Uncanny X-Men # 184 - 188
# 184 shows us Selene and the premiere of Rachel Summers in our time.
# 185 focuses on Rogue being accepted on the team and Storm becoming de-powered.
# 186 - 188 involves Storm and Forge falling in love while battling Dire Wraiths.
I love me some new characters, so happy to see both Rachel and Forge make their entrance. I also think Selene is a pretty cool character so I'm excited that we see her again so quickly after her initial appearance in the Uncanny line of comics.
Claremont continues his epic run with John Romita Jr, and is greeted with a fill in by future X-Men legend, Barry Windsor Smith.
In the documentary "Claremont's X-Men," editor Ann Nocenti had the following to say about their changing approach for these issues:
"We had done a bunch of epic stories and made a conscious decision to slow the pace down, and just do a Storm story. And not even a Storm story, an Ororo story.
And that was so much fun. To just allow ourselves to have a little breather well we just wondered ‘Well, who is she?” People have this wonderful cause and then you hit them with something unexpected. "
Expanding on this, Claremont comments on the LifeDeath story by saying:
"We had a 5 page scene with them (Storm and Forge) just sitting there drinking wine, talking, and wearing a pair of jeans and fixing a salad."
We have our first introduction to Forge, who certainly looks different than what I remember from the Jim Lee era.
Rachel Summers also makes her debut in the prime Marvel timeline (616).
Rogue is still wondering if she's accepted by the team, but Storm goes a long way to make her feel welcome.
Storm, once again steals the show. Her she suffers a large status quo change as she is struck by a dart (created by Forge), which was meant for Rogue, that de-powered her. In addition, while powerless, Storm falls in love with Forge before running out on him.
Magik's profile continues to expand as she is brought in (along with Amanda Sefton) to fight the magical Dire Wraiths.
Nightcrawler has a large crisis of confidence in the mission of the X-Men before Rachel is able to share a little bit of the hell she came from to set him back on track.
My Rating: 7/10
UXM 184: Enter Rachel Summers (and Forge)
Writer - Chris Claremont
Pencils - John Romita Jr.
Ahhhhhh and just like that we have another major character introduced. Forge. Now I have to admit that Forge is another one of those X-Men characters who I know of as being important, however he never had any major adaptation so I only have a surface level understanding of who he is. Since I know he's big and I don't know a lot about him...that makes me that much more ready to learn about him!
From what I understand, Forge's mutant power is that he can create incredible technology. The image above is one example, where he turned his giant penthouse apartment into a floating hologram.
We learn that Forge has been contracted by the government to design weapons. He likens himself to Tony Stark.
Chekhov's gun! Forge designed a prototype weapon that can take away superpowers!
Forge also designed a scanner that can identify mutants. He plays a trick on Val and Raven, freaking Mystique out. He makes a comment that he is the only mutant in the room and they laugh. I'm not sure if they really know that he's a mutant.
Ahhhhhh another major character introduced in this issue! Crazy. I'll just refer to her as Rachel for now.
This is her first time in our time, but not the first time we've seen her. She was dating Franklin Richards in Days of Future Past and was the one who sent Kitty back in time. We didn't learn much about her in that series, but it looks like we'll learn more about her now that she is in the main timeline.
Oh shit. This issue is getting jam packed with talent. Remember Selene from New Mutants and then my last X-Men blog (23: UXM 180 - 183 (Secret Wars)) when she was trying to hit on Juggernaut and steal his power. Well here she is trying to prey on Rachel. She senses that she has extreme power.
At first Selene tries to recruit Rachel, but when a fight breaks out Selene is happy to kill her and steal her life force.
Rachel is outmatched and decides to psychically reach out to Charles. Charles doesn't know her, but comes to her aid anyway.
The X-Men show up and start messing shit up.
Rachel mentions that Charles taught her how to use her powers, however he doesn't know who she is.
She is really confused because this is supposed to be the past, but since she changed things in Days of Future Past, things are different. Apparently Storm never went Punk.
UXM # 185: Rogue, the lifelong X-Man.
Writer - Chris Claremont
Pencils - John Romita Jr.
Due to Rogue's little run in with Shield (Blog # 23), she is now on the wanted list. Remember a few blogs ago I was talking about Gyrich not seeming that bad. Now he's starting to turn into the asshole I know!
Oh snap, Forge's gun has made it's way to the wrong people.
Mystique/Raven barges into the meeting and starts freaking out. Partly because she's there to protect mutants, but also because Gyrich is coming after her "daughter," Rogue.
So this radical idea was actually Val's idea and the President signed off on it. Not good. Looks like the government wants to make an example of Rogue by de-powering her, regardless of the risks.
Ohhhhh snap, so Rachel is officially Rachel Summers. Scott is her dad. But who is her mom?
Mystique is pondering whether they should let Rogue become de-powered to improve her life and push her to come home to her. Destiny cannot give any advice about the future because something is jamming her up. They don't officially say it, but I'm guessing this is due to Rachel.
