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|15th July 2011, 11:35 AM||#62 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: UK: ENGLAND:
Re: The Uncanny X-Men (1978)
You know what's great- is to re-read them, and then go and re-read the reprint series, where they included new back up stories that took place during the original story. It's totally not Byrne, but Claremont did write quit a few and I've enjoyed them immensely.
|15th July 2011, 04:09 PM||#64 (permalink)|
Re: The Uncanny X-Men (1978)
Uncanny X-Men 130 (Claremont & Byrne)
While the other X-Men are locating Kitty Pryde, Scott, Jean and Kurt travel into Manhattan to see if they can locate a second mutant.
As they approach a nightclub they are unaware that they are being observed by strangled costumed men using hi-tech equipment.
The club is a rundown disco, seedy, filled with bizarre sub culture types and Scott doers not know what to make of it, Jean is more accepting, while Kurt stays in the car.
The observers report back to their bosses, The Hellfire Club, where Jason Wyngarde talks to the leader of the Inner circle, The Black King – Sebastian Shaw.
Shaw is pretty certain that he can capture the remaining X-Men, but Wyngarde is not as certain, claiming he had better continue with his plan to subvert Jean Grey. He is not just confident it will work, he is convinced it already has, and that Jean just does not realise it yet.
As he leaves Shaw turns his attention to a communication with Emma Frost. She reports that all the X-Men and Xavier have been captured, and indeed they are, their powers disrupted, but she is unaware that the building has an interloper: the teenage mutant Kitty Pryde has followed the captured X-Men.
She sneaks up to Storm who gives her a number to call, but in that moment she is spotted by Frost, she flees, phasing through a wall in an attempt to get away.
In the club Jean searches for the mutant when she is approached by Wyngarde, and she is pulled into another reality where she is about to marry the man. (The priest overseeing the ceremony is Shaw). She is not just happy to be being married, but delighted. At the end of the ceremony Wyngarde pulls the wedding gown away to reveal an outfit the same as the White Queen’s, only in black. He claims that it is more than a wedding that she is now The Black Queen of the Hellfire Club, and she is ecstatic. She throws herself into Wyngarde’s arms, passionately kissing him, and in the real world that is how Scott finds them.
Both Jean and Scott are stunned, Jean embarrassed and not knowing what to say, Scott hurt but hiding his feeling. Before it can go any further there is a flash of light and a blast of sound and a lycra clad figure explodes onto the stage: The Dazzler.
As Scott realises they have found their mutant the phone in the car rings and Kurt receives a fraught message from Kitty. Before he can register what has happened the door is torn from its hinges and he is attacked by two heavily armoured men. He teleports away, but the men give chase and end up crashing into the Disco. Jean responds by telekinetically changing the molecules of their street clothes into those of their costumes.
The attackers though are prepared and begin to overwhelm the three X-Men. However they are not prepared for a new mutant, and Dazzler is peeved that they dare interrupt her show. She uses her power to absorb sound and transmit it as light to dazzle the attackers and Cyclops, Phoenix and Nightcrawler do the rest.
With that the X-Men and Dazzler run for it, as the attackers destroy the club. They reach the car and drive off passing Wyngarde in the road outside...
“THE ROLL’S HEADLIGHTS TOUCH JASON WYNGARDE FOR A MOMENT, THROWING HIS SHADOW ACROSS THE WALL BEHIND HIM. CYCLOPS AUTOMATICALLY NOTES THE IMAGE... BUT HIS MIND... PREOCCUPIED BY A HOST OF FAR-MORE PRESSING CONCERNS... DOESN’T REGISTER IT.
PERHAPS ONE DAY, HE WILL REMEMBER-- AND RECOGNISE-- WHO HE PASSED THIS NIGHT.
BY THEN, HOWEVER, IT MAY WELL BE FAR TOO LATE, FOR HIM, FOR THE X-MEN, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, FOR THE WOMAN HE LOVES.”
|18th July 2011, 05:54 PM||#68 (permalink)|
Lochaber Axeman, QC
Join Date: Feb 2008
Re: The Uncanny X-Men (1978)
Great stuff, PM. If you can, make sure that you post that fabulous picture of Wolverine from the last page of what I believe is issue 131 (when Shaw makes Wolvie super-heavy and sinks him to the sewers). One of the best Wolverine panels ever, and waaay before he became Marvel's go-to hero. I tried finding it, but can't.
|18th July 2011, 07:46 PM||#69 (permalink)|
Re: The Uncanny X-Men (1978)
I've been working out what I need, and that panel was certainly on the list!
|22nd July 2011, 11:06 AM||#70 (permalink)|
Re: The Uncanny X-Men (1978)
The Uncanny X-Men 131 (Claremont & Byrne)
Kitty Pryde is on the run from some Hellfire club goons, she is terrified, but just when it looks as though they might catch her, the car pursuing her is torn to pieces by Phoenix.
