UXM # 270 - 272, NM # 95 - 97, X-Factor #60 - 62
UXM # 270: Always vet your roomates
Writer - Chris Claremont
Penciler - Jim Lee
Claremont and Jim Lee. The Dream team. It's such a shame that we didn't get to see them too much longer together.
We start off with the bromance of Banshee and Forge, the thieves guild of Baby Storm and Gambit, and Jean Grey hanging around separate from X-Factor.
Foreign Relations is heating up as the Genoshans keep coming on American soil and committing acts of aggression. They seem to be primarily focused on the X-Men.
Anddddd there's the New Mutants Roster at this point in time. I don't know why Warlock has a red eye. Also, Rahne has pointy ears all of a sudden in human form.
Love, love, love this! Storm and Jean are having a battle in the danger room. It's just great going back to our roots. Jean's back alive, Storm's almost back to normal. Two gals having an intense danger room battle. Good stuff.
So here's some conflict for this issue. The New Mutants had been living in the Mansion's sub-basement and now members of the X-Men and X-Factor are hanging out there as well. Rictor's bummed that he has to wait to train, but Cable has a different idea.
Cable kicks the door in, showing that he's a macho military leader.
Even though Storm looks like a kid, she's still the same person in her psyche. She is the only one able to mediate and I love it.
Here's setup for the next story arc. Lila is back in town and hinting at something going on with Professor Xavier. Professor X coming back? All 3 team's getting along? It must be re-boot time!
More awesomeness. "I'm so glad you're not dead. No, I'm so glad YOU aren't dead. Tee hee!"
They are talking an awful lot about Xavier. Almost like they know he's coming back. Also, if you look at Storm's comment, "We cannot forever use our teacher as a crutch," it pretty much reads as Claremont saying "Jim Lee, we don't have to go back to our old professor, the team is fine without him!" Obviously, Claremont lost that battle and will soon be departing the team.
Rahne overhears Storm and Jean laughing about coming back to life and she's pissed. She's basically saying "How come the A list characters get to come back to life and the C list characters like Doug Ramsey don't get to!"
The Genoshan's attack some of the mutants who were hanging out outside.
Boom-Boom, Rictor, and Warlock are doing their best to fight them off.
I just put this in here because it's an awesome visual. More battling.
Storm overhears that they are after the Danger Room, so Storm throws Stevie down the hatch and seals it shut.
Storm runs into Havok, who is among the Genoshans. Apparently he popped out of the Siege Perilous without memory in Genosha and is now serving them.
Cable, Forge, Banshee, Cannonball, and others finally get out of the hatch and they are pissed that Storm didn't let them help. Honestly, I don't really understand why she did that. But now, all 3 team's are heading to Genosha!
New Mutants # 95: The passing of a good friend
Writer - Louise Simonson
Penciler - Rob Leifeld
Simonson is finishing up her writing with X-Tinction Agenda, but you can see that the team is clearly heading the way Leifeld wants it go as they transition into X-Force.
As if Genosha weren't troublemakers on their own, we see now that Cameron Hodge appears to be behind everything. The last we saw of Hodge, he was having his head cut off by Archangel, however Hodge made a deal with N'Astirh leading up to Inferno which gave him eternal life. So now The Right scientists have placed his head in this robotic spider contraption.
Rahne, Warlock, Boom-Boom, Rictor, and Baby Storm are stuck in Genoshan jails. The Genengineer wants to add their genetic code to his plans but Hodge just wants revenge.
Hodge wants Warlock specifically to infect himself with the Transmode Virus so that he can create a new body for himself.
The genengineer is annoyed that Hodge is forcing him to stop his work to help with this Warlock experiment.
Warlock gets returned for the time being and uses his power to help them escape, however he is severely weakened and can't escape with them. He offers that he can sacrifice himself to give them time to escape the facility.
Rictor knows that Rahne wants to go back and help Warlock, but he tries to convince her to save herself. I will say that this is one thing sometimes takes me out of the comic. Leifeld wanted Warlock out, so in this instance everyone is like "we have to let him sacrifice himself" but in any other situation, you know the team would go through Hell itself to help their teammates. Oh well.
The rest of X-Factor shows up to assist Cable and the other team members who weren't captured.
I'm not sure if I mentioned this or not yet, but Rahne and Rictor are fully together and in love. He kisses her as he says goodbye.
Rahne shows up just as Warlock is drained of all power and dies. If she had her power she might have been able to do more, but Wipeout drained the captured mutants of their powers.
As the issue comes to an end, Forge announces that the President wants to see them all. Oh snap!
