Writer Chris Claremont
Artists John Romita Jr. and Dan Green
Special Thanks Steve Leialoha, for inks
Colorists Glynis Wein
Letterer Tom Orzechowski
Reprint of Uncanny X-Men 192
Cover Dated June 1994
Matt Ryan did a stellar job with the cover! It is pretty close to what the original cover had but with modern coloring, it really pops.
Another Bonus Lockheed Month Post!
Issue opens with Colossus lifting a chunk of ground, looking for Kurt underneath it. I really like how the title of the issue is on the chunk, not sure if that is art team or is that Orzechowski’s decision but I do enjoy it.
Colossus is wearing a one piece red bathing suit as a costume for the issue, the cover sort of shows it. Rogue is in a green jumpsuit that I sort of like how it could be an ordinary outfit, if it wasn’t for how green it is. This issue sort of has several new stylings.
Colossus, Kurt and Rogue are doing some practical Danger Room sessions, outside in the woods of the Xavier Estate. They are playing a game of Hide and Seek, and Kurt is staying ahead of the two seekers. Colossus is on a cliff, Kurt shouts at him, and as soon as Colossus turns, Kurt drop kicks him off the cliff.
Kurt shouts that if Xavier could see them now, he would kick them off the X-Men and replace them with the New Mutants. Rogue attacks him by flying and grabbing him, she thinks he should speak for himself as she is winning this round. Kurt teleports onto her back and covers up her eyes. She starts zig zaging and he guides her so that she falls into the water, right next to Colossus.
Rogue tells Colossus that they will bounce back for the second round, but he isn’t listening. He is thinking about Kitty who is coming back from Japan with Wolverine tonight. They have been living through the Kitty Pryde and Wolverine miniseries. They left in Uncanny X-Men 183 and are now coming back for issue 192, they were gone for nearly a full year’s worth of issues, publishing wise. The team has changed as much as Kitty has since the two have been separated.
Kurt teleports down to Colossus and Rogue. Colossus is sad as he didn’t want to fall in love with Zsaji, during Secret Wars – which now that I think about it, should be or has already finally stopped being printed at this point, which is smart in terms of marketing. Issue 12 comes out and fans may be tempted to pick up the titles to see if there is still any ramifications of the series. Rogue tells him that this type of emotion is out of her league, then sadly makes a comment about how the Carol Danvers part of her mind may have been helpful as she had relationships.
Kurt, now that he is thinking of Carol, asks Rogue why she doesn’t use Carol’s seventh sense, sort of like her Danger Sense, power. Rogue doesn’t know if she got that power, but it makes sense if she gain her main powers that she would have gotten the minor ones too. It is a muscle so she hasn’t had to use it and will have to train to incorporate it. Rogue, naturally, doesn’t want to keep talking about Carol or her powers as it is a bitter reminder of her stealing Carol’s powers and life as well as Rogue’s former life.
Kurt sees that it is a sort subject, and in a nice bonding attempt, starts trying to tickle Rogue. She calls him “Nighty” from time to time, which makes sense as a cute name but I couldn’t read it without adding Night to make Nighty Night. Kurt is tickling and teleporting and overwhelming her with the sensations. She wants him to stop, which I completely understand as I don’t like being tickled, much less, for an extended amount of time. This seventh sense kicks in and she is able to backhand him right when he is teleporting. This sends him backwards and she catches him. He makes a comment about how a safe like that deserves a kiss. This highly upsets her and she flies away.
It takes Kurt a little too long to realize why this was insensitive of him. I mean, it would be on the top of my mind all the time if I was talking to Rogue, to try to not mention anything about touching or loving. Even bad news still sheds a light on how Rogue isn’t allowed to have bad relationships.
Apparently Rogue had told Storm about Rogue’s power manifesting when she kissed Cody. Then at some point, Storm told Kurt. I wonder if those two are always gossiping about their teammates? That could be fun, as we never get two characters talking about a third character.
Colossus points to an abandon mansion that Rogue headed towards. Which begs the question, does Xavier have neighbors? I guess, if I had to think about, that I imagined the mansion is in the middle of thousands of acres, so no one ever comes near his home unless that is their intention.
Before they can make their way over there, a giant flash of light falls to the ground.