As Nightcrawler whips the scared girl to safety, Cyclops is stunned at the damage Phoenix has done, possibly killing the men. She brushes it off – they were terrifying Kitty, she reacted in kind.
When they find Nightcrawler though Kitty has gone. She took one look at him and phased through a wall in fright. Phoenix transforms her costume into street clothes, finds the girl and calms her. With the information she gives and that Phoenix ripped from the Hellfire club goons minds, they guess what has happened and formulate a plan.
Phoenix notices that they work for the Hellfire Club, the same group that he dream lover Jason Wyngarde seems to be a member of in her dreams.
At Frost Industries a few hours later the goons return apparently having overwhelmed the X-Men and are bringing them back as prisoners..
The already trapped X-Men – Storm, Wolverine and Colossus are told that they have been defeated, but it is then that Kitty slips into the room. She tries to jimmy a lock, but as soon as her hand touches the electronic device it shorts out and the door pops open.
Wolverine staggers free. Dazed he falls into Kitty’s arms, only to have her shot from behind by two Hellfire goons. With guns pointed at him he is ordered back into the cage. He just grins and pops his claws, telling them they have made the biggest mistake they could ever imagine...
The car with the other prisoners pulls up outside the main entrance to Frost Industries and exploded, as Dazzler lets loose a blast of light. Everyone in the area is dazzled, dropping stunned and the X-Men attack.
As she realises she has been outwitted the White Queen vindictively claims that she has been outwitted, but will wipe Storm’s mind leaving only a husk for her team mates to find, but someone cuts her off. Phoenix is standing behind her.
As the other X-Men reunite, Phoenix and Emma Frost enter into a psychic battle, one witnessed by Storm. It is she that notices that Phoenix is fighting with little or no restraint the Phoenix Effect flaring around her. As Frost begins to realise just how outmatched she is, she lets loose with a single desperate blast of her power, and just as the X-Men arrive the building explodes leaving nothing but rubble.
Terrified that he might have lost her again, this time for real Cyclops starts tearing at the rubble, only for it to be casually tossed aside as Phoenix frees herself, having protected Storm from the blast. Of the White Queen there is no sign.
With Kitty recovering from being stunned and Professor Xavier rescued the X-Men flee before the authorities arrive.
Dazzler, Alison Blair turns down the chance to join the team, maybe one day.
Kitty is returned to her parents, who are understandably worried and furious, they let their thirteen year old go out for a drink in a malt shop only for it to be blown up, her going missing and no word from anyone. Mr. Pryde in fact is threatening all kind of reprisals, when he just suddenly changes, delighted to see the Professor, and so enthusiastic about Kitty joining the school.
Scott notices and is stunned, more so when he realises that Xavier had nothing to do with it, which means it has to have been Jean. She tells him that it was the only way to deal with the situation without a lot of nastiness, so she altered his mind and memories.
As Scott is left standing on his own Ororo approaches him and asks him if Jean did something. When Scott confirms it, she describes how she looked when she was fighting Emma Frost.
For a moment they are concerned, then they say that she has changed, but she is the same as always as well... perhaps they are worrying about nothing...
|25th July 2011, 10:43 AM||#71 (permalink)|
Re: The Uncanny X-Men (1978)
The Uncanny X-Men 132 – 134 The Hellfire Club Saga (Claremont & Byrne)
Rather than heading straight home the X-Men travel to New Mexico where they meet with Warren Worthington III, The Angel. They need a rest, and Scott wants to talk things through with one of his oldest friends.
He and Warren fly to the top of a Mesa for some privacy, while the X-Men are looked after by Warren's girlfriend Candy Southern. Scott relates the events of the last few days, finishing with the revelation that it seems an organisation called The Hellfire Club is behind everything.
Warren is stunned to say the least, as he, being a wealthy elite, is a member of the club. Scott believes that someone has been feeding the Club information, but Warren denies it is him, and the subject changes. Scott is about to start talking about Jean, when she turns up, saying that she would like to spend some time alone with Scott, and Warren leaves.
She tells Scott that she loves him, changing her clothes with a wave of her hand, and holding his eye beams back with the force of her will she removes his visor. Like two normal people that make out on the top of the mesa, lost in each other and a moment in time.
A week later the X-Men begin their infiltration of the Hellfire Club. Wolverine and Nightcrawler make their way through the sewers. Wolverine cuts some power cables along the way observing that a sudden power cut could come in handy if things go wrong.
Above, in civilian clothing the others enter the club, using Warren's membership. Before they are even through the door they are spotted by members of the inner circle, Sebastian Shaw, Jason Wyngarde, Donald Pierce and Harry Leland.
