As longtime X-ual Healing readers know, we’ve been working our way through a reread of every X-Men comic starting with Giant Size X-Men #1 and working our way through the present. For the “main” X-books, we’ve just completed X-Cutioner’s Song, and over the past week we’ve been catching up on Wolverine’s stories, both with Larry Hama and Marc Silvestri taking over the core Wolverine ongoing and also the various Wolverine and X-Men stories in Marvel Comics Presents.
Though Marvel Comics Presents eventually turned into a Wolverine-centric anthology title, it was originally planned to feature a rotating cast of different X-Men characters in the lead stories, which is how we ended up with a Colossus solo story starting in 1989’s Marvel Comics Presents #10. Called God’s Country, the story is written by the great Ann Nocenti, with art by penciler Rick Leonardi, inker P. Craig Russell, and colorist extraordinaire Glynis Oliver.
The story starts out with Colossus arguing with a newsstand vendor at a small town carnival over freedom of speech…
Meanwhile, in nearby woods, a family consisting of father Bruce, a military vet, his wife, Roxanne, her father, a liberal, and their son, Zackery, heading off for a picnic. Zackery, of course, has brought his gun.
Zackery kills a preying mantis, clearly training to be a future serial killer, as Colossus spies on the family like a creep.
As Zack’s dad and grampa argue over Ronald Reagan and global warming, Zackery heads off into the woods to track down one of those balsa wood airplanes they used to sell everywhere in the 1980s, where he comes across some covert CIA operatives about to kill someone to protect their secrets. The team, who all have deadly mutant and/or cybernetic powers, is about to kill Zachery as well until Colossus intervenes. The family and Colossus escape in their pickup truck, and Colossus joins the family argument about politics.
When they get to a police station, Colossus senses that the cops are going to betray them, maybe kill them, so he pushes them away and the family escapes, holing up in their house. Even with all of this, Bruce doesn’t want to believe that America could be behind anything so morally wrong.
Even so, better safe than sorry, so he arms his wife and son with guns.
Though little Zack may need some lessons in proper gun safety.
Roxanne would prefer the family get a hotel room instead of turning their home into a bunker, but it turns out Bruce can’t get a job to pay for it.
This prompts a lecture from Colossus, revealing he really is a no-good socialist who believes in the right to universal health care!
Ouch! The black ops team, who we learn are called the Cold Warrioirs, attacks again, and Colossus grabs a prisoner, a woman who tells them their team used to be sanctioned by the CIA, but their operations became so secret that not even the CIA knows about it anymore. Colossus heads off to the team’s base to track them down, while Bruce becomes more and more paranoid, tying up and gagging his own wife. Colossus, meanwhile, confronts the leader of the Cold Warriors, Alexander, a rich old white man who believes he is above the law. Alwxander says that Colossus can’t do anything about it because the government and media will just cover it all up.
Eventually, the police arrive at the house and end the crisis. Colossus arrives too, and everyone tells their story to the reporters on scene. Colossus is disillusioned, thinking things will be covered up, but gramps still believes in the power of the free press.
As Alex is taken away in a police car, he gloats that he’ll be free as soon as he’s allowed a single phone call. Colossus, however, now realizes that he’s delusional. Or is he…?
There are so many overt politics in this comic from 1988! It’s not clear how today’s SJW mafia is able to infiltrate even comics published 30 years ago and insert their political agenda into them, but it is clear that they need to be stopped so we can have comics be more like the ones published 30 years ago.
If you’d like to get ahold of these issues so you can stab them, we recommend MyComicShop for all your back issue needs. The story can also be purchased digitally as part of this collection. And with that, it’s time to get on with the meat and potatoes of this column: recapping everything that happened in this week’s X-Men comics!
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 all of comics.
If you’re new to the column, here’s how it works: we tell you what happened in the X-books last week. That’s about it. Not a review, no critical analysis. All we care about is what happened in the ongoing saga of the best franchise in the history of all literature. Let’s get started.
X-Men Gold #36
(W) Marc Guggenheim (A) Pere Perez (CA) Phil Noto
• A special look into a day in the life of the headmistress of the Xavier Institute…
In Shops: Sep 19, 2018
X-Men Gold wraps up in issue #36 with a day in the life of the X-Men. Kitty starts her day by leaving a message on Colossus’s answering machine about their breakup. Kurt and Rachel have also broken up in the wake of Rachel being controlled by Mesmero. Storm and Kitty discuss Storm losing her Asgardian hammer and her parents. Kitty believes all this loss is “to remind us what it is we’re fighting for.”
The X-Men head to Port Washington, New York, where a new mutant named Brian Morrison has just manifested his powers, and he’s destroying the town. Kitty talks him into making the decision to power down, at which point a local shoots him right in the head. At North Shore medical center, a doctor is afraid of the damage the mutant could cause and so refuses to perform life-saving surgery. Kitty is about to have Rachel telepathically force him when another doctor, one who was hating mutants back in X-Men Gold #1, arrives and volunteers to do it.
