[WIR] X-Men: The Strangest Super-Heroes of All!

JJ Hall

Last Red Hot Swami
Validated User
(Also, have we talked about the implied relationship between Storm and Yukio in here?)
They fought off a band of goons together while Storm's powers were greatly weakened, which left her feeling high on adrenaline, then the two spent a week together without reaching out to the X-Men. When Ororo does return to the group, she's allowed Yukio to give her an extreme makeover, so yeah -- it's clearly there for anyone who wants to see it.

June 28, 1983

At the movies:


On the radio:


New Mutants 8

The kids play hide-and-seek As part of the students' training, Rahne hunts the others in her wolf form to hone her tracking ability, but after finding Dani succumbs to heatstroke:



The guys come looking to see if anything's wrong when they go a while without seeing Rahne and find her playing in a snowdrift:



So can Dani make her images real now? Or is Rahne feeling better by virtue of psychosomatic effect? Because that feels like a bad way of dealing with heatstroke. Later, after Sam has a "George of the Jungle" moment, the kids set up a satellite phone to send "the telemetry on our latest training sessions" to the professor to evaluate:



What crazy gadgets will they pull out next? They ask after Xi'an, and Charles lies that "we must at last face and accept the reality that she is gone." I hope Dani punches him for this bullshit when it all comes out. Roberto asks if they should come back, but Charles insists he's too busy for them right now, so they should just continue to wander around in the jungle no one has ever returned from instead:



Can't afford to let the motorcycle guys get out of hand, after all. The kids head for the river, whereupon Dani decides to swim the distance instead of waiting half an hour for it to pick them up. An agent of Sebastian Shaw among the expedition chums the piranha-infested waters in the hope the fish will be whipped into a feeding frenzy and eat the kid. Sam fishes her out before anything can happen, but when they land on the other side they find a band of young women armed with spears. They attack the teens, but withdraw when they fend them off with their fighting skills. For no adequately-explained reason, Sam takes one of the native girls captive and brings her back to the boat with them, where they find they've caused a stir:



The crewman who tried to kill Dani speaks up for Sam and points out his powers might be useful. Everyone is nervous about what it might mean that the natives are watching them, and the prisoner refuses to respond to any questions put to her in any dialect Nina knows. There are some odd mysteries surrounding the girl as well:



"Lady", huh? That's not a term you'd expect from a tribe of aboriginal people that hold themselves apart from the rest of the world.

The expedition continues upriver, and Rahne, being a good kid, takes a meal to the prisoner. She finds Shaw's agent, Castro, beating Amara for information and orders him to stop. He knocks her aside, which is a big mistake:



She transforms, and Castro runs for the hills. Turning back into a human, Rahne unties Amara from her chair and starts crying, the confrontation having brought out some painful memories:



She calms herself and goes to tell Nina about what Castro did, but he knocks her out with a rifle butt to the face. When she wakes up, the other New Mutants and Nina are with her in Amara's cabin, slowly coming to after being drugged. The rest of the crew's been killed with arrows or joined with Castro, who's nowhere to be seen, plus the unmanned boat is only moments from plunging into rapids that wreck it. Roberto tries to reach his mom, but is knocked out by a piece of debris. Rahne makes it onto a rock outcropping, then reaches for Amara, whose big secret comes out once the onrushing water does its work:



Yes, it's true: she's part of a travelling racist minstrel show. Sam fishes everyone out of the drink, but can't find Nina even with Rahne's help. Roberto's broken up of course, but he has little time to mourn before someone calling them barbarians orders them to stand still and shut up:



Dadfinger

Emmanuel takes Sebastian to task for his failure to stop Nina's expedition, though his guest points out that the conflicting rules of engagement make the job difficult:



The press of a button hidden behind a painting brings up a hidden screen as a prop for Emmanuel to point at as he exposits his evil plan, then begins "the evening's entertainment":



Script: Chris Claremont
Pencils: Sal Buscema
Editor: Louise Jones
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Putting on a blackface performance is not the best way to make a first impression, so the new character's off to a rocky start. I suppose it's too much to ask that Dani bite her or something next issue? Rahne is set up to dislike her for something that's really not her fault -- why did they even capture her, anyway? -- so I guess she'll "prove herself" by winning the Scottish girl over. Having the lost civilization in the unexplored region of South America turn out to be Imperial Rome out of nowhere is a good twist, though.

