143: UXM # 327, 332 & XMv2 # 46 - 49 - (Dark Beast, Joseph, Feral Wolverine)

What’s Covered?

UXM # 327, 332 & XMV2 # 46 - 49 & X-Men Unlimited # 10 - 11

X-Babies, Magneto as Joseph, Dark Beast tags in, Deathbound Train, Feral Wolverine


Roster Watch


Synopsis

X-Men V2 # 46 - 47: X-Babies (are dumb)

Writer - Scott Lobdell

Pencils - Andy Kubert

In the A plot, if we can call it that, the X Babies show up. You may remember them from one of the short stories in Uncanny X-Men Annual # 12 and then more prominently in Mojo Mayhem. (Don't actually click those links because I just realized I was so annoyed by them that I didn't actually talk about them in either blog...oops).

So the X-Babies show up from the Mojoverse. There's some sort of conflict (yawn), and they are babysat by Iceman and Jean. Eventually Bishop and Gambit fight with Gog and Magog, the two furry villains introduced in the Longshot Limited Series, which I actually did cover more fully and you can click this link.


There is an interlude where Magneto is shown waking up. I think that's actually this Joseph character who I'll cover in the next section.


There is also a scene where Senator Kelly and a group of para military officers investigate a group of missing scientists and discover Onslaught. At this point we're tip toeing around the presence of the new big bad, Onslaught, and I'm uncertain if Lobdell actually had this planned by this point or if he was just dropping Onslaught's name, assuming he would come up with a plot later.


UXM # 327, X-Men Unlimited # 11: Joseph (Magneto?)

Plot - Scott Lobdell

Script - Scott Lobdell (UXM 327), Terry Kavanaugh (UXM # 11)

Pencils - Roger Cruz (UXM 327), Steve Epting/ Mark Miller)

Alright, so here's two issues surrounding Magneto who is currently going by the name Joseph. I'm really not sure what's going on here so we'll just get into the plot.


UXM # 327 introduces us to a memory wiped Magneto who is going by the name Joseph. He is nurtured in an orphanage and spends a good deal of time there. He seems to be oblivious to his true identity, but many other people recognize him and he'll eventually figure it out. He cares for the kids but eventually some danger shows up and Joseph needs to use his powers to kill a bunch of bad guys, then he leaves of course.



X-Men Unlimited # 11 is actually a Rogue story with a little Magneto (I'm sorry, Joseph) mixed in. Rogue is trying to live a normal life until some dude named Bastion shows up (who I think is actually set up for the event after Onslaught, Operation: Zero Tolerance) alongside "Humanity's Last Stand." HLS is the new incarnation of the Friends of Humanity, this time officially armed and empowered by Graydon Creed, who is running for President. Rogue is captured, but then saved by Joseph who was infiltrating the group. I'm guessing he has been on the run since UXM # 327 and is now a mutant freedom fighter or something...


Joseph doesn't fully know who he is, but he's 20 years younger so I'm confused whether this is actually him de-aged (again) or something else.


XM V2 # 49, XMU # 10: Dark Beast

Plot - Mark Waid (XMU 10), Scott Lobdell (XMv2 # 49)

Script - Mark Waid (Both)

Pencils - Frank Toscano, Nick Gnazzo (XMU 10)

X-Men # 49 focuses primarily on Bishop going berserk over a waitress. He's convinced that she is spying on him and everyone assumes he is being paranoid until there is attack and it turns out that he was right. The waitress was spying on him for Dark Beast, who we'll focus on during X-Men Unlimited # 11.

XMU11 is really messed up. Dark Beast (who they are really trying to get us to call "McCoy," but I'll never stop calling him Dark Beast) is going around interacting with everyone the real Beast has ever met. He goes back to his high school, home town, old job, etc. trying to learn as much as he can about Beast's past. The messed up thing is that after he meets people, he just kills them all indiscriminately. Like in this scene where he drives by someone in a jeep and cuts someone's head off with an axe while he drives by him.

Or this crazy scene where DB blows up Beast's old girlfriend and the diner she works at then drives off like a crazy lunatic.

All of this leads up to his evil plan to cut and tint his fur so that he can replace the real Beast. He lures the real Beast to his lair, unveils his master plan, and then proceeds to slowly build a wall in front of him as he plans to keep him in "jail" for months (or years?).

Don't even ask me how Beast is supposed to get food or water back there. From this point forward, all references to Beast will be "Dark Beast" and I'm going to play a game called "So I think this is Dark Beast." It's hard to be certain because those unlimited issues are a bit out of order.