Here’s the scene from X-Men Gold #1, complete with Ardian Syaf’s hidden anti-Christian and anti-semitic messages in the artwork…
But more than just the hidden messages on local signage have changed since then…
The issue ends with the doctor unsure of whether the surgery will make a difference, but doing it anyway. From watching the X-Men over the last few months (it’s been 36 issues. Marvel time is weird), she’s learned mutants not so different after all. They’re just people.
The issue ends with a dedication to Chris Claremont and an essay from Marc Guggenheim about why Claremont’s stories captured his imagination as a kid.
Return of Wolverine #1
(W) Charles Soule (A/CA) Steve McNiven
HE’S BACK, BUB.
In Shops: Sep 19, 2018
While X-Men Gold’s story comes to an end, Wolverine’s is beginning again in Return of Wolverine #1. It begins with Logan, hot claws flaming, waking up in a lab full of dead soldiers. A genetic scientist who had been working on bringing back extinct creatures, including a nearby sabretooth tiger, tells Logan that Soteira is to blame for all of this and tells him to put an end to them. Logan, unfortunately, doesn’t remember who he is, but the scientist hints that he’s a superhero before a grenade blows him up and unleashes the tiger, which is subsequently mauled by a wooly mammoth, which then escapes through a tunnel. Logan sees a reflection of Wolverine in some blood on the ground, reminding him he’s a hero. He sees a reflection of Weapon X in some other blood, who tells him to take down Soteira for revenge. In some water (which makes more sense for having reflections), he sees Patch, who tells Logan to take down Soteira for everything they’ve taken away from him.
Logan hops on a motorcycle and rides to a nearby military base where some Soteira soldiers steal a child from another scientist and gun down some other scientists. Logan arrives and takes out one of the guards with machine guns from his motorcycle, but metal tentacles come out of the guard’s clothing and wake him back up to shoot Logan with a sniper rifle. Logan falls off the bike and passes out, waking up in a mindscape where Persephone, the leader of Soteira, is walking him through a hallway filled with different versions of Wolverine in cages. One of them totally rips off the dialog from Improbable Previews.
From Return of Wolverine #1:
From Improbable Previews:
Hi, Charles Soule. We see you.
Besides Bub-Logan, we see Sabretooth in a cage, mohawk Storm, Weapon X, Cyclops, original Hulk debut Wolverine, Lady Deathstrike, and many other cages. One cage is walled off, and Persephone tells Logan he doesn’t want to open that one. Then they make out.
Logan is woken up by the scientist whose kid was taken earlier. She tells him he’s Wolverine and tells him he’s a hunter, a killer, and a superhero. She wants him to rescue her son, a fifteen-year-old named Perren. She tells him a story about a time he saved a town, and in his mind, Logan lets traditional superhero Wolverine out of his cage, apparently regaining those memories. Inspired, Logan dons the outfit of a goth hibachi chef and heads off to take on Persephone.
Maybe it’s because we recently started on Larry Hama and Marc Silvestri’s run on the original Wolverine ongoing, but we’re feeling just nostalgic to enjoy a Wolverine return. Hopefully a few years of being dead helps the character return to his roots, and hopefully hot claws is never brought up again after this mini-series.
Mr. and Mrs. X #3
(W) Kelly Thompson (A) Oscar Bazaldua (CA) Terry Dodson
LOVE & MARRIAGE PART 3!
ROGUE and GAMBIT’S romantic getaway is but a faint memory as they’re forced to team up with DEADPOOL to protect a dangerous and extremely valuable “package” when half the galaxy comes to claim it. What secrets does the package hold that the Imperial Guard and Deathbird (with an entire Shi’ar rebellion in tow!) will risk everything for? More importantly, can Rogue, Gambit, and Deadpool stop bickering long enough to win?
In Shops: Sep 19, 2018
Meanwhile, in spaaaaaaace, Gladiator, the Majestor of the Shi’ar Empire, scolds the imperial guard for failing to capture the egg in Mr. and Mrs. X #1. Telepathically, he has Oracle dispatch Cerise to complete a secret mission, perhaps one counter to the one he has the Guard taking on. On Rogue and Gambit’s honeymoon ship, Gambit and Deadpool try to capture the naked Rogue doppelganger who hatched out of the egg last issue while Rogue yells at Kitty Pryde over space-Skype (which still gets a better connection than we ever get on regular Earth-Skype). Kitty explains that the egg was actually the genetically-engineered daughter of Lilandra Nermini and Charles Xavier and only looks like Rogue as a psychic defense mechanism. The kid reads the thoughts of Rogue and Gambit to learn about her parents and then transforms into Xandra, looking like a combination of Charles and Lilandra.
