Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Uncanny X-Men #226 & #227: Fall of The Mutants, 1988

After writing my last post on Wolverine & Kitty Pryde, I was checking out some used comics and stumbled onto some late 80's Uncanny X-Men. A couple that I picked up were from the "Fall of the Mutants" story arc. I didn't know exactly what I was looking at, but have been into the idea of taking a look back in time at The X-Men in general after thumbing through some old comics I had back in high school. I also recently found Vol. 1 & 2 of Marvel Masterworks: X-Men for a decent price on Amazon, and so I'm really excited about reading about the X-Men at their genesis here in the near future- can't wait!

All new to me, "The Fall of the Mutants" involved three separate non-intersecting storylines: one running through the Uncanny X-Men, one in X-Factor, and the other in the New Mutants title. Immediately upon opening Uncanny X-Men #226, there's action with characters I knew of: Colossus, Rogue, Wolverine, Mystique, & Storm. Thrown into the mix were some X-Men I didn't know much about: Forge, Longshot, Havoc, Psylocke, & Dazzler.  I was also limited in my knowledge of the Blob, Pyro, Crimson Commander, and Spiral. Exciting!

At some point earlier, Storm had gone missing while looking for Forge to help restore her lost mutant abilities, and the X-Men head to Dallas, Texas in search of her. A group of government sanctioned, reformed villains led by Mystique is after our heroes for refusing to file under the Mutant Registration Act, trapping them in a building, nearly killing Wolverine and leaving Rogue, Dazzler, & Psylocke unconscious in a pile of their wreckage out front. The irony of the situation isn't lost on Havoc who while tyring to figure out what to do notices a "tear in the sky", like daylight poring out into the night. All hell begins to break loose as a sudden "rift in time" mixes dinosaurs, barbarians, Cheyenne Indians, and futuristic vehicles & buildings right there in downtown Dallas, causing Wolverine to suggest a temporary teamup until crisis is averted. Hilariously, she agrees! Only in the comics, Kids- only in the comics  :D

Meanwhile, Forge and Ororo (Storm) are stranded like Adam & Eve on a world devoid of civilizations or other people, a trap created by Adversary on which he hoped the two mutants would turn on one another or simply not survive on. Storm goes on walkabout to figure things out, but Forge begins to feel the worm may turn. Upon Ororo's return months later, Forge has already built a solar paneled home, created a ring that can channel energy needed to send them back home, and built a device that will restore her lost powers. Handyman!  :D  Adversary reveals himself on Forge & Storm's return, having been under Wolverine's nose the entire time as some hillbilly with a gun, helping the X-Men keep danger at bay during the recent rip in time. 

Things get really weird in the next issue, #227, (March 1988)! The timewarp in Dallas has the X-Men battling demons in Vietnam where Forge's past self calls in a B-52 to raze the area where his fallen platoon lies, while Storm and Roma are prisoners on a space citadel up in the sky. Longshot's luck gets him aboard the ship first, his steel daggers showing Adversary's weakness to steel, and Colossus, Wolverine, and Rogue pouncing right after. Forge knows a real sacrifice has to be made to defeat Adversary, and Storm and the other X-Men agree to to give their combined life force, (the same number of souls used in the original enchantment) which Forge hurtles at Adversary, sending him back to his otherworldly prison. opened in a rage when Forge took the lifeforce of his slain platoon without permission all those years ago back in Vietnam. 

Kitty Pryde is one of countless millions watching this all broadcast live on television as a cameraman from the news station got caught in the middle of the X-Men's battle struggle against the Adversary, broadcasting the drama across the world. But Roma's Starlight Citadel, "beyond time & space" has access to eternity we learn, and so she brings the sacrificed heroes. This makes me wonder that if her power is  so vast that she can ressurect the X-Men, why didn't she just put Adversary down in the first place?! Anyway, they decide to let the world think they are dead as Wolverine suggests, the idea that villains they need to bring down would be caught unawares when struck. Next stop: Austrailia!

I have great love for these old comics, their quirky arcane printing, the old advertisements for candy, video games, model kits, ecetera. I like reading the old "Bullpen Bulletins" from that time, remembering pop culture back when I was a kid, and thinking about that in context with all that was to come later. Fascinating! The story was by living legend Chris Claremont who made Uncanny X-Men the top selling comic during his years writing it from 1975-1991. Mark Silvestri's detailed pencilling was lauded in this series, and he went on to found the indie Image comics with Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane, & others later. A small slice of a time past- an exciting, fun time in the Marvel Universe.

More Later- Make It FUN!

1 comment:

  1. I instantly recognized Longshot on the cover of issue 227.I had totally forgot about him as an X-Men.I don't know that much about him but i do remember him being in most of my old X-Men comics.I love Wolverine's uniform color in this series as well.