X-ual Healing – Chris Claremont's Too-Brief Return in X-Men Wedding Special #1

X-ual Healing – Chris Claremont Makes an All-Too-Brief Return in X-Men Wedding Special #1

Posted by May 19, 2018 Comment

Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities, but with a corporate merger on the way, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in comics.

Each week, armed with the joy, heartbreak, and frustration of 30+ years of reading X-Men comics, we read every new X-book that comes out, recap the events, provide the historical context so you can read it on Marvel Unlimited, and wonder when Marvel will let Chris Claremont write something again. (Spoiler: It’s this week.)

It’s the way X-Men comics were meant to be read! It’s the column that can only be known as…

For more about the column, check out the reboot issue here.


X-Men Wedding Special #1

X-MEN WEDDING SPECIAL #1
Marc Guggenheim, Kelly Thompson & Chris Claremont (W)
Greg Land, Marika Cresta & More (A)
Cover by J. Scott Campbell
Variant Cover by Terry Dodson
CHRIS CLAREMONT RETURNS TO THE X-MEN!
One of the biggest milestone events in X-Men history is almost here! Kitty Pryde and Colossus are finally about the tie the knot…but what’s a wedding without the respective bachelor and bachelorette parties? Join Marc Guggenheim and Kelly Thompson for two parties that can only be celebrated Marvel style! All this, plus, a Kitty and Colossus story by legendary X-Men scribe, Chris Claremont!!!
40 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99

The moment has finally arrived. Legendary X-Men scribe Chris Claremont has returned to pen a story in the X-Men Wedding Special, and it’s… basically a recap? Well, we’ll take what we can get.

Claremont’s story, with artist Todd Nauck (who last worked with Claremont on the 2014 Nightcrawler series) and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg, is titled The Dream Before, and it begins with Kitty Pryde trapped inside the space bullet (the result of the 2004 Astonishing X-Men series). This is a recurring nightmare for Kitty. She fears that her real life is a dream and she’s actually still trapped in the bullet. We’d support that reboot.

We’re then treated to a brief recap of Kitty’s childhood, culminating in the events of Uncanny X-Men #129-131, in which Professor Xavier and the X-Men come to her Deerfield, Chicago home to recruit her for the school, only to find themselves ambushed by the Hellfire Club. The result was Kitty joining the X-Men. Kitty references saving the universe during the Dark Phoenix Saga shortly afterward. She also recounts the events of the Kitty Pryde and Wolverine mini-series, which saw Kitty travel to Japan, become enthralled by the evil ninja Ogun, her parents’ divorce, her age-inappropriate relationship with Colossus, and the time Colossus broke up with her because he fell in love with an alien woman his own age during the original Secret Wars super-mega-crossover event who died. Kitty survives the Mutant Massacre, joins Excalibur, returns to the X-Men (only to get trapped inside the bullet), goes back to school in Chicago, and joins the X-Men again as co-headmaster of the Xavier School.  There’s not a lot of details provided here, basically just single panels for each era.

Then, Kitty’s alarm clock goes off (set to 24 o’clock, weirdly. She’s getting up at midnight?). Kitty has a shrine to Wolverine in her room, and she reminisces about him while making Claremontian introspective statements. She then recounts the events of the X-Men: True Friends mini-series, in which she traveled back in time and met a dude named Alasdhair Kinross, fell in love, and left him behind to return to her own time (she also meets Wolverine there, before they meet in her own time). This happened over the course of three issues, but Claremont feels it was really important, enough so that it’s the only past relationship mentioned here. Losing Alasdhair, as well as her father being killed by Cassandra Nova’s sentinel attack on the mutant nation of Genosha, are also named as particularly impactful memories.

While taking a trip down memory lane, Kitty has gotten out of bed, taken a shower, and gotten dressed. Now, she and Lockheed head to Belles of Hell, a bar she worked at during the X-Treme X-Men: Mechanix mini-series from 2002. Kitty hops behind the bar and starts making drinks. She confides in her old co-worker Dylan about her wedding day cold feet. Nightcrawler shows up. After a hug, Nightcrawler begins tending bar too. Has anyone told the bartenders union? He tells Kitty that, as Logan is currently dead..ish (he’s coming back, but the super-mega-crossover event is still going on), he’s taking his place in looking out for Kitty. We’re not sure what’s in the beer at this place, but Kitty begins seeing ghosts. Alasdhair is there (who knew this guy was so important?!), old-school Wolverine is there, and even Kitty’s dead father is there. Nightcrawler and the ghosts convince tell Kitty she needs to move forward and embrace happiness. The end.


The Bottom Line

The story was, for the most part, a framework for Claremont to organize a list of the most important Kitty Pryde stories as ranked by Chris Claremont, but his style is always enjoyable, especially when he’s allowed to get sentimental. We’re thrilled to have a new Claremont story. But Marvel really needs to have Chris Claremont writing for them on a regular basis. They have a living legend who wrote some of the most beloved comics in history under an exclusive contract, they publish 6 or 7 X-Men comics EVERY WEEK, and they can’t put Claremont on a regular series? It’s honestly disgraceful. We’re hoping Marvel is already planning to rectify this situation during the next X-reboot, in which case you can disregard our outrage.


