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223: UXM # 428 - 434 (The Draco)

What’s Covered?

UXM # 428 - 434, Emma Frost # 1 - 6, X-Men Unlimited # 49 - 50




Roster Watch


Synopsis


There are 3 different stories told over 7 issues, so I'm breaking each story into it's own section.


UXM # 428 - 434: The Draco!

Writer - Chuck Austen

Pencils - Sean Phillips (428), Philip Tan (429 - 433), Takeshi Miyzawa (434)



  • Mystique wanted to get pregnant by her baron husband

  • She gets seduced by Azazel, a red teleporting demon

  • She chucks baby Kurt into the water

  • We see a red teleportation before baby Kurt hits the water.


This is where my memory gets fuzzy. I've definitely seen this story numerous times before. Was this the first time it's been shown in the comics? Was this a re-telling, adding in Azazel? Did I read a Nightcrawler Origins comic earlier than I should have? Did I only see this in the Animated series? Regardless, now we see the birth of NC again.


  • Nightcrawler takes off for the blue demon Island place

  • An away team follows NC


NC is seems to be possessed as he steals a jet and heads to the demon island.


  • NC is stuck doing some sort of ritual and everyone teleports away

  • Many team mates are struck by arrows

  • Azazel teleports the X-Men elsewhere


  • They are surrounded and attacked

  • Paige husk's and saves Warren

  • Mystique pops out of a portal. She was previously captured in one of Abyss’ portals


Oh, Abyss is here out of the blue and apparently he is Nightcrawler's brother and had Mystique hiding in one of his portal orifices.


  • Azazel invites some to dinner

    • Warren, Raven, Kurt, W

    • Claims to be Kurt and Abyss’s father…and Satan

    • One of Azazal‘s kids kills the archaeologist

    • He claims to be friends with Margoli


So this is a pretty big point. Margoli didn't just find Kurt floating down the stream like Moses, she was friends with the devil mutant and agreed to raise him. This goes along much better with more recent revelations in Excalibur that Margoli is a little shit, manipulating people to get ahead in the Winding Way.



  • Azazel orders one of his kids to tear W’s arms off

This doesn't happen. But was it wrong of me to hope that it actually happened? He would grow them back.


  • He claims to be an early mutant trapped in another dimension (hell?)

  • The dimension is the same one that NC travels through 


One part of this is cool. Nightcrawler travels through hell and that's why his teleportation smoke smells like Brimstone. The part that is not cool is that NC is literally a demon.


  • Nils (Abyss) is a child of his too. Also uses this dimension with his powers

  • Supposedly Margoli would open a portal for Azazel in exchange for him teaching her magic. And they were lovers.

  • Polaris opens the portal from earth

  • Kurt and Nils betray Azazel and then everyone makes it back alive.


This took like 20 panels, but yea that's pretty much what happened.


UXM # 428 - 434: Juggernaut and Sammy

Writer - Chuck Austen

Pencils - Sean Phillips (428), Philip Tan (429 - 433), Takeshi Miyzawa (434)


  • Juggernaut wants to take a plane to see Sammy

  • Juggernaut and Charles have a heartfelt moment, where they realize that Kane’s father beat them both

  • Sammy is getting beat by his father

  • Sammy beats up bullies after getting beat up himself

  • NS and Juggs talk about NS being gay

This is a pretty genuine scene. Juggernaut is definitely the type of guy to be like "So what's it like being gay?"

  • Juggs threatens to beat up Sammy’s dad

  • Alpha Flight shows up

  • Juggs vs Sasquatch

  • Iceman (just his head) tells Carter that Warren has stolen Lorna and Annie from him

I don't understand why Iceman's head was unattached from his body and still talking. That bothers me more than the Draco story.

  • Juggernaut accidentally hurt Sammy‘s mom

  • Sammy is scared of Juggs now


Seeing Sammy be scared of Juggs now...that made me feel something. This can't be the worst story ever if part of it made me feel something.


UXM # 428 - 434: Love Triangle

Writer - Chuck Austen

Pencils - Sean Phillips (428), Philip Tan (429 - 433), Takeshi Miyzawa (434)

  • Annie and Havok share a warm embrace as they say goodbye

  • X and Annie go inside Lorna’s mind

  • Xorn says:

“ a mutant with a disregard for human life (Lorna) needs modification while a human with disregard for mutant life assists you (Annie).”

Wait a second. I just got done writing the "My Connections and Creators" section for Planet X and was bitching about how there wasn't a single clue about Xorn. But...I do recall this quote being really odd and random. Ok, so maybe there was one.