Mystique/Raven goes directly to Forge. We see that he's pissed and did not give them permission to use his prototype on a mutant.
Rogue tries to escape it all by going back to Baton Rogue. I left this scene in here because I feel like it's a gateway to the version of Rogue I am more familiar with. In the 90's her hair is much longer and they are clearly trying to sexualize her. Up until this point they have had her hair short and not given any indication that she is seen as attractive in this universe. Clearly, they are starting to change that in this issue.
Storm came and found her to offer a hand. We learn that in a tie in issue, Mystique told Storm where to find her. Maybe she really does love her like a daughter. If Kurt is her child soon, why did she abandon him!? Rogue is really freaking out and noting that's actually losing control of her powers since joining the team, rather than the opposite.
The two are bonding and in the ultimate show of friendship, Storm invites Rogue to steal her powers to see what it's like to control the weather.
Rogue (and the audience) learns that Storm doesn't just control weather, she can feel the planet and is connected to everything. I just realized now how tragic it is for us to learn this at this moment. You'll see what I mean in about 1 minute.
The government shows up while Storm is without power and start attacking Rogue. It makes the weather powers go out of control until Storm comes back to her senses and helps to right the ship...literally.
Gyrich goes for the shot on Rogue to take her powers, but Storm pushes him out of the way at the last second. From this point on, Storm no longer has her powers! This actually lasts for quite some time because I'm only slightly ahead of this in my reading and I don't see any sign of her getting her powers back. We know she will eventually, but I have no idea how or when.
UXM 186 - 188: Lifedeath
Writer - Chris Claremont
Pencils - John Romita Jr. (187 - 188), Barry Windsor Smith (186)
After getting shot with the gun that takes away her powers, Storm spends days recovering at Forge's place.
Storm talks more about how hard this is on her. Not only did she lose the power to make lightning or urge it to rain, but she lost her connection with earth.
Alright so the villains of this arc are this race of alien Dire Wraiths. They have the ability to kill a human by piercing their brain, then taking their shape. Apparently they are one of the main enemies of another hero featured by Marvel, the SpaceKnight Rom. This is one series that crosses over with X-Men pretty often, but Marvel no longer has the rights so I haven't been able to read any issues on Marvel Unlimited.
The Dire Wraiths are trying to find Forge because his gun is capable of sending them back to Limbo (I wonder if we'll see Illyana). They are attacked Val to find Forge when Rogue shows up and saves her life.
Rogue was trying to figure out why they were attacking Storm and learns that she was the true target.
Making out, making out! Good for you Storm, you deserve some love in your life. Especially now that you are going through a period without powers.
Oh, rats! Storm overhears Forge talking to Gyrich and now girl is pissed. She hears that Forge made the gun and is working with the government, so naturally she now blames him.
Storm unloads on him about his principles and asking him what he stands for. I dont know for sure, but I would like to believe that a lot of these comments sunk in an contributed to him eventually joining the X-Men.
As Storm is trying to leave, she runs into a man named Naze, who is a shaman with Forge's old tribe. He convinces her that Forge has great untapped powers and that she should save him if she can.
Not surprisingly, Storm is a badass so she can do some damage without weather powers. Of course, it was Logan who taught her how to shoot (years ago).
Eventually the X-Men show up to provide backup for Storm. Everyone but Wolverine and Kitty who are in Japan together (covered in a miniseries I will cover in a future post).
This is a cool scene of the Dire Wraiths using magic to attack the X-Men and Forge.
Did someone say Magic? Kurt literally teleports onto an airplane to get Amanda and bring her to the fight.
Look at this badass witch fighting for the good guys.
Did someone say magic? Professor X also sends Illyana.
Her soulsword is incredibly effective against the Dire Wraith's magic. Also, this is the first time that any of the X-Men, including her brother, see her use magic! They still don't know that she is both a mutant and a sorceress. They definitely don't know about the Darkchild stuff either.
Illyana goes nuts and saves the day.
Cute scene with Peter having his sister's back!
Setting up a future arc, Lee Forrester finds Magneto half dead in the ocean.
This is a major turning point for the X-Men. Up until this point, the X-Men had been fighting against evil mutants to protect humankind. Now the X-Men are more like revolutionaries fighting both humans and mutants for mutantkind. Nightcrawler says that he's had enough and is seriously contemplating walking away. If the government itself is after them, then why is it worth his time putting his life on the line?
Rachel overhears Kurt mention that Jean is dead and freaks out, giving everyone a killer headache with a psychic bolt sent under durress. Now all of the facts are out, Jean and Scott are her parents in the future timeline. When Rachel called Scott and heard Madelyn's voice, she assumed it was Jean, but it wasn't.
Rachel is able to convince Nightcrawler to stay by showing all of them their potential future and explaining why it's essential that they stay together and keep fighting to protect mutants.
Really cool scene here. Peter focused on seeing that he was married to Kitty, just shortly after he had broken up with her. Nightcrawler is still very shook by this, however he does stick around. Rogue is shaken by not seeing herself.
Cute scene where they all come together now that Nightcrawler will stick around.
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