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219: UXM # 421-427: Rules of Engagement, Holy War, and Sacred Vows

What’s Covered?

UXM # 421 - 427, X-Men Unlimited # 45 - 48, Domino vol. 2 # 1 - 4, Mystique # 1 - 8

Roster Watch


Uncanny X-Men # 421: Alex Wakes (Rules of Engagement Part 1)

Writer - Chuck Austen

Pencils - Ron Garney

  • Xavier tells Alex a laundry list of things that happened while he was in his coma, and each thing is more terrible of news than the last, especially hearing that everyone was killed in Genosha

I am happy that Austen had this moment and remembered to tell him that Genosha was exterminated. However, I think he missed an opportunity to lean into this harder. Alex spent a lot of time in Genosha helping to turn things around there. He is probably the X-Man who would be most impacted by this news.

This makes me miss Claremont and really...Scott Lobdell. They were both very good when it came to thinking about events would impact individuals. For instance, Wolverine got really fucked up by Proteus. Wolverine has heightened senses and with reality being changed, that would obviously mess with someone in profound ways who can perceive the world (reality) more acutely than others.

  • The new X-Men team tell Lorna that Alex will be OK, except for his scar

  • Lorna is really presumptuous and tells Alex she loves him, she kisses him and bites his lip, and then even ask him to marry him

  • Annie listens to this from outside, and is very upset, however, it’s obvious that Alex has reservations about Lorna

  • Alex tells everyone that he loves them and missed them

Right off the bat, this was a red flag with Lorna. They didn't end on the best of terms, so this was a clear indication that she's either a little off her rocker or acting under nefarious purpose. I've heard that her mental health issues becomes a more prominent issue for her over time, so I wonder if this is related to that.

Now that I think about it (I checked my notes), her mental health issues were actually explored in the Psychiatrist Issue of X-Factor (#87, which also happens to be my 5th favorite X-Men issue of all time), however it was a bit more focused on her having body composition issues.

  • Warren tells iceman that he’s going to lunch with Paige. He immediately gives him a hard time for dating a 12-year-old and tells him that he may go to jail for dating a minor.

Ok, how are we not liking Chuck Austen!? He's giving us the drama and then having characters say the spicy things out loud. This is pretty damn entertaining.

  • Paige is gushing about how great Warren is to Annie

  • When Paige tells Annie that Warren cured her with his tear, she immediately asks her if he’s sexually active. Paige is quick to say that mutants can’t get aids because of the ex gene.

At first, I was like "Ha, that's a funny question." Then Paige talked about mutants not getting AID's and I was like "Ummm, that's a weird and seemingly unnecessary detail."

Also, I recently learned that Austen also writes comic book porn. OF COURSE HE DOES. That doesn't surprise me at all. These comics are so horny. You know, I talked historically about how I didn't love the Excalibur "whimsy" tone or the Wolverine "noir" tone, but maybe I just needed a spicier iteration to hold my attention.

  • Juggernaut officially asks Xavier if he can join the X-Men

  • My notes say "Get quotes on this one because it’s really sweet" so here are some quotes:

  • Xavier says that Scott leads one team but then Warren and Kurt are sharing leadership of the other team

  • Nightcrawler tells Xavier that he’s going to leave with Alex and Lorna, and temporarily resigned from the X-Men

Nightcrawler flat out states that he's resigning, but I'm not going to be tricked again and falsely report his resignation! He's not getting the red box in this week's team graphic!

  • Before Alex leaves with Lorna, he tells Annie that he feels like he knows her

  • Alpha flight shows up and says that all the kids need to be relinquished to their custody

Alpha Flight?! Are they still relavant? Every time they show up in an X-Men comic it's to hassle an X-Man. Do they really think that's going to make readers want to start tuning in?