We leave that cliffhanger to cut over to the Kennedy International Airport. Xavier and Storm are waiting for Kitty. Xavier is letting Storm eavesdrop on various people’s thoughts – which is mess up that he is doing it himself but to let a second person do it too? Super invading of privacy! Storm is surprised with how many people are thinking about mutants, and how nasty those thoughts are. Xavier is apparently teaching a course at Colombia University, which has to be a fancy school as that’s where Daredevil got his law degree.
Apparently the Dazzler the Movie came out where Dazzler’s status of being a mutant is exposed against her will. So people are mad about that. That story has been on my wishlist for ever now. One of these days.
Xavier notices that it is taking a while for Kitty and Logan’s flight to come in. Storm announces that the flight is delayed to bad weather, she would have helped if she could. This makes her sad and Xavier thinks about how conflicted Storm is. She is sad that her powers are gone, but she also loves the man who took her powers away. Which must be love, as rationally, I would only want to murder the guy.
Xavier then notices Illyana muttering. In a very cute page, Illyana is by a window and is upset at her bag. Turns out, she snuck Lockheed with her to the airport! He is getting bored and is also cramped in the bag. Pretty smart of Claremont to realize that he could get away with this stunt as both Illyana and Lockheed’s minds are blocked from Xavier’s probing. Except, now Lockheed is puffing smoke and she tells him to stop that as she can’t hide the smoke. While being slightly annoyed with the dragon, she gets actually angry at her stupid brother as it is due to him that some of Kitty’s homecoming is going to be awkward.
We then see that Rachel is there, also mentally eavesdropping on people’s thoughts. Really goes to show that you don’t need two telepaths on the same team, as it doesn’t really change what stories you can tell. Rachel thinks about how eavesdropping was the only way to survive in the future. Which is what gives Rachel, creatively, a purpose on this team, she can reference the Days of Future Past timeline and give Claremont chances to flesh it and her out.
Rachel remembers her personal past and we are treated to the final moments of Rachel’s time in her future. This gets referenced in a later issue of Excalibur and it is nice to see the building blocks that Alan Davis will pick up later. From my memory, I believe it does sync up rather well.
Rachel and Kate Pryde have broken into Project Nimrod – the Excalibur story, I believe just refers to it as a Sentinel factory. Kate is trying to relax Rachel, and comfort her. It isn’t Rachel’s fault that she was turned into a Hound and had to lead her fellow mutants to their deaths, she was made into a weapon.
Rachel comments that this mission they are on, there is no way to get out of there alive. Kate states that she knows that, and she always did. She does know that Rachel can escape and gives the code word, Dark Phoenix – which is what triggered my memory as that is straight out of the Davis’ story. Once she says it, Rachel’s power manifested and like how she did with Kate’s consciousness, sending it back to a young Kitty Pryde, this time, she teleports herself to our present, and that’s the last time Rachel sees Kate. Predictably, the next scene would have had Kate Pryde, get further into the station, destroy it, try to teleport herself out and unfortunately, get merged with a machine and become Widget. But we are still 213 – 192 = 21 issues away from the end of Mutant Massacre, so two years away Excalibur forming. Then who knows if that was even Claremont’s idea for Widget’s origins as it is never hinted at until Davis fully explains it.
We get an awesome panel transition, from Rachel seeing Kate Pryde to it becoming Kitty Pryde’s face. Kitty has a new hairstyle, fashion sense and if they actually said it, a new code name, Shadowcat.
Kitty goes to greet her friends who are waiting for her. She then notices Rachel and recognizes her from her fragmented memories of her time during Days of Future Past. Which we don’t really get that story ever, there isn’t much there as she was sleeping during most of it but one would imagine it wasn’t a deep sleep and probably she overheard some things.
We cut back to the woods. Kurt and Colossus get to the crater, and they realize that it should be much larger than it is. While investigating the surrounding areas, they see that a tree and a deer have been crystallized. It is Colossus who notices the similarities to how Warlock feeds.