  • Lorna discovered she was the true daughter of Magneto, she was worshiped in Genosha

That's a big deal! I can't even remember all the fits and starts around this reveal, but I like that someone is finally drawing a line in the sand and clarifying this.


  • She ran when the killing started

  • Lorna claims she’s done being crazy


Yea, ok. That's kind of her thing.

Emma Frost # 1- 6

Writer - Karl Bollers

Pencils - Randy Green


Emma Frost #1    7/9/2003    Karl Bollers    Randy Green


This is the story of Emma Frost when her hair was still burnette, she lived at home, and her powers were just starting to kick on.


  • Young Emma in school

  • One of 4 siblings, rich parents


You ever seen Succession?

  • Excluded at school for being rich

That's usually not how it works

  • Powers coming on

  • Emma has crush on teacher

  • Older brother, Christian, is like a father figure

  • Dad is a total prick 

Emma Frost #2    8/13/2003    Karl Bollers    Randy Green

  • Gets in a fight with a bully, Matilda, at a dance

  • Uses her powers to cheat on an exam

Emma Frost #3    9/10/2003    Karl Bollers    Randy Green

  • Emma becomes a tutor and decides to become a teacher

  • Emma kisses her teacher and her dad catches it on camera, uses it to get him fired. 

Emma Frost #4    10/22/2003    Karl Bollers    Randy Green

Emma Frost #5    11/26/2003    Karl Bollers    Randy Green

  • Emma’s dad fires Christian and makes him homeless, then gets his bf deported

  • Christian hangs himself

I liked Christian. It was pretty sad to see this happen to the character. However it was nice to see even more open depictions of gay people in the Marvel Universe.

Emma Frost #6    12/17/2003    Karl Bollers    Randy Green

  • Christian sent to rehab

  • Daddy picks Emma to run the company but she goes off on her own instead


Shiv gets the company!


X-Men Unlimited # 49 - 50

Writer - Bill Willingham (49), Kengo Kaji, Kazuo Koike (50)

Pencils - Kelsey Shannon (49), Paul Smith (50)

  • X-Men Unlimited vol. 1 #49    7/2/2003    Bill Willingham    Kelsey Shannon

  • NC helps a young girl who is kidnapped by an underground race

  • X-Men Unlimited vol. 1 #50    7/23/2003    Kengo Kaji, Kazuo Koike    Paul Smith

  • Wolverine helps a Japanese woman keep her magical, soul sucking sword


These X-Men Unlimited are fricken terrible! Thank God it's done.


My Connections and Creators


Alright let's talk about the Draco. Over the past 3 years, I've come across multiple articles listing out "the top ten worst X-Men stories of all time." This is pretty consistently the worst one. So let's talk about why.


First, it's a pretty poorly written story. Second, but most importantly, the most important quality about Kurt was that he looked like a demon, but he rose above that knowing that he wasn't one and still had a great, positive demeanor. Here, Chuck Austen decides "No, he's actually been a demon all along." At least the son of a red, creepy, ancient mutant demon. I understand why people would be pretty furious about this as it lies in the face over everything we believe about Nightcrawler.


Here's what CBR had to say about it:

"That muddies the message needlessly and gives those who would assume the worst about Nightcrawler based on his appearance some credence to their beliefs. On top of being a messy story overall, it almost takes the principal aspect of Nightcrawler and makes the prejudice of others an actual part of his origin. It makes everyone who has ever called him a demon based on his appearance at least partly correct."

So how do I feel about it? I don't know. It isn't a great story. It certainly wasn't the worst. It's not even close to the worst case of my screaming at the pages saying "This character would never do that!" Jean killed a billion asparagus people. Scott cheated on his wife and ditched his child. Storm was just making out with Gambit behind Rogue's back. Magneto was a complete pussy in Planet X (I just read that a few days ago, can't wait to blog about it).


It's also not the weirdest story retcon. Remember when Amara was a secret Roman, then she was a brainwashed Brit, then she was Roman again? That was really weird. Remember when Stryfe was definitely the son of Scott, but then he wasn't? Remember how Kitty celebrated her 15th birthday with fake Courtney Ross (who maybe tried to kiss) her and then she was 18 a few issues later when she started dating a 30 year old? Marvel comics are weird. At least this was interesting. I wasn't bored. I feel like hanging myself halfway through every X-Treme X-Men arc. So this wasn't great, but I wouldn't say it's the worst.



My Rating- 6/10




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