Friday, October 17, 2008

UNCANNY X-MEN #329 – February 1996

Warriors of the Ebon Night

Credits: Scott Lobdell & Jeph Loeb (writers), Joe Madureria (penciler), Tim Townsend (inker), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (lettering), Steve Buccellato & Electric Crayon (colors)


Summary

Dr. Strange has a vision that the X-Men need his help, so he sends his astral form to find them. In Manhattan’s Little Asia, Wolverine takes a skeptical Archangel to a tea house. He claims that there are mystic ways to cure Psylocke's injuries. Wolverine suddenly slaps Archangel’s hot tea to the ground, as the steam takes the form of a ninja. Wolverine and Archangel fight the ethereal ninja, until Wolverine notices a lone elderly woman watching the fight. He stabs her in the back, revealing her body to be a front for Gomurr the Ancient, who created the ninja in order to test the duo. Wolverine tells Gomurr that they need a “pint of Crimson Dawn from the Ebon Vein” and demands that he help them. Dr. Strange appears, telling Wolverine that he’s going to join their mission.


Production Notes

This issue is only nineteen pages instead of the normal twenty-two. It also has the first appearance of a computer generated character in this series, the “Steam Ninja”. The computer effects look a little dated today, but this was pretty impressive at the time.


Miscellaneous Note

According to the Statement of Ownership, average sales were 362,128 for the year with the most recent issue selling 373,556 copies.


Review

This is a very, very light read. Not only is the plot thin to begin with, but the story itself is only nineteen pages long. Plus, the opening four pages only have five panels combined (one of these pages is a splash of Dr. Strange flying over Manhattan, which is clearly a photograph and not a drawing, leaving Madureria with just a third of the page to actually draw). Lobdell is able to get a small amount of material out of having Wolverine and Archangel play off each other, but there’s barely any character work here. It’s really just setting up the plot of the next issue, which in turn sets up what is probably the dumbest thing ever done to Psylocke. This issue does have some impressive art and a fun action sequence, and it is nice to see a character rarely associated with the team like Dr. Strange show up, but there’s hardly anything else going on.

5 comments:

wwk5d said...

I think the last time we saw Dr. Strange teaming up with the X-men in an annual was way back when in the 80s, when they teamed up against Dracula.

Not the best story. As you said, some decent moments between Logan and Warren, but that's it. And the worst for Psylocke is yet to come...

Fnord Serious said...

I've heard many a woeful comment about the Crimson Dawn storyline. Looking forward to seeing was all the fuss is about.

Jeff said...

This and the next issue aren't too bad in themselves (I won't mention the stories they set up), but they aren't anything more than dumb action issues.

Teebore said...

"sets up what is probably the dumbest thing ever done to Psylocke"

Very true. And considering this is Psylocke we're talking about, very telling...

wwk5d said...

Psylocke wasn't that bad of a character, actually. I like what Claremont did with her in the 80s, even when he re-made her as a ninja. I just feel that in the 90s, writers either didn't know what to do with her or just put in really, really bad stories (Kwannon, Crimson Dawn, etc)...

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