Wednesday, November 19, 2008

X-MAN #14 – April 1996

Fallen From Grace
Credits: John Ostrander (plot), Terry Kavanagh (scripter), Steve Skroce (penciler), Bud LaRosa (inker), Mike Thomas & Graphic Color Works (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (lettering)

Summary: Cable awakens to see Exodus fighting X-Man. After X-Man is able to break free of Exodus’ energy-draining powers, Threnody encourages him to run. Blaquesmith finds Cable and tells him to ignore Exodus and focus on the “atrocity”, X-Man. Cable refuses. Exodus finds X-Man and Threnody and continues the fight. Cable takes one of the guns Threnody found in the snow and opens fire on Exodus. X-Man overhears Blaquesmith refer to Exodus as an agent of Apocalypse, and reads Exodus’ mind to confirm. Angered, X-Man overfeeds Exodus his power, knocking him unconscious. He then opens the earth and throws Exodus into a canyon, which he closes on top of him. X-Man then turns to Blaquesmith, Cable, and Threnody and accuses them of distrusting him. Meanwhile in Paris, Madelyne Pryor is fixing dinner when she accidentally cuts herself. She wonders why she didn’t feel pain, or why her hand didn’t start to bleed until she actually noticed the cut.

Continuity Notes: Blaquesmith claims that Exodus wears “the marks” of Apocalypse on his brow. This is the first time Exodus has been connected to Apocalypse. I think we’ve entered a period in the books where several characters end up with retconned connections to Apocalypse, which turned out to be a way to build up Apocalypse as a villain without actually using him that often.

Creative Differences: A very obviously re-lettered balloon given to Threnody emphasizes that the gun they’ve found came from Cable’s safehouse.

Production Note: Another nineteen-page comic.

Review: This is at least more enjoyable than the first chapter of the crossover, if only because X-Man actually has a reason to be fighting his opponent in this issue. It’s an all-fight issue, which is well suited for Skroce’s energetic, exaggerated style. Pitting Exodus against X-Man works, if only because they’re both defined by having indescribable psionic powers, so at least they’re a match for one another. Blaquesmith’s prodding of Cable to just kill X-Man adds a somewhat interesting conflict to the story. We all know Cable won’t go through with it, but Blaquesmith is a new and vague enough character to get away with that motivation. The end of the fight, which has X-Man creating a canyon and then trapping Exodus in-between it is at least a creative use of his powers. It’s certainly a welcome break from his powers just erupting and creating large explosions, which seems to happen in almost all of his other appearances. The ending, unfortunately, is just more of X-Man acting irrationally and lashing out at people who don’t mean him harm (well, Blaquesmith does). Actually, Cable trying to stop his mentor Blaquesmith from killing X-Man has potential as a story, but I can’t remember if that’s the direction the last chapter goes in.

1 comment:

x-man75 said...

It always seemed kind of curious to me that Marvel stuck Blaquesmith with Cable. Shouldn't Cable have been competent enough to be able to work without a mentor to hold his hand by this point? I personally liked Blaquesmith most as a thorn in Cable's side, like in this comic, as opposed to Cable's keeper.

This comic was, like you said, a good example of the writer getting creative with the usage of Nate and his powers. It also helps that Nate is actually fighting a real villain, as opposed to having a misunderstanding with another hero or wandering around aimlessly.

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