Cover Dated April 2003
I will be reviewing both stories so I’ll be breaking this up over the two. One point of interest is that both stories have sentences in the very beginning that annoyed me and sort of tainted the rest of the story. I’ll get to those when we get there.
Writer Chris Claremont
Artist Bill Sienkiewicz
Colors Jose Villarubia
Letters Randy Gentile
A New Mutants tale brought to us by one of the best creative teams from that title!
This story opens with Sunspot watching a news story about a mugging that two young ladies were injured during. Roberto recognizes one of them as his dear friend, Rahne.
Then in typical ABC’s Revenge fashion, we cut back to hours ago. My problem with this story is that it appears that this is suppose to take place sometime in the pass, as Rahne is in a school girl uniform, on a class trip to a museum. How old is she suppose to be here? By the end of the first New Mutants volume, the members of the team would have been well done and out of high school age.
Do colleges require uniforms? I doubt it but later in the story, the team talks about how it has been a while since they all got together as they disbanded a while ago.
Both of these stories have weird continuity quirks that sort of take me out of the story and I’m not able to enjoy them as much. That was at the time, now it just seems annoying but if this was the first time I read it, I may have the problem but move on quickly as it is an eleven year old comic.
So Rahne is telling her school friend about her necklace. How it was given to her by the first king of Scotland, Robert the Bruce, as the team time traveled to that era in New Mutants Volume Issue 47.
The mugger overhears how the necklace is important and attacks the ladies and runs off with the necklace.
Dani, as a good friend, is watching over Rahne in the hospital. The doctor doesn’t want Rahne to leave but Rahne has the man’s scent and so the two soulmates are on a hunt.
There is an awkward moment when Rahne asks if Dani can still sense all of her thoughts, which seems to be straight out of a fan fic.
There was a police officer in the room as well, I suppose taking Rahne’s statement. He knows they were both students of the ‘mutie school’ which seems racist to me.
Rahne tracks the man down to a club. He runs out of the club and Dani shoots him with one her physic arrows. He tries to stumble to his car and Cannonball demolishes it. Besides Karma, we have the original New Mutants all present and accounted for.
The man confesses to have already gone to a pawnshop. Once again, Rahne hugs Sam, as it has been a while.
Karma does show up, so now everyone is accounted for. She gets the name of the dealer that the pawnshop owner dealt with.
The team goes to Long Island and they see that Roberto is already in negotiations with Trigorin for the necklace. Trigorin is the head of the Odessa mafia.
Later at Harry’s Hideaway, the five New Mutants are able to finally hang out together. Rahne shows that in the back of her necklace, she has a picture of the entire team (minus Doug – for some reason). So Magik shows up on the cover and in this picture. Then again on the next page as the team remembers how awesome it was being a New Mutant.
Sam asks Roberto about how comfortable he was with the head of a mafia. Roberto throws it back at Sam and Dani that they haven’t been angels their entire lives either. As Sam and his X-Force were practically terrorists at one point and Dani was undercover in the MLF on behalf of SHIELD.
Roberto also confesses to some daddy issues, everyone nods their heads as that is pretty obvious.
Dani tries to change the subject.
Rahne proposes a toast, in honor of her late foster mother, Moira MacTaggert, who died in the Dreams End crossover at the hands of Mystique.
Pretty decent story, and if this wasn’t during Sienkiewicz’ heavy ink phase, I may enjoy it more but it just harkens back to when he was inking Sal Buscema’s pencils in Spectacular Spider-Man. I would enjoy it more with a lighter brush.
For instance, in Spectacular Spider-Man 220, Web of Death Part 2, wherein Mary Jane tells Peter that she is pregnant. A pretty key milestone issue and yet, it is as dark and hard to read as it gets!
Lockheed, the Dragon
Story Stephen Grant
Artist Paul Smith
Colors Jeromy Cox
Lettering Randy Gentile
A Lockheed story brought to us by one of his co-creators!
This one, I really enjoy but Grant (or one of the editors, perhaps? which would have been CB Cebulski) tries to give it some place in history. But that place in history is beyond me.
Story opens, months ago, north of England. Poor Lockheed is being chased by some jerks and their dumb dogs. Lockheed, sort of narrates the issue, or at least, the captions are from his point of view but the captions refer to him as Lockheed so it isn’t his inner thoughts.
We get the caption that pretty much states that its been months since he has been alone. Some time ago, there was a battle and Lockheed and Kitty got separated and now he suspects she is dead.
One imagines that Kitty suspects he is dead too but when the heck would this ‘battle’ have taken place?
The very last horrah for Excalibur, maybe? As Kitty goes from Excalibur 125 (when that team disbands) to Uncanny X-Men 360 / X-Men 80 in the very same publishing month of – October 1998.
So this comic came out in April 2003. Prior to this, Lockheed appeared in the backup story – along with Kitty – when she is attending the University of Chicago – and about to kick off the Mekanix miniseries.
I’m getting all of these dates from the Lockheed chronological listing of appearances from comicbookdb.com –
X-Men Unlimited 35 doesn’t count as it is an untold X-Men story.
X-Men Unlimited 38, November 2002, Kitty is celebrating the anniversary of Colossus’ death. Lockheed is there and Nightcrawler checks in with her. It is awesome! The story takes place in Chicago, as well. Which I like that she had some ‘real time’ at that university.
