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[WIR] X-Men II: Focussed Totality Is A Song Within Her When Ah'm Blastin'!

Spatula

More Ideas Than Time
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Did the appearance in Quasar keep that same appearance? Jacked up Orko is right. With the skull belt it looks like Orko from an early Image reboot of He-Man.
 

Wakshaani

Cheesey Goodness
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Huh. I always thought Oblivion was somebody Gruenwald came up with whole cloth for Quasar
Nah, Gru had a mind for characters that puts MINE to shame and I pull out oddballs on the regular. Once he knew he'd be working on Quasar, he went DEEP DIVING into the lore to pull out as many cosmic peeps as possible.

I adored that man.
 

JJ Hall

Last Red Hot Swami
Validated User
January 8, 1985

At the movies:


On the radio:


Uncanny X-Men 192

In lieu of a session in the Danger Room, Kurt has convinced Rogue and Peter to join him in a game the narrator calls hide and seek out on the grounds, despite its rules clearly contradicting the version of that game I'm familiar with:



Both Peter and Rogue debut new costumes here, and the one above is a minor-but-improved variation on Romita's first design. It's still essentially a circus strongman outfit, but the high neck looks much better. Weird to go with a belt buckle collar, though.

Kurt is able to get both his teammates to fall into the lake. Rogue tries to be positive about winning the next round, but Peter's too glum about Kitty coming back to get into it. He feels guilty about hurting her, and has even begun questioning whether he ever really loved Zsaji:



. . . Did Carol have a sixth sense, too? Or did she just skip directly from taste to spider?

Regretting she brought the subject up, Rogue points out she hasn't felt any kind of precognition since her fateful encounter and asks if they can drop the talk about Carol, but Kurt gets an idea about how it might be drawn out -- tickling:



She's back to her green theme, and has belt buckles on her ankle boots as well as her waist (looks like that's just a Romita thing). It's okay with me.

Grumbling that she'd be within her rights to let him splat against the cliffside, Rogue instead intercepts the airborne elf and deposits him back to safety with stern instructions not to toy with her again. Kurt abides by his friend's serious request teases her by offering to thank her for his life with a kiss. He's fortunate that the only punishment she metes for that is dunking him in the water. As she flies off in a huff, the German X-Man works out where he went wrong:



Speaking of totally alien things, the night sky lights up as a bright object plunges Earthward and lands right behind the abandoned old house Rogue took refuge in. The force of the shockwave from the UFO passing overhead hits the two X-Men hard enough to knock them unconscious, but when they wake up and investigate the impact zone, they find the crater to be much smaller than it should be for something that was moving with such momentum. They don't see anything at the centre either, and their minds go to the same place: "It got up and walked away." They do find trees and animals transformed into "circuitry elements", which is as good a term for it as anything, and recall aloud for anyone not reading New Mutants that this is what's left of lifeforms used by Warlock as food. Also, he came to Earth trying to escape his homicidal dad.

Rogue was also knocked out from the impact, and as she peels herself off the floor of the ruined mansion she finds a big black-and-gold robot standing next to her. She asks if that's Warlock, probably expecting a yes, but it isn't:



A chimney plunging into Magus from the ceiling announces the others' arrival; the alien is tough, but not as untouchable as you'd imagine someone who can tear stars in half to be. My guess is that's just an ability he has that doesn't have any greater implications for what else he can do; like how Lila Cheney can teleport across interstellar distances, but has no other cosmic capability, like breathing in space or whatever. Magus gets Peter in his grip and starts squeezing, so Kurt takes a risk to save him:



The experience is more draining than normal for Kurt, and Magus is badly injured. Rogue takes advantage of the opportunity and goes on the attack, managing to wend her way around his defences using that Kree spider-sense:



She plants her signature attack on the invader, but is sent reeling from the resultant feedback:




Kurt scolds her for taking a risk like that against his orders and reminds her he's the leader of the X-Men now, which is news to me and feels kind of random -- didn't Charles decide to take an active role in leading the team in the field to much fanfare just a little while ago? Why even designate another leader under him if he's just going to step on his toes, too? Or has the creative team already lost interest in the "Charles wants to get his hands dirty" subplot?

Anyway, Magus has decided he's had enough for today and slinks off, but pretends he's only withdrawing because he's having fun and wants to draw things out for kicks:



The rest of the team get called in to pick over the scene of the battle, and the newly-returned Logan encourages Kurt to feel good about getting everyone out of it it alive:



I sort of agree with Kurt that Logan's the natural choice for leader among the remaining X-Men if there needs to be one, but Claremont seems reluctant to put him in that role for some reason.

A policeman investigating the disturbance comes upon the group and demands to know what they're doing, so Charles explains that they're a superhero group following up on an incident with a violent alien manipulates his mind to see them as ordinary people in civilian garb, the erases his memory of them entirely as he leaves. What a dick.