Shaw is delighted, giving orders to facilitate their capture, he tells Wyngarde that it is time to put his money where his mouth is and prove that Jean Grey is indeed under his control.
Scott and Jean try to blend in, moving around the room and eventually starting to dance. It is then that Wyngarde appears, cuts in and Jean is suddenly living the life of her ancestor again, dancing with her husband. Scott is stunned, but believes there has to be a connection between Jean's 'timeslips' and Wyngarde. They leave the room and Scott gives chase. He sees them climbing a staircase and in that moment Wyngarde changes, showing Scott (but not Jean) his true face - he is none other than Mastermind, former member of Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. As Scott begins to realise just how badly Jean has been set up he begins to run, following them into the doorway of a room. There is a blast of Phoenix energy and he is blown back across the room, smoking and unconscious. Jean stands over him, Phoenix no longer, The Black Queen.
Peter and Ororo hear the sound and Scott's scream and charge into action, changing into costume as they go. Before they can get anywhere they are confronted by Shaw. Colossus throws a punch that barely snaps Shaw's head back, and when he responds he knock Colossus flying. As he and Storm begin to fight Shaw, Nightcrawler and Wolverine come in from the basement, working their way up, as they turn a corner Pierce grabs Nightcrawler by the throat.
Wolverine does not hesitate slicing right through Pierce's cybernetic arm, but he in turn is caught by Leland, revealing his own mutant power to be able to increase an objects mass. Wolverine begins to double up under its own weight. Sooner or later he will have a heart attack and die, but the floor gives out beneath him, sending him crashing into the sewers below, where the water carries him away.
Nightcrawler remains trapped by Pierce, and Shaw overcomes first Colossus and then Storm.
The inner circle of the Hellfire club celebrate their victory, despite friction beneath the surface - Shaw is convinced Wyngarde is out to replace him, but it is a time for victory. They have beaten the X-Men at the first attempt, imprisoning them all except Wolverine who is apparently dead; and they have a new Black Queen who stand amongst them.
Down below, in the sewers a hand claws out of the water and Wolverine rises. He's mean, moody and in probably the most iconic Wolverine picture of all time ready for revenge.
As a group of Hellfire goons search the cellars for Wolverine, they moan and gripe, believing him long gone or dead, unaware that he is in the rafters above them. He suddenly drops and in a vicious attack wounds or kills them, all except the last one, who he scares half to death, before running. He does not get far, and amid his fallen comrades, Wolverine asks for information. The goon talks.
Elsewhere the X-Men are imprisoned, powerless before the Inner Circle of the Hellfire club, Cyclops particularly has a full mask of ruby quartz over his head, padlocked at the back. As the Inner Circle gloat, we get to see the different perceptions, The X-Men wonder how Jean could have turned on them; Cyclops knows but can’t speak; Jean, now The Black Queen sees them all in the context of a ancestor manipulated by Mastermind. When Storm tries to talk to her, Jean whips her, wondering how a slave could dare speak to her so.
Scott remembers how Jean asked to create a permanent psychic link between the two of them, so they would always be connected, and he wonders if he can reach her through that link.
Shaw announces that they are going to experiment on the X-Men, try and isolate the genetic quirk that creates mutants. Rather ominously he tells them it is going to hurt, perhaps it would be better if they had died.
Elsewhere Moira MacTaggert announces to Sean Cassidy that she has finished a full in depth analysis of the reading Xavier made of Phoenix, and she is worried, very worried about what Jean has become.
In New Mexico Xavier talks with Angel, saying he has lost contact with the team. He recognises that he returned from space and made mistakes pushing Cyclops aside as leader of the X-Men, that it might have been the root of some terrible problems.
Wolverine sneaks through the Hellfire Club undetected, ahead of him are club members, innocents socialising and he wonders just how he can through them. He is distracted enough that even he is surprised when he finds a gun barrel pressed against his head.
Cyclops finds himself on a psychic plain, a blank space shared by Jean and himself. He is aware that he is there in the form of Jean’s perception, not his own. But when he tries to reach her she is with Mastermind, and he attacks with a sword. Cyclops tried to fight back, but is outclassed.
Wolverine does what he does best and fights, but more and more security piles on, until it seems he is lost beneath a swarm of attackers.
Cyclops suddenly has his sword knocked aside, and Mastermind runs him through.
In the real world Cyclops cries out and collapses, looking as though he has stopped breathing.
It is very much an illusion, the whole thing is smoke and mirrors, Mastermind appears as the dashing Wyngarde; the Inner Circle appear as benevolent business people when they are super powered mutants; Jean sees the X-Men as historical counterparts.
Outside the rain pours, in the sewers the water rises, getting closer to the cables that Wolverine slashed.
And in the room, as the Inner Circle gloat Wolverine burst through the door throwing security in all directions.
