Monday, March 17, 2008

UNCANNY X-MEN #310 – March 1994

“…Show Me The Way To Go Home…”
Credits: Scott Lobdell (writer), John Romita, Jr. (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Steve Buccellato (colorist)

Cyclops discovers that the Danger Room is running a hologram reenactment of the day he sent his infant son into the future. Angry that someone would be digging up these memories, he shuts off the simulation and discovers that it was being run by Cable. Cable, feeling that Cyclops sent him into the future coldly and without regret, wants to know why Cyclops invited him to the wedding. Cyclops runs another hologram reenactment that shows the anguish he felt over the decision, but Cable says that it doesn’t change anything. The X-Cutioner, using his technology to follow Cable’s teleportation system, arrives inside the mansion. He plans on killing Emma Frost for allowing her Hellion students to die. Sabretooth warns Cable and Cyclops, and the two stop the X-Cutioner. Cable tells Cyclops that he’s proud to have him as a father, and drops him off at his bachelor party. He leaves Cyclops with a note telling him that he’ll be at the wedding.

This issue has three inbound X-Factor cards, adding forty-five cents to the price. I always hated these unrelated gimmicks that raised the price of a book. Who said I wanted three X-Factor cards in the first place? The main reason for putting them in the comic seems to be promoting the new Fleer line of X-Men cards, which meant we had to pay for an advertisement. Random is listed as a member of X-Factor on the cards, even though that never actually happened in the book.

Continuity Notes
Cable uses enhanced strength to drop a pile of debris on X-Cutioner. He tells Cyclops that he can be that strong “when I have to be”. I guess the implication is that he’s using telekinesis, although previous issues established that he could barely move tools around with his TK power.

Cable mentions for the first time that he was raised by a young couple in the future. This ties into the upcoming Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix miniseries, where Scott and Jean go to the future and raise Cable as a child.

At the bachelor party, Bishop says that marriage is discouraged by the XSE. Gambit tries to talk to Archangel about Sabretooth, but he doesn’t want to be dragged into their feud. Archangel seems to have forgotten about his own past with Sabretooth (or this could be a deliberate characterization point, showing that Archangel has forgiven him).

It’s another issue leading up to Scott and Jean’s wedding. I liked this issue as a kid, mainly due to Romita’s art. I thought he did a great job with the fight scene towards the end, but I definitely remembered the fight as being longer than it actually is. Cable, Cyclops, and X-Cutioner spend about as much time posing before the fight as they do actually fighting. Most of this issue consists of conversation scenes (often padded with splash pages and double-page spreads), but Romita can also keep those pages visually interesting.

Even though Marvel had been hinting that Cable was Cyclops’ son for two years at this point, the two characters had barely spoken to one another. Dealing with Cable’s reaction to Cyclops’ wedding isn’t a bad start for a story, and the two characters really did need to have some interaction. Lobdell goes the obvious route and has Cable resent Cyclops for his decision to send him into the future. It is true that Cyclops wasn’t shown to be particularly upset about it at the time, so the readers can see where Cable is coming from. However, once we see in the second flashback that losing his son really did hurt, Cable’s actions don’t make a lot of sense. Even after he sees that Cyclops was devastated by his decision, Cable tells him it doesn’t change anything. Yet, a few pages later after they defeat the X-Cutioner together, Cable has a sudden change of heart and tells Cyclops that he’s proud to have him as a father. The about face comes after he sees Cyclops’ concern for Emma Frost. The idea isn’t presented very clearly, but Cable seems to think that if Cyclops cares so much about a criminal, he must care about his son as well. If that were the case, wouldn’t he have realized that when he saw the second flashback? Why would observing Cyclops’ concern for a criminal have a larger impact on Cable than actual footage of his father crying over his loss? It doesn’t make sense. X-Cutioner’s decision to murder Emma Frost, while she’s in a coma, for “failing” her children doesn’t make a lot of sense either. Following that logic, X-Cutioner should also target Xavier for allowing Thunderbird to die all of those years ago. Isn’t it X-Cutioner’s motivation to stop mutants who killed humans, not mutants who indirectly lead other mutants into danger? It would’ve been easy to retcon an actual murder into Frost’s backstory, but I guess Lobdell didn’t want to retroactively make her a killer knowing that she was about to be reformed for Generation X.


rob said...

I have always liked this issue, although you do point out huge flaws in logic. The X-Cutioner's motivations in particular don't make much sense. However, the general idea behind the story is nice and the bachelor party scenes are mosly good. X-writers have gotten a lot of mileage out of Cyclops' guilt at sending Nate into the future since this.

Romita jr's art here is great, but everytime I think of the issue I think of the side splash pages. I know they're prevalent in other issues, but they really stand out here. Overall, a good issue leading up to the wedding, unlike X-Men#29, which felt like filler with the wedding as a backdrop for the events.

G. Kendall said...

Yeah, I really have no idea why Romita suddenly started to draw so many pages sideways. Maybe he thought the look suited the larger, wider character designs he was doing at the time.

Anonymous said...

This is kind of the beginning of an annoying period where Uncanny and X-Men started building up plots in each book, only for them to eventually be resolved in the sister title. Scott and Jean's wedding has been getting built up in Uncanny, but actually occurs in X-Men. The Sabretooth plotline has been having more meat in X-Men but gets resolved in Uncanny. Same with issue 29 of X-Men. Shinobi was more prominent in Uncanny shouldn't he be over there? For that matter shouldn't most of the Acolytes stuff from Uncanny 298-300 be in X-Men, where the plotline was introduced? This stuff really frustrated me as a kid since I was mainly just reading adjectiveless X-Men.

Chad said...

I remember reading this when I was young and being bothered by the X-Cutioner's "logic" too, especially because I was enough of a comics fan even then to know that Emma Frost had been involved in the murders of the old Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club during Sebastian Shaw's coup.

Besides, even without that, you'd think involvement in an outfit like the Inner Circle would be enough of a reason for the X-Cutioner...

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