Uncanny X-Men # 422: Alpha Flight (Rules of Engagement Part 2)

Writer - Chuck Austen

Pencils - Ron Garney

  • Alex, Lorna, and Nightcrawler are away at the Bermuda triangle doing an expedition

  • They discover an ancient mutant civilization, that pre-dated the Egyptians. 

  • The church of humanity show up and start shooting at them, but then quickly die.

  • Some of the mutants look like NC

I just got done reading the Draco, so I'm going to hold my commentary for that blog. I don't recall what I was thinking at this point, but I certainly can't wait to talk about this. I've heard for years that "The Draco" is one of the worse X-Men stories ever to be written, so I can't wait to cover it and share my opinion! You'll have to tune back in, in a few weeks.

  • Stacy X leaves a tape for Warren where she explains that she’s leaving because she couldn’t handle the fact that Paige and Warren love each other. In the video, Stacy takes off all of her clothes and jump ropes naked.

OMG, what is happening right now!? I'm sorry, but this is just ridiculous, and hilarious. What am I reading right now!? Am I immature? Is that what the problem is here? Am I just immature and find this Kardashian level drama hilarious? I mean, you have a former prostitute X-Men saying goodbye thru leaving a tape (VHS, baby) of her getting naked and doing jump ropes. And Warren's new girlfriend walks in while this is playing on the TV.

  • As Paige and Warren are flirting with each other, Chamber shows up and then walks off pissed

Ohhhhhh, love triangle! I've always had a rule when it comes to love triangles. They are ok as long as they are short lived. I once threw the remote at the TV and rage quit Smallville after the 7th time that Lana and Clark didn't get together. But don't worry, this is ok. This seems like it should be a big deal, but Chamber poofs into thin air after this.

  • The government is trying to take the mutant kids because of the riot from the previous Quinton Quire riot.

  • Alpha flight is mostly interested in Sammy Pare, a.k.a. fish face, a.k.a. Squidboy. They find Fish Face in the back playing catch with juggernaut and talking about who the hottest girls in the school are.

That's so Fish Face.

  • XM vs AP

  • Sas vs Juggs

  • Northstar has fun fighting Vindicator

  • Iceman vs Heather

  • Shaman, Snowbird, Puck

  • Xavier‘s lawyer threatens them by saying that the governor of New York has ties to the church of humanity, this allows them to back off, however, Fish Face agrees to go back to Canada, making Juggernaut very sad

UXM # 423 - 424: Exploding Communion Wagers (Holy War)

Writer - Chuck Austen

Pencils - Ron Garney

  • A bunch of mutants are hung on crosses, including Jubilee and Skin

So this kind of happened out of nowhere. It was one of those situations where I thought I must have accidentally skipped an issue. After being several issues past this, I still don't quite understand what happened. But..fucking Skin died. Just like that. He wasn't even in this comic, but all the sudden, he's dead. I never really grew an attachment to the character, but heroes die so infrequently that I feel like it should be a huge deal when it does happen.

  • They are each hooked up to Warren, using his blood to heal

  • Cyclops challenges Kurt, saying he can’t step down as leader. Calls him out for letting Warren do the tough stuff so he can stay as everyone’s friend

Again, I like that Chuck Austen says the quiet stuff out loud. Hey Nightcrawler, stop being a bitch!

  • Cyke comes down hard again on NC about not reporting the Church of humanity and failing to take them down. 

  • Havok and IM tell him to back off (I guess they are back)

Ahh there's the prick Cylcops I know.

  • It turns out Kurt may never have been fully ordained. May have been a trick by the Church of humanity, who seems to be experimenting on mutants.

Oh, this is getting good. Or terrible.

  • Before dying, Father Whitney says his mission was to make NC Pope, but he didn’t expect to actually end up liking him

Hang on. Did he just say his mission was to make Nightcrawler Pope? This brand new recruit. He thought he would make him Pope?

  • If NC was Pope using his image inducer, it could malfunction, ruin the church with exploding communion wafers, then the church of humanity could take over. 