Xandra senses the arrival of her aunt, Deathbird, who begins firing on the ship. Deadpool and Gambit teleport to her ship to take care of it and a pretty cool fight scene is depicted over the course of two double-page spreads.
Having successfully dispatched the guards, Gambit and Deadpool confront Deathbird, who explains she is leading the resistance against the Shi’ar. She wants the child because it will give her a good claim to the throne. Gambit blows up her weapons and teleportation systems and then he and Deadpool teleport back to the ship. There, Rogue gets rid of Deadpool because she can’t trust him when Nightside of the Imperial Guard suddenly appears and kidnaps Xandra, who was smart enough to transform back into an egg before anyone saw her humanoid form. Cerise arrives shortly afterward and tells Rogue and Gambit they need to go undercover and infiltrate the Shi’ar homeworld of Chandilar. Unfortunately, these disguises didn’t work out well as we cut to Rogue and Gambit suspended upside down in chains, having apparently been captured. We’ll learn more next issue.
Kelly Thompson (along with Pere Perez and the rest of the team on Rogue and Gambit) really revitalized these characters, especially Gambit, after a long period of stagnation. Thompson, Oscar Bazaldua, and Frank D’Armata (who was also the colorist on Rogue and Gambit) continue to deliver an excellent X-Men story focused on these characters. Mr. and Mrs. X #3 is the Wolverine’s Weiner X-Pick of the Week, and on a pretty strong week of competition at that.
Congratulations to the creative team for winning the most coveted trophy in weekly grilled meat-themed comics awards.
Multiple Man #4 of 5
(W) Matthew Rosenberg (A) Andy MacDonald (CA) Marcos Martin
THE SECRET HISTORY OF MADROX!
• When you saw many footprints, that was Jamie Madrox… When you saw only one set of footprints, that was still
Jamie, but he was carrying the entire Marvel Universe to safety!
• Find out how Multiple Man single-handedly saved the Marvel Universe – past, present and future!
In Shops: Sep 19, 2018
Finally, we come to Multiple Man #4, which is an incredibly enjoyable comic to read, but a real @#$%ing bitch to recap. We’ll do our best. Evil Emporer Jamie, having just decapitated protagonist Jamie in the previous issue, realizes this dupe is slightly older than he is. He feels a little bad about killing him and also worried about what other time travel shenanigans might be messing with his plans. He finds a time travel device in dead Jamie’s coat, steals the clothes off his body, and heads back to the present to the lab scene we saw in issue one where he tackles protagonist Jamie to stop him from making a formula to keep him alive. After a brief fight, the two Jamies merge together. Back in the future, Jamie’s second-in-command, who we’ll call bearded Jamie, takes control of the empire in the emperor’s absence.
We’re then treated to some cutscenes explaining how the four superpowered Jamie dupes who originally came back in time to bring protagonist Jamie to the future gained their powers. As we recall, the superpowered Jamies led Jamie to the resistance hideout where their past, non-superpowered selves were part of the rebel forces. Jamie sent them off to gather help before being captured and decapitated by the emperor. One of them ends up “elsewhere and elsewhen” where he finds Tony Stark, Sorcerer Supreme, and his manservant Nightcrawler. Jamie wants Stark to train him to be the master of the mystic arts. Elsewhere and elsewhen again, another dupe meets what we’re guessing is an old Bruce Banner (maybe) in a gamma-irradiated future, maybe the Wastelands from Old Man Logan. Look, we’re doing our best here. Another Jamie meets up with The Freakshow, a team from X-Men 2099. Another one ends in what appears to be the Marvel Swimsuit Special universe.
Finally, one ends up in the Age of Apocalypse future, where he runs into Slim and Redd.
Eventually, the first Jamie becomes Sorcerer Supreme himself, and, having trained long enough, orders Nightcrawler to bring him the remains of Cloak, puts on the cloak, fires Nightcrawler, and teleports two years the future where he finds Hulk Jamie, now part of the Hulk gang, and recruits him to complete their original mission. They then located Cable/Warlock Jamie, who is just about to finally defeat Apocalypse’s armies, and pulls him out. Finally, they locate Deadpool Jamie in the 2099 universe and he joins the team. Wait, what about Swimsuit Special Jamie? Well, in any case, the four super-powered Jamies head to the X-Mansion in the present, where we met them in Multiple Man #1, and they grab Jamie like they did in that issue and teleport to the future.
However, this time, the portal reopens and bearded second-in-command evil empire Jamie walks out along with an army of dupes to cause trouble in the present (and if the previews are any indication, in the relaunched Uncanny X-Men series). That’s as fine a cliffhanger as any to end this issue.
Multiple Man #4 is clever and funny and really, really goofy. It’s also hard as @#$% to follow all the time travel shenanigans, so we’ve put a ton of effort into making a timeline to help you understand it, which you can see here. Let us know if you find any errors.
That’s all for this week! See you next weekend as we explore the next chapters in the lives of our beloved mutants.
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