Fire on the Mountains!
Credits: Chris Claremont (writer), Steve Scott (pencils), Al Vey (inks), Ed Dukeshire (letters), Lee Loughridge (colors)
Summary: The X-Men defeat the Sentinel and explore the area. They enter an abandoned complex and discover only one person conscious inside. She claims to be a scientist, one hired by mysterious employers two years earlier. SHIELD detects another village is being attacked by Sentinels nearby. The X-Men leave to stop the attack while Nick Fury stays behind to keep an eye on the woman. She pulls a gun and reveals herself as Zigfried Trask. Meanwhile at the mansion, Sabretooth is fitted with an ankle bracelet, and Gambit convinces ‘Ro to stay with the team.
Beast has begun flirting with Jean, setting up a brief romantic subplot.
Zigfried (Ziggy) Trask, the daughter of Bolivar Trask and granddaughter of Dietrich Trask, makes her full debut. She’ll go on to become a major villain in the series. Ziggy tells Fury that she wants revenge against him for his part in her grandfather’s death in WWII.
Ziggy Trask is immune to telepathic probes, allegedly because of a cybernetic implant in her brain.
Review: I think a bi-weekly book can be forgiven for a more leisurely pace, but this is a little much. Most of the existing subplots are touched upon but not advanced, a regrettable new romantic subplot is introduced, and one of the behind-the-scenes villains comes out into the light. To be continued. Perhaps the issue wouldn’t seem so padded if Ziggy actually did something during the story, but that reveal is saved for the final three pages. Instead, the X-Men spend what feels like forever walking around the complex and debating over whether or not Ziggy can be trusted. This, combined with the tepid Sentinel fight in the opening, makes the issue feel as if it’s marking time. I guess I shouldn’t complain, though, because in future issues the pacing will shift drastically in the opposite direction, giving the title an utterly surreal quality. As for Ziggy, a part of me admires Claremont for just embracing the ridiculous name, and another part wonders how anyone possibly thought they could get away with naming a major villain that. I’m tempted to make a joke connecting her to the comic strip character, but I honestly can’t even remember what Ziggy’s supposed to be famous for.