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178: XM 76 - 79: Maggot’s Origin, Shadow King

What’s Covered?

X-Men V2 # 76 - 79

Roster Watch

  • Lot's of movement in this small arc.

  • Cannonball re-joins X-Force, however he never gets any attention in this comic regarding that move.

  • Cecilia Reyes officially leaves the team to open up a clinic. She'll be an ally from here on out.

  • Maggot leaves the team after this great origin. Unless I missed something, we don't get any explanation, he is just simply no longer around.

  • Technically Psylocke moves into permanent non team member mode as she enters force retirement because if she ever uses her telepathy again, the Shadow King will escape.


X-Men # 76: Maggot's Origin Story

Writer - Joe Kelly

Pencils - Mat Broome

I really liked this story. I'm not sure if the story's impact is increased or lessoned by the knowledge that Maggot's about to be written out, but here we get a really fun origin story regardless.

We learn that Maggot (Jaseph) was a scrawny, sickly kid in South Africa. Growing up, he wasn't able to eat anything so his parents had to buy special nutrients (expensive) that allowed him to eat. He overheard his mother say one night that she loves him but hopes he dies soon since the money they are spending on his food is starving the family. This drives him to run away, but his younger brother, who looked up to him, lagged along. Unfortunately, the two of them got trapped in a desert and were scared they would die.

As the brothers are alone and scared in the desert, Magneto shows up and saves them.

Magneto informs him that he's a mutant and that his stomach was actually made up of two slugs who act as his digestive system. They pop in and out of his body, kind of life Wolverine's claws.

This story goes a little off the rails when Magneto brings the boys to their dad and ends up finding Apartheid oppression. Mags decides to take matters into his own hands by using the iron in the oppressors blood to essentially blow up their body.

X-Men # 77 - 78: Shadow King brings trouble on the Psionic Plane

Writer - Joe Kelly

Pencils - German Garcia

  • X-Men head to Kenya, teleported by Psylocke

    • Storm, Cannonball, Maggot, Cecilia Reyes (CR), Psylocke, Wolverine, Marrow

  • Storms old friend, Ainet, working with the God, Anansi

  • Marrow, Maggot, CR taken into a dream world where they are cured

  • Marrow is hot

  • Anansi is really the Shadow King, and uses Psylocke to shatter the Astral Plane.

  • The Shadow King saw his time to strike after Onslaught with Xavier no longer watching out for him

  • Shadow king fucks with the team

  • Maggot as a hero, Marrow cured and Cecelia as a surgeon?

  • Cannonball’s spending time with his dad

  • Wolverine would become less bestial

  • Storm would get over her claustrophobia

  • SK thinks he might be able to control everyone. Making some ppl go mad and attack each other.

  • Psylocke saves Storm and Ainet

  • They save the 3 youngins. Marrow saves Sam

  • Psylocke saves the day!

  • If Psylocke ever goes uses telepathy again, he will escape. She must retire.

X-Men # 79: Marrow Filler Story

Writer - Joe Kelly

Pencils - German Garcia

  • Storm and Callisto tailing Marrow as she trails through NY

    • Callisto hits a nerve when she brings up why Storm needed to rip her heart out

  • Marrow on a mission from Callisto

  • She seems to have a crush on Sam

  • Beast suggests that Marrow join Gen X

  • Crisis averted...

My Connections

As I read this small little Maggot origin story, I'm reminded of UXM#200 and the Trail of Magneto. Remember when there was a death count associated with Magneto? There was this whole argument made about how Magneto had killed some people, but he hadn't after being re-aged from his time spent as an infant. There was this death count, reminding people that the Leningrad Soviet sub sinking was a big deal, but an isolated incident. You're probably thinking...what's the point? My point is that we see Magneto in this story nonchalantly murderizing an entire town of people by blowing them up. And this story was from when Maggot was a kid, so it's at least 15 years ago. entire era was spent trying to make Magneto understandable and showing that he's not a true villain, but in this story, we see him just as a straight up murderer. Now maybe this is how we want Magneto to be seen moving forward, but I'm going to go ahead and take 5 points away from Hufflepuff anyways because I think Joe Kelly messed up here.

Let's also take some time to discuss the current state of the team right now.

Let's start with Sam. This is Cannonball's last issue with the X-Men. There is a lot that rubs me the wrong way. First of all, they killed his character progression by turning him back into a slack jawed yokel as opposed to the strong team leader persona he earned in New Mutants and X-Factor. But even without that, this seems like a cowardly way to admit they made a mistake. We really don't get any mention or goodbye to Sam. It was such a huge deal that he was "promoted," but right around now he just disappears like a fart in the wind and they hoped no one would notice. Well I noticed, and I don't like it. Now...I do support him leaving the team (the team was over crowded), and I think they handled it well enough in the pages of X-Force, but this transition was botched.

Cecilia Reyes. I'm really not sure how I feel about her. She is another character who doesn't get any formal goodbye, however she never really had a formal entrance to the team. She'll remain as a supplemental character the team will run to when someone gets hurt, but like Sam she just kind of slips away into irrelevance.

Alright, you think Sam and Cecilia got it bad? Let's talk about Maggot. Sam at least gets his story to continue in X-Force. Cecilia clearly never really wanted to be on the team in the first place and gets to be a supporting character. But Maggot, this dude just fucking disappears. I feel like I should re-read these issues because I really hope there is at least one line of dialogue about his exit, but I really don't think there is. Because after this the Excalibur peeps come back and he's gone like a fart in the wind. I'm really hoping that we eventually get some comment like Wolverine saying "I got a postcard from Maggot. He's doing well teaching Yoga in Orange County." Just give us something. This is even more infuriating by the fact that we just got an entire issue dedicated to his origin, and it was pretty interesting. Let's look up the next time I'll see him...

So he'll be in Generation X in 3 months (that's random) and then pops up again in UXM 368 which is in May 1999 (8 months later). After that it looks like we won't see him again until 2003. So yea...this guy really just disappears off the face of the earth. Weird.


I'm still pretty convinced Joe Kelly is better than Steve Seagel, so there's that. German Garcia's art is weird. I wonder if the trippy Shadow King stuff was created to compliment his trippy art (like Claremont wrote trippy stories for Sienkiwiecz) or it just worked out that way. Regardless, I'm not a fan and it looks like we won't be seeing him again for some time.

Character Beats

Let's talk about the few characters who are left...

  • Storm

She is at least getting a bit more attention with her homeland being featured in the Shadow King story, but it's still nothing like the Claremont days. Maybe one day...

  • Beast

I had to look a second time to confirm he was in these stories.

  • Wolverine

Wolverine is getting slightly more interesting.

  • Marrow

This situation of Marrow reminds me of a time when I used to be a High School Teacher. The math department had hired 4 first year teachers and these 4 were inseparable. One day, the Principal scheduled 4 meetings with them in a row. The first 3 all found out they were being fired. This was pretty crazy because...who hires first year teachers!? I mean, they all suck at first, that's part of what you're signing up for. Anyways, the 4th teacher, who I was actually dating at the time was freaking out. Everyone knew she was about to get fired, including her. The word on the street was that she was just as good of a teacher as the other 3, the only real difference was that I got to know her (and was dating her). Well, she didn't get fired. It barely made any sense, but she was relieved. And felt guilty. That's how I feel with Marrow. Her 3 first year friends all got fired on the same day, but she somehow didn't. What makes her more special than them? The world will never know. However, I'm not dating Marrow but I do feel intrigued when she's on screen, so maybe others felt that way too? Regardless, we'll see how long she lasts.

My Rating - 6/10


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