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193: UXM # 381 - 386 (Claremont appoints Gambit leader)

What’s Covered?

UXM # 381 - 386


Roster Watch



Synopsis

UXM # 381 - 382: The Shockwave Riders

Writer - Chris Claremont

Pencils - Andy Kubert (381), Tom Raney (382)


Claremont once again establishes two separate teams across the two titles, similar to the Gold and Blue squads from the early 90's. I strongly prefer this approach.


We start with Cable and Jean having a conversation in Venice. They clarify that Scott is still gone, although I'm confused because I thought he was found in "X-Men: The Search for Cyclops," but I guess that's what I get for skimming that mini-series instead of reading it. (This era is tough to get through, don't judge me). Anywho, Cable's new outfit has Cyclops' visor and an eye patch in honor of his father. Cable talks about how he's struggling to find his place now that his war is over. It's interesting to think that Cable's entire premise was built on this idea that he was stopping a war, however unlike Bishop, there is no chance that he loses his relevance considering the close ties he has. Hell, he's even being brought into the main X-Men line by none other than Chris Claremont. He's clearly not going anywhere.


The Beast shows up sporting a new outfit when a sub sect of the Neo called "The Shockwave Riders" show up. They are just as lame as their name. They are looking for Phoenix for some reason I still don't understand. Storm shows up to help. Cable gets scrambled and his TO virus goes out of control.


Jean seems to be nonchalantly creating Phoenix birds and the team is worried about the Dark Phoenix returning. For some reason, I feel like Claremont should be better than this. Cable even briefly considers stabbing her with his scimitar, but thinks better of it. (Good idea, dude. Holy shit, way to escalate things!)


Jean ends up going catatonic and all of Issue #382 is devoted to a battle on the mindscape (AKA, the Astral Plane). Even more new baddies show up called The Lost Souls, composed of Latent, Dirge, Requiem, and Desolation. There's a big mental fight but Jean bitch slaps them and frees herself. There's more talk about Cable finally defeating Apocalypse. I wonder how long Apocalypse will stay dead this time since this is the second time he's believed to be beaten.



UXM # 383 - 385: Russian Slaves

Writer - Chris Claremont

Pencils - Andy Kubert (383 - 384), German Garcia/Michael Ryan,/Randy Green (384)


I need to be honest. This storyline was confusing, boring, and too drawn out. Claremont started to lose me here. This recap is going to be shit and I don't feel bad about it.


Gambit (as the team leader) accepts a mission from the Russian intelligence officer Vashin, on behalf of the Thieves Guild (because he's their leader from his mini series, which is also boring to me). The X-Men gawk at being pulled into this, but agree to support Gambit regardless.


A group of Russian mutants try to enslave the XM but Storm saves them, with a little help from Sketch, another enslaved mutant. Pirates kidnap the Russian Defense Minister as Wolverine contacts Jean telepathically asking for help against the Neo. The X-Men fight the pirates and successfully rescue one of their own. Eventually the X-Men join with the Goth and the Crimson Pirates to help the other X-Men Squad...but there is a double cross...and a triple cross...and somehow Rogue is left with no choice but to kill the Goth leader. I was a little confused by it all but found the plot so uninteresting that I didn't bother to re-read it, even though I am a blogger who should know what he's talking about. Oh well!


UXM # 386: Celebration

Writer - Chris Claremont

Pencils - Thomas Derenick


Rogue and others are dancing in New Orleans, but Cable is being a stick in the mud. Gambit and Rogue are dancing and holding hands...so maybe they aren't completely done as a couple? Even though they never met (and she banged her husband and son), Jean gets a telepathic message from Lee Forrester, who is stuck in a hurricane. This was my cue to start skimming because who the fuck cares about Lee Forrester being stuck in a hurricane. But then Rogue saw the ghost of Cyclops or something, which actually seems important. To date, I don't know where that's going but I doubt it will be long before Cyclops comes back so it's probably set up for that.


My Connections and Creators

If you were to tell me that Gambit would be the leader of an X-Men Squad, I would find it pretty hard to believe. It could maybe make sense if he was leading Jubilee, Iceman, Psylocke, Thunderbird, Marrow...maybe Archangel. But no. No. He's leading Jean, Storm, Beast, and fucking Cable. No. Every single one of those people have been the leader of either the X-Men or another team at some point. And they've all been pretty competent leaders too. What...the fuck...has Gambit ever done, especially lately, to be put in charge over this crew? Nope, doesn't work for me.


I give Claremont credit for trying to introduce new villains and spice things up, but...The Neo? The Shockwave Riders? The Goth? The Crimson Pirates? Is this really the best you can do? Maybe he was in exile a little too long.


Also, lol that Claremont can't quit Lee Forrester. No one cares about Lee Forrester but Chris Claremont.


Characters

  • Gambit

    • Big character moment for Gambit as he gets to lead a team for the first time (in the 616 universe). He might still be with Rogue. I already ranted about him above.

  • Storm

    • While Claremont is the only writer to do right by Storm, I can't think of a single thing she did of importance in these arcs.

  • Cable

    • I love Cable so I don't mind seeing him here. Whenever he interacts with Scott or Jean, I hang on every word so this is pretty fun. I'm intrigued to see what happens with him after his missions is "over."

  • Beast

    • Beast has a new outfit and a bitching pair of goggles. Other than that, he's pretty forgettable.

  • Jean

    • Jean's been irrelevant since Claremont left, so I'm excited to see her get some decent material, however I wish we weren't being given Dark Phoenix teases. That seems like the easy move that too many artists have tried to do since he left.



My Rating- 6/10




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