Thursday, October 13, 2011

Uncanny X-Men #246 & 247

Once again, just thumbing randomly through the back issues at BAM! I stumbled across this little slice of Uncanny X-Men at the same time I found the "Fall of the Mutants" issues #226-227. I bought it recognizing it was a tale involving Sentinels- Master Mold is a super computer/giant robot that builds other Sentinels. This is what I've been wanting to read about, People!

“The Day of Other Lights” (issue #246, July 1989) contains a lot of character development- to the degree that seems to separate author Chris Claremont from many who came before him. It's really well done! I've read comparisons of his writing to "soap opera", but he gives these characters some depth. Dazzler (alone, scantily clad in a dark catacomb under the X-Men complex??)  looks into a gem given to the X-Men by Siege Perilous, spooked by the other possible lives she could have ended up living, all of them disturbingly ending in death. The whole thing with Rogue sharing her body with Carol Danvers/Ms. Marvel was new to me, and Claremont shares a conversation between Carol & Psylocke on a snowy New York stroll to a coffee shop about how that isn't going so well. Wolverine and Storm's conversation on his duties to the X-Men and himself as he comically tries to spruce up with some hair gel is well written.  Havok & Longshot's training session with Colossus is interrupted by a showboating Dazzler, and Senator Robert Kelly's wife killed by the Master Mold, originally a Hellfire Club girl under Sebastian Shaw's wing, who's ironically trying to garner support from the Senator for a Sentinel building project. There's a lot going on here!

The juicy battle scenes come in the next issue, “The Light That Failed” (issue #247, Aug. 1989)! When Nimrod (indestructible descendant of the robotic, mutant-hunting Sentinels from the future) was accidentally merged with Master Mold in the previous issue, it looked bad for the X-Men.

In an odd twist, Nimrod had evolved/matured beyond seeing mutants as a threat, and comes to the aid of our heroes, convincing the Master Mold that it has become a "mutant" by melding with him. Nimrod asks Master Mold to fulfill its prime directive to exterminate mutants, and so it must self-destruct.They are both sucked into the Siege Perilous along with Rogue (dressed in Ms. Marvel's outfit). Senator Kelly's wife killed in the meelee, he tells Sebatian Shaw he now will find whatever funding necessary to start the "Nimrod" program in order to see the X-Men destroyed- the ones he blames for his wife Sharon's death! This will, of course, ensure the survival of the Sentinels and Nimrod's evolution. Whoa!
Check out Jason Powell's interesting musings on this and other hidden subtext concerning Claremont & the editors at Marvel on Remarkable blog- Fascinating! There are more to comics than one might initially detect- I'm glad people like Jason are out there to guide me. What a great source! As I've said, I'm neither a seasoned critic of comics, nor literature of any kind, and I'm admittedly not a master academic. I only post these to share my enthusiasm for this fascinating & fun medium. Remember: you're never too old to learn something  :D

More Later- Make It FUN!

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