Big Trouble in Little Italy!
Credits: Scott Lobdell (writer), Andy Kubert (penciler), Cam Smith & Jesse Delperdang (inkers), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (lettering), Kevin Somers & Malibu Hues (colors)
The X-Babies flee from Gog and Magog after they destroy the underground casino. Bishop and Gambit escape from the wreckage and protect the X-Babies. Phoenix and Iceman arrive with the X-Babies versions of Iceman and Storm. Iceman freezes Gog and Magog, but they easily break free. Dazzler suddenly appears and stops them from eating the X-Babies. She explains that Gog and Magog overstepped their boundaries when they were assigned to “collect” the X-Babies. She tells the X-Babies that many citizens of the former Mojoverse view them as symbols of the old regime and want them dead. She asks them to live with her and Longshot so that they can keep them safe. Excited, the X-Babies teleport away with Dazzler.
According to Phoenix, the X-Babies have psionic imprints. She claims, “They may have started out as artificial lifeforms…but now, they’re very, very real!”
Some information on what happened to Dazzler and Longshot is given. Phoenix says that Dazzler is no longer pregnant because she doesn’t sense another life within her. Dazzler refers to Longshot as her “husband”, but in quotation marks (I guess because it’s hard to have a legal ceremony in the Mojoverse, plus he’s not a citizen of any nation). Dazzler says that there is now an “entertainment-free new world order” on Mojoverse. She also says that Longshot hasn’t been “officially” elected as the new world leader yet. According to the X-Babies, Longshot and Dazzler live in the “Palace Royale”, so they must have some recognized authority. It seems like Lobdell was setting up another Mojoverse story, but I don’t think anything came of it.
Not surprisingly, this is another light-hearted issue with a pretty skimpy plot. None of it is really laugh-out-loud funny, but some of the dialogue is clever. Lobdell tries to use the lengthy fight scene as a way to build a connection between Gambit and Bishop, basically by having them grudgingly admit that they work well together, which is really the only contribution to any ongoing character arcs. After probably the darkest year in the history of the X-books, it is nice to see a different type of story, even if it’s not as amusing as the creators seem to think that it is. I remember being excited that Dazzler was brought back, since she had been out of the books for almost three years at this point. I was disappointed that Longshot didn’t show up, though, and it seems like he remained in limbo for years after this. Andy Kubert’s art helps a lot to carry the thin story. He’s lost some of his sketchiness at this point and is drawing more fully formed figures, which really impressed me when I first saw this issue.