X-Factor # 60: Sanctioned revenge
Writer - Louise Simonson
Penciler - Jon Bogdanove
Simonson is still writing for X-Factor, however she will depart Marvel shortly after the Claremont as the X teams re-boot. I almost feel bad for Jon Bogdanove. He's probably a league average artist, but when you put him in a crossover with Jim Lee and Rob Leifeld, it just makes it painful to look at.
So the President of Genosha is on board with Hodge and has been delivering press releases stating that they captured some X-Men and plan on trying them as criminals. Is Hodge wearing a suit?
Holy shit! Look at this guy. Hodge is literally moving around with a clip-on cardboard suit hanging from his head. This actually cracked me up. What a silly villain. I actually love this.
The Genengineer is pissed at the President. He thinks Genosha should be playing things more coy so that the world doesn't find out what they are doing with their mutates. He doesn't understand why she has climbed into bed with Hodge. Also, what is wrong with the art for this president? Is she supposed to look like a man. She almost looks like Reagan.
X-Factor, plus Forge and Cable head to the D.C. to talk to Val Cooper on behalf of the President.
So Val is basically saying that they aren't going to sanction a rescue mission officially, but she wants to support them before they go into the country to help them be successful. She also tries to stop Forge from going but he won't hear any of it.
X-Factor, Cable, Sunspot, Cannonball, Gambit, Banshee, and Forge head out to lead the rescue mission.
A bunch of badass fighting.
Scott and Alex have a brother's duel. Their powers won't hurt each other so they turn to a slugfest. I love how incredibly stubborn Alex is. The truth is so obvious in front of him, but he just won't believe it. I wonder if he gets less stubborn when he eventually takes over X-Factor.
Scott and Cable talking strategy. Scott is so clueless. "Hi Corsair, let's work together. Oh, you're my dad!? Everyone else knew!? Oh, hey Rachel let's work together. Why is everyone else acting weird? Oh, hey Cable I like you're style."
UXM # 271: The Madripoor trio joins the fray
Writer - Chris Claremont
Penciler - Jim Lee
Jim Lee not credited as a writer yet. That will happen before long.
Another news bulletin. The Genoshan President (who looks relatively normal now thanks to Lee) is announcing that there has been a dead mutant and she isn't backing down. Wouldn't it be bad PR to announce you killed a kid?
Also, I recognize the reporter Manoli Wetherell. I'm pretty sure she was the camerawoman during Fall of the Mutants when the X-Men "died" in Dallas. Pretty cool long form continuity there. I hope future creative teams are as committed to continuity.
Rictor and Boom-Boom on the run.
Wow, great art. Lee draws an amazing, ferocious Wolverine. I also like how this panel has a black border with the characters going outside of it. Regarding the story, exciting to see the Madripoor trio (Wolverine, Jubilee, and Psylocke) in Genosha, on their way to re-joining the team.
Wolverine assigns Jubilee to get Rictor and Boomer to safety. She has powers, but she is the same age, maybe younger than them. Rictor also calls her Firecracker, which is the same thing he calls Boomer. Kind of funny that they keep commenting on how Jubilee and Boomer's powers are pretty similar.
Psylocke uses her mind powers to bring everyone up to speed.
Hodge wants to kill Storm, but the Genengineer is hungry for her genetic code.
Wolverine encounters Havok.
Storm has been turned into a mutate, but at least she's an adult again!
New Mutants # 96: When it Rahne's, it poors.
Writer - Simonson
Penciler - Rob Leifeld
Ric and Tabitha show off their Cable-trained fighting skills since they don't have their powers. Squinty faces and all.
Hodge plans on turning Rahne into a mutate as well. She was re-captured when she went back for Warlock.
Rahne is officially brainwashed and turned into a mutate.
Cable and Cannonball fighting their way to Rahne.
X-Factor # 61: Making out, making out!
Still Simonson and Bogdanove.
The issue starts with a breakdown of where everything is at.
The fallen. Warlock dead. Rahne and Storm turned into mindless mutates.
Gambit, Psylocke, Sunspot, Wolverine, Marvel Girl, Cable, and Forge all captured. Forge actually puts himself into a coma to avoid anyone getting tactical info out of his head. Wolverine is powerless and once again dying without his healing powers.
Jubilee, Boom-Boom, Rictor on the loose trying to escape.
Cyclops, Cannonball, Beast, Archangel, Banshee, and Iceman are the only free heroes on the loose.
Jean sees Rahne and freaks out.
Hodge puts Jean and Logan in the same cell. She can see that he's dying. They start making out. I'm not sure if she does this because she feels bad for him or because she secretly loves him, but I'm pretty sure it's a little bit of both.
She comes to her senses and stop. Hodge loves watching it unfold, that sicko!
The free mutants bust in trying to free everyone else.
I almost forgot that Archangel and Hodge have an intimate history. They get a little bit of time to duel.
