Wednesday, November 14, 2007

UNCANNY X-MEN #297 – February 1993


“Up and Around”
Credits: Scott Lobdell (writer), Brandon Peterson (penciler), Dan Panosian (inker), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Marie Javins (colorist)


Summary
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.


Review
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.

2 comments:

Teebore said...

I have always had a soft spot for this issue-that ending with Jubilee and Xavier always gets me.

Lobdell really did have a knack for those post-crossover "quiet issues"; it reached a point for me that I started looking forward to those issues more than the actual crossovers.

I remember around the time this came out and my comic hobby was still relatively new, I was trying to convince my mother that comics could be more than just spandex fights. So I handed her a stack of comics to read that included this one (and X-Factor 87) amongst others.

Of course, I was younger and completely unaware at the time of comics that existed outside the realm of Marvel/DC/Image, many of which were more than spandex fights.

Gary said...

Teebore is correct; the end of this issue is very well done. The walk, the slow breakdown, the silent pleading of Jubilee (which, it only just occurred to me, Professor X could probably HEAR given what stress does to psychic shields, and dang if that doesn't make it THAT MUCH BETTER)... Scott Lobdell did it right that page.

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