Thursday, August 28, 2008

UNCANNY X-MEN #324- September 1995

Deadly Messengers

Credits: Scott Lobdell (writer), Roger Cruz (penciler), Townsend/Russell/Milgrom (inkers), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (lettering), Steve Buccellato & Electric Crayon (colors)


Psylocke enters Gambit’s mind to find the source of the darkness she sensed earlier. She believes that Gambit is still asleep after passing out earlier, but he senses her presence and confronts her. She claims that she was only checking on him and leaves. Meanwhile, Wolverine, Cannonball, Storm, and Charlotte Jones face Gene Nation’s Vessel and Sack. When Sack grabs Jones, Cannonball blasts off with him. Sack then tries to possess Cannonball’s body, which forces him to crash into the pavement to stop him. Beast arrives and protects Graydon Creed, whose rally has been interrupted by Vessel. Wolverine senses the energy Vessel stole from his victims is inside of him, which leads Storm to attack him with lightning. Beams of light shoot out of Vessel’s body and return to the corpses in the morgue. Cannonball watches as a stray spark illuminates a part of Sack’s remains, enabling it to escape. He wants to follow it, but the team exits as the police arrive. Meanwhile, Rogue and Iceman arrive at a diner in a small Arizona town. Iceman sees another vision of Emma Frost, which upsets him. Rogue tells the waitress to give her regards to Grey Crow, but she then realizes that she doesn’t know who that is. Iceman tries to call Emma Frost, but she refuses to answer the phone.

Continuity Notes

Sack is shot two times, but the wounds quickly heal. He claims that his “primary mutation” is the ability to apply his body over a human host. Vessel has the ability to “siphon psionic and even physical residue from the recently departed”. The story goes out of its way to say that the lights inside of him aren’t souls, but it’s a big deal to Storm that the energy return to the corpses it came from (okay, then). According to the narration, thirty-three people were killed in Gene Nation’s nightclub attack.

Rogue remembers the name “Grey Crow” because she absorbed it from Gambit. The waitress, Claire DeLuc, has a photograph of herself with Gambit and Grey Crow. Years later, Grey Crow is revealed to be the Marauder Scalphunter in Gambit’s solo series (although the man in the photograph here looks a lot older).

“Huh?” Moment

Storm’s clothes alternate between a skirt and pants throughout the issue. None of the X-Men are wearing the same clothes they wore in the last issue, except for Cannonball, so Cruz must've been provided some reference.


It’s a mediocre fight issue, which is still trying to build up Gene Nation as credible opponents. I remember feeling let down the first time I read this issue, and time hasn’t been very kind to it. Sack and Vessel are just generically evil and aren’t exhibiting any type of a plan here; they’re just fighting the X-Men. I guess the scenes involving the light inside Vessel are supposed to add some relevance to the story, but all that happens in the end is some beams of light return to a few corpses. The story’s not even bold enough to call the light “souls”, so you don’t get the feeling that the X-Men truly accomplished anything. It might’ve been a copout, but I actually think that allowing the light to revive the corpses in the morgue would’ve been a more exciting ending than this. It would’ve undermined Gene Nation’s previous actions, sure, but at least something would’ve happened at the end. All that happens now is that Vessel disappears in-between panels (what exactly happens to him after he unleashes the light isn’t explained), and some glowing chunks of Sack scurry away (I guess that’s what Cruz was trying to convey, at least). The main story alternates with the Rogue/Iceman subplot, but the events are virtually identical to what happened in the previous issue. I guess Grey Crow was supposed to be the introduction of another mystery, but it’s forgotten for years until another writer decides to do something with it. The opening scene with Psylocke and Gambit could’ve created an interesting dynamic between the characters (and it fits in with Psylocke’s earlier appearances, which established that some of the X-Men felt uncomfortable around her), but it’s another idea that gets dropped along the way.

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