Cyclops finds his brother and once again tries to snap him out of it.
By the end, Havok does snap out of it but decides to play along.
UXM #272: Dear lord, this art.
Writer - Chris Claremont
Pencilier - Jim Lee
Super Duper cool splash page, showing that pretty much everyone is captured and facing trial. They were found guilty, of course.
Most of the heroes are given to Hodge and there's Forge with one leg pulled off and passed out in his self-induced coma.
Psylocke breaks free herself and sneaks into a ventilation shaft, at one point saying "John McClaine, eat your heart out." Love the Die Hard reference. Lol @ myself for finally starting to get every reference (I was 7 in 1990).
In another badass scene, Gambit pulls a spike out of his leg and then uses it (with his thieving skills) to free himself, then the others.
Havok finds Wipeout, the mutant who can remove other mutant powers dead. We saw earlier that Hodge did this as a way to get back at the genengineer, who had been resisting him.
At the end, we find that Storm not only retained her memories, but she has the ability to return her team-mates powers to them. This is the genengineers secret plan to stop Hodge. Storm returns Scott's powers, then moves on to Jean (the next most powerful).
NM # 97: Louise Simonson's swan song.
Writer - Louis Simonson
Penciler - Rob Leifeld.
At the very end, Cyclops and his brother Havok take on Hodge together and their awesome nuker powers are too much for Hodge.
It turns out that the Genengineer isn't the only one acting out against Hodge, some members of this military don't agree with him either.
With a short break in the action, Rahne asks for Warlock's ashes to be poured on Doug's grave.
X-Factor # 62: The Final, final battle
Writer - Louise Simonson
Penciler - Jon Jon Bogdanove
When reading this the first time, I thought Hodge was dead at this point, but I guess not. He's still lurking around, this time finding Rahne and Rictor trying to escape. For whatever reason, Rahne is drawn as a giant werewolf.
Here goes some good shit. Scott tells Jean to stay back and then Wolverine is like "she doesn't need your help!"
The two of them continue to fight over how to treat Jean. Love it.
Jean sends out a TK blast to separate them and then puts both of them in their place. Woman power! As she picks them up to head to the fight, both men Marvel at what a woman she is. Go Jean!
In the final battle, Wolverine gets skewered and Jean gets flattened (she's ok).
Everyone but Scott and Jean escape and they encounter the military who had overthrown the President and let them go.
I was wrong, HERE is where Scott and Alex go hand in hand to destroy Hodge!
At the end, Rahne rips his head from this body and pulls his head apart. Pretty gruesome. I feel like they went further to show that he's truly dead, but you never know because...comics. It also ins't mentioned, but I like to think that Rahne is doubly pissed because Hodge was around when Doug was killed too.
When all else is done, Alex volunteers to stay behind to help the mutate population.
Rahne announces that she is going to stay behind as well, claiming that she's still a mutate and owes it to the rest of the mutates to help them. So this is another member of the original crew that will be leaving the team, and the series.
I think it's pretty telling what Leifeld is doing here. He tried to make Rahne more savage, but it just wasn't working with her character history. So he's writing her out and will bring her in with a carbon copy, Feral, next issue.
Warlock's ashes are poured on Doug's grave. This really looks like it's setting something cool up, but I'm not sure if we'll ever see it with Claremont and Simonson coming off as writers
I absolutely loved the X-Tinction Agenda. It's just so amazing to see the three team's together, especially seeing the original X-Men (X-Factor) working so closely with the newer X-Men (Storm, Wolverine, etc.)
In addition to bringing all of the disparate storylines back together, the story itself is really good. Lots of great character moments as the three teams intermingle. but also some great action (and beautifully drawn), and a compelling story. The XTinction agenda is one of my favorite events and I found myself smiling throughout. Let's get into it!
This event also serves as the swan song for Louise Simonson writing New Mutants, as Rob Leifeld looms large over everything. We'll see two more core team members written out (in different ways), setting the scene for the X-Force re-launch under Leifeld, which still isn't too far off. Simonson gets fed up in general with how she's treated, she she won't stick around for the X-Factor re-launch either. Finally, knowing that Claremont will not be around long, and that Jim Lee leaves shortly after, it's important to take some time to marvel in these two amazing legends working together. As far as I know, this is one of the few chances Jim Lee gets to drawing Cable, Cannonball, and others.
My Rating - 10/10
Next up we have MORE X-Men with Rogue coming back, a lot of Magneto, and the rest of the X-Men go to space to save Professor Xavier. Shit's getting good!
Previous Post - 72: Infinite Gauntlet Prep: Meet Thanos and Adam Warlock
Next Post - 74: UXM # 273 - 277 (Savage Xavier)