Now we have come to this issue, so poor Lockheed is getting an appearance once a year. Which is horrible!
He shows up in the final issue of X-Treme X-Men, 46, in June 2004, the team disbands.
Then he and Kitty make an appearance in both Uncanny X-Men 444 / X-Men 157 the next month – July 2004.
So when does this short story take place? Between the seven years of Excalibur 125 and this issue? It has to take place before 2001’s X-Treme X-Men annual (retroactively) as at the end of this issue (spoilers!) Lockheed is told that Kitty is alive and in Chicago.
So it could have only been in a four year time frame but the story itself can barely take place over a few months – so even that doesn’t explain what he does in all that time. I guess it would take him a while to get his little self over the Atlantic Ocean and to Chicago from England but it wouldn’t take years!
Plus, this entire time – Kitty isn’t even talking about her dear friend, Lockheed. It never comes up. Which is heartbreaking as a Lockheed fan.
I’m pretty sure I first became a Lockheed fan, next a Kitty Pryde fan and finally, a Paul Smith fan – once I got those origin issues and first appearances of the purple cat-sized space alien that resembles a dragon.
So, that was the very first page of this story and I’m already trying to make sense of the entire thing.
But let’s move on like I have to do when I take a breath. It really is a shame that Lockheed is barely in comics – that’s what I’m getting at.
Lockheed is on the run, he doesn’t want to hurt the humans as that isn’t what Kitty would want. He spits hot fire at them, just to scare them off.
Two young girls come to his rescue, Martina and Regina Wolcroft. They pick him up and we see how hurt he really is. One of his wings has a clear hole in it! No wonder he hasn’t gotten to America yet!?! I imagine he could get there, and the X-Men would welcome him home. If Kitty was alive (which she is) they would call her and she would pick him up. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a phone or connections with SWORD – just yet.
I do like how the story is presented from here on. The sisters are clearly terrors to this small town. We only get a hint of that here when they turn the hunters’ bullets into butterflies and hint at doing more. But here, as a reader, I like them as they are about to take care of a wounded Lockheed.
They take him home and start caring for him, as if he is a cat. Their mother comes in, not sure if she wants a dragon in the house. Here, they threaten her with a storm cloud and she hurries away. So clearly they torment her all the time. Also, they are witches. Also, something that rhymes with witch.
The sisters decide what they should feed him. It can’t be water, he is a dragon. They go and search for petrol and charcoal. Lockheed doesn’t make a face of disgust so hopefully he is able to digest petrol and charcoal!
The sisters take him to school, and he is sitting as comfortably as he can in there.
From his hiding place, he can tell that people seem to be kind around them and not rude to each other. Of course, if he could see the looks on people’s faces – he would know there was fear as well.
He does sense tension around him but once the sisters are by themselves, that tension is gone.
Then we meet Thorne, the girls’ arch nemesis. By now, that should tell us the reader that she is in fact, a good person. Lockheed doesn’t get to see that, through the bag.
One day, in the grocery store, the girls come across this boy that they don’t care for. They decide to pull a prank on him, and put an apple into his pocket. They start shouting that he is stealing and he protests – naturally.
Lockheed doesn’t like the idea of thieves and cuts a slight hole in the bag and spits a flame at the boy. The boy falls over and the store owner comes to see what the commotion is all about.
The store owner finds the apple, the boy keeps protesting that he wasn’t trying to steal it. The girls tire of this and turn the apple into a rat. Then all the apples turn into rats. Which is bad, but then the worst happens – all the rats become a giant rat! Even worst … they still have tiny rat hands! It is gross.
Turns out, it is Thorne who turn the rats into a giant rat. Apparently, she has the ability to undo any spell that the sisters can cast. Which is a good thing.
Regina challenges Thorne to a duel as she wants to use Lockheed as a weapon and since he isn’t one of their creations, Thorne will be powerless against him.
Once outside, Martina throws some flowers up in the air, casts a spell and out of the smoke, Lockheed comes at Thorne. Thorne is impress that they were able to create a dragon out of smoke and then is a tad scared when her go-to-undo spell doesn’t work.
Lockheed spits hot fire at Thorne, instead of running away, she tells him he doesn’t want to hurt her.
The girls start yelling at him to keep up the attack. Thorne just wants to know his name.
Lockheed sees similarities with Thorne and Kitty and while he is debating who is friendly, the sisters start throwing rocks at him. Which, one really shouldn’t do to anyone but especially not to Lockheed.
Thorne learns his name is Lockheed, while he finds the rock throwing to be an unforgivable act of betrayal.
He turns his flame onto the sisters and they run away.
Thorne tells him that Kitty is now living in Chicago and she is under the impression that he was dead as well.
Thorne, with one touch, heals Lockheed’s broken wing.
Story ends with Lockheed flying towards America.
I would really like to know and see the story that lead to these two great friends thinking the other one is dead. It has to be a story that ends with an explosion that sets them off in different courses. Maybe they both are unconscious and people come to their aid and thus, the one can’t inquire about the other.
The story would also have to take place in Northern England, so it might be an untold tale of Excalibur. Thus, Kurt nor Colossus ask Kitty about where Lockheed is, as they already know that they lost him. Then Kurt told Storm, Rogue and Wolverine and now those two know not to ask Kitty about it.
If Marrow knew about it, she would harp on it all the time to make Kitty feel sad.