Wow. So Nightcrawler never truly became a priest. In fact, he was secretly being groomed. They wanted Nighcrawler to continue using his image inducer and rise up the ranks to become Pope. Then, they institute a master plan of replacing real communion bread with exploding communion wafers. Then Nightcrawler's image inducer would stop working, the Catholic Church would fall apart, and the Church of Humanity, who know one's heard of, will take over as the real Church.

Yea...sounds plausible.

  • Team takes on Church

  • NC, Scott, Jean, Havok, Polaris, Iceman, W

  • W, Scott, and Lorna are ambushed by Mutant 143 (X-Men 2!)

    • Lorna is shot, Logan burned

I'm not going to lie. There are a lot of issues where Logan gets burned to death and then fights through it with no hair. I love every time this happens, but give props to Larry Hama for being the first one to do it.

  • Lorna sends their bullets back at them

Neo Style

  • Jean doubles back to fight their telepath

  • NC, Jean, Havok, IM are teleported inside

  • Kurt teleports the head off the second in command. The pope, a woman, blows herself up

There's definitely more detail to describe but by this point my jaw is just sitting on the ground in disbelief at how ridiculous this has become. Now NC is using his Age of Apocalypse move to teleport people's heads off? Sure, that's more believable than exploding Communion Wafers, so why not!?

UXM # 425 - 427: Sacred Vows

Writer - Chuck Austen

Pencils - Philip Tan, Steven Kim (427)

  • Alex has a dream where he confesses his love to Annie, but then wakes up next to Lorna

Ut oh Spaghettio!

  • Juggernaut asks Scott if he can join the new x-men, but Alex says he can join their team

Ummm, Alex is on a team? I guess I better go fix my team graphic.

  • Lorna’s bachelorette party

  • Lorna says she was a virgin before she dated Alex, and it’s clarified that she never had sex with Iceman (Gay?)

A few things. First, these post 2001 comics really have different rules compared to a decade ago. Second, this is another step in the ever present search for clues that Iceman has always been gay.

  • A stripper shows up dressed like Gambit

Of course this happens.

  • Iceman acts shocked when he learns that Northstar is gay

MmmHmm, go on...

  • Annie calls Iceman a racist, she thinks that he is scared to look like a mutant 24-7

This is quite an exaggeration

  • Iceman kisses Annie

Cover Up!

  • Lorna may have slept with the Gambit stripper

This year in Marvel literacy foreshadowing, a super hero has sex with a stripper at her bachelorette party.

  • Alex’s bachelor party

  • Alex gets pissed that a shapeshifting stripper comes out looking like Annie

  • Do a nun for my friend here

  • Something underage for my friend

  • Tigra, Tigra, Tigra

I'm entertained! I contemplated calling this blog "Tigra, Tigra, Tigra!"

  • Alex calls off the wedding as Lorna is walking down the aisle but she gets pissed and creates a Magneto helmet

Perfectly natural reaction.

  • Lorna is going fucking psycho, trying to kill Annie

She really is crazy!

  • Alex uses a new skill, and uses his powers to fly him Annie and Carter away

  • Alex tells Annie that he loves her


  • Lorna says that Magneto was her father and she wants to kill all humans

He's her father! That's a bombshell! We should get an arc about that.

  • Juggs knocks Polaris unconscious. Says “ well you said I was on your team, didn’t you?”

Ok, I'm thoroughly entertained again.

  • Alex and Annie fly to the Eiffel Tower and make out there, and probably bang


  • Paige, AA, and Jubilee stand vigil at Skin’s cemetery

So he's really dead.

  • Paige says Angel is giving her space after Jon walked in on them

Love Triangle! Still ok since it's only been a few issues.

“ He thinks I’m still in love with the guy and he’s trying to give me space. Idiot. I don’t want space, I want to get naked with him.”