Next Time:

 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Yeah, Amara first showing up in blackface is something we'd all rather forget about.

(Especially as it's all so unnecessary ! Why should Romans, living in the Amazon jungle of all places, be so lilly-white ?)

[EDIT after a bit of research]
Honestly no, she's not referred to by name anywhere in the comics I've read. I just looked up her real name and used that because I tend to prefer it and assumed that her pre-Viper identity had been explored by this point, given that she's been a Captain America villain for around fifteen years by this point. I think I'm going to keep using it though, just because I like it.
Aside from the aforementioned Spider-Woman storyline (which claimed she was Jessica Drew's mother, only to be nearly immediately retconned away), and a few panels of flashbacks way back in Captain America #113 showing her as a war orphan, the main elaboration on her backstory was in the 2009 Secret Warriors series (so about the same time as the handbook that named her). Not that she had much of a life before joining HYDRA ; the Kraken (one of its many leaders) picked her up soon after she was orphaned, in order to groom her as a future Madame Hydra (among a dozen other candidates). And that's pretty much it.

It's all a bit academic what you call her, though ; aside from a brief (and humiliating) cameo in Claremont's final couple New Mutants issues a few years from now, she won't show up again in the X-Titles until the late 1990s. :p
 
Last edited:

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
I suspect at least part of it is that most people associate most Mediterranean peoples as being white (and blondes are, while not super-common there not unknown, even apparently in antiquity) so the fact their coloration is a bit more complicated that than the Nordic and quasi-Nordic types doesn't sink in.
 

JJ Hall

Last Red Hot Swami
Validated User
Special thanks to Evil Midnight Lurker for forwarding this and other upcoming comics for us to take a look at.

October 6, 1981

At the movies:


On the radio:


Micronauts 37

As the X-Men repair the damage done to the Danger Room in the attack by the Hellfire Club in Uncanny #152, Kurt muses about wiping the Room's computers and is then attacked by said Room:



The team rescue him, of course, all demonstrating their powers on the off chance someone reading Micronauts could be enticed to pick up X-Men too. The crisis past, Charles takes most of the team off to "an appointment", whatever that might be:



Logan, what is in Raiders of the Lost Ark that can compare to your actual life?

Nearby, the "Homeworld Micro Ship Endeavor" sits beneath a tree while the crew effect repairs. Commander Arcturus Rann observes as his droid roboid Microtron accidentally blows his own arms off attempting to fix their warp drive, meaning they're stuck on Earth while the Microverse descends into chaos. Princess Mari laments that her brother, Argon, has turned out to be an even worse tyrant than the guy who killed their parents, Baron Karza. They all worked together to overthrow Karza, but King Argon is getting up to some nasty shenanigans now that he's in charge. His minions grab a low-class guy to be turned into a special soldier, but the guy won't cooperate and punches Argon's stupid-looking helmet right off his head. That's okay though -- his compliance isn't a factor:



Huntarr tracks the Micronauts down and attacks while they're still trying to get their warp drive fixed -- he can fly and shoot "biobursts" on his own power, so the ship's sensors didn't register him as a threat until he started firing. They lift off and Mari mans the guns, but the enemy has "bioshields" that deflect her barrage, scaring the bejeezus out of a passing bird. Huntarr knocks out the ship's power, sending it crashing into the X-Mansion:



Huntarr is somehow able to sense that the Room is a deadly weapon, and so a well-placed shot at the control panel activates a training sequence:



Kurt could teleport to safety, "but what would then become of the little people?!" At first he hangs back, not wanting to take a side, but it doesn't take him long to decide the team who risk their lives to defend each other from the guy psychopathically obsessed with killing them are his kind of people. His intervention is both swift and brutal:



The Room has by this point gone completely haywire, so even though the Endeavor is heavier than anything he's tried to teleport with before, he insists on taking the little guys out himself. They BAMF out just before Huntarr can counterattack, leaving him trapped in a deathtrap of his own making while the heroes face a nasty experience of their own:



The Micronauts confirm that their warp drive has been repaired well enough to get them back to the Microverse, and so head back right away, before Argon can send any more assassins after them.