X-Men v2 # 51 - 52: Deathbound Train

Writer - Mark Waid

Pencils - Pascual Ferry (51), Andy Kubert (52)

Wow. This is the epitome of filler. And this definitely features Dark Beast. So this two part "Deathbound Train" arc puts Gambit, Bishop, and (Dark) Beast on a train with a bunch of humans who have been mutated. Someone copied the movie Speed because the breaks are out and the train is about to blow up. So we've got 3 X-Men racing through a train, fighting random mutated humans, trying to find a way to stop the train from blowing up, which in addition to killing all of them, would spread this mutation to everyone at the train station. Just look at this goofy picture:

What do you know, Mr. Sinister is behind this. Because he's behind everything. It is interesting though that Dark Beast made clear that the main reason he's impersonating the real Beast is to help him hide from Mr. Sinister (which I guess we're supposed to forget that he's been here for 30 years and been hidden just fine). So it's pretty ironic that he actually runs into Sinister here while he's impersonating Beast, but as far as we can tell, Sinister doesn't know the difference. I wonder if Wolverine will be able to smell him differently?

At one point they are captured by Sinister, but then they escape. Gambit charges up the train with his kinetic energy, Bishop absorbs it, and then Bishop pulls a Spider-Man by stopping the train through pure force.


Also, Dark Beast learns that Gambit has some sort of connection to Sinister, which we still don't know what's up with that after it being teased for what seems like centuries. Does Lobdell even know!?


Wolverine # 97 - 103, UXM # 332: Feral Wolverine

Writer - Scott Lobdell (UXM 332), Larry Hama

Pencils - Joe Madueirera (UXM 332), Adam Kubert


Alright, so I'm still not reading the Wolverine series, but I popped open UXM # 332 and was shocked to see this messed up looking Wolverine and I needed to figure out what the hell was going on.

I didn't read the Wolverine issues, but I did read summaries, which I will provide now. So there was some crazy shit that went down in Wolverine #97 - 100. First, Genesis (Cable's son, Tyler) and the Dark Riders capture Wolverine and try to force adamantium back into him. At first I was thinking...FINALLY...I've had enough of bone claws and wild Wolverine, but holy shit was I wrong. They did the opposite. The Dark Riders had captured Sam (weird that he was the hostage used to motivate Wolverine), and Logan decides to reject the adamantium once and for all, forcing him to go feral. Dude...Wolverine fucking kills Genesis and all of the Dark Riders and I think they are dead for realz.


This then rolls into UXM # 332 where Wolverine is feral and missing. I'm going to be honest with you. I read this issue when I took too much cold medicine and was a little loopy and barely remember what happened. I did take some loopy notes on it though and it seemed like a terrible issue. Professor X is interrogating Landau, Luckman, and Lake about the whereabouts of Wolverine and he seems to go a little too far. Meanwhile, Jean senses Wolverine and so she, Cyclops, Iceman, and Cannonball follow him.


This is where things get confusing. Somehow Wolverine ended up in a casm with this guy Ozymandias, a former disciple (actually enemy) of Apocalypse who is now made out of stone. The X-Men face a bunch of stone Zombie villains. Honestly, this all seemed really random and I'm further concerned that the X-Men comics are in a bad rut.


In Wolverine # 101, Feral Wolverine saves Cyclops and Jean from Ozymandias (he's still around) with the secret help of Electra. # 102 is a full silent issue. In #103, it appears as though Elektra is going to be a series regular for a while as she is randomly interested in helping Wolverine to re-gain his senses.


We'll have to see if either Elektra or Ozymandias have any relevance in the future, in which case I'll regret not spending more time re-reading (or reading at least once in the case of Wolverine) these issues, but for now I feel like it was a pretty safe bet.


My Connections

This was a bigger blog than I've done in quite some time. I'm really crossing my fingers that this Onslaught story ends up delivering because I still feel like the quality has dipped considerably.


It's funny that doing this blog helps me realize a lot more about my own interests. Like there are some things I just don't have much tolerance for. Arcade, the Impossible Man, and the fricken X-Babies. I guess I'm in this for the story and character development and when one of these three show up, you know you're just going to get some silly antics and that's about it.


On another topic, I've spoken to friends about how one of the reasons I disliked X-Men Apocalypse (the movie), is because of what they did with Magneto. It was a bit cheesy to spend so much time with him off on his own, trying to live a normal life. However, this Joseph story really reminds me that there is a LOT of precedent for these types of Magneto stories in the comics. I still think that was a pretty bad movie, but maybe I was too hard on the Magneto scenes.