The cop returns to his squad car, only it's not his car; it's Magus. The alien robot eats the policeman and takes the actual squad car, for now committing to take a slow and steady approach to killing his boy:



I Guess You Can't Really Call It the "Beginning" of a Beautiful Friendship

As they wait for Kitty and Logan's plane to disembark, Charles transcribes the bits and pieces of thoughts he picks up from random passersby:




I guess that Kulan Gath thing made Ororo reconsider waiting for Kitty to come back before leaving herself.

The crowds' anti-mutant prejudice weighs on Rachel as well, reminding her that "decent, ordinary" people can be neither of those things at the drop of a hat:



She's started growing that rat tail seen in its full glory in that Excalibur page linked previously.

Her mind wanders, and she finds herself reliving her last moments in the future before she time travelled. Not the way most people relive their memories, though -- she experiences this one as a waking dream she's unable to wake from until it's played itself out, and doesn't remember it happening before:




. . . Nope, it doesn't make any more sense now that I've seen the technique first-hand. Obviously, this is another tease for that Nimrod fellow, but more importantly it's a chance to see Kate Pryde again. She and Rachel have a mentor-student bond here, and the older woman takes the sacrificial job for herself as she sends her friend to safety, buttressing Kate's badass cred and implying she meets her end shortly after fading from Rachel's sight. I think we'll see her again, though, if only because she's not shown to die on-panel and the temptation to use her again in future stories will be strong, even if that's not what was intended when this comic was published.

Rachel comes to herself again in the present, Kate's face replaced by Kitty's as she finally gets off the plane and into the airport, greeted warmly by her friends. As the kid gets another look at the time traveller, though, she somehow recognizes her:



Hate and Fear on Campus

The last two-and-a-half pages of the issue are set months after the rest. Charles exchanges Christmas greetings with some of his mundane students at Columbia at the end of the autumn term, feeling especially fulfilled from the unexpectedly fun time he's having teaching a course at the famous university. As he approaches his car, though, some of the youths he taught are less-than-appreciative of his work. He freezes the min their tracks psychically, but the ones bold enough to confront the "mutie-lover" face-to-face brought a bunch of skulkers with them, one of whom beans Charles with a brick. Freed from his grasp, the crowd of bigots assail the telepath, freaked that the guy turned out to be an actual mutant.

After beating Charles until blood pools under him and he stops moving the very fine people decide to celebrate their success with beer. Once they've moved on, though, someone we don't see clearly but who probably has a name that rhymes with "Shmallisto" drags the injured professor away by the collar of his coat. Left behind in the congealing/freezing pool of blood is the card his students got for him, which might include among its signatures those of his assailants:



Script: Chris Claremont
Pencils: John Romita Jr.
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Yeah, something like that'll cause some health problems.

The fight with Magus is a little too easy for the heroes to win, given how he's been built up before now, but the rest of this is pretty good. The character work with Rogue and Kurt is believable, the new costumes look okay, and while Rachel is melancholy, she holds back the waterworks here.

Next Time:

 

JJ Hall

Last Red Hot Swami
Validated User
Did the appearance in Quasar keep that same appearance? Jacked up Orko is right. With the skull belt it looks like Orko from an early Image reboot of He-Man.
Google tells me that artists will indeed be guided by Oblivion's initial design when he appears later:

 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I'm pretty sure this is the smallest the active X-Men team has ever been (and ever will be aside from the non-Team era) : with Xavier taking a step back somehow (which presumably will be enforced longer-term by his injuries here), and Rachel not having joined formally yet, we're down to just Nightcrawler, Colossus and Rogue. In that context, I guess Kurt is the least bad choice for a field leader, but yeah it's weird. Not that it's going to last, of course.

He'll have a much better time of it later over in Excalibur, which is also where I remember Kate Pryde making some memorable further appearances. (Especially when Alan Davis tried disentangling the mess that were all the Days of Future Past flashbacks/forwards and force them into making some proper sense.)
 

Grymbok

Licensed to Ill
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This is the where my collection of US originals starts, having previously only ever read the UK reprints that covered the classic era but never got beyond Claremont/Byrne that I recall in the All-New era (the first issue I bought was 199, but at that time my local comic shop carried six months or so of back issues at cover price so I was able to instantly catch up).

This is my favourite Colossus costume, but clearly given the above there’s a bit of “the golden age of science fiction is 12” at play here.

I never read Excalibur and read very little of New Mutants, but from here I read everything in the X-Men titles and X-Factor until the Morrison run.
 

ogier300

Registered User
Validated User
She's back to her green theme, and has belt buckles on her ankle boots as well as her waist (looks like that's just a Romita thing). It's okay with me.
I think it might be more of a 1980s fashion thing, rather than specifically a JRJ thing...
 
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