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214: UXM # 410 - 415 (Chuck Austen: Hope)

What’s Covered?

UXM # 410 - 415

Roster Watch

My Connections

I usually wait until after the Synopsis to share my thoughts, but I want to say some words up front. I started my X-Men journey 3 years ago with X-Men # 1 which was published July 2nd, 1963. I've read just about every X- related comic in order for these 3 years straight. I had read some X-Men in the 90's when I was a kid, but other than that, everything is new to me. It's fun reading all these comics as if they were just released yesterday. Over the past 3 years, I've become a part of "X Twitter," the X-Men Reddit page, and started following various X related podcasts and blogs.

While there are many different opinions, there's only been one constant. Chuck Austen's X-Men is the absolute worst. That is all I've heard. So...what's wrong with me? Because...this is fun so far. It's kind of like when my wife sits down next to me and turns on the Kardashians. In my mind, I know it's trash and I should get up (I usually do), but if I let myself watch, I will absolutely be entertained. That's what I feel like is happening here. I can't look away. I want more.

I've only read this one (or two) arcs so far, but I also think this might have been what I was in the mood for. I just got done reading an amazing book recently (The Will of the Many by James Islington) and I thought they had a pretty good romance story for a fantasy book. It got me thinking that for the most part, there isn't much drama going on with X-Men characters when it comes to relationships. Now I know...I didn't say there was none. Like Scott and Jean. There was some "will they, won't they" in the 60's. Jean died. Scott is a terrible husband to Maddie. Scott was caught eye fucking Psylocke. And I have no idea what's going on with Emma, but for the most part, Scott and Jean have just been together. Something is going on with Wolverine and Storm, but it's all subtext. Rogue and Gambit are always hot and cold...but it's not terribly interesting (except when Magneto or Joseph gets involved). Beast and Professor X are randomly dating Lilandra and Trish Tilby when it suits a story. The best thing that happened with Storm and Forge was when Lobdell actually pushed them to shit or get off the pot (not to discount Lifedeath).

So I've just been thinking lately about how there are some missed opportunities in X-Men comics to add a tiny bit more drama. Well, here comes Chuck Austen. Stacy is hitting on Warren, then snapping at Paige for dressing like a hoochy, then Paige develops feelings for Warren, and Warren can't stop himself from watching Paige undress. Stacy is hitting on Nightcrawler and making him question his faith. Iceman (who Austen didn't understand wasn't straight) is hooking up with random slutty married Genoshan refugees. Northstar has the hots for Iceman. Even Wolverine is flying back to "sooth" Storm. Annie's crushing on a comatose Alex and gets attacked by Alex's former boo, Polaris. Throw in some of Juggernaut making friends with a young kid and I'm thoroughly entertained. So I'm sure this is going to continue to be terrible, but for now I'm just gonna eat my popcorn and enjoy the show.


Uncanny X-Men # 410: Chuck Austen Premiere

Writer - Chuck Austen

Pencils - Ron Garney

Sammy Pare, who I lovingly call "Fish Face," is a young mutant who is bullied pretty heavily and decides to bring a gun to school. However, before he can consummate this act, Professor Xavier shows up and brings him to the school.

The team at this point still has Archangel as team leader (I think, because at one point Nightcrawler refers to him as team leader, however he really doesn't act like it), Nightcrawler, Iceman, Wolverine, and Stacy X. However, Monet is with the team in these first issues. I got really excited that she would be a member of the team, but she unceremoniously drops off after the first few issues.

Monet goes out of her way to make Stacy X feel like she doesn't belong. To be honest, I'm actually glad she makes these comments because it's a little weird for this prostitute to come out of no where and suddenly be an X-Man.

As the X-Men answer a distress call from Cassidy Keep, they are attacked and crash.

Uncanny X-Men # 411: It's a black day

Writer - Chuck Austen

Pencils - Ron Garney

After the plane crashes, Monet is missing and Warren's not breathing. As Stacy huddles over Warren, she almost kisses him starting the first of many potential shippings in the Austen run.

Wolverine has a stake through his heart and while everyone is freaking out, Juggernaut shows up and pulls the stake out of his body. Everyone assumes he's doing it is a villain but he explains that he did it to help him heal and let's them know that he was the one who put out the distress call.

It turns out that Black Tom is going through a secondary mutation that is making him lose control. His nature power is going nuts and ends up leaving the entire team incapicated with vines sticking out of every orifice.

