X-Men V2 # 60 - 61, X-Men V2 Annual '96 & 97, X-Men Unlimited # 14, Wolverine # 107 - 114
Wolverine is leaving the mansion (and maybe the team) to go live in the city, so I gave him the red box.
Joseph doesn't actually join the team this time around, but this is the point where I realized this guy is sticking around he should have been a member of the team a while back. So he's been upgraded from Ally to Team member.
Beast and Cannonball are both on the team, but they play a limited role in these arcs so I left them off.
X-Men V2 # 60 - 61: Candra
Plot- Scott Lobdell
Script - Ralph Macchio
Pencils - Cedric Nocon
Wow, this is such a waste of time. Let's get into it. I just looked up the where this story continues from (X-Men Unlimited # 7), and I saw that it was part of a blog that I originally titled "Crappy stories" but then changed to "The Road to Legion Quest." I'm so scholarly.
In her youth, Storm stole a gem from Candra. It turns out this gem contains Candra's life essence (like a horcrux?) and she desperately wants it back. Candra, in an attempt to get it back, kidnapped Karima (the young mutant waif Storm had bonded with in XMU7). Jamil (the other mutant street urchin who went bad), working with Candra, betrays them both, takes the gem and continues to turn into the Shadow King, Juggernaut, and then Cable. It turns out that Jamil never existed and was always an incarnation of Karima's powers...or something.
X-Men Annual '97: Gamesmaster fucks with us all
Writer - John Francis Moore
Pencils - Steve Epting
I crack myself up with this title, but it's pretty true. The weirdness of this annual is probably why it took me ten pages before I realized I accidentally read the Annual from 1999 next (I talk about this in the My Connections section.)
There's all sorts of bonkers stuff going on. Girls are fawning over Iceman, which is confusing because A) he had left the team, so why is he back and B) he doesn't like girls. Gambit is making out with Rogue and can touch people. The Government is pro mutant after Onslaught, with Bastion and the Friends of Humanity arrested. And then Beast cures the Legacy Virus. It all seems to good to be true, until they realize that Jean is missing. It turns out she can see through the ruse.
Too good to be true? Yes, because it's not real. It turns out that the Gamesmaster is just fucking with everyone. The End.
UXM Annual '97: Gene Nation in Africa
Writer - Jorge Gonzalez
Pencils - Duncan Rouleau
Yawn. Let's keep going. So Humanity's Last Stand is using Robot things to attack an African village. It turns out that a new incarnation of Gene Nation is hiding out in Africa under Storm's leadership, however just like the Morlocks, they are pissed that she isn't actually there leading them. Some new mutants show up who I doubt we'll ever see again: Boost, who can boost other mutant powers and Tether, among others, who is a lizard girl with an electrified tail.
The important point here is that a newly formed Brotherhood shows up with Havok leading Dark Beast and Fatale. Scott and Alex do their brotherly fighting thing. Alex comments to himself that he might be coming on too strong because he's still one of the good guys. Sigh.
Ultimately, the X-Men team up with the Brotherhood to destroy the Razors (robot things I mentioned earlier), which leads to Gene Nation declaring their independence.
This was one of those issues where I kept felt like I was missing something. For the longest time, I didn't realize this was Gene Nation. Who were these mutants? Did I miss a comic somewhere where they went to Africa and Storm became their leader?
X-Men Unlimited # 14: Franklin Richards
Writer - Terry Kavanaugh
Pencils - Jim Cheung
This is a whole issue about Franklin Richards. He's having nightmares about Onslaught and his missing parents. But when he wakes up, he's in one of the happiest places he can be...Beast's family farm (never knew he had a farm) alongside Arty, Leach, and a few other X-Men (Beast, Storm, Gambit).
A bunch of things happen at once. First, a bunch of hicks get drunk and decide to kidnap the boys to get revenge on Beast for...being a mutant and beating them at Football...or something.
But the big kicker is that Franklin starts getting madder and madder until he comes to the conclusion that his parents death is the fault of Magneto, so he uses his reality warping powers to bring Joseph there and he's about to kill him unless Joseph can bring back his powers. Luckily Beast brings Leach who turns off his powers and he calms down.
Wolverine # 107 - 110
Writer - Larry Hama, Tom DeFalco (110)
Pencils - Anthony Winn, Joe Bennett, Leinil Francis Yu (113 - 114)
Sorry, I'm just going to give you my notes:
107 - 109
LH/ Anthony Winn
W back in Japan to see Yukio and Amiko
Dai-Kiki’s daughter, the Pale Flower, sends the Hand after W
An actor, Akatora, kidnapped Y and A
The Pale Flower teams up with W
W and allies free Amiko, but she’s been brainwashed against him
Tom DeFalco/ Joe Bennet
W and Shaman fight a man possessed by a giant, magical bear
W checks in with the X-Men, decides to pack up and live in the city alone for a while. He is given a box by Landau, Luckman, and Lake
W gets a job as a co-op supervisor
A possessed mime attacks W, Jean and Storm help out
Lady Deathstrike attacks, looking for her box.
The possessor turns out to be the ghost of Ogun
Rise of Apocalypse Limited Series # 1 - 4
Writer - Terry Cavanuah
Pencils - Adam Pollina
Once again, I'm just giving you my notes:
Terry Cavanagh/ Adam Pollina
Apoc is born as a savior in ancient Egypt.
Pharaoh Rama Tut is from the future.
Ozymandias is the Pharoah’s warlord.
En Sabah Nur’s father is killed during a cave in.
Vizier Logos is helping Nur
F4 show up?!
Sue as his Queen
Nur is leading a slave rebellion
Pharaoh wants Nur to be his heir
O’s sister, wanted to be with A until she saw his face.
Apocalypse is born.
Right off the bat I have to share a funny story. When I started diving into the two annuals, I accidentally opened up the Annual for '99. Wow, what a mindfuck. It's funny because sometimes comics start out showing a dream, or an alternate reality, or something else. So for about 10 pages I just went with it, but then I realized there was something wrong. Both Kitty and Kurt were with the X-Men, so I'm assuming this must be a time when Excalibur is done and they will both come back home. Well, that's fucking awesome, can't wait for that. The real thing that tipped me off was that Magneto showed up in his typical evil guy outfit doing evil stuff and then I knew something was wrong because Magneto is still Joseph and he's a good guy right now, so clearly this is too much of a leap. This is the type of thing that helps me appreciate focusing on roster construction so much on this blog. It's a blast to see how the team makes tiny changes from month to month, year to year.
Speaking of Joseph and roster construction, this is the graphic where I officially added Joseph to the team. This is definitely not the spot where he officially joins the team, this happened a while ago, but this is where I realized that this isn't a several issue fad...he's really on the team and I need to represent him as such. Oops.
Alex makes a comment about how he's really one of the good guys. Welp, that didn't take long. I fricken predicted this a few blogs ago. Annoying, because it really makes sense for him to go evil.