Magneto # 1 - 4, Wolverine # 106, Wolverine Annual ' 96, UXM Ann '96, XSE # 1 - 4, XM Annual ' 96, Beast # 1 - 3, Black Knight: Exodus
Magneto # 1 - 4: Joseph
Writer - Peter Milligan/ Jorge Gonzalex
Pencils - Kelley Jones
Joseph teams up with Fabian Cortez to stop Exodus from raising New Avalon out of Antarctica, killing millions. Joseph pretends to be Magneto in order to recruit the Acolytes back and teams up with Vought to defeat Exodus.
Claremont's Magneto is one of my favorite characters. I am very intrigued with Exodus. Yet, this series wasn't good. So...is Joseph supposed to be the real Magneto? Do the writers even know? Something about this Joseph storyline isn't working for me. We need clarity on who he is and why he's younger pronto.
Wolverine # 106, Wolverine Annual ' 96 : Wolvie's Heart
Writer - Larry Hama (W 106), Jeph Loeb (W Ann '96)
Pencils - Adam Kubert (W 106), Ralph Maccio/EdMcGuiness (W Ann '96)
Wolverine # 106 is a slow, emotional beat. Wolverine and current sidekick Elektra visit Silver Fox's grave, and then Elektra brings Wolverine to Greece to meet her family. It is spelled out pretty explicitly that these two are romantically involved. Perhaps even falling in love. Logan gets around...
There is this one story in the issue about a man named Stavros who works for E's family. He tells a story about serving in WW2 and having a commanding officer who helped him get revenge and Stavros still carries his knife. Stavros can't read, but the knife is shown at the end with the name Logan written on it, showing us that Wolverine was the one with him. It's a nice story...but I swear I've seen this before. Isn't there another story where W served with someone in WW2 and they couldn't believe it was him? I've been scouring my old blogs to figure out where I read this, but I can't find it. Please chime in with an answer in the comments if you know what I'm referring to.
The Wolverine Annual is a pretty boring story about this giant Red Ronin thing in Japan. They are in Japan, so the few Japanese characters we know all show up. You've got Yukio (friend or foe but surely crazy), Silver Samurai (a surprise ally here), and of course Sunfire who is currently being shunned in Japan for his powers being out of control. That's it, story sucked, if you want to know more about it, you can read it.
UXM Annual '96, XSE # 1 - 4, XM: Bishop and Shard
Writer - John Ostrander
Pencils - Chris Gardner
Uncanny X-Men Annual '96 is a Bishop and Shard story. Bishop (and Storm) meet up with Shard (with Wild Child) in Las Vegas. Bishop spends most of the issue not believing that the holographic projection of his sister is really her until the end when she sacrifices herself.
The XSE Miniseries is also focused on Bishop and Shard. I guess people were asking for more of this pairing in 1996? After accepting that Shard is his sister, he invites her to join the X-Men, where she declines and chooses to stay with X-Factor. This series shows them exploring their past together.
Bishop joins the XSE after en Emplate attack. I appreciate this because I thought it was pretty cool when Bishop said there were Emplate attacks during his 1 issue cameo in Generation X. I assume they would never revisit this concept even though I thought it was pretty neat, so I appreciated this.
We learn that it was Shard who created the holographic technology which will one day contain her essence. Shard becomes Bishop's superior and is infected by an Emplate, but manages to download her consciousness into the projector first. Similar to Rogue One, I was shocked when this story led directly into Bishop following Fitzroy into the past. We also learn that remnants of the Summers rebellion (from Days of Future Past) were those who formed the XSE.
Beast # 1 - 3: Bad Karma
Writer - Keith Giffen
Pencils - Cedric Nocon
For whatever reason, this is a Beast/Karma team up series. I find it hard to believe that anyone was dying for this particular pairing, let alone a Beast series in particular. Beast isn't a terrible character, but I don't think I've ever met anyone who considers themselves a big "Beast fan."
Karma possesses Beast to force him to help her rescue her siblings from the Hellfire Club. (Yes, that story is still unresolved). It turns out that Spiral and Viper (another weird pairing) transmuted the twins at the Body Shoppe (I thought that concept was abandoned too). Karma, Beast, and Cannonball fight the twins and eventually win out. We also learn that Viper was once mind controlled by Karma's twin brother, Tran.
Black Knight: Exodus, XMV2 Annual '96: Random Stories
Writer - Ben Raab, Larry Hama/Roberto Flores
Pencils - Jimmy Cheung, Anthony Castrillo
In Black Knight: Exodus, we finally learn about the connection between the Black Knight and Exodus! I actually was curious about this (not being sarcastic this time) and can't believe the devoted an entire random issue to it. Glad it was just a one shot and they didn't try to drag it into 3 issues.
Sersei and Dane Whitman (Black Knight) go back in time to the Crusades. Dane's descendant was friends with Exodus (Paris Bennet). Exodus finds Apocalypse in Akkaba and gains his powers by having his dormant mutation activated. That's it!
X-Men Ann '96 has all of the X Teams getting together for a game of baseball and then get in a moral argument about killing a rogue Sentinel. That's it! The baseball game was cool.