In the ruined mansion, Rogue has been knocked through a loop. She knows that Colossus probably could handle that force but Kurt might be hurt and plans to look for her two teammates. Before she can head out, we see that Magus, Warlock’s father, is back on Earth. Which as a kid and being part of the online community, I remember there have been times when someone would make a reference to Jim Starlin’s Warlock series and Magus is a character of that series so the two are connected there as well. Who knows why Marvel allowed two creative teams to both names of Warlock and Magus for two different pairs of characters but it can be confusing from time to time.
Very interesting having these two characters fight, as they do the same thing, essentially. Rogue and Magus absorb life forces, he does it to feed and she does it to obtain different power sets and knowledge. Also, he enjoys it while she is conflicted about it.
She knows to not let him touch her bare flesh. She grabs a part of his arm and tears it apart, causing him such pain. Colossus takes advantage of that and the surprised attack and throws bricks at Magus. Colossus gets close enough to unleash a battery of punches. He stops once Magus doesn’t move. Of course, as soon as he stops, Magus flees to the outdoors.
Kurt tries to help in the battle. He has never tried such a thing before, but he wants to see if he can teleport a partial item from a larger item. One would think this would have been done in a Danger Room sequence by now but he’s still learning. We know later, that Age of Apocalypse Nightcrawler did this quite a bit to huge success. This is our Kurt’s first time so he successfully does it, but it tires him extremely. Also extremely? Magus’ pain, if he thought having a limb torn off, having one magically teleported away hurts like a billion times more.
Rogue uses her new found seventh sense and avoids most of Magus’ attacks. She gets in close enough to kiss him and absorbs some of his powers. This weakens him even more but it gives Rogue an appearance of the Technarcy. But not the Phalanx as that really means humans who are affected with her transmode virus. Get to that later.
I do feel bad that whenever Rogue has to absorb someone’s memories or powers, she opts to do it via a kiss, so she is usually kissing foes and such. When she does it with an ally, it usually is a simple touch of their fingers. That has to haunt her once she thinks back on the battle.
Kurt and Colossus catch up to her and she is speaking like Warlock, with a bunch of “self hurts” and “self thinks.”
We also find out that with Storm powerless and Wolverine gone, that Kurt is the new leader of the X-Men. This is where he gets his experience that will be forged in fire with Excalibur once Captain Britain leaves.
Magus shows up, as a giant, and tells them that they fought heroically. He will let them live, as he could easily tear the entire planet into pieces but if they bring him his son, Warlock, they can all live. Before they can give him a witty response, he is gone.
There is a time cut and we see the entire team is reunited. Kurt regrets that he couldn’t leave someone behind and then come back with the rest of the team. Wolverine states that no one would have been safe by themselves and it was a good call. Kurt offers Wolverine the leadership role and he doesn’t want it at all.
Xavier tells everyone to be silent as a police officer shows up to the ruins. Xavier uses his powers to make it appear that they are only a group of people in casual clothes, meaning no harm. Also, it is implied that he made the officer’s mind believe there was no danger as why would ten individuals be in a ruin mansion?
The officer gets back to his car, he notices that the car has moved closer to the mansion. With that, the car absorbs him and we see that Magus has taken the officer’s appearance, just like how his son can do. This is the first merged Technarchy and human being, thus Phalanx has created. Which will become a genuine threat during the Phalanx Covenant at around the time this reprint was published but Uncanny 316 – 192 but is still ten years from when this story was originally published. That is one slow burn! Also, is the story that lead up to us getting Generation X! It is all connected.
We get a giant time cut of months as Xavier is leaving one of his classes at Columbia. It is right before Christmas as snow is falling. He happens upon some of his students. There is no many of them and they all have anti-mutant thoughts which throws him off. What also throws him off? A brick to his head! From there, he gets a beating and they leave him for dead.
Someone shows up and drags Xavier into an alley. Now that’s a cliffhanger!
This was the last of my X-Men Classic that I was able to buy from a pawn shop so we will pick this story up with either other issues of X-Men Classic or once we get around to these through Uncanny X-Men proper.
There is a Marvel Bullpen Bulletin that remembers Jack Kirby who passed away recently for them, February 6, 1994. Hard to believe 20 years has passed since that day. Jack “The King” Kirby, without him, we wouldn’t even have the Marvel Universe we know and love, and for this site’s concern, we wouldn’t have the first 11 issues of Uncanny X-Men.