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177: UXM # 356 - 359: Original 5 in Alaska, Bishop in Space, Rogue’s Agency

What’s Covered?

UXM # 356 - 359, X-Men Unlimited # 18 & 20

Roster Watch


UXM # 356 - 357: Crows in Alaska

Writer - Steve Seagle

Pencils - Chris Bachalo (356), Don Norton (357), Dexter Vines (357)

I'm not sure if this is a permanent re-grouping, but the original 5 X-Men spend this two issue arc together in Alaska.

  • Boys in Alaska on their way to meet Scott and Jean

    • Hank, Warren, Bobby

    • Warren thinks it might be over with Betsy

Betsy's really been getting a bit loco lately, so it makes sense that Warren isn't sure how long they will last. It's time like these where I have mixed emotions. On one hand, I'm glad they are trying to provide characterization. On the other hand, sometimes it just seems like checking in on the one thing that makes characters unique, in this case it's sad that the most interesting thing going on with Warren is that his hot ninja girlfriend has a lot going on. I'm actually shocked that Iceman doesn't say something about"Man, I wish I can control my powers."

  • Shield takes Sauron

I appreciate the commitment to wrapping up plot points. I could care less though what happened with Sauron. You could've left in on the side of the road with a thermos full of Spaghetti - O's and I doubt anyone would have batted an eye.

  • Scott wants to bring the original five X-Men together to see if anything weird is going on with Jean since she is a telepath and reverting back to her Phoenix outfit

Looks like the true purpose of the reunion is because Scott is paranoid Jean is getting all Phoenix-y again and needs 3 more opinions. Conflicted, once again. It's clever for Scott to grow and realize "I really shouldn't fuck around, pretending I know whether Jean's sane or not" but on the other hand, are we really going back to this well. Real creative, Steve.

  • Scott wants the team to reconsider their mission. Replace Xavier’s with their own.

And what is said new mission? I don't think he said, but it is an interesting concept. I'm going to put money on the fact that Xavier is back within 6 issues and this is completely dropped.

  • 357

  • A murder of crows attacks the Alaskan town

Yes, the villain in this arc is...Crows.

  • Rogue is checking with the Agee institute about getting turned back into a human.

Inspiration for 2000's X-Men movie!?

  • Deathbird frees Bishop to pilot a ship. Admits she held him under false pretenses out of love

That crazy Deathbird is always up to the darndest things.

  • XM stop the birds but aren’t sure how.

This was slightly amusing. Everyone has a different theory about why the birds were attacking and what they personally did to stop it. You know what though, I mostly just wasted 20 minutes of my life reading this arc.

UXM # 358: Bishop and Deathbird

Plot - Steve Seagle

Script - Joseph Harris

Pencils - Chris Bachalo

  • Jean is attacked telepathically and now catatonic

We start with a little Jean action. We'll learn in my next blog what's knocking out all the telepaths, but right now we see the impact on Jean here.

  • Bishop and DB navigating a dangerous planet that they crashed on.

  • Bishop stays to help innocents and DB stays for him.

This was a fun issue. I want to go look up when the next time I will see Bishop. I'm going to guess...3 years. Ok, the answer was 11 months. I was wrong on the 3 years but right on the fact that this is his last hooray before being effectively written out.

UXM # 359: Rogue's Agency

Writer - Steve Seagle & Joe Kelly

Pencils - Chris Bachalo & Ryan Benjamin

  • Shaman treats Jean, says she’s fine. But no telepathy.

We're in Alaska and need a doctor. Alaska is near Canada, so let's go ask Shaman. Nice, Steve.

  • Rogue at Agee institute, ready to lose her power

This is a pretty big issue. Rogue is really ready to go through with losing her power. This is a nice culmination to a long plot where Rogue likely lost her virginity with Gambit shortly before the Trial of Gambit, has been making up excuses to touch people since, and has essentially been having a mid life crisis. I guess this would make sense.

  • Mystique shoots up the place

  • Mystique and Rogue are arguing something fierce.

“ If someone had created a ray gun during the civil rights movement to turn everybody who’s skin was black into white would you have championed that too?”

Mystique has some strong points but she's still being a pretty shitty mother.

  • Rogue steals M’s power, destroys the machine.

X-Men Unlimited # 18 & 20

Writer - Tom DeFalco (18), Joseph Harris (20)

Pencils - Marcelo Frusin (18), Ale Garza (20)

  • 18 - Gambit works for a gang war, fights Hydro Man, feels guilt, is still a hero

  • 20 - Some Asgardian trolls kidnap Paige

These X-Men Unlimited issues are getting pretty painful.

My Connections and Creators

These weren't terrible stories, especially the Rogue one, but it's really not changing my mind about this being a pretty terrible era for the X-Men. Steve Seagle is alright, but nothing great. Ironically, I actually like Chris Bachalo's art. As you all know, I was pretty sacrilegious and didn't like it on Generation X, but I'm guessing he's doing less LSD these days.

Character Beats

  • Cyclops

    • He's still mostly recovering and worrying about Jean. Interesting to see if this new vision for the team goes anywhere.

  • Jean

    • She's getting a little cute with her Phoenix get up but I hope we're not really going back there. Right now she has no telepathy so doubtful she'll be doing much Phoenixing in the near future.

  • Beast

    • He gets no character development in this arc.

  • Iceman

    • He gets no character development in this arc.

  • Angel

    • As I mentioned earlier, "it's sad that the most interesting thing going on with Warren is that his hot ninja girlfriend has a lot going on"

  • Bishop

    • At least he's walking again. Walking out of the comic!

  • Rogue

    • Clearly the superstar of the late 90's with a pretty good arc.

My Rating - 6/10

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