issue to play out, with plenty of formulaic interactions and heavy handed dialogue about redemption. Hell, the cover summarizes the quality in one line "If SINS be FORGIVEN." Ugh.

Roger Cruz is on art again, and man, his stuff was not so good. He is clearly doing a similar style as Joe Mad, but his faces are far more inconsistent and the level of detail varies wildly from page to page. Perhaps drawing more costumes might have helped, but the grounded tone of the issue is not a good match for Cruz.

Sometimes it is impossible to read a comic and not dread what I know is coming later. Joseph's first appearance and his weird place in X-Men lore falls into that category.


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