Foxes & Scorpions
Credits: Jay Faerber (writer), Terry Dodson (penciler), Rachel Dodson (inker), Felix Serrano (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters)
Summary: Irritated by M’s attitude, Jubilee challenges her to a duel in the Danger Room. Elsewhere, Emma learns that she’s lost considerable money in the stock market. When she suggests telepathically manipulating investors, Banshee convinces her to try a legitimate path. She decides to call her older sister, Adrienne. Meanwhile, Husk returns home and is disappointed by Chamber’s cold reaction. Unbeknownst to her, Chamber is following Skin’s advice. Later, Maggot arrives outside the school.
Miscellaneous Note: The title of this issue is a reference to an old middle eastern fable about a fox that carries a scorpion across a river. In Aesop’s fable, the fox is replaced by a frog, but the moral is the same.
Review: Jay Faerber debuts, and while his main story is essentially an extended Danger Room sequence, he introduces enough subplots to keep things fresh. The school’s going broke, Skin is giving Chamber bad relationship advice, Gaia can’t give Husk relationship advice because she’s been strapped to a rock her entire life, and several months after a set-up in X-Men, Maggott finally arrives. The momentum’s starting to pick up again, and it doesn’t hurt to have Terry and Rachel Dodson back, either.
The M/Jubilee fight is mainly there to provide some action and give the Dodsons something interesting to draw, but Faerber also uses the sequence to address how M feels about the months she spent trapped in Penance’s body. Jubilee thinks M shouldn’t be so hostile to her, given the time she spent with Penance. M responds that Jubilee treated her like a pet. Apparently, she’s deeply offended by all of those apples Jubilee brought her during the Lobdell/Bachalo issues. It’s not a very logical grudge to keep, but it’s fitting with M’s character. As M uses the old fable to illustrate, it’s her nature to be this way. Faerber shows very quickly that he gets the characters, so even if this is mainly a set-up issue, it doesn’t feel like a waste of time.