  • Warren cures sick kids at the hospital

  • Paige fights a cryptkeeper mutant to stop them from exhuming Angelo’s body

Seems unnecessary

X-Men Unlimited # 45 - 48

Creators: Chuck Austen, Pop Mhan, Bruce Jones, Richard Isanove, Chris Cross, Adam Warren, John Layman, Rick Mays, Dan Norton, Ian Edginton, Simon Bisley, Shin Nagasawa

These stories aren't great so this is all the coverage you get. Sorry.

Domino Vol 2 # 1 - 4

Writer - Joe Pruett

Pencils - Brian Stelfreeze

  • Domino vol. 2 #1    5/14/2003    Joe Pruett    Brian Stelfreeze

  • Domino does a merc mission to try and find out who her mother is

  • Domino vol. 2 #2    6/11/2003    Joe Pruett    Brian Stelfreeze

  • Domino tries to uncover what is on the CD, while robed men attack her

  • Domino vol. 2 #3    7/9/2003    Joe Pruett    Brian Stelfreeze

  • With the help of Siren, domino infiltrates a base in Florida

  • Domino vol. 2 #4    9/24/2003    Joe Pruett    Brian Stelfreeze

  • D finds an albino boy who looks like her

  • Her mother, Beatrice, plans to kill the boy, Lazarus

  • D and the boy escape but Beatrice steals him in the middle of the night.

I was a little disappointed with this. While I've been in more of a skim mode lately with limited series and XMU, Domino is currently my 8th favorite X-Men character at the moment so I was planning to read the shit out of this. It got boring quick though and I reverted back to skim mode.

Mystique vol 1 # 1 - 6

Writer - Brian K. Vaughn

Pencils - Jorge Lucas

Unlike the Domino series, I actually quite enjoyed the Mystique series. Also, how does Jorge Lucas manage to make a blue lady with blue skin, red hair, and yellow eyes sexy in 6 different ways on these covers?

Mystique #1    4/23/2003    Brian K. Vaughan    Jorge Lucas

  • A blonde bombshell (Prudence) gets burned to death by a mutant fire breather (Steinbeck) after stealing a disc

  • Professor X on Nightline, calls the X-Men a volunteer rescue force.

That's a new one.

  • X sees Forge and asks if he can help track down Mystique to work for him as a spy

We're in a Mystique solo, so I love that we are bringing in Forge.

  • X says Forge loved her once. Forge says:

“ She’s able to alter her appearance a million times a day, but she never really changes.”
“ I have the power to fix anything, but I couldn’t fix her.”

That's deep.

  • An Austrian agent is trying to get Dr Connoly’s device

  • Mystique #2    5/28/2003    Brian K. Vaughan    Jorge Lucas

  • The feds capture Mystique

  • X pretends to be Magneto and rescues her. 

That was clever!

  • Mystique #3    6/25/2003    Brian K. Vaughan    Jorge Lucas

  • The Soviets built Sentinel-like robots, but then sold them to the Cubans. Xavier wants mystique to infiltrate Cuba and destroy the sentinels.

  • Mystique’s handler is a 6 inch mutant named short pack

Dude, this 6 inch mutant is amazing!

  • Mystique #4    7/23/2003    Brian K. Vaughan    Jorge Lucas

  • M punches driver with Short Pack in her hand, lol

  • M impersonates a Cuban general

  • M finds the Sentinels 

  • Mystique #5    8/27/2003    Brian K. Vaughan    Jorge Lucas

  • The pro mutant protestors come into the military base

  • Mystique joins them

  • Sentinels are released to attack Havana

  • Lazaro’s (protestor) sister is the mutant making the Sentinels work and she tells M to shoot her

  • Mystique #6    9/24/2003    Brian K. Vaughan    Jorge Lucas

  • Lazaro shoots his sister to stop the Sentinels

  • The Sentinels head towards the base but M and the protestors get the mutant children to safety

  • A man with a creepy benefactor asks M to be his dbl agent. 

My Rating- 1/10...or maybe 10/10. Can't decide.


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