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Nothing new in the world of geekdom this week…but today I’m going to start organizing my geek den so I may share pictures of it later!


 X-Man #19 (September 1996)


“Shades of Grey”
[Onslaught, Phase 2]

Writer:  Terry Kavanagh
Penciler:  Steve Skroce
Inker:  Bud LaRosa

Sinister is still trying to convince Nate Grey to join him.  Of course, now Nate is his prisoner so it’s a bit easier.  He wakes up apart from X-Force, not even still in the X-mansion.  Most of this issue seems to be Sinister monologing, explaining his own brilliance, explaining how he found out about Nate, how he was able to defeat Nate despite Nate’s incredible powers.  Most of it’s about Threnody and how she works for Sinister and when Nate entered her mind, he created a pathway for Sinister to exploit.

In New York, Onslaught still looks down on the city, a captive Franklin Richards huddled in the darkness.


Meanwhile, Sinister continues his monologing (seriously, does this guy not watch movies?) and explains to Nate how he’s learned of the Age of Apocalypse world (from Bishop’s head and then from Nate’s head).  Nate then turns the tide and shows Sinister why he hates the man…because Nate’s version of Sinister killed everybody important to him.  As they continue to talk, Nate hears a distant cry.   Sinister tells him to shut it out.

Finally, after the talk, the offer of Sinister to teach Nate how to control, Nate accepts.  He may know that Sinister only seeks to use him but he’s accepted that Sinister may be his best chance at survival.  But even as he says this, a shadowy rip appears behind him and Franklin Richards reaches out for help, pleading for help.  Nate, of course, reaches back, seeking to help the child who has been calling to him.  Sinister’s warning comes too late and as Nate grabs Franklin’s hand, Franklin transformers to Onslaught and pulls Nate through the portal, leaving Sinister to sulk about his failure.


Meanwhile, in New York, Threnody is held captive in the sewers by Scalphunter and Arclight.  She reminds them that the cajun is still out there (a little reference to Gambit who we will see explained soon in the main X-Men title) and thus people have escaped from working for Sinister.  After a short time, Threnody notices a rat crawling by.  She grabs the rat and kills it, drawing its “death energy” into herself.  With that, she escapes only to be cornered by Scalphunter and Arclight…when a shadowy monster appears behind them.


I think leading into this issue helps to illustrate one of the problems I had with Onslaught.  We last saw X-Man something like 16 issues ago.  SIXTEEN.  I mean jeez…it’s so far into it that you really kind of forget that he’s part of this story.  And really, he’s not.  The writers could have left X-Man out of the Onslaught tie in and nobody would have cared.

This entire issue was basically Sinister explaining his entire plan and how smart he was.

Seriously…that was it.

I mean…I guess if you just love reading about how full of himself Sinister is, go for it.  And I normally love Sinister.  Really, I do.  When he captured Madeline Pryor waaaaay back in Uncanny X-Men #241, he monologed a bunch.  But not to this extent.  I guess the guy just loves talking.  But in the middle of a major cross-over, I don’t need an entire issue devoted to it.

Sinister vs X-Man

And then…the continuity.  Did Skroce forget (or maybe was unaware) that Onslaught completely changed his form in Uncanny #336?  And even within the story, Sinister shouts for Nate to shut out a voice but then the next scene, they’re carrying on like it never happened.  I really don’t get it…

At least I can be glad for only three more issues to go!