Sunday, January 4, 2015

X-Men by Chris Claremont issue #7 (1992)

I complained about the fact that the previous issue was all over the place; uneven pacing, needless subplot crossover, and a rushed cliffhanger. This was why I was more than relieved to see that the concluding installment of this Omega Red story arc was a pretty nice wrap-up albeit a predictable one. When all is said and done, I'm just glad this is over even if fucking goddamn dipshit Matsuo escaped at the last minute in the closing pages. Fuck that dude! Admittedly, my hatred mostly stems from the fact that he has the same hairstyle as Wolverine. What a poser.

There are plenty of action scenes here that actually made me feel nervous again which hasn't happened since the Magneto arc in the earlier three issues. At the center of it all are no other than Psylocke (and later on Wolverine), two characters I've had a penchant for because even their static poses in the pages are badass and deadly to look at. I am really enjoying Psylocke despite the fact that this is the second time someone uses her own telepathy against her. She would recover later on anyway and takes the reigns and everyone else by surprise whenever she does get to it. On the other hand, Wolverine is yet able to take another extensive and agonizing physical torture. For a dude whose enemies and general acquaintances in the past are always finding new and creative ways to hurt him, he can mentally condition himself to endure that level of pain which says something to the elasticity of this character's badassery.

It's funny when you think about the fact that the people in the stories hate him as much as the readers who buy these comic books love him. The irony and balance to these receptions are fantastic, really. I will still consider myself a Wolverine fan but that depends on the characterization and plot relevance he has whenever I read him. Claremont's version of him here is pretty decent enough so far, but I don't think he really shines in this storyline which was supposedly heavily centered around him.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have Maverick and Sabertooth suddenly working together because Psylocke apparently was able to compel Sabertooth to do her bidding so he helps out in freeing the X-Men. However, Matsuo was able to overpower Psy during a fight with Omega Red, so the psychic link between her and Sabertooth gets cut off which was untimely for Maverick because he was just about to free the X-Men. Fortunately enough, teamwork is always the key to these guys and Cyclops, Jubilee, Beast, Rogue and Gambit eventually were able to get themselves just in time to help out Wolvie and Psy. This panel of them demanding their friends back was the sweetest:

Lots of ass-kicking commence afterwards because it wouldn't be a proper X-Men comics without a healthy dose of it. I didn't even mind that single page of Longshot/Dazzler/Mojo World anymore because I'm just happy in general that this rather polarizing storyline has come to an end. I also miss seeing Jean Grey, Storm and Professor X who had nothing meaningful to contribute to this arc at all. Underusing Storm in particular will always be the biggest crime ever. Anyway, while the X-Men get ready to return to home base, probably to have more fun times as the wacky weirdos that they are, Cyclops and Wolverine have this massively "awww" moment when they share this unexpected exchange:

As much as I like the love triad of Jean, Scott and Logan (the cheesy/poignant/delirious epicness of which was tantalizingly explored in the cartoons, by the way), I do consider Cyclops and Wolverine to be formidable comrades who often rub each other in the wrong way every now and then but do respect each other's capabilities and boundaries. These panels acknowledge that optimistic side of their dynamic and relationship which is still steeped in unease and suspicion, granted, but when push comes to shove, I just know both are willing to come to each other's aid. There is a friendship here which does take time to get used to for both parties and the readers who are usually taking sides whenever these two would clash on several occasions. I was smiling to myself the entire time Wolvie was expressing that sentiment about the X-Men. He is an autonomous individualist who challenges conformity and questionable authority every chance he gets, but he is a softie who gives his loyalty and service to the people and organization who are worth the trouble. In this case, it's the X-Men led by Charles Xavier. This is just one the things that make this character so endearing. And Scott's "Whether you want it or not" remark was deliberately snarky but you can definitely detect the affection and concern that underlies it. I just love it when tough men show their softer side.

I'm ending this review on that positive note. This also concludes my review sfor the collected issues for the first volume Mutant Genesis. I'm going to be reviewing that as well tomorrow. For now, I'll re-read that Magneto arc from the earlier issues and cry my shipper heart out with some devastating Prof X/Mags moments therein. BECAUSE I CAN AND I WILL!


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