I think I have a twitter account (@psychodadcomics). Join me as I continue my ridiculous trek to read all of my X-Men related comics! I have no life.
Hopefully I can actually get this one out in a timely fashion…I’ve been neglectful. But I want to get through as many of these as possible because in May I’ll be moving. Which means that probably for mid-April through mid-June, no more reviews. I know, I know…sad faces, all of you (all 6 of you).
I explained what I’m doing here. Might want to take a look. or don’t. that’s up to you. These are in order of how I am reading them. Unless the X-Men show up in the title, or it’s a tie-in to an X-Men story, I won’t include them.
Excalibur #88-#90 (August – October 1995) “Dream Nails Trilogy”
By Warren Ellis, Larry Stroman, Darrick Gross, Ken Lashley, Jeff Moy, Carlos Pacheco, and David Williams.
There’s three separate plot lines going through this trilogy. The first involves Pete Wisdom and Kitty Pryde, investigating the death of one of Wisdom’s friends/colleagues. This is mostly about Wisdom finding out that Kitty isn’t exactly as green as he thought she was and Kitty finding out Wisdom isn’t as carefree as she thought. it ends with them making out on Excalibur’s jet on the way home, despite them having a 10 year age difference (that’s not me interjecting my own personal views…it’s a view they both share through inner monologues and a concern for both of them, but they obviously get past it). Wisdom also manages to get revenge on his friend’s killer (some leader in Black Air) and Kitty discovers that Black Air has all sorts of aliens in their basement, including some generic alien called “the Uncreated” who then boast to being the ones who killed god (I really wish I could express a good eye roll here).
Rory Campbell is also trying to “cure” Spoor of his homicidal tendencies. But to do so, he puts Spoor and himself in a room with lasers designed to target aggressive moves. To ensure he isn’t affected by Spoor’s range inducing pheromones, Rory takes a mood stabilizer. He then proceeds to berate Spoor and psychologically abuse Spoor by pointing out his dad killed his mom and just all around making Spoor feel like shit. Unfortunately, Spoor is more cunning than anyone gave him credit for and manages to keep Rory in there until Rory runs out of stabilizers. Rory looses his temper and moves to strike Spoor and one of the lasers cuts of Rory’s leg (this leaves him one step closer to him becoming Ahab).
Meanwhile, Moira spends the entire issue trying to figure out the Legacy Virus (remember that? the analogy for AIDS that ended up being forgotten until Scott Lobdell wrapped it up with the sacrifice of Colossus?). She spends several pages, figuring out how it was released to the public that she’s infected, and discussing with Xavier, Douglock, Nightcrawler, and Meggan why it’s such a hard virus to crack and expressing her frustrations.
This is one of those stories that was just so…inconstant. Between the constantly changing artists (of those 7 people listed above, 6 of those were the changing artists and no one artist did the entire book…heck they didn’t even designate a single artist to each plot), the characterization of Pete Wisdom (we only find out he’s a good guy from an exposition from one of his old war buddies – otherwise he’s just your stereotypical bad boys), and the Uncreated (seriously? that was pointless and silly) it was just a hard trilogy to get into. and I tried. REALLY I tried. I’ve read it several times. The one shining light was the back and forth between Rory and Spoor. I thought Ellis nailed this as the two tried to outsmart each other and the one you figured would just be a moron, Spoor, ended up being the more devious of the two. turns out he’s not just a crap Acolyte. Spoor’s got some potential.
Generation X #7 (September 1995)
I really want to like Generation X. I REALLY do. Bachalo at least seemed to have a hand on these issues but then to surprise us with some of Roger Cruz’s poorest work to date? Nothing much happens in this issue (which doesn’t bug me since I love Lobdell’s ability to write a heartfelt family issue). Emma and Banshee bond, Chamber laments over Paige, M seems to have a problem with her child-like artwork, Skin and Synch build a treehouse for Leech and Artie, and Banshee’s family castle disappears.
X-Force #46 (September 1995)
I was never a big fan of Pollina’s art. I know a lot of you love him, but he just never did anything for me. This issue involved the return of the Mimic and saw an explosive confrontation between the Askani powered Sunspot and Mimic, resulting in Mimic’s disappearance. On a side note, this is one of the early indications of the coming of Onslaught. We also get to see the unhealthy relationship between the dain bramaged Sabretooth and Boom Boom, who is starving for attention. Of course a naked Wolverine shows up in her bedroom to tell her to stop. Probably not the best thing for her…
Uncanny X-Men #323-324 (August 1995 – September 1995)
Marvel! Why must you torture me with more Cruz? (believe it or not, he’s not one of my most hated artists…just of all the titles at this time he was the most consistently irritating). At least we started out with Bryan Hitch. And to be fair, Cruz wasn’t as bad here as he was in the Generation X #7. Maybe he was just over extended. We get a little progression in the Psylocke/Gambit drama as we try and figure out what was so horrible inside Gambit’s mind. Iceman and Rogue continue their escape from reality 9also known as a “road trip”). Cannonball takes Sabretooth for a walk and then joins his very first X-Men mission. And the X-Men encounter Gene Nation for the first time.
Wolverine (vol. 2) #95 (November 1995)
Adam Kubert is hard to really pin down if I like or hate. This issue helps remind me that yeah…I do like him. It’s also nice to see Guardian and Vindicator who show up to try and ensure Wolverine (who is losing his grip on reality thanks to no adamantium) is safe to allow to wander the streets. In the end, Wolverine convinces them that yes, he does know what he’s doing. Plus, we see Cyber “trying out” for the Dark Riders of Apocalypse.
Cable #23-25 (September 1995 – November 1995)
The only thing that bugged me about this arc? Ian Churchill didn’t draw all of it. Salvador Larroca took over some duties in 23 and 24 (and was actually not too bad) but Joel Thomas in 25 was a big drop in quality and didn’t seem to fit. Still, when Churchill did the art, he was at the top of his form and it’s exciting, well drawn, etc. Cable’s wife, Jenskot, shows up in present day to bring Cable to the future to save the life of young Cable. Meanwhile Domino is forced to kill Grizzly who was murdering people at the command of Cable’s son. Domino then gets pulled into the future where Cable leads an excursion to rescue the sentient computer “Professor” from Stryfe which revives young Cable. Confusing? maybe. but it was a good story.
X-Man #7 (September 1995)
I don’t know if it was Marvel’s money problems or what but the switching artists seems a consistent theme during this time. Steve Skroce is actually really strong here (despite not caring for him in the limited series) and then towards the end we get Phil Hester who is really bland and boring. You’re killing me, marvel! We get to see some of the Sugar Man’s schemes to control Nate, Madeline Pryor leaves Nate to join Selene, and a bounty hunter, Rex, stalks him. All through Paris.
Generation X #8-9 (October 1995-November 1995)
*Sigh* Dragons, leprechauns and faeries. oh my. I mean…what can I saw about these issues. The kids head to Cassidy Keep and jump into another dimension and find a dragon and leprechauns, including Eamon O’Donnel who last appeared in Uncany X-Men #103. I will admit that Generation X started off strong with the first 4 issues…but then the most recent 3? I just want to scream and tear them up. but at least it gets better after this…
You know…it’s funny… we started this read with “the Uncreated” and ended with leprechauns. Started silly and ended silly (and not in a “Goofy Goober” way). But in between, got to read Cable which had some of the best art at the time. Unfortunately, this particular batch was plagued with Cruz (I apologize to all you Cruz fans…he was actually a good artist later on in the title) and other artists who were just plain and un-fun (is that a word?). But hey, it happens. At least it’s not Sean Phillips…