Sunday, August 25, 2013

Uncanny X-Men #172

In continuation of my post on Vol.1 of Wolverine and how it influenced the recent motion picture starring Hugh Jackman, I present another comic from my youth, Uncanny X-Men #172 . Published several months after Wolverine, Logan goes on to propose nuptials to Lady Mariko after defeating her father, who forbade their being together and tried to kill the X-Man. His old teammates accept the couple's wedding invitation, including Rogue, whom Logan gives the cold shoulder upon their arrival to Japan, distrusting of the former villain, now a probationary member of the X-Men. Mariko welcomes Rogue, correcting her gruff groom's manners...

Refreshment and relaxation is soon abandoned when Wolverine's keen senses detect the sounds of battle on the next rooftop, and fellow X-Man Nightcrawler teleports Logan to the scene. In fierce battle with the Silver Samurai, Logan's would-be-lover, Yukio, detected the spying assassin while stalking her former flame. The illegitimate son of Shingen, whom Wolverine defeated, Harada was dissatisfied with Lady Mariko's inheritance and sought to remove her from the equation. Storm saves her from a spill while leaping to her escape, but her brush with death is casually dismissed as Yukio cartwheels out of sight, perplexing the wind-rider. 

Relaxing at the Yashida residence later, The X-Men are left with Mariko's lady-in-waiting, who is ambushed by Viper upon her mistress' departure for "business meeting". The Hungarian mercenary poisons the X-Men's tea, leaving them to die while she attends the business of Mariko's meeting with half-brother, Harada, who's dissatisfied with the Lady's inheritance as head of the Yashida Clan.

Unbeknownst to Viper and the Silver Samurai ,Yukio had picked Mariko up and disguised herself as the Lady of the clan- exposed by Nabatone, the Yazuka intermediary. But the reckless Yukio strikes the surprised Samurai, in spite of her outmatched odds, Storm giving the assist in taking out Viper. Storm is forced to use her power over lightning to bring Harada down and again save Yukio. But when Yukio ends up pulling Ororo from the fire, the X-Man begins to warm to her new friend's thrill seeking ways!

Meanwhile, the X-Men are pulling through their ordeal with the poisoned tea that Viper served in intensive care- thanks to Logan's rich fiancee, the team has an entire ward to themselves. Wolverine's healing factor kept him on his feet, as did Rogue's partially alien physiology, having absorbed Carol Danver's psyche awhile back. (Interestingly, this story of Carol and Rogue was written for the cancelled Ms. Marvel title back in '79. but did not see publication until the fall of '92 in Marvel Super-Heroes Vol.2 #11.) Despite Mariko's pleas, Wolverine reluctantly takes Rogue as back-up to find Silver Samurai, "But you follow my lead, Youngster, my orders-- ev'ry flamin' step of the way!" Yes Sir! The X-Men became hugely popular in the 80's, and this issue has a lot going on, crossing Logan and Mariko's romance over into another title while continuing with several small character & plot developments occurring then. Read a trivia-packed post on this issue at Gentlemen of Leisure!

More Later- Keep Reading COMICS!

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