Fire -- from the Sky!
Credits: Chris Claremont (writer), Rodney Buchemi (pencils), Greg Adams (inks), Wilfredo Quintana (colors), Tom Orzechowski (letters)
Summary: The X-Men fly to Genosha, while Ghost Panther patrols the streets of Hammer Bay. At the UN, Everett Ross warns of Wakanda’s plans to annex Genosha. Ghost Panther’s Hammer Bay base is attacked by Perfect Storm and her royal guard, who are searching for ‘Ro. The X-Men arrive and join the fight. During the battle, Ghost Panther unleashes a bolt of lightning that charges ‘Ro’s powers. Perfect Storm is forced to retreat, but she swears she’ll return. Ghost Panther unmasks to reveal to ‘Ro her true identity - a living energy representation of Storm.
- The living energy incarnation of Storm has her ‘80s mohawk.
- Havok and Polaris have apparently joined the X-Men now. With the addition of Mystique and Sabretooth, that leaves the lineup at around eleven characters.
- The opening scene’s narration claims that Archangel is from Chicago, which is a ridiculous continuity error. It’s been established for decades now that Archangel was born and raised on Long Island. Archangel is also keeping his true appearance in disguise even at his own business; not only is his flesh white but his wings are also concealed in the office. Given that Archangel has been an “out” mutant since the ‘70s, this is nonsensical.
- ‘Ro is stunned to see Morlocks living with Ghost Panther in Genosha, even though she encountered the same characters last issue after waking up in Genosha.
Review: Essentially, the entire issue is a build-up to that final page reveal, which unsurprisingly means we’re in for more filler. And bad continuity, not just with Archangel’s Handbook entry but with the details of the previous issue as well. There are a few good ideas in here, such as Archangel funding what Claremont calls a “revolution” in Genosha because he feels partially responsible for what his former friend Cameron Hodge did there, but the inconsistent pace of this title has gotten extremely annoying. I’m assuming the pacing of this Genosha arc is particularly odd since the next issue has to be an issue-long origin story for ‘Ro and Perfect Storm, but as I’ve said before, Claremont has more than enough plates left spinning. There’s no real reason for the pacing of this book to suddenly screech to a halt when the issue has plenty of room to check in on any number of open subplots. I will say that this is Rodney Buchemi’s best issue so far, as he produces a pretty impressive fight scene with the three incarnations of Storm. I’ve never known what exactly to make of Buchemi’s art; he’s never been bad per se, but his style usually seems too subdued for superhero fare and his faces could use some work. In addition to the Storm(s) fight, he constructs a pretty dramatic splash page of the X-Men arriving in Genosha this issue, which gives some hint of his potential as an artist. He’s still nowhere near Tom Grummett’s league, however, and it’s frustrating that someone closer to that caliber was never hired to replace him.