The Man Who Fell to Earth
Credits: Jeph Loeb (writer), Steve Skroce (penciler), Bud LaRosa (inker), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (lettering), Mike Thomas & Digital Chameleon (colors)
X-Man crash lands into the Alps, making his entrance into this reality. Disoriented, he wanders into a nearby highway and is hit by a semi truck. He instinctively creates a telekinetic field to protect himself. The truck driver checks to make sure he’s okay and offers him a ride. While in the truck, X-Man begins to flash back to his own reality. He threatens to kill the man if he’s working for Apocalypse, which scares him away. X-Man’s powers explode, destroying the truck. While clearing his mind and making his way to Switzerland, he makes a conscious decision to mask his thoughts. Simultaneously in New York, Professor Xavier senses a burst of psionic power, and the sudden disappearance of the source. While in Montreux, X-Man watches a mother with her child and begins to think back to Jean Grey. He comes across a man who resembles Forge, who brushes X-Man away when he approaches. X-Man unconsciously reaches out to him telepathically for help. The man, named Sven Claris, takes pity on him and offers him a place to stay. Later, as X-Man tries to sleep, his thoughts continue to go back to Jean Grey, although he doesn’t know why. A cloaked woman suddenly appears and offers him a blanket. She introduces herself as Madelyne Pryor.
X-Man tells Sven his name is Nate Grey, although he’s not sure why he chose this as his name. Marvel must have liked the name since it stuck (maybe “Grey” was chosen as his last name in order to distinguish him from Cable, who is sometimes listed as Nathan Summers).
In case you don’t know this, Madelyne Pryor was a clone created by Mr. Sinister to create a child with Cyclops. Their child grew up to be Cable. She was killed off at the end of the “Inferno” crossover in 1988, so she had been gone for a while at this point.
The title of this issue is a reference to the David Bowie movie.
After I mentioned that my local stores didn’t carry X-Man once the AoA event was over, a kind (?) reader sent me his scanned copies of the series. I don’t plan on doing full reviews for the whole series, since I didn’t read it when it was actually released and that seems to violate the spirit of this blog. I did do capsule reviews of Excalibur and Wolverine issues that I read years after their release in order to get a look at the entire line, so that’s probably what I’ll do with this series. There’s really not a lot to say about this specific issue. It’s filled with double-page spreads of X-Man’s powers going out of control, which makes it virtually identical to most issues of the AoA run. The story mostly consists of Nate acting confused, blowing things up, and yelling at people. Loeb tries to play up the idea that X-Man still thinks he’s in the AoA, but there’s not a lot of mileage you can get out of the idea since our world is so much different than his. He’d have to realize quickly he’s in another world or else he’s a total idiot. It’s also hard to make Nate very sympathetic when all he does is act dizzy, scream, and blow stuff up. I guess adding Madelyne Pryor works as a shock ending for longtime readers, but after hearing so many jokes about their relationship over years, I’m dreading the resolution. There’s certainly nothing here to convince me that a teenage alternate reality version of Cable needs his own series.