Uncanny X-Men #158 (1982, June)
I’ve seen my schedule for the fall semester. Looks pretty good. I’m glad. Today, “The Life That Late I Led. . . .”
The Starjammers are sparring with Carol, and she’s kicking some ass, until they manage to pin her down. We then cut to Kitty thinking about her feelings for Peter, and how much they confuse her. Then we move to Moira checking on Xavier, who’s still comatose. Lilandra has brought the telepathic Oracle to try to go into Xavier’s mind. It . . . doesn’t go well. Xavier ends up taking control of her to make her kill him. Wolverine severs the link with his claws, which strikes me as ridiculous, but oh well. As the fires are being put out, Kitty pops in to say the X-Men are being discussed on TV.
Senator Kelly talks about the dangers mutants pose. He says they must be investigated, to determine if they pose a threat, and if they do, dealt with. The X-Men are less than impressed. Moira says there are government files on the X-Men that need to be dealt with, and Kitty says a virus program could do it.
This is interrupted to visit Alex and Lorna, cooking some chili when they get a visit from Scott and Corsair. We don’t actually get to see Alex’s feelings on it; Claremont simply tells us they were mixed and varied. Instead, he skips to the next day, with Wolverine, Carol (both in uniform) and Ororo (in a black dress) head to the Pentagon. As they make their way to a data bank, they pass by Rogue in the hallway, getting some water from a fountain. Things go less than well. Rogue knocks Danvers away, but not out. Wolverine tackles her, but that’s the wrong thing to do, since it just lets her get close enough to kiss him and drain his powers. (The pervert in me is sad that she never does use that trick on women. Ah, well.) Storm blows Rogue out of the building. While everyone else is distracted, Carol moves to complete her mission, followed by Mystique. The X-Men continue to fight Rogue, while Carol enters the prime computer centre. Mystique shifts to Nick Fury and follows her in. Rogue grabs Storm, and absorbs her elemental powers. Which doesn’t really work out too well for her. Mystique shoots Carol, but doesn’t kill her. Carol fights back, and manages to knock Mystique out. Storm gets rid of Rogue with a tornado, then orders a retreat before she can return. Carol completes her mission, erasing all records of the X-Men – and herself, to boot.
This is good. Some very fun action. The fight between Rogue and the X-Men is really well-done. But the real draw of this issue is Carol Danvers. It shows Carol getting over what happened to her, and shows that she’s more than her powers. She’s a strong, resourceful woman in her own right, fully capable of holding her own against foes who look like they outclass her. One interesting moment for Rogue was when Carol first bumped into her. Carol started to apologize, and Rogue was really polite about it. I actually have to wonder if that was supposed to be the “real” Rogue, and the callous supervillain always intended as a mask of sorts, putting on a brave face to deal with the world. I like to imagine that’s the case, anyway. The alternative, of course, is that she was simply pretending to be polite in order to avoid attracting attention. And then Rogue and Carol recognized each other, and it all went to hell anyway. This is actually Rogue’s first run-in with the X-Men; interesting to think that in just a year, she’ll join the team.
This issue includes a reference to an upcoming issue of Marvel Fanfare for an explanation of the animosity between Carol and Mystique. Unfortunately, whatever story was planned was never actually published. That’s a shame. I’m sure it would’ve been a cool story. Oh well. There’s some very big issues coming up – including, shortly, the second half of the Brood Saga, which was voted #16 on CBR’s 50 Greatest X-Men Stories. And while you’re at it, I’ve posted Part Two of my own Top 10 X-Men Stories over at Beyond the Gamer, so why don’t you check that out?