The Black Queen responds to Masterminds command, throwing Wolverine backwards with a telekinetic blast; but in the same moment she breaks the padlock holding Cyclops, telepathically telling him that she is herself once more, the shock of seeing him ‘die’ snapped Mastermind’s hold on her.
Cyclops responds in kind (He can see through Jean’s eyes). A massive blast knocks the helmet from his head, straight into the back of Pierces skull. As everyone reacts in surprise he turns his beans on the X-Men’s shackles.
Then hits Leland with a massive blast, which knocks him through the wall, over a landing and onto the floor where guests scream and shout in horror. It seems Jean’s blast placed Wolverine in a perfect position for this and he goes after him, a score to settle.
Shaw turns on Cyclops, but the X-Man is more than aware of just what the other’s power is and instead of hitting him with a power beam, he knocks the floor out from under him. Shaw falls.
Pierce runs, as does Mastermind, still convinced that they can win.
Wolverine leaps into the air, claws out dropping toward Leland, who reacts instinctively and increases Wolverine’s mass. While he is right above him. Both men go through the floor like a dead weight.
Nightcrawler teleports onto Shaw and begins to dance around him, forcing him to lash out, draining more of his stored strength. When he does manage to catch Nightcrawler, Storm drops the temperature to freezing, draining him even more of his powers.
In the Avengers mansion an alert comes in that the Hellfire is under attack from the X-Men. But Beast is on duty, to avoid a situation, he heads out on his own.
Colossus catches up with Pierce and the two fight, for a moment it seems mutant and cyborg are evenly matched, and then Colossus tears his robotic arms from him. Pierce manages tostab the sparking stub in Colossus’ eyes and runs while the other is blinded.
Shaw manages to escape into secret tunnels where he finds Pierce. Despite everything Shaw is impressed by Cyclops, how given one opening he turned everything around in seconds. They flee.
Cyclops tries to instigate order in the main club, but Mastermind is altering perceptions, they see him as a rampaging attacker.
And then the water hits the cable and the lights go out.
There is a noise beside him and Wolverine appears, when asked what happened to Leland, he replies “Don’t ask.” Leaving Cyclops wondering how he is going to explain that to Xavier.
Jean however has caught up with Mastermind and she is not happy.
Mastermind is convinced that he should still have control of her, but she proves him wrong, tearing apart a device he is using to boost his powers, then she punishes him, opening his mind, combining him with reality. It is more than it can take and he loses the illusion of Wyngarde, little more than Mastermind a broken, mindless, drooling wreck.
Jean is confused and distracted when Cyclops finds her, but goes with him. They join the others and flee the club. Shaw watches them leave determined that his revenge will not be a physical one, but he will make the X-Men public enemy number one.
The X-Men board their shuttle and head for home. Looking below they can see an unending stream of police arriving at the club, and even Wolverine notes it was best that they left when they did.
But a voice from the back of the craft announces that at least against the police they would have a chance, against her they will have none.
And the shuttle explodes.
|29th July 2011, 09:43 PM||#74 (permalink)|
Re: The Uncanny X-Men (1978)
The Hellfire Club Saga
After four years of preparation Claremont and Byrne are in sight of the finish line. This, the second of their trilogy of stories sees the tale that started with Wyngarde’s ‘chance’ encounter with Jean Grey in Scotland comes to a stunning conclusion. It could be argued (and is often used) that the Hellfire Club Saga began 3 issues earlier with the introduction of Kitty Pryde, but I did not want a thread any longer than this one!
There are some classic moments throughout, not only do we get two new characters that become classics in Kitty and Dazzler, we get the return of an old foe (Mastermind), made so much more dangerous and new characters, most notably Sebastian Shaw. It is interesting to note in this story Shaw is not by definition an evil mutant – he is self centred, opportunistic, above all else greedy, but not out for world domination. Simply he is a business man who wants to turn a profit, in this case finding the genes that make mutants and then producing custom built mutants and powers.
Even the end it is a vindictive revenge, and still a money making decision to turn the X-Men into public enemy number one, getting a contract to build the new Sentinels and make money! (Also it has to be noted that he has nothing to do with the Nazi’s, and he is certainly not long lived).
In fact the whole setup of the club is something rather different and special. A legitimate establishment that has many members of the rich, powerful and famous gives it a veneer of respectability and protection.
There are some stunning set pieces, the speed that Cyclops takes the Inner Circle down given one chance, Wolverine really shines for the first time, down to the mix of writing and art. This is the character he should have remained. The writing seems to infer that he killed the Hellfire goons and Leland, it’s a shame that they did not carry this through. Jean transformed to the Dark Queen, and throwing of the shackles and, of course, that last panel...
Despite this though, it is only a transitory story, but one that stands out as a classic, the core of the story is a perfect rotation to take Phoenix and logically twist a beloved hero and make her a terrifying villain.
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