Uncanny X-Men #321

UXM 321 cvr

“Auld Lang Syne” – Legion Quest part 3

February 1995
Nothing like friends who will eventually become mortal enemies, getting drunk together.
Nothing like friends who will eventually become mortal enemies, getting drunk together.

Can we just forget that this issue even exists?

Ugh…when I picked up this book, I can’t remember being so disappointed in my 17 years.  Well, maybe I was more disappointed when I had a dream when I was a kid and in the dream I had the transformer Sunstreaker and he was just so awesome to play with and then when I woke up I forgot it had been a dream and went to look for my toy but it wasn’t where I had left it and then I realized it had been a dream.  I was pretty disappointed then.  But this definitely takes the #2 spot up to that point in my life.

See, the problem is that we went from Roger Cruz in part 1 to Andy Kubert in part 2 and you would think we’d see Roger Cruz’s artwork in part 3, right?  Yeah.  Fat chance.  We get Ron Garney who sucked just as much in the nineties as he does later on in the 2000’s.  On top of that, we don’t even get Scott Lobdell’s writing.  Sure, he gets credited for the plot, but instead of his dialogue, we get Mark Waid who lacks the wit of Lobdell.  And it shows.  I didn’t even have to look at the credits to notice something wrong with the writing.  So when this book came out, I was definitely disappointed.

see?  Magneto doesn't need any sissy telepathy to beat up guys.
see? Magneto doesn’t need any sissy telepathy to beat up guys.

SYNOPSIS

The story starts off 20 years ago, in an Israeli bar with Xavier and Erik Lensherr (by the way, my referring to him as Erik instead of Magneto is intentional as he was actually a nice guy back then).  They are waiting for a ferry when Xavier decides to get involved in some drunks picking on a war veteran who has no legs and is begging for money.  Xavier manages to force a man three times his size to the bar counter by applying just a bit of pressure to a nerve cluster in his wrist (even at 16 years old, this seemed a little far-fetched to me).  Then while he’s trying to teach the man a lesson about being nice to those less fortunate, another tries to smash a chair across Xavier’s back.  Xavier, of course, “sees” this coming and blocks it with his arm.  On a related note, apparently, having a chair hit your forearm and having it shatter doesn’t hurt.  The rest of the gang starts forward but Erik blocks his path.  He tries to talk down the leader who decks him.  Erik responds by beating the crap out of him.  He and Xavier then take on the entire group of drunks and then leave while the bar is in shambles.

Back in the present, we discover that the scene was Xavier reminiscing about his time in Israel.  Cable, Jean, and Xavier are all being hooked up to some giant machine that the Shi’ar brought by.  Once everybody who’s not part of the machine has their goggles on (except for Cyclops because his goggles protect him apparently), there is a giant beam of light skyward.

Back in the past, Iceman and Bishop work on the dock.  Remember that they still don’t remember where they came from or why they are there.  Psylocke hasn’t had any luck unlocking their memories either.  Apparently there’s some tension, because she threatens to shove her psychic blade between Bishop’s…well…we don’t really know where because Storm stops her, but you can imagine.

On the ferry in the past, Xavier and Erik discuss Xavier’s unethical relationship with Gabrielle Haller.  Xavier, to his credit, recognizes it as unethical.  Erik, on the other hand, sees nothing wrong with it if she makes him happy.  They also discuss the mysterious stranger in the hospital who has amazing powers.  For some reason, after last issue’s cliffhanger, they felt it was perfectly fine to just leave him alone.  Yeah.  Makes a lot of sense.  In the city, Legion shows up where is mother is, but he appears to her as Xavier.  Based on the dialogue, Xavier had broken it off with her earlier, but Xavier/Legion decides to seduce her instead (yes…seriously…I’ll get into the creepiness of this later).

Back on the dock, Xavier and Erik pass Bishop who is working diligently without anyone noticing.  Xavier suddenly gets a mental flash from Gabrielle and he and Erik run off.  Meanwhile, a bright light erupts in front of Bishop and a partially transparent Cable shows up (since Bishop is already a time traveler, Cable is automatically drawn to him).  Suddenly, Iceman freezes Cable (doesn’t know who he is, remember?) and Storm, Iceman, and Psylocke rush to confront the stranger.  Cable easily passes through the ice (his physical form isn’t really there I guess?) and touches Bishop.  Suddenly light explodes and engulfs all 4 time-displaced X-Men as Cable screams “Rememberrrrr” (anyone else think of the Lion King at this point?).

Xavier and Magneto find a collapsed Gabrielle Haller, but suddenly Legion attacks, announcing that Erik Magnus Lensherr must die!

those timetravelers are like a clique in the x-universe!
those timetravelers are like a clique in the x-universe!

THOUGHTS/REVIEWS/SNIDE COMMENTS

Okay, so I think it’s pretty obvious I really can’t stand this issue.  I have so many problems it’s hard to know where to start.  And I think for that reason, I am probably nitpicking this issue more than I normally do.  If a book has good storytelling, good art, etc., it’s easy to overlook the imperfections, but when the issue is just bad, then it’s really easy to find problems.  It’s really sad too, because this issue ruins what otherwise is a pretty great crossover.

On a funny note, when this came out, I had no idea what the title “Auld Lang Syne” had to do with anything.  Turns out, that’s the name of the New Years Eve song everybody sings when the ball drops, but it also can often be translated as “days gone by” or “long long ago” or even “old times” which I guess is somewhat appropriate considering that the issue starts off with Xavier reminiscing about his friendship with Magneto.  So there you go.  Some of you reading this may have learned something!

PROS:

um….seriously…pros…um…  yeah, I can’t really think of any.  Maybe the bar fight?  Nope.  Not really.  Oh, I know!  It was part of Legion Quest!

CONS:

  • The artwork.  The art is very blah, boring, and generally doesn’t make a lot of sense.  And everybody has the same eyes.  apparently Garney can’t draw eyes.
  • The bar fight.  I had issues with several parts in this.  first of all, somehow Xavier’s forearm is strong enough to withstand a chair being swung at him?  Was it a prop chair maybe?  From a movie?  And then the corresponding kick makes no sense considering how close the guy is to him.  Plus, the nerve point in the wrist that can bring the giant man down with no effort whatsoever?  On top of that, his presses on the palm, not the wrist.  And let’s not forget the fact that they wreck the bar and then leave without even an apology, much less paying for it.
  • Legion.  Okay.  So let me get this straight.  When we last saw Legion, he was exploding in fire as Erik and Xavier rushed in on him.  So now they figure they can just leave him be and head across the bay for supplies?  Yeah.  Not buying it.
  • Legion and mom.  Legion seduced his own mother.  It doesn’t matter that it was the younger version of her.  It’s just creepy.  I don’t care if he disguised himself as Xavier.  I don’t care if all they did was kiss.  It’s just creepy.  Yuck.

Seriously…  skim over this issue.  You have to read it to get the whole story…but you’re not missing anything special.

Remember, Simba!  I mean...X-Men!
Remember, Simba! I mean…X-Men!

FAVORITE QUOTES

*****************************************************

Erik Lensherr:  “My friend learned to fight in the Orient.  He is a gentleman.  Sadly for you, I am not as cultured!”

*****************************************************

Charles Xavier:  “Any dream worth having, Erick, is a dream worth fighting for.”

*****************************************************

Jean Grey:  “Now give me a kiss, step back, and fret about something more important than me.”

*****************************************************

Legion:  “I have come far for you, Erik Magnus Lehnsherr!  In my tomorrow you will become the greatest villain the world has ever known!  And for that, you must die today!”

*****************************************************

Legion2

Advertisements