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Uncanny X-Men #164 (1982, December)

September 30, 2013

And now back to the Brood Saga, with “Binary Star!”

Binary Star!

Neat. Though heroes wearing heels always makes me laugh.

The Brood are chasing Lilandra’s ship, planning to disable it and capture the X-Men. Wolverine, Carol and Peter head to man the weapons, while Cyclops blasts through the window. Storm uses lightning against the Brood, but her powers are acting up, and she accidentally destroys one of the ships.

The Brood disable their engines, and Kitty goes out onto the deck to repair it, pointing out that she’s the only one who can do it, thanks to her phasing. While Kitty does repairs, Carol suddenly goes weird, and fires blasts that destroy a whole lot of Brood ships.

Then we cut to Earth, and Xavier’s Mansion, where Xavier prepares dinner for himself and Illyana. They talk about Xavier’s telepathy, and about Illyana possibly being a mutant. Xavier also thinks about how he just wants to be left alone.

Back in space, Kitty feels awful. She’s found by Carol. She’s brought inside, where the ship has lost all power, including life support. Carol’s got the power to repower the engines. The next day, she and Colossus are out on the hull doing some repairs, and she talks about her new powers. Colossus invites her to join the X-Men, but she wants to explore Earth. She also gives herself the name Binary, of course. Nightcrawler examines Kitty, then tells her to get more rest. When he teleports up to talk to Scott, he says that Kitty should be dead, but she’s in perfect health.

Ororo’s down in the shuttle bay, trying to use her powers, but a pain hits her and makes her drop. Scott talks to her, and she says that being away from the Earth is causing her soul to waste away. She talks about feeling like she’s inhabiting a body no longer her own, which gives her an idea. She probes within herself, and sense a child. Then she probes deeper, and freaks out. She blows Scott out the door, then gets into a shuttle and leaves.

Finally, Wolverine tells the X-Men the truth. They’ve got Brood embryos within them. This enrages Binary, who blasts out of the ship. Which is a terrible idea, because it creates explosive decompression that might kill everyone else.

Claremont and Cockrum continued to do some amazing work. Kitty shows her courage and determination by going out on the hull. Carol gets some neat new powers and a new identity. Binary isn’t my favourite of her identities, but it’s a good one. It’s a fairly good design by Cockrum, and the powers are definitely very cool. And I don’t actually mind her wearing heels in that costume. She flies and fires energy blasts. She can wear whatever she wants. It’s mostly characters who have to engage in close-quarters combat that should never wear heels. Their reactions when Wolverine finally tells them the truth are well-drawn by Cockrum: Determination from Scott and Lilandra, anger from Colossus, grief from Kitty and Nightcrawler, and unreasoning rage from Binary. Storm’s freak-out at sensing the Brood inside her was also good. The sparks coming from her eyes was a nice touch. Made her look really, really scary. Storm, as a character, can look terrifying at times.

The Brood Saga still has 3 more issues before it’s over. Sadly, Dave Cockrum didn’t draw them. Happily, Paul Smith took over the art duties with #165.

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