You’re Supposed to be Dead!
Credits: Chris Claremont (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Cory Hamscher (inks), Wilfredo Quintana (colors), Tom Orzechowski (letters)
Summary: With Gambit’s help, the Wolverine clone is defeated. Sabretooth takes care of his own clone, dismembering its hand in the hopes that Moira will use the tissue to recreate his lost one. Lockheed stops Hepzibah before she can harm Cyclops’ grandmother, and with Polaris’ guidance, Havok cuts off Malice’s choker. Gambit reaches the airfield just as Scalphunter attacks Robyn and Nathan. He rescues the duo and takes them back home. Corsair launches the Starjammer for a final assault. Jean uses her telekinesis to protect the X-Men and Starjammers from the massive cannon blast. The Marauders are killed, although some life remains in the Wolverine clone. Later, Shadowcat, Gambit, ‘Ro, and Lockheed announce they’re staying in Alaska with Nate. Mr. Sinister, meanwhile, is pleased that Robyn has earned the Summers’ trust.
- The recap page refers to Mr. Sinister as a “robot” Nathan uses. It also makes the claim that Sinister has ties to the Consortium, which hasn’t been established in the actual comic at all.
- Shadowcat can now grow bone claws as her fingernails, much like Sabretooth in the X-Men movies. Sabretooth also claims that the healing factor she absorbed from Wolverine is what enabled her to survive her wounds from the previous issue.
- Mystique steals Malice’s choker when no one is looking, saying it should be “delightful to play with.”
- Mr. Sinister claims that young Nate has the keys to the cure for mutant Burnout, which is presumably the explanation in X-Men Forever’s continuity for why he’s obsessed with Nate.
- Jean Grey cannot read Shadowcat’s mind, but Jean knows that she’s hiding something. Shadowcat is keeping the existence of the Wolverine clone a secret, although Gambit and Sabretooth also saw him, so I’m not sure how that would work.
Creative Differences: Rodney Buchemi was the original artist listed in the solicitations for this issue.
Review: Yes, the X-Men/Starjammers/Marauders fight has now reached its third issue, although there’s enough running around and small character moments to keep things interesting. Ron Lim also handles the action well for most of the issue, even though his art is getting fairly loose. There are a couple of those Generic Lim Faces that sneak their way in, which I’ve always taken as a sign that the issue is a rush job. Still, the story is executed competently, the dramatic moments seem appropriately dramatic, and Cory Hamscher’s inks give the issue that nice mix of polish and grit.
Thankfully, there are a couple of payoffs for the long-term fans, such as Polaris recognizing the choker that she once wore as Malice, and the three Summers men united in battle for (I believe) the first time in a Claremont story. The elaborate method for having Robyn Hanover ingratiate herself within the Summers family is also well-played, making the conclusion feel like less of a copout. It’s not a clear win for either the X-Men or Sinister, and the door’s open for more stories in the future. I’m not exactly thrilled with the revelation that even little Nate now has a connection to Burnout, but the book established a while ago that it’s going to be using existing continuity to sell this storyline, so it’s something the reader has to accept going in. Having Burnout become the secret reason behind Sinister’s interest in Summers’ DNA makes sense within the context of this series, and I guess it’s no worse than just keeping the resolution a mystery for several years for no real reason.
The major annoyance this issue is the next step in the Kitty-is-Wolverine plot. I’ve yet to see the appeal of this storyline, and why on earth does Kitty now have bone claws when she already has one of Wolverine’s adamantium claws? Everything about this plotline just reads like a dead-end. Even more frustrating is knowing that Claremont could’ve used this space to finally resolve the Kitty/Courtney Ross/Sat-yr-9 storyline he began in Excalibur years ago but never resolved.