Speaking of Magneto, they are really trying to cash in on the Magneto/Rogue story. The first Savage Land story where these two first hooked up set it all up, and is actually one of my favorite stories (2nd of all time, to be exact). The relationship was ratcheted up to an 11 in Age of Apocalypse with the two of them married and having a child. So seeing them together as Joseph and a rebel Rogue was pretty cool.


We also get Humanity's Last Stand. The concept of mutant bigotry has been prevalent since the very beginnings of the X-Men and Humanity's Last Stand takes all of that negative energy and focuses it into one specific group with a mission and political backing. It's really quite eye opening to me too that these comics were written in the 90's, yet some of that groupthink bigotry has once again made it's way into mainstream politics. I get myself carried away thinking this is something new and that hopefully it will go away one day, but if this has always been around then clearly I'm being overly naive.


Creators

Mark Waid comes in on scripting with XM #49 and begins his transition as the new X-Men scribe during this time period. I recall Wizard magazine making a big deal out of him coming onto this comic. I've only had one interaction with him and it was a positive one. I recall him writing the second Deadpool series and love it. Fabian Nicieza did the first one and his personality seemed really forced and PG. Mark Waid was able to push the limits as well as the 4th wall a little and I thought he nailed it. So this is enough for me to get excited about there being some change. Plus, it kind of seemed like Lobdell only had enough energy to do one X-Men book at a time, so perhaps this will help the quality.


Speaking of Lobdell, the word on the street is that he likes to throw questions out there without having figured out where he's going. There has been a lot of seeding how big and bad Onslaught is, so once again I really hope this pans out.


Even though I'm not reading Wolverine anymore, I was excited to get to the Elektra silent issue. I recall listening to a podcast once where Larry Hama said that his intention was to publish a comic without any words in it, but editorial forced him to change that.


Character Beats

Iceman


This was a big moment for the "Iceman is gay" watch. It seems like the consensus on the interwebs is that Brian Michael Bendis did a complete retcon in 2015 without an precedence so I wasn't expecting to find anything. But all of the sudden, I'm starting to see that some clues were laid.


As Iceman was going shopping with Jean, the following dialogue comes out:

“ I came along… because well… you know, right?”
“ I just figured… I guess… I mean you being a telepath and all… you just sort of… I don’t know… just know?”

In past blogs, I've been tracking that Emma is telling him that he can't fully control his powers until he accepts who he is. And here Iceman is assuming that Jean being a telepath that she would know his true nature. This isn't an all out admission, but you rarely get it in the X-Men Universe due to the comics code, an especially after the backlash Marvel received when Northstar came out as gay. We've seen strong hints, such as Mystique and Destiny loving each other and living together. We've seen Juggernaut and Black Tom inexplicably close friendship. Well, this is just something I'll keep watching.


Bishop

Bishop is still struggling with his AoA memories. We see that, similarly to Scott and Jean, he's lived a whole different life in regards to his memories. At this point he can't fully access the other memories, but he gets flashes and it's interrupting his daily life.


We also see that Bishop is once again bringing up the X-Men traitor storyline. Is that EVER going to go anywhere!?


Magneto as Joseph

Magneto is back in our lives, but is it really Magneto? I don't really care because I'm just glad to have the character back. This Joseph version seems pretty interesting, so let's run with it.


Beast and Dark Beast

I've never really cared much for Beast, and Dark Beast didn't really capture my attenion during AoA, but seeing Dark Beast replace Beast has actually been pretty fun for me. I especially like reading issues that happen right now to see "Is this Dark Beast or regular Beast?!"


Scott and Jean

There is a fun little side story where Scott and Jean are hanging out with Jean's sister Sara's kids. He's pushing them pretty hard and Jean calls him out for testing them for powers. I wonder if they ever will develop powers.


Graydon Creed

Graydon Creed is back and running for office. The more interesting thing here is that Professor Xavier makes a comment that he's willing to take drastic measure's to stop him. Charles has been a lot more extreme lately and this is a plot point I'm watching.


Tyler is dead!?

Cable's son, Tyler, is dead and Cable wasn't even in the comic when it happened. Is this really going to be the end of this character!? He just dies in some random Wolverine story. Will Cable have a reaction? This just seems like a missed opportunity.



My Rating: 5/10


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