Friday, January 27, 2012

X-MAN #50 - April 1999

War of the Mutants Part Two: New Blood
Credits: Terry Kavanagh (writer), Luke Ross (penciler), Bud LaRosa (inker), Mike Thomas (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters)

Summary: X-Man confronts Emma, who promises to lead him to Dark Beast if he helps her rescue Generation X. She telepathically traces the team to the New York sewers, where they’re soon confronted by Dark Beast’s new band of villains. Emma slips out of the battle to face Dark Beast, as X-Man and Gaia free Generation X. Gaia discovers a Brood egg, spoiling Dark Beast’s scheme to infect Gen X with the aliens. Dark Beast is revealed as a hologram and disappears. Emma telepathically feeds X-Man information scanned from his monitors, which she says will lead him to Dark Beast. Madelyne Pryor arrives and teleports X-Man away to Ireland, unaware that the Gauntlet is hiding outside of their inn.

Continuity Notes:
  • Madelyne is apparently trying to kill Ness, according to a brief subplot scene (check out the original art from this page here).
  • Gaia is suddenly wearing her Generation X uniform, even though the previous installment ended with her in normal clothes.
  • Dark Beast remarks that Emma performed “work” on his head when he arrived confused and disoriented on this world.That doesn’t make sense, given that they met in Generation X #-1, set ten years ago when Emma was sixteen.Dark Beast actually arrived in this world twenty years ago, according to X-Men Omega.
  • X-Man seems to believe Fever Pitch is our reality’s version of Holocaust/Nemesis.(If that’s the case, who was the Holocaust Stryfe wrote of in Stryfe’s Strike File?)
  • As for the rest of Dark Beast’s squad, the new members introduced this issue include Wynter (who’s being mentally controlled by Dark Beast), Obsidian the Dark, Integer, and Iron Maiden.

“Huh?” Moment: Emma tracks Dark Beast -- who, again, is mentally controlling one of his flunkies -- to his hidden lair with his psi-print. The same Dark Beast that’s revealed as a hologram just ten pages later. The story dismisses Emma’s ability to grab him by explaining that this is a “hard light” hologram…but how could hard light create thought patterns?

I Love the '90s: Emma instructs a nosey human student at the school to go watch The X-Files.

Review: This was the “War of the Mutants”?!? Wow...
So, after reviving the Emma Frost/Dark Beast mystery as the thread to tie this crossover together, what do we learn? That Emma helped repair Dark Beast’s mind after he arrived on this earth. (Never mind that the timeline doesn’t work, and none of the other AoA refugees were shown as severely mentally damaged following their arrival on this reality.) That’s the big reveal? Actually, is this even a reveal at all? Wasn’t this covered by the Generation X Flashback issue? If nothing new was supposed to be revealed, what was the point of this?

It certainly wasn’t to tease the idea of X-Man joining Generation X, since no character in the story ever seems to take the prospect seriously. It wasn’t to have X-Man team up with Generation X, since they barely appear in this issue, and are comatose for most of their brief appearance. If the story was supposed to be about the Dark Beast infecting Generation X with the Brood, that idea’s dismissed in the course of two panels. So, what’s left…the introduction of a new team for Dark Beast (who, perhaps, are still supposed to be called Gene Nation, even though the name never appears in the story)? That’s doubtful…Kavanagh doesn’t even seem slightly interested in the new characters. Even the revelation that Fever Pitch is potentially the once-popular AoA character Holocaust is treated as an afterthought. What we’re left with is a pointless crossover with a melodramatic, yet slightly generic, title that should’ve been saved for a higher-profile event. Or maybe a video game.


wwk5d said...

"X-Man seems to believe Fever Pitch is our reality’s version of Holocaust/Nemesis.(If that’s the case, who was the Holocaust Stryfe wrote of in Stryfe’s Strike File?)"

You'd think that would be a much bigger deal, then, since that would make him Apocalypse's son, no?

As for was the Holocaust Stryfe wrote of in Stryfe’s Strike File, it doesn't really matter, since I always saw as Stryfe being from the future, he was basing what he wrote on from what was history to him.

Anyway, it's all moot now for several reasons, since Holocaust and Fever Pitch are both dead now, and neither lived up to what was written in SSF.

ray swift said...

I enjoyed it as a light read. I'm not reading X-man regualry (just reading your summaries and reviews here) but it was nice seeing him using all sorts of psychic tricks (which I mostly didn't quite understand, because the writing was kinda unclear in this point, altough using so much word balloons) instead of just blowing things apart, and crossing roads with Emma.
The psychics in this issue got a lot of cool things to do insead of just psy-bolting and being shielded.

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