Friday, May 14, 2010

X-MEN UNLIMITED #16 - September 1997


Credits: Ben Raab (writer), Melvin Rubi (penciler), Rob Hunter (inker), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters), Shannon Blanchard (colors)

Summary: Banshee and Emma Frost debate over who should become the first human student of Xavier’s school. Banshee wants Adam Berman, while Emma is adamant that his classmate Ginny Mahoney be chosen. Ginny has recently returned to school after a mysterious absence. When she detects that Adam is a mutant, Ginny’s Prime Sentinel programming kicks in. Bastion encourages her to be patient, as he expects Ginny to infiltrate Xavier’s school soon. During Banshee’s lecture at their high school, Adam is unable to stop his transformation into a reptile form. Ginny transforms into a Prime Sentinel and attacks. When Adam points out that she’s a bigger threat to the public than mutants, she runs away confused. Bastion soon finds Ginny and kills her. Adam declines to join Xavier’s school, stating his desire to live within society. On the ride home with his friends, he adopts the name “Primal.”

Continuity Notes: It’s hard to fit this story anywhere in continuity. The Prime Sentinels weren’t activated until Bastion captured the X-Men, which lead to Banshee and Emma responding to their distress call. The duo was then stalked by Zero Tolerance agents, which is why they spent the OZT issues of Generation X in hiding. You could possibly place it before the OZT crossover begins and say that Ginny is a Prime Sentinel that Bastion is trying out, I guess.

Review: This is one of Unlimited’s rare crossover tie-ins, although no one bothered to put the OZT logo on the cover of this comic either. Even during a crossover, though, Unlimited is still filler. Using a Prime Sentinel in a high school story is actually fertile ground for a time-killer during a crossover, but this is a botched job. The unattractive, overly rendered art is bad enough, but the story is an even bigger mess. Xavier’s school is supposed to be a high school, so I don’t know why Banshee and Emma are looking to recruit graduating seniors for a “summer program.” I understand the premise, that adding human students will add cover for Generation X, but why are they going after kids who are already graduating? Why is Adam sometimes able to control his reptile form and other times not? Why does Ginny initially leave Adam alone, only to attack him anyway a few pages later? How exactly did the human kid Banshee tried to recruit turn out to be a mutant in the first place? Later on, Banshee says that Emma’s “suspicions” were right when he learns that Adam is a mutant, but we never saw Emma voicing any suspicions earlier. If she knew he was a mutant (which she should, considering that little program called “Cerebro” which is supposed to be looking for mutants anyway), why was she so adamantly opposed to him joining the school in the beginning? Plus, there’s the massive coincidence that the student Emma likes is a Prime Sentinel and the student Banshee likes is secretly a mutant. This has got to be the worst comic associated with the Zero Tolerance crossover.


Matt said...

I didn't usually read Unlimited, but I picked this one up because Banshee is one of my favorite X-Men, and the promise of seeing him in a solo story was too good to pass up.

I should've known better... I don't think I even read it! I mean, I read the first few pages, but then I just flipped through the rest of it, then put it away, never to look at it again!

nyrdyv said...

I have to agree with your review that the this was not exactly the best issue ever. It seems the X-Men genre just continues to slide negatively in the ability for them to convey compelling stories.

It is sad to see, though I can always hope.


Steven G. Willis

Chris Munn said...

I actually had no idea this issue was a Zero Tolerance tie-in, and I loved that crossover. Huh, guess not putting that OZT logo on the cover cost them some potential sales back then.

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