Next up, it’s Boys’ Night Out, by Marc Guggenheim, Greg Land, Kay Leisten, and Jason Keith. This serves as a prelude to X-Men Gold #26. It starts with a brief flashback to X-Men Gold #7 (references in a caption box – bravo!), in which Storm and Wolverine take on a demon named Krellick during the Secret Empire super-mega-crossover event. We haven’t read that, never plant to read it, and don’t recommend anyone else read it. In the present, Krellick works for Wong (formerly Doctor Strange’s manservant) at the Hotel Inferno and casino in Las Vegas. Or, at least, he did until today. Wong has to fire him because he’s being a jerk to the customers.

Downstairs in the casino, Krellick bets his severance pay at a table as the X-Men — Nightcrawler, Iceman, Gambit, Colossus, and Fake Pyro, arrive. Inside, Colossus has trouble understanding the concept of a bachelor party when Krellick overhears that these are the X-Men. You know what happens next…

The X-Men and Krellick wreck the casino in an all-out brawl fight until steps in, clears up that these are different X-Men than Krellick encountered previously, and makes the X-Men pay for damages. Outside, Piotr references Uncanny X-Men #183, where Wolverine arranged for him to get his ass kicked by Juggernaut after he broke up with Kitty following the events of Secret Wars (described above during the Claremont story). The boys head to their next destination as the story ends, telling readers to pick up with X-Men Gold #26 (published last month).


The Bottom Line

This story was like a deleted scene from X-Men Gold. Not much more to say about it than that.


Next up is the final story, Something Old, by Kelly Thompson, Marika Cresta, and Federico Blee. Clayton Cowles lettered all three stories, by the way, but Marvel sticks his name in smaller font down below the other credits.

Anyway, this one opens at the X-Mansion, with Colossus feeling a little jealous and trying to talk Kitty out of going to her Bachelorette party. Kitty says it’s just karaoke, but she learns she misspoke when she arrives at the venue with Rogue, Psylocke, Rachel Grey, Storm, Cecelia Reyes, and Meggan from Excalibur. It’s actually Stripperoke, which is, as it sounds, karaoke with strippers.

Kitty takes a bathroom break as she feels uncomfortable with the situation, hoping for a Brood attack to save the day. She meets Rogue in the bathroom and discusses her cold feet. Rogue tells her to read the Rogue and Gambit mini-series in a shameful plug. That story led to a fresh start in Rogue and Gambit’s relationship. Kitty is cheered by this news and decides to head back to the party, but before she can there, she’s ambushed by Callisto and taken to the sewers under the club. Kitty and Callisto have fight, and Kitty makes a continuity reference to the time Callisto kidnapped her and tried to force her to marry Caliban. Callisto says this isn’t a kidnapping but a warning. She and Colossus used to date, and she wants to make sure Kitty doesn’t break her ex-boyfriend’s heart. Also, Callisto dodges the question of how she got out of jail, where she was last seen in X-Men Gold.

As Kitty makes her way back upstairs, she runs into Magik, who decided to attend after all. As Storm performs on stage, we catch a glimpse of some more X-ladies.

Kitty finds a giant bottle of champagne waiting at their booth. A card shows it’s from Kitty’s old “frenemy,” Emma Frost. They really do have a lot of history, considering Emma was an antagonist in Kitty’s first appearance. The story ends with the part in progress.


The Bottom Line

This was a fun little story that referenced the past and also referenced recent events, and most of those were called out with caption boxes directing readers where to go to read more.


Further Reading

Kitty ends up in the space bullet as a result of the events of Joss Whedon and John Cassaday‘s Astonishing X-Men, which can be read on Marvel Unlimited, and which concludes with Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1. Magneto saves Kitty from the bullet in Uncanny X-Men #522, the conclusion of the Nation X storyline.

Kitty Pryde first appears in Uncanny X-Men #129, part of the Dark Phoenix Saga.

Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #1-6, a fantastic read, is available on Marvel Unlimited.

X-Treme X-Men: Mekanix is also available on Marvel Unlimited.

See Colossus and Juggernaut’s classic fight in Uncanny X-Men #183 on Marvel Unlimited.

Kitty is kidnapped by the Morlocks in Uncanny X-Men #179, but you should start at the previous issue on Marvel Unlimited.

Colossus and Callisto dated after the X-Men went through the Seige Perilous in Uncanny X-Men #251.

Read more X-ual Healing here:

(Last Updated May 19, 2018 2:19 pm )

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About Jude Terror

A prophecy says that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero will come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events.

Scourge of Rich Johnston, maker of puns, and seeker of the Snyder Cut, Jude Terror, sadly, is not the hero comics needs right now... but he's the one the industry deserves.

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