“Up and Around”
Credits: Scott Lobdell (writer), Brandon Peterson (penciler), Dan Panosian (inker), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Marie Javins (colorist)
Professor Xavier has been temporarily granted the ability to walk again after being cured of the techno-organic virus. He spends an evening rollerblading with Jubilee before his legs collapse again. Meanwhile, Archangel and Beast reminisce about old times while rebuilding Harry’s Hideaway pub, and Gambit attempts to comfort Rogue after she loses her sight.
This is the first of many post-crossover issues by Lobdell that focus on quieter, character-driven moments. I don’t have a problem with setting aside time for character scenes, but it always bothered me that these issues never really advanced any plotlines. Once crossovers began happening on a more regular basis, many of the X-titles spent months building up to a crossover, months in a crossover, and a month or two doing character stories after the crossover. It always seemed very uneven to me. Of all of the “unwind after the crossover” issues, this isn’t a very strong one, but it has its moments. Rogue and Gambit’s scene rings hollow to me (although I’m someone who never bought into their relationship in the first place), with Rogue mainly just repeating her angst bullet-points for a few pages. Showing that Gambit does seem to genuinely care about her is nice, though, especially since this hasn’t really been established at this point. Beast and Archangel have some nice moments together, but the idea that they’ve rebuilt the pub in one night is pretty ridiculous.
The bulk of this issue is dedicated to Xavier and Jubilee, two characters from very far ends of X-history. Up until this point, the characters had hardly even spoken to one another, so pairing them off together is a good idea. I don’t like the lazy plot convenience for letting Xavier walk again (his dialogue doesn’t even attempt to truly justify it), but I can live with it. Lobdell always seemed to have a fondness for writing both Xavier and Jubilee, and he handles both of their characters very well in this issue. I wish that their conversations together had more substance, but I’ve always liked the ending with Jubilee helping Xavier back to his chair. This is the type of story you wouldn’t have seen at all just a few months earlier in Uncanny. It’s not great, but it’s a vast improvement over the earlier post-Claremont issues.