Script: Bill Mantlo
Pencils: Keith Giffen & Greg LaRocque
Editor: Tom DeFalco
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

This is mainly a series of madcap action scenes with little ambition beyond that -- the only character-building going on is a bit with Bug feeling insecure about his best friend Acroyear bonding with a new addition to the cast, Devil, which he gets over by issue's end. Huntarr is last seen in the above panel getting hit with everything the Danger Room can throw at him, but will go on to appear throughout the rest of the book's run, and eventually free himself from Argon's control and join the heroes' crew.

Not terrible, but I wouldn't recommend seeking it out, either.

Next Time:

 

Pazu

Registered User
Validated User
Which, I should note, I was far less fond of.
I remember that I didn't think too much about it one way or the other, until I read the X-Men vs. Avengers limited (the first one, with Alan Silvestri art!). If I remember correctly, there was a panel showing the teams facing off against each other, and the contrast between the Avengers in their very traditional costumes and the X-Men in their punk gear really hit a perfect "establishment vs. outcasts" vibe for me.
 

JJ Hall

Last Red Hot Swami
Validated User
July 5, 1983

At the movies:


On the radio:


Marvel Team-Up Annual 6

Peter checks out a chop shop in the warehouse district -- a small-time operation he wouldn't normally bother with, but a lot of dead teenage runaways have been found in the area lately. The crooks are interrupted in the middle of a job when Cloak and Dagger swoop in. The gang is somewhat large, so our hero swings down to help out. When they've finished handing out naps to the crooks Peter asks what they're doing going after car thieves, and Tyrone says they're just a front and heads for the back, where they find a terrible sight:



Tandy and Tyrone explain that the mobsters who created the drug that gave them their powers are at it again, despite the two of them being the only ones who've survived it. They intend to create superpowered minions to act as their enforcers and take out Tandy and Tyrone.

Meanwhile:



The teens move on from Broadway to a video arcade, where Roberto draws a crowd playing one of the machines. A creep starts bothering Rahne, Roberto is spirited in her defence, a knife comes out, and before you know it the kids are running from a band of the creep's friends. They get lost looking for the bus station, and the street toughs catch up with them and force a fight. Roberto and Rahne are injured and fall in front of those runaway-killing drug makers:



They say that luck should only inconvenience your characters, never work in their favour, so by that rule this is fine. Still feels a little strained to me.

The cops arrive to break up the fight, and Sam figures he and Dani should leave so they don't "tie us up with a lotta fool questions!" They call Charles run into a random church, which just so happens to be the one that Tyrone and Tandy shelter in and that Peter has followed them there:



The usual hero meet/fight starts up, but Peter drops in to try to calm everyone down:



Dani and Sam are jazzed to meet Spider-Man, who they weren't sure was actually real before now, but the subject of their missing friends soon comes up. The possibility that they were taken by the mob to be experimented on is raised, so the heroes light out to search for them.

Rahne comes to tied to a butcher's block next to Roberto in a meat-packing plant under the watchful eye of a guy in a lab coat. He and his boss explain their evil plan:



They figure that since these two already have powers, the drug should make them "more than a match for Cloak & Dagger!" The villains inject them with the drug, but the other heroes burst in at that moment to rescue them. The gangsters are put down pretty quick, but the drug takes effect, reducing Rahne and Roberto to mindless monster:



The mob boss's hope that the mutants would be under his control are dashed immediately; they attack him without hesitation. Tandy's light daggers cleanse Rahne of the drug, but she bit the runaway as she did it, introducing the drug into her system again. Tyrone absorbs the drugs from Roberto directly into himself, so the two of them are both in danger of losing control of themselves and their own powers:



When the lightshow ends, the runaways are back to normal and the New Mutants are grateful for all the help they've given them. They extend an offer to come stay with them at their school, and Tyrone admits they're tempted, but ultimately declines:



Script: Bill Mantlo
Pencils: Ron Frenz
Editor: Tom DeFalco
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

. . . So Roberto likes Cats, huh? That's interesting, unlike the rest of this. Cloak and Dagger are promising as a concept, but come across here as more in love with the idea of being alone/abandoned than actually suffering from loneliness/abandonment, you know?

Next Time:

 
Top Bottom