Thursday, April 9, 2009

UNCANNY X-MEN #349 – November 1997

The Crawl
Credits: Scott Lobdell (writer), Chris Bachalo (penciler), Comicraft (lettering), Dan Brown & Digital Chamelon (colors)

Summary: Maggott continues his search for Magneto in New York City. He comes across Psylocke, who attacks him because she senses a “great darkness” within him. Using her psychic knife against him causes her to briefly pass out. Soon, Archangel arrives to help. Meanwhile in Antarctica, Trish Tilby comes across the Beast, who has returned to his human form. They continue their search for the X-Men, who are still Nanny’s captives. Joseph escapes from his restraints and reunites with the others. They attempt to escape, but are ambushed by Nanny. Before she can attack, Trish Tilby knocks her head off with a crowbar. Disabling Nanny allows the mutants’ powers to return, but they still don’t know why they’ve been brought to Antarctica. Gambit, declaring that he can’t live with the shame anymore, turns himself over to Spat. He claims that the truth will now be revealed.

Continuity Notes: It’s common knowledge that Beast only received blue fur after he drank an experimental potion, so many people complained when he lost his fur when his powers were negated. However, the potion did have some connection to mutancy, and he’s lost his fur on other occasions when his powers were neutralized (I don’t think it’s been kept consistent over the years).

Maggott, somehow, is able to look into the recent past when he’s staring down at NYC through a telescope. I don’t think this was ever explained. I assume the “darkness” inside Maggott is a reference to the mutant slugs that are a part of his powers (I'm also assuming his mental connection to the slugs prevents Psylocke's psychic knife from working).

Grovel describes himself as a “Klyruvian”, so I guess he’s an alien and not a mutant.

A narrative caption says that Rogue and Gambit were finally able to “fully express their love”, although I’m pretty sure the next issue backs away from the idea that they had sex.

I Love the ‘90s: All of the New York City scenes take place at the World Trade Center.

We Get Letters: A letter writer wonders why Rogue and Gambit were in promo ads for the OZT crossover. The editorial response admits that the characters were originally supposed to participate, but the current storyline in UXM went on longer than expected.

Review: And it’s still not UXM #350, so here’s some time-killer. Reading this, I almost forgot that it's Scott Lobdell's last official issue as writer, as there's no indication inside that he's leaving. I don't think the full story has ever been revealed, but the story that went around at the time was that he had a falling out with Bob Harras and was abruptly removed from the book.

This actually isn’t all bad, as Rogue is given an interesting dilemma. She’s close to learning the dark secret her boyfriend has been keeping from her for years, but only on the same day she’s finally able to touch him. Spat also works well enough as a spoiler, egging Rogue on to discover the truth. Sadly, the story doesn’t do an awful lot with these ideas, but you can see where Lobdell might’ve been going with this. The Maggott/Psylocke fight, however, is sadly a waste of time that never amounts to anything. It pads the issue out with an action scene, but Psylocke has such a vague motivation for attacking Maggott it’s hard to care anything about what’s going on. Chris Bachalo shows up as the fill-in artist, a few months before he’s set to officially take over the title. Some of the action sequences are a little confusing, but for the most part this is on the same level as his earlier Generation X issues. At the very least, it’s not as rushed looking as the past couple of issues. Overall, this isn’t as frustrating as the past few installments, but it’s clearly stalling.


Mike Loughlin said...

I think Bachalo inked his own pencils in this issue. I remember the art looking much better than his last few issues of Generation X. The thicker line weight gave the issue a more painterly look.

ray swift said...

At one point in the issue, some shadowy character in a dr. Claw's chair (from inspector Gadget) says: "Belive me, cajun... None of you have the slightest clue as to what is going on here."
I think this summarized clearly the way I felt about this issue.

Blehchalo said...

I hate how Bachalo draws the characters like midgets/infants with big noses.

It may suit Gen X (I didn't really care about that book) but imo his style doesn't fit the X-Men characters.

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