84: X-Men # 4- 7 (Omega Red)

What’s Covered?

X-Men (Vol. 2), # 4 - 7 (Nov '91 - April '92)


Roster Watch

Synopsis




#4 - 7 Synopsis

Plot - Jim Lee

Pencils - Jim Lee

Script - John Byrne (4 - 5), Scott Lobdell (6 - 7)

This goes all the way back to # 2. Matsuo of the Hand unearths Omega Red's body.

As Gambit and Rogue are going out on a date, they are attacked by Omega Red and some other hand henchman.

Wolverine, Beast, and Jubilee aren't so easily brought down, however Wolverine...is brought down and captured.

Omega Red is able to beat Wolverine in a battle. Apparently Omega Red is a mutant with a death factor. Whereas Wolverine has a healing factor that heals himself over time, Omega kills others over time.

Gambit, Rogue, Beast, and Jubilee are held hostage until reinforcements show up.

There's those beautifully drawn reinforcements.

Wolverine was taken and the team needs to find him.

Dr. Cornelius from the Weapon X origin story (Part of 78: Wolverine Solo Series (# 1 - 50) is working with the Upstarts and Omega Red to dig into Logan's memory to find something called the "C-Synthesizer," which is apparently something used to repeat the success of Wolverine's mutation.

I love this! I just love when they call come together. I love these strategy sessions when you hear different people's perspectives. Anywho, you can tell who is part of the Gold Team, it's the 5 characters dressed fancy (Storm, Jean, Archangel, Iceman, and Colossus). It's mentioned that they are going to go off separately to meet the White Queen, which will be picked up with the re-launched Uncanny X-Men team in #281. That will be my next blog. The rest of the mutants (The Blue Team) will go find Wolverine.

A new hero named Maverick shows up. He's apparently a German who has a history with Wolverine.

An acknowledgement that Jubilee is only with the Blue Team so they can keep an eye on her.

The Blue Team fights with Omega Red and mostly gets their ass whooped. I remember thinking as a kid that I didn't understand why he was so feared, he's just a dude with tentacles. Should be easy to beat, right?

Matsuo and the Upstarts are forcing Wolverine to re-live his past. We see a time before the Weapon X project when Wolverine was doing a special op with Maverick and Sabretooth, all on the same team. We see that Sabretooth murdered a woman named Janice they were working with when things went sideways. All 3 of them jump out a window.

In a callback to Psylocke's Japanese origin (as covered in 64: UXM 251 - 258 (X-Men Disbanded), Matsuo still has a code word to take over Psylocke. Sabretooth is brought in to hunt Wolverine after he escapes, which is weird because they have shown twice that Omega Red can take him. Sabretooth makes a comment about something being vaguely familiar about either Omega Red or Dr. Cornelius. This is a clear reference to him also being brainwashed in the Weapon X project (also part of 78: Wolverine Solo Series (# 1 - 50.)

Sabretooth and Psylocke fight Wolverine and Maverick. Wolverine loses again.

At some point, Psylocke broke out of her brainwash and goes all ninja to save the day.

Apparently Psylocke brainwashed Sabretooth, allowing Maverick to control him too.

Psylocke goes nuts, kicking ass and saving the day. Eventually things start to go south and someone makes the comment that they have nothing to worry about.

Wolverine breaks free and decides to make them pay for counting him as "nothing." Love this. It's so 90's, I love it.

This time Wolverine wins in his battle vs. Omega Red.

Cyclops - "I believe you have something belongs to us?"
Jubilee - "Short li'l fella. All adamantium and attitude. He's one of a kind. We'd like him back.
Beast - "And don't forget our resident psyionic Japanese-by-way-of Britain ninja warrior. You can imagine how hard they are to replace!"

Matsuo thinks he's so smart. He figured out that the C-Synthezier must be in the body of the deceased Janice from the memories. Unfortunately, Wolverine figured that out too and hides within the casket. Kind of creepy, actually. Matsuo escapes and Wolverine trusts Maverick enough to give the Maguffin to him.


My Connections


I'll start off with the best lines of dialogue I've seen to date:

Cyclops - "I believe you have something belongs to us?"
Jubilee - "Short li'l fella. All adamantium and attitude. He's one of a kind. We'd like him back.
Beast - "And don't forget our resident psyionic Japanese-by-way-of Britain ninja warrior. You can imagine how hard they are to replace!"

I'm unapologetic about how much I love this 90's stuff. To me, it's just the greatest! Claremont is gone and Jim Lee is completely in control (with some help scripting by past X-Men superstar John Byrne and future X-Men mainstay Scott Lobdell). Jim Lee created Omega Red, another 90's villain who burned hot for a while but I don't believe gets much love outside of the 90's (we'll see as I keep covering the various X-Men runs).


The whole team is still together at this point, but Storm and the Gold team will branch off in their Uncanny comic soon. We start to see the romance between Rogue and Gambit, which I can't get enough of. Jim Lee continues to love drawing Psylocke. Jubilee who was mysteriously absent from Issues # 1 - 3 shows back up without much said about it and will continue with the team from here on out.


Character Beats


Relationships

Growing up as an X-Men loving, basketball playing boy in the 90's, I couldn't get enough of this. When I think of X-Men comics, I think of this exchange. I must have read it hundreds of times as a kid. Gambit and Jubilee vs. Wolverine and Rogue. Everyone gets pissed at Gambit's natural agility helping him to school everyone.

As another call back to the Madripoor Missions era when Logan, Jubilee, and Psylocke spent a lot of time together, Psylocke vouches for Jubilee to Cyclops. When I originally read this, I would not have understood why Psylocke would stick up for Jubilee. I also wouldn't have understood why Cyclops barely seems to know here. This is the magic of re-reading these comics, but this time with context!

What's an X-Men comic with a little Scott/Jean romance. I like that their drama is mostly over, they are just together and happy. We also get an acknowledgement that these two are on separate field teams, which I never understood as a kid.

Oh man, I love this. The very beginning of the Rogue and Gambit relationship. It all started with Gambit flirting heavily with her. I remember in my head being so curious if they could kiss, since Gambit was so confident. In my head I told myself that he would use his power to charge Rogue's lips and they would offset. I wanted to see that so bad.

As much as she is playing hard to get, Rogue totally likes Gambit and agrees to go on a date with him. They are attacked on the way, of course.


Moira

I put this all in here for a few reasons.


First of all, Moira is distraught over what happened with Magneto (as covered in 81: X-Men 1 - 3 (Jim Lee X-Men Re-Launch)). I agree with Sean that she seems to be over-reacting, it was proven in that arc that her tampering didn't affect him and he choose to die himself. Regardless, it gives us some conflict and Moira departs the mansion. I don't recall how long she was gone for.


Second, we see that Banshee has his mouth wired shut from when Gambit struck him with his staff (Also in 81: X-Men 1 - 3 (Jim Lee X-Men Re-Launch). Banshee goes over after her, effectively writing him out as well. He'll be gone until #24 when Jim Lee leaves. I wonder if he had intended to keep him out?


Third, due to Moira's level of importance in the Krokoa era, I always feel it's important to highlight her.



Upstarts

The young group of Hellfire Club villains looking to usurp the older class are calling themselves the Upstarts. In this series, the Fenris twins are working with Matsuo and the Hand. The Upstarts will be a big part of the Uncanny line with newcomers Shinobi Shaw (Sebastian's son) and newcomer Trevor Fitzroy.


My Rating - 7/10


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