Monday, September 10, 2012

Uncanny X-Men #300, May 1993

It was a $3.95 cover price for Uncanny X-Men #300 back in '93, but Marvel did make it a triple-sized issue with a gimmick holo-foil cover. Like a lot of 90's comics, you can get one for a dollar now. I like the work of pencilist John Romita Jr.- while his father was a famous Marvel artist before, I can't help see the influence of Jack Kirby, whose Eternals story he reinterpreted with write Neil Gaiman, and Frank Miller, with whom he collaborated on Daredevil: The Man Without Fear.

The X-Men are after the Acolytes, a small group of mutants religiously loyal to Magneto and his teachings, led by Fabian Cortez. Cortez has captured Dr Moira MacTaggert, silent partner in the founding of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters and co-creator of Cerebro.

The newest member of the Acolytes, Neophyte, is made to see the truth about Cortez's murdering Magneto by the captive Moira. Upon witnessing fellow Acolytes murder a human who comes to his aid, the mutant Neophyte realizes Cortez's deception. When the X-Men drop in to rescue the outnumbered Neophyte, Professor X confirms the young mutant's growing realizations, "We want to ensure the horrors which so scarred your chosen avatar never come to pass again. Tell me Neophyte- are you strong enough to live the dream? Will you help us?"

The X-Men's Blue Team, led by Cyclops, and Gold Team, led by Storm, are conflicted on sufficient evidence of the monastery's occupants until Xavier's Cerebro device confirms the presence of an unidentified mutant on the premises.
Neophyte leads the X-Men to the Acolyte lair in an old French monastery, where the heroes storm in to do battle. Moira is rescued, Neophyte arriving on the scene to angrily distract Cortez long enough for Wolverine to run him through.

 The epilogue finds Cortez later liberated by Amelia Voght, the mysterious mutant Gamesmaster leaving him to ponder his failure to kill Magneto. Professor Xavier and Dr. MacTaggert realize their knowledge of the Legacy Virus that Stryfe released is severely limited, and it would only be a matter of time before it claimed Collossus' kid sister Illyana.
The X-Men stories, and X-Book tie-ins like X-Force had a lot of mutual narrative themes weaving throughout one another during the 90's, the mutant superheroes probably more popular than ever at this point, and this issue is an interesting snapshot of that moment in Marvel history. Newer characters mix with classic, themes that would blossom later are introduced-like the Legacy Virus, and the long-running X-Men franchise is being carried from the 80's into the turn of the century- full steam ahead. Though I've read out of continuity, it's fun realizing after you've read something where it's plot climaxes later, or when the story arc originated before. While I'm no comics aficionado nor literary critic, I'm an eager student of comics   :D
More Later-Make It FUN!


  1. That was a great issue. I remember it well. It was a milestone. The 300th issue. I always liked the Acolytes. Mutant followers of religion.

  2. Nice find, the 90's artwork remains as some of my favorite.

  3. great issue...STILL approved by the Comics Code Authority...even in 1993!