We also meet Annie who is a nurse that has been taking care of a comatose Havok for the past year.

Uncanny X-Men # 412: Fish Face to the Rescue!

Writer - Chuck Austen

Pencils - Ron Garney

Stacy uses her pheromone powers to calm Black Tom, helping the team to get free. Even though Juggs loves Black Tom as a friend (lol), he's fighting with the X-Men. Iceman freezes all of the vines, but then gets stabbed through his chest!

They all escape, but not before Juggernaut gets knocked into the ocean. Fish Face, after complaining about his ability to breath underwater being lame, dives into save him. This kicks off a fantastic relationship between Juggernaut and Fish Face, which is kicked off here with them making farting jokes to each other.

Scott shows up at the hospital and takes comatose Alex, Annie, and her son Carter with him to the school.

Uncanny X-Men # 413: The Real Housewives of Graymalkin Lane

Writer - Chuck Austen

Pencils - Sean Phillips

The team gets back to the school in pretty rough shape. Iceman is punctured, Warren has broken limbs, and Wolverine is still healing. Luckily, the nurse Annie just showed up and decides to start tending to the team. The good news is that after his run in with Black Tom, Warren isn't blue anymore. That's about all the explanation we're going to get on that.

Another recurring character who is at the school welcoming Annie and tending to the injured team members is Paige Guthrie, AKA Husk. And yo...let's take a second to read this ridiculous and scandilous exchange between Stacy and Paige:

Enter Chuck Austen's X-Men run, the Real Housewives of Graymalkin Lane.

Meanwhile, Xavier is struggling to reach Alex. Wolverine threatens Juggs while Fish Face and Carter (Annie's son) admire Juggernaut. We later learn that Carter is a mutant too, possibly telekinetic.

Uncanny X-Men # 414: Northstar

Writer - Chuck Austen

Pencils - Sean Phillips

  • X is trying to convince Northstar to become a teacher at the school

  • He thinks that there’s an opportunity to teach sexual determinism

  • The XM, plus NS, help a boy who keeps exploding (new mutant)

  • When NS says he’s gay, the boy calls him a fruit and tells him to put him down

  • The boy explodes too many times and dies

Uncanny X-Men # 415: Making out, making out!

Writer - Chuck Austen

Pencils - Sean Phillips

  • A genoshan exile Empath (Josette) hits on Warren

  • Calls out his sadness over Betsy

  • NorthStar has a crush on Bobby

  • IceMan has a secondary mutation where he’s turning into ice and can’t change back. 

  • IM sneaks off with Josette until her husband (big mud monster) attacks. 

  • NS saves him


Archangel (or is Angel again?)

So it seems like Archangel will continue as team leader, continuing Joe Casey's premise. He's suddenly not blue anymore, so I'm guessing Austen figured that plot was old news and decided to move on from it. Honestly, I would've been ok with him not being blue shortly after leaving Archangel. the 80's.

He also appears to be in a love triangle. He's not over Betsy. Stacy and him almost kiss. Stacy outs Husk for being into Warren, which is out of left field.


I'm trying to think of something of note that happened to Nightcrawler, but I got nothing.


Wolverine is in this comic to boost sales but he really doesn't play a large role.


Don't worry, Iceman's still a moron. Once again, no one can come up with anything interesting so we're once again leaning into a conflict with his ice powers. Yawn. No wonder they just made him gay, this guy is boring as hell.

Stacy X

Ha, She's spicy! Too bad I looked ahead and it looks like her days are numbered on this comic. I like how often they are questioning why she is part of the team. If they tried hard enough, they could sell me on it, but it looks like Austen sees her as a hold over and only really good for causing drama.


So this is cool. I read a little Alpha Flight back in the 80's. The comic wasn't great so I stopped, but he's always been pretty interesting. Chuck Austen seems to be leaning hard into him being gay, which is pretty fun and I think he's doing it tastefully. Kind of. I'm sure you could say that him having a crush on Iceman is poor representation, but since we know Iceman is secretly in the closet, it makes it more passable.


So...Husk is here! And it really seems like she's here to stay. I'll be adding her to the official team next blog. She's into Warren. She doesn't do much in this arc besides getting called a hoochy momma by Stacie.


It's a little pathetic that she fell in love with a man who is in a coma, but she has a little spunk to her so I'm down with this character.

My Rating- 9/10 (